Oct 10 Qs

On gender mainstreaming generally:

Gender mainstreaming as described by Alston seems to have an active role in Australian policy but can also be seen as gender blindness. How does this relate to other countries’ policies? And do you believe that gender mainstreaming in policies can be effective if done correctly?

It has been almost twenty years since the 1995 Beijing world women’s conference and the widespread adoption of gender mainstreaming policy in the EU, Australia, and Canada. How effective do you think gender mainstreaming has been in transforming gender-biased policies and programmes? If there are limitations, how might it be improved?

On Alston, Drought policy in Australia: Gender mainstream and gender blindness?:

In Alston’s article it is reiterated that gender mainstreaming includes both men AND womens concerns and experiences. She compares how women-focused policies are less efficient than gender mainstreaming as it “only enable women to operate in a masculine defined cultures, attending to agendas shaped by, and focused on, male concerns where the leaning, processes and culture treat women as subordinate.” My question focuses on the confusion of  how would it be possible to to achieve gender equality in political, economic and societal sphere, without very specific “female” centred policies at the heart? Could it be possible and more useful by only looking at “gender” as a whole?

Alston (2009) talks about the article as exposing gender mainstreaming as an ’empty signifier’ that is contextually grounded, and mentions that its success is highly dependent on making these issues transparent (p. 139). Can anybody explain what this means? I’ve read the article but I am still not sure.

On the Kilden articles:

In Madeleine Kennedy-Macfoy article the downside of state support. She mentioned problems of which minority women’s organizations are facing in three European countries where she did her research study. According to her “they say that their hands are tied behind their back due to lack of funding”; she stresses a lack of alternative measures to free their hands. After reading this article and from your perspective, what do you think could be better alternative for these minority organizations?

For what reason is state funding not available to be equally distributed to both minority and majority feminist organizations to eliminate the problem of majority/minority issues being under looked (due to the fact that they do not have enough funds to get a certain issue across/solved); and is this done consciously by the state?

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