I was in Canada last week, having a lot of fun on a speaking tour with Oxfam Canada, followed by a couple of days with Oxfam Quebec in Montreal. One of the striking impressions is how much Canada’s foreign policy rhetoric echoes that of the Nordics in its focus on rights (an even more striking impression was that minus 20 degrees centigrade is really not …Continue reading
Guest post from Chloe Safier In the global development world, there are a lot of conversations about social innovation and (separately) a lot of discussions about feminist approaches to development and women’s rights. Social innovation labs, incubators and accelerators are popping up everywhere, from San Francisco to Beirut to Delhi. Major development actors like the Gates Foundation are issuing ‘challenges’ to advance innovation and cultivate …Continue reading
Could the UN’s new Progress of the World’s Women provide the foundations for feminist economic policy?
Yesterday I went to the London launch of UN Women’s new flagship report, Progress of the World’s Women 2015-16, in the slightly incongruous setting of the Institution of Civil Engineers – walls adorned with portraits of bewigged old patriarchs from a (happily) bygone era (right). The report is excellent. These big multilateral publications are usually a work of synthesis, bringing together existing research rather than …Continue reading
Feminists in Development Organizations: important new book for anyone (including not-particularly-feminists) trying to influence their institution
At first glance, a book called called ‘Feminists in Development Organizations’ looks like a bit of aid biz navel gazing. But if you are working in a large bureaucracy and want it to do more on just about any big issue (women’s rights, but also environmentalism, disabled rights, tertiary education, urban livelihoods), this book is worth a read. Feminist Bureaucrats (the authors’ preferred title) is …Continue reading
There’s a fascinating, brilliant and I think, very significant, piece on the role of feminism in driving action on violence against women in the latest issue of Gender and Development (ungated versions on Oxfam policy and practice website, please note). Authors Laurel Weldon and Mala Htun have painstakingly constructed the mother of all databases, covering 70 countries over four decades (1975 to 2005). It includes …Continue reading
It’s international women’s day today and the media and blogosphere are bouncing with ‘glass half full’ and ‘glass half empty’ discussions of the state of women’s rights. So let’s look at both halves of the glass (for a more pop version, this Independent on Sunday curtain-raiser is hard to beat, and I loved my friend Claire Melamed’s tirade against IWD cupcake feminism). In the optimist camp, there …Continue reading