Where Having It All Doesn't Mean Having Equality

Submitted by Caroline C. Dreyspool on Tuesday, 10/12/2010, at 9:26 AM


Here is an article I thought you guys might find interesting.

The Ibrahim Index

Submitted by Maudlyn O. Obi on Monday, 10/11/2010, at 12:13 PM

According to the website, the Ibrahim Index is an African organization that does the following:

  • Measures the delivery of public goods and services to citizens by government and nonstate actors
  • Uses indicators across four main categories: Safety and Rule of Law; Participation and Human Rights; Sustainable Economic Opportunity; and Human Development as proxies for the quality of the processes and outcomes of governance
  • Is the most comprehensive collection of qualitative and quantitative data that assess governance in Africa
  • Is funded and led by an African institution
  • Is a progressive and consultative assessment of governance

Check out the 2010 Edition of the Ibrahim Index on African governance by clicking on the above link.

Women Marines winning over the "hearts of Afghan women"

Submitted by Rachel L. Tuchman on Wednesday, 10/6/2010, at 2:26 PM

The New York Times video today talks about the female marines in Marja, Afghanistan and their task of reaching out to the women of the region. This may be interesting to look at in light of your focus on war for the next two weeks. Not only are women the victims of war but they are also used to reach out to the women in occupied regions in order to gain intelligence and see where we need to focus on for development. Therefore, war is not only gendered in terms of who it harms but also there is a gendered military role for women developing now too.



Better than Infanticide...?

Submitted by Amanda D. Barrow on Wednesday, 10/6/2010, at 11:38 AM

This is from a few weeks ago, but I saved it and think it's definitely worth reading:


In my opinion, it really brings to light how constructed gender roles are.

Rape and UN Failure in the DRC

Submitted by Amanda D. Barrow on Wednesday, 10/6/2010, at 11:27 AM

Reading this really made me recall the Nussbaum piece about how the omnipresent threat of violence can make attempts to do anything else impossible. It's easy to see how the DRC's development is stifled.


Global Effort to Double the Proportion of Women in the UN Police

Submitted by Evan M. Karl on Tuesday, 10/5/2010, at 5:48 PM

       Hey everyone,

       Upon realizing I was writing too much in my Political Report, I decided to post the 'current-issue' article I read along with some thoughts on how it pertained to (if not, reinforced) one of the more controversial articles read for class (Challenging the Margin: Gender Equality and the UN Reform Process).

       Here's the article online: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=36287&Cr=un+police&Cr1=

       I feel that the statistics stated at the beginning of the online article offersome keen insight to the inconsistencies within the UN itself – and the issues that arise out of an organization that struggles with the same gap it is attempting to fix.

      In Bonnie Kettel’s article Challenging the Margin, she deals primarily with the rising ‘discontent’ with the “{UN’s} capability to promote gender equality both within the system and on the part of the national governments that constitute its membership” (Challenging the Margin, 872). The statistics stated at the beginning of the female police article highlight this problem in an all to ironic way: The national organization that has set its sights on the equalization of the gender gap is indeed guilty of the same biases and implementation issues it is attempting to fix. The fact that women comprise of less than 10 percent of the UN police force is absolutely astounding. With these low numbers in mind, it comes to no surprise to me that Kettel considers the idea of the “formation of a new ‘global house’ for gender equality” (Challenging the Margin, 882). While the article on female police officials claims progress is being made (with a goal of doubling the proportion to at least 20%), Kettel feels that this ‘progress’ is not coming fast enough: in large part due to the bureaucratic nature of the U.N, coupled with her opinion that gender equality is on the bottom of the UN’s agenda, as implied by gender equality’s revealing (and possibly, intended) placement in the Outcome Document that resulted from the 2005 World Summit in New York.

     Taking the claims of the online article into consideration, I find it a hard dilemma to answer to: The UN is undoubtedly an astounding source for materials needed to combat gender equality issues, and yet the progress it is making in the equalization of agency and opportunity between men and women is criticized as being 'slow' at best. Should it be abandoned for a more efficient 'global house'? Or is the process of equalization a slow one no matter what vehicle is behind it? Keep in mind the fact that the opinions addressed in the online article are those of the U.N. itself.

Impact of Contraception

Submitted by Michelle F. Nessen on Monday, 10/4/2010, at 11:41 PM

Below are two short op-ed articles from the New York Times. The first, by Nicholas Kristof, links the importance of family planning with global poverty. He describes how contraceptives can be issued to some of the poorest nations for only $5 to $10 a year. The second article also is centered around global contraception, specifically in the Congo. The author, Amy Ernst, goes even further than Kristof does by linking birth control not only to poverty but to women's rights. She exclaims that a "lack of family planning doesn’t just contribute to poverty, it prevents women from advancing in society. With four children or more in the home, a woman can’t continue her education." Both are interesting and related pieces that tie into our readings on women's access to social services and their benefits.