Thursday, July 1, 2010

Lady Gaga Meets Ban Ki Moon: Development Explores ‘Gender and Empowerment’

In a dynamic collection of original articles, commentaries and interviews the latest issue of Development Volume 53 n° 2 rethinks human development through the lens of gender and empowerment.

For the online launch of the issue, Yvonne Underhill-Sem and Nejra Cengic discuss the concept of women’s empowerment, in response to Wendy Harcourt’s editorial ‘Lady Gaga meets Ban Ki Moon’.

The Editorial which has already been featured on the SID Forum with over 800 views to date, asks how the UN space can be made more relevant. It provocatively asks how to highlight the critical issues of gender and empowerment with the same success and honesty as icons of popular culture such as Lady Gaga.

The journal is done in collaboration with the project Pathways of Empowerment, an international research and communications programme which links academics with activists and practitioners to find out what works to enhance women’s empowerment.

Contributors reflect on their own personal and political engagement with the term and what it has come to represent, on the ways development institutions have taken up and used it, and its place in relation to wider development trends and goals.

- In the upfront section, gender experts of the Editorial board look at feminist responses to the systemic crises, taking up the theme of what kind of empowerment is possible in a time of crisis.

- In the thematic section, there is a collection of short articles generated from a series of interviews with gender activists which provide useful perspectives on empowerment in gender and development policy and practice.

- Coming out of the Pathways for Empowerment Programme articles in the local/global section look at diverse experiences and discourses of women’s empowerment in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Bangladesh, Brazil The issue also includes a collection of videos, photos, audio visuals and music on women’s empowerment

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Violence against women is a worldwide yet still hidden problem. Freedom from the threat of harassment, battering, and sexual assault is a concept that most of us have a hard time imagining because violence is such a deep part of our cultures and lives.