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Aiding Empowerment Democracy Promotion and Gender Equality in Politics


Aiding Empowerment Democracy Promotion and Gender Equality in Politics

  • ISBN 13:


  • ISBN 10:


  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 02/15/2024
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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In recent decades, women's political empowerment has become an important foreign policy and assistance objective. Every year, donor governments and multilateral organizations partner with hundreds of civil society groups around the world to train women to run for office, support women legislators, campaign for gender quotas, and bolster women's networks in political parties and parliaments.

What ideas about gender, power, and political change guide these aid programs? What have practitioners and advocates learned about their strengths and weaknesses, and how might they improve their work going forward?

Drawing on extensive interviews with aid officials, women's rights advocates, and women politicians in Western donor countries and across Kenya, Morocco, Myanmar, and Nepal, Aiding Empowerment investigates how democracy aid actors promote gender equality in politics. Saskia Brechenmacher and Katherine Mann argue that international assistance for women's political empowerment has evolved significantly over the last three decades, from a first generation of aid programs aimed at integrating women into nascent democratic institutions to a second generation focused on transforming the broader political ecosystem hindering women's equal political influence. However, this evolution is still unfolding, and changes in thinking have outstripped changes in aid practice. Several challenges threaten future progress, from the persistence of patriarchal norms to rising concerns about democratic erosion and backlash. In the face of these hurdles, the book presents practical recommendations for policymakers, practitioners, and advocates fighting for women's political empowerment globally.

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