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Over the past two decades, constructivist International Relations (IR) scholars have produced substantial knowledge on the diffusion and adoption of global norms, emphasising the role of Western norm entrepreneurs in constructing and promoting new norms to passive, generally non-Western, norm takers. An emergent literature on norm dynamics unsettles this narrative of linear progress, highlighting the agency of diverse actors, including the agency of non-Western norm entrepreneurs, in normative change. This article contributes to this recent norm research by exploring the normative agency of local actors in the Turkish context, who have actively engaged in normative contestation over the meaning of gender equality. More specifically, the article reveals the crucial role of a pro-government, conservative women's organisation in subverting global gender equality norms and in promoting a local norm of ‘gender justice’ as an alternative. The article furthers research on norm contestation by analysing the discursive strategies and justifications local norm makers have adopted in the Turkish context upon encountering norms that challenged their normative beliefs and practices. Finally, the article critically engages with postsecular feminism, highlighting the agency of a religiously informed, conservative women's organisation as a non-Western norm entrepreneur.
This chapter summarizes and further ties together findings, cases, and theories from the previous chapters. By bringing conclusions pertaining to all three spheres of influence – –religious civil society, dimensions of representation at the national level, and intergovernmental organization effects – – into one chapter, we are able to paint a simultaneously broad and high-resolution picture. We look at how actors in different arenas interact with, and complement, each other. We compare influence, and discuss the ramifications of actors at one level on actors at the other levels. Finally, what questions remain open for future exploration? We discuss venues for further research and leave readers the room to draw their own conclusions about what still needs to be discovered to fully understand the determinants of women’s welfare policy around the world.
Functioning as an introduction, in Chapter 1, we first highlight the timeliness of the topic of our book. In the era of the #metoo movement, sustainable development goals, and radical policy changes, such as those in Ireland and Chile, issues of reproductive rights and women’s bodily autonomy continue to be front-page news. The importance of this topic is compounded by the health, moral, and economic implications of abortions (legal and illegal) performed around the world today. We distinguish our book from extant literature and highlight how its cutting edge large-N comparative framework, in combination with case study analyses, provides a first-of-its-kind perspective on questions of abortion around the world. We introduce the three spheres that the book will focus on: civil society, state government, and the international sphere. We then move on to the different theoretical perspectives used in the project and briefly discuss the empirical components as well. We introduce women’s reproductive rights law – – and, specifically, law on access to abortion as a quantifiable and testable variable – – that will lend itself throughout the book to quantitative analyses and hypotheses testing as a part of the discussion on the creation of women’s welfare policy. In closing, we provide a brief overview of the chapters of the book.
This paper examines how the degree of gender-egalitarianism embedded in inheritance rules impacts state capacity at its early stages during medieval times. We present a theoretical model in which building state capacity enables nobles to raise taxes and overcome rivals. The model addresses the use of inheritance to consolidate landholding dynasties, also accommodating interstate marriages between landed heirs. On the one hand, dynastic continuity—of utmost importance to medieval lords—directly encourages state-building. Male-biased inheritance rules historically maximize the likelihood of dynastic continuity. We weigh this effect against the indirect impact of the more frequent land-merging marriages under gender-egalitarian rules. Contrary to the literature, our results suggest that gender-egalitarian norms—offering a low probability of dynastic continuity—promote state capacity in the short run more than gender-biased norms. In the long run, results are reversed, providing a rationale for the pervasive European tradition of preference for men as heirs.
Given the growing importance of state subsidies as a source of party income, several countries have introduced policies that link the provision of party funding to the promotion of gender equality in political representation. Variations in the assignment of public funding—that is, financial incentives and cuts—are increasingly employed to promote equal gender participation in intraparty politics and in public office. However, we know little about why and how these equality promotion policies have been adopted in different countries, how they work in practice, and, most importantly, what effects they have on women's representation. To contribute to this debate, after embedding gender-targeted public funding regulations in the broader set of political representation policies and presenting a comparative overview of existing rules in the European Union, the article concentrates on the Italian case. We examine the evolution of Italian regulation of gender electoral financing and the extent to which the Italian parties have complied with the rules over time. The results show that this set of policy instruments, when poorly designed, is nothing more than symbolic policy. The lack of appropriate mechanisms for sanctions and rewards, which can induce parties to change their behavior, has hampered the effectiveness of these policy measures.
This article asks whether firms should contribute to the costs of procreation and parenthood. We explore two sets of arguments. First, we ask what the principle of fair play – central in parental justice debates – implies. We argue that if one defends a pro-sharing view, firms are required to shoulder part of the costs of procreation and parenthood. Second, we turn to the principle of fair equality of opportunity. We argue that compensating firms for costs they incur because their employees decide to procreate or parent may undermine some of the incentives leading to (statistical) discrimination in the workplace.
Men have an important role as allies in reducing discrimination against women. Following the Social Identity Model of Collective Action (SIMCA), we examined whether men's identification with women would predict their allied collective action, alongside moral convictions, efficacy, and anger. We also examined whether identification with their own ingroup would decrease their willingness to improve women's situation. We tested the SIMCA, extended to consider ingroup identification among men, in Japan (N = 103) and the Philippines (N = 131). Consistent with the SIMCA, moral convictions and group efficacy predicted men's willingness to engage in collective action to fight discrimination against women. However, anger was not significant, and identification with the advantaged and disadvantaged groups played different roles in the two countries. We discuss the possible role of norms and legitimacy in society in explaining the pattern of results.
Although women and men enjoy formally equal political rights in today's democracies, there are ongoing gaps in the extent to which they make use of these rights, with women underrepresented in many political practices. The gender gap in democratic participation is problematic because gendered asymmetries in participation entail collective outcomes that are less attentive to women's needs, interests, and preferences. Existing studies consider gender gaps in voting behavior and in certain forms of nonelectoral politics such as boycotting, signings a petition, or joining a protest. However, almost no work considers gendered variation in discursive politics. Do women participate in small, face-to-face political discussion groups at the same rate as men? And does gender intersect with other identities—such as ethnicity—to impact attendance at political discussion groups? I use data from the Canadian Election Study 2015 Web Survey to answer these questions. I find that women are significantly less likely to attend small-group discussions than men and that ethnicity intersects with gender in some important ways. However, I find no evidence that other social attributes—poverty or the presence of young children in the home—suppress women's participation in political discussion groups more than men's.
Like many other countries, Brazil has adopted gender quotas in elections for legislatures at all levels of the federation. However, Brazilian gender quotas have been ineffective at increasing women's participation in politics. Authors usually point to reasons related to the electoral system and party structure. This article analyzes a variable that is rarely considered: the role of the Electoral Court. We argue that the quality and intensity of the control exercised by an electoral court, when called upon to decide on the enforcement of the gender quota law, can influence the efficacy of this policy. We show that, in general, the Brazilian Superior Electoral Court tends to foster the participation of women in politics. However, based on two divides—between easy and difficult cases and between cases with low and high impact—we argue that in the realm of gender quotas, this court takes a rather restrained stance in those cases considered both difficult and with high impact.
This article explores how far the concepts of de-familialisation/familialisation are adequate to the classification of long-term care (LTC) policies for older people. In the theoretical debate over LTC policies, de-familialising and familialising policies are often treated as opposites. We propose re-conceptualising the relation between de-familialisation and familialisation, arguing that they represent substantially different types of policy that, in theory, can vary relatively autonomously. In order to evaluate this theoretical assumption, this article investigates the relation between the generosity level of LTC policies on extra-familial care, and the generosity level of LTC policies on paid family care, introducing a new multi-dimensional approach to measuring the generosity of LTC policy for older persons. It also explores the consequences of this for gender equality. The empirical study is based on a cross-national comparison of LTC policies in five European welfare states which show significant differences in their welfare state tradition. Data used are from document analysis of care policy law, the Mutual Information System on Social Protection, the European Quality of Life Survey and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The findings support the argument that de-familialising and familialising LTC policies can vary relatively independently of each other in theory. It turns out that we get a better understanding of the relationship between LTC policy and gender equality if we analyse the role of different combinations of extra-familial and familial LTC policies for gender equality. The paper brings new insights into the ways welfare states act in regard to their LTC policies. It helps to clarify how the concept of de-familialisation/familialisation can be understood, and what this means for the relationship between LTC policies and gender equality.
In 2000, the European Union established three principles that should guide Member State pension systems and their reforms: the financial sustainability of pension systems; adequacy of pensions; and the modernisation of systems. The latter included the achievement of greater gender equality and sought to respond to the significant gender gaps in public pension systems. This article demonstrates how the reforms carried out over the period 2000–2017 have focused on strengthening the financial sustainability of systems but may also have contributed to even greater gender inequality in old age protection. To this end, we examine the major legislative amendments concerning eligibility criteria and entitlement conditions in six countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Portugal and Spain), as representative of the social insurance scheme.
Although U.S. private foundations provide significant and varied kinds of support for women and girls globally, we know little about the scope of foundation giving or its effects. In what ways, we ask, has foundation funding attempted to promote the empowerment of women and girls? An important critique has emerged among scholars and practitioners that funding practices often undermine women's activism and movements. We study the empirical evidence for this critique, examining funding trends internationally in the areas of capacity building, issue framing, and coalition forming from 2002 to 2013. We argue that there are reasons for both optimism and concern. On the one hand, we find that the share of funding for organizations and issues that have a political advocacy component has held steady in the past decade. On the other hand, we find trends in the opposite direction in declining shares of funding for general operating costs, leadership training, and coalition building for groups engaged in political advocacy—trends that may weaken the ability of gender equality organizations to promote enduring change.
This paper reframes debates about gender equality in the legal professions by interrogating the practices of men and interconnections between fatherhood, gender and parenting within the specific context of large corporate law firms. Drawing on interviews with male lawyer-fathers, it argues that closer exploration of fatherhood reveals much about the gendered dynamics of identity formation as a legal professional in this sector. A set of ideas about fatherhood, the paper suggests, shape how men's work can define a distinctive gender identity as a ‘family man’ and good lawyer. Political-economic and cultural shifts around fatherhood, however, are reconfiguring and adapting gender relations in law in a number of contradictory ways with implications for understanding the place of men in relation to gender-equality agendas. Ideas about fatherhood, family, work and career, I argue, are mobilised and enmeshed within the reproduction of distinctive law-firm cultures and gendered ideas of organisational commitment. What, in short, might it mean to be both a ‘good father’ and a ‘good lawyer’?
Iceland enjoys a reputation as one of the most gender equal countries in the world. It has also received much attention for an innovative approach to parental leave where fathers have three months of non-transferable leave, thereby encouraging active involvement of fathers in the caretaking of their children. This article focuses on the discrepancy between on the one hand the goals of the state of drawing men, particularly fathers, into traditional female dominated areas such as caregiving of infants and young children and on the other hand a discourse that equates motherhood with parenthood and promotes the ideology of intensive mothering.
The analysis of EU level social and gender policies highlights uneven developments and concerns over the EU as not (always) beneficial to social progress and gender equality. The EU, although primarily market driven, has developed a range of social policies, with gender equality enjoying a long-standing status as EU's founding value, dating back to the 1957 principle of equal pay for equal work. Yet, sixty years later, social justice objectives and equality between women and men remain to be realised. Social and gender themes have been revived by the proposal to develop the European Pillar of Social Rights, the shaping and implementing of which post-Brexit UK will not take part in. This initiative entails some meaningful developments for social and gender progress. However, its current form and content represents an adjustment to, rather than a transformation of, the unequal European economy and society.
Gender equality is considered paramount to the success of the Sustainable Development Goals and incorporated into global health programming and delivery, but there is great gender disparity within global health leadership and an absence of women at the highest levels of decision making. This perspective piece outlines the current gaps and challenges, highlighting the lack of data and unanswered questions regarding possible solutions, as well as the activity of Women in Global Health and efforts to directly address the inequity and lack of female leaders. We conclude with an agenda and tangible next steps of action for promoting women's leadership in health as a means to promote the global goals of achieving gender equality and catalyzing change.
Gender equity is imperative to the attainment of healthy lives and wellbeing of all, and promoting gender equity in leadership in the health sector is an important part of this endeavour. This empirical research examines gender and leadership in the health sector, pooling learning from three complementary data sources: literature review, quantitative analysis of gender and leadership positions in global health organisations and qualitative life histories with health workers in Cambodia, Kenya and Zimbabwe. The findings highlight gender biases in leadership in global health, with women underrepresented. Gender roles, relations, norms and expectations shape progression and leadership at multiple levels. Increasing women's leadership within global health is an opportunity to further health system resilience and system responsiveness. We conclude with an agenda and tangible next steps of action for promoting women's leadership in health as a means to promote the global goals of achieving gender equity.
To what extent does Malta's social policy support gender equality, in the use of time? How much do state policies assume that men and women both need time to care, as well as for paid work? Does Malta's full-time paid work structure allow time for the equal sharing of unpaid care responsibilities between women and men, that in turn enhances gender equity in the workplace and domestic sphere? Themes that emerge in the study rest largely on women's voices. The study finds that women need to shift their full-time economic activity to shorter and flexible working hours when they become mothers, with negative consequences of loss in income and career regression. Labour market exit and financial dependence on men is also a frequent occurrence. The findings of the study suggest that strong pressure to assume traditional roles is embedded not only in Maltese culture and social norms, but also in the state's own social policy.
The “Debate” section of the Review aims to contribute to the reflection on current ethical, legal or operational controversies around humanitarian issues. In its issue on “Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict” (Vol. 96, No. 894, 2014), the Review published an Opinion Note by Chris Dolan entitled “Letting Go of the Gender Binary: Charting New Pathways for Humanitarian Interventions on Gender-Based Violence”, arguing for a shift in the conceptualization of gender-based violence (GBV) in humanitarian settings from an emphasis on gender equality to an ethos of gender inclusivity. Jeanne Ward's reply, “It's Not About the Gender Binary, It's About the Gender Hierarchy”, was published in a later issue of the Review (Vol. 98, No. 901, 2016). Ward suggested retaining a focus on women and girls in GBV work, while moving forward in partnership with those who wish to accelerate programming directed towards men and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) communities broadly. In this issue, Dolan responds to Ward's position, pointing to empirical and practical developments that have advanced the understanding of how to effectively respond to GBV, including GBV perpetrated against men, boys and members of the LGBTI community. Dolan calls for the IASC Guidelines to be revised in 2020 to be the guiding text on preventing and responding to GBV in humanitarian settings, and explores what it means to do inclusive gender while also tackling hierarchies.