Thoughts On Political Empowerment

Throughout my coursework at The New School, I consistently found myself researching and thinking about women’s political empowerment. Quota policies seem to be the anchor around which this discussion often happens. In doing research on women’s rights in Chiapas and while gathering data in Nepal, I have started to think about these policies differently. Basically, the necessary first questions seem to be glossed over or ignored altogether. The goal of “increasing women’s presence in government” is of course important, but it proceeds from the the assumption that women can be collapsed into one category and therefore any woman that achieves a government office means women have been and will be empowered. The complexities of women’s lives are flattened or molded or forgotten in achieving this goal.  Continue reading

Playground Politics

I’m reading the article on the anti-gay bill reintroduced in Uganda, and we seem to have a tug ‘o war happening with development aid there. It goes a little bit like this:

West: Leave LGBTQIA people alone or you can’t play with us and our money!

Uganda: We don’t want to play with you! Go away!

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