Making women's voices count: from participation to power

17 May 2012 13:00 - 14:00 GMT+01 (BST)
Public event

Speakers: 
 
Jethro Pettit -
Research Fellow, Participation, Power and Social Change, Institute of Development Studies

Jo Rowlands -
Raising Her Voice Programme Manager and Senior Governance Advisor, Oxfam

Discussants:

Womankind Worldwide Programme and Policy Manager (tbc)

DFID politics, state, society team representative (tbc)

Chair:

Duncan Green - author Poverty to Power, Oxfam

Description

"The neo-liberal rules for the new woman citizen... are quite clear: improve your household's economic condition, participate in local community development (if you have time), help build and run local (apolitical) institutions like the self-help group; by then, you should have no political or physical energy left to challenge this paradigm". Srilatha Batliwala and Deepa Dhanraj (2004:13) in 'Gender myths that instrumentalise women: a view from the Indian front-line'.

As media celebration of women's role in the 'Arab Spring' revolutions clearly demonstrates, there is growing interest in the value of women's participation in the shaping and reshaping of governance systems and processes. But when the 'real decisions' start to be made – from household to district, national to international – women disappear. What needs to change to ensure that women's voices really count?

Much can be learned from organisations and movements around the world about how the complex barriers that systematically exclude women can be overcome. Countless innovative ways are being found that give women real power and influence in the governance spaces that shape their lives. What can donors and NGOs learn from these experiences? How can we better support women to speak out persuasively and politically, individually and collectively, in the right places and to the right people to gain a lasting and meaningful voice in the halls and corridors of power?

RSVP: [email protected]

For those not able to attend in person, a live video recording will be made available (details tbc - contact [email protected] to register your interest).

Christian Aid, 35 Lower Marsh, London (Waterloo Station/Tube)