Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Governing Women

A new UN Publication called Governing Women is out and looks very interesting:
Though the proportion of women in national assemblies still barely scrapes 16% on average, the striking outliers-Rwanda with 49% of its assembly female, Argentina with 35%, Liberia and Chile with new women presidents this year-have raised expectations that there is an upward trend in women's representation from which we may expect big changes in the quality of governance. But getting into public office is just the first step in the challenge of creating governance and accountability systems that respond to women's needs and protect the rights. Using case studies from around the world, the essays in this volume, edited by Anne Marie Goetz, consider the conditions for effective connections between women in civil society and women in politics, for the evolution of political party platforms responsive to women's interests, for local government arrangements that enable women to engage effectively, and for accountability mechanisms that answer to women. The book's argument is that good governance from a gender perspective requires more than women in politics. It requires fundamental incentive changes to orient public action and policy to support gender equality.
Interestingly, the case studies all come from the global south, except for the chapter on Women and Political Engagement ni East-Central Europe. Of concern to all those interested in good governance as well as women's involvement in it and its possibilities for securing greater protection of human rights.


Maya said...

Wide Angle actually had a really interesting documentary about the fact that the majority of Parliament in Rwanda is composed of women and why that might be. They suggest that it is the result of women being 'allowed' to shoulder more of a burden in a post-genocide society. This is an interesting tie to the increased role of women in Western societies following WWII. It seems to say that women are only given more power when men don't have a choice but to give it to them. Any thoughts on this?

Diane Marie Amann said...

intlawgrrls' prior post on women parliamentarians in rwanda is here: