Gender - Part 8

posted by usha on 2005/06/30 08:34

[ Gender ]

The poster at One World says: "Gender Equality - Now Realised in Legislation".

This seems implicitly to claim that gender equality is a given in BiH and Serbia-Montenegro to which the article is referring. Yet, far from it! What's up now in the two countries is a bilateral programming for poverty reduction and the implementation of gender mainstreaming institutions. Thus, a first step to gender equality is to be taken and it's a long way to go.

The article at Polska Network addresses the same subject but choses far less optimism:

One argument, said Grown, who is also a senior associate on the UN millennium project task force on education and gender equality is that although promoting gender equality and empowering women is one of the MDGs, that goal is the only place where the gender issue is addressed. "In fact gender inequality is a central feature of poverty, and any effort to reduce poverty must pay attention to the way that gender inequality makes women disproportionately vulnerable to poverty, both income poverty and non-income poverty," she said.
This is a crucial point Caren Grown made: Gender is no topic detached from other problems, it is a meta topic that belongs to everything else.

At the same time, there are more questions to be solved both methodically and socially. Jelena Poštić addressed in her speech (published on FemCities) at the conference Women and Politics: Sexuality between the Local and the Global the socially constructed nature not only of "gender" but also of "sex". To deconstruct only one of the two parts does not prevent sexism. Thus, the sad effect is that even the implementation of GM instruments supports the (sexist) status quo of women (and men):

The offered explanations and approaches to gender do not provide enough space for tackling the issues of both sexism (a system of advantage based on sex that benefits men ) and genderism (a system of advantage based on gender that benefits males and females [...] but rather either keep us all in boxes or is not radical enough in addressing the effects of patriarchy as a societal power structure.
This is, of course, an even longer way to go. I am afraid, not a single community let alone society or nation has reached the goal of "transfeminism". The task is worthwhile, nevertheless. Theoretical tools and case studies, as well as reports on the GM state of affairs in Eastern and Southeastern Europe are to be found at IDEA with a bibliography and links regarding the gender issue.

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