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(GEND) Gender politics and feminist interventions in global governance


InstructorFriederike Beier, Dipl.
InstitutionFreie Universität Berlin
SemesterSommersemester 17
Scope of Course
RoomIhnestr. 22 UG 2 Seminarraum
StartApr 24, 2017 | 02:00 PM
endJul 17, 2017 | 04:00 PM

There is a long history of feminist interventions in theory and practice of global governance, in particular in the development context. The UN decade for women (1975-1985) and the respective UN World Conferences on Women were intertwined with the rise of a transnational women’s movement with powerful interventions into UN policy making. The fourth and last UN World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 marked a starting point for gender mainstreaming, a strategy intended to catapult gender concerns from the margins into the mainstream of development politics. Feminist scholars have criticized gender politics for the “evaporation of gender policies in the patriarchal cooking pot“(Longwe 1997) and the low effectiveness on transforming gender relations. “Femocrats”, a label for professional feminists inside civil society organizations and global institutions, have tried to influence global policies for increasing gender sensitivity ever since. For example, extensive lobbying by civil society has led to the Sustainable Development Goal 5 as a stand-alone goal for gender equality. At the same time, progressive women’s organizations are lobbying against a 5th UN conference on women in fear of a conservative backlash through authoritative and religious governance. These and other issues will be discussed in the seminar. The focus lies on the history and trends of feminist policy-making, as well as the effectiveness of gender politics. How do feminist strategies materialize in global and national policies? What are the effects of this policy transformation? What are feminist strategies in “shrinking spaces” in turbulent times? Such questions will be the base of our discussions.