This publication, released in organization with the United international locations, discusses democratization and gender via the relevance of nationwide machineries for the development of girls. applicable mechanisms wherein the mainstreaming of gender can occur are thought of, and the degrees of governance concerned.
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Extra resources for Mainstreaming Gender, Democratizing The State?: Institutional Mechanisms for the Advancement of Women
It is at this time that national machineries can be most effective in insisting upon a ‘reassessment both of priorities of states and of the normative social order’ (Molyneux, 1998:242). Free-standing machineries too have strengths and weaknesses. One danger of an autonomous entity is the lack of political clout and therefore of political and economic resources. No ministry or politician need feel responsible for this body, and its achievements bring no benefit to ministers who might then develop a stake in the functioning of the machinery.
A monopoly of state power poses difficult questions for gender equality. On the one hand, as Jezerska points out in chapter 8, ‘In a political sense, the women were officially equal with men under the communist system. For example, “the greatest number of women in the unicameral parliament [in Poland] under the communist regime was 23 per cent in 1980–1985, far higher than in many Western democracies” ’ (p. 171). However, the lack of political space for women to organize meant that this formal equality was not translated into gender equality agendas, and women who did attempt to push the boundaries of state policy faced threats of political persecution.
Third, ‘in terms of the civil society–state relation, we should emphasize the importance of the state beyond simply maintaining (or not maintaining) the parameters of civil society itself, and of politics in mediating between the particular interests of civil society and the universalist claims of the state’ (Fine and Rai, 1997:2). As the ‘Recommendations of the Expert Group Meeting on National Machineries . ’ suggest, governments are critical to the effective implementation of the Platform for Action by encouraging NGO participation on policy agencies, in setting up accountability mechanisms, and indeed, ‘[w]henever possible, Governments should utilize NGO volunteer capacities’ (UN, 1998:12).
Mainstreaming Gender, Democratizing The State?: Institutional Mechanisms for the Advancement of Women by Rai