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Gender equality policies in Rwanda: public relations or real transformations?

(2013) DEVELOPMENT AND CHANGE. 44(5). p.1111-1134
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Abstract
This article examines Rwanda’s gender equality policies with the intention of contributing to the ongoing debate in the literature on the meaning of gender equality initiatives in authoritarian states. The article evaluates the transformative potential of Rwanda’s gender equality policies with reference to deep-rooted societal norms and practices within which gender inequalities are embedded. To this end, the article draws on in-depth interviews conducted in Rwanda with a range of stakeholders, as well as on documentary research. It explores the factors informing the Rwandan commitment to gender equality, and the positive developments this has brought about, before identifying five trends that threaten the transformative potential of Rwandan gender equality policies. The authors conclude that while a strong political will and target-driven policies offer opportunities for promoting gender equality, the transformative potential is jeopardized by the dominance of an underlying economic rationale; the neglect of the ‘invisible labour’ of women; the formalistic implementation of gender policies and their focus on quantitative results; the limited scope for civil society voices to influence policy; and the lack of grassroots participation.
Keywords
AFRICA, SOCIETY, POLITICS, GOVERNANCE, WOMEN, POST-GENOCIDE RWANDA

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Debusscher, Petra, and An Ansoms. “Gender Equality Policies in Rwanda: Public Relations or Real Transformations?” DEVELOPMENT AND CHANGE 44.5 (2013): 1111–1134. Print.
APA
Debusscher, P., & Ansoms, A. (2013). Gender equality policies in Rwanda: public relations or real transformations? DEVELOPMENT AND CHANGE, 44(5), 1111–1134.
Chicago author-date
Debusscher, Petra, and An Ansoms. 2013. “Gender Equality Policies in Rwanda: Public Relations or Real Transformations?” Development and Change 44 (5): 1111–1134.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Debusscher, Petra, and An Ansoms. 2013. “Gender Equality Policies in Rwanda: Public Relations or Real Transformations?” Development and Change 44 (5): 1111–1134.
Vancouver
1.
Debusscher P, Ansoms A. Gender equality policies in Rwanda: public relations or real transformations? DEVELOPMENT AND CHANGE. 2013;44(5):1111–34.
IEEE
[1]
P. Debusscher and A. Ansoms, “Gender equality policies in Rwanda: public relations or real transformations?,” DEVELOPMENT AND CHANGE, vol. 44, no. 5, pp. 1111–1134, 2013.
@article{4132365,
  abstract     = {This article examines Rwanda’s gender equality policies with the intention of contributing to the ongoing debate in the literature on the meaning of gender equality initiatives in authoritarian states. The article evaluates the transformative potential of Rwanda’s gender equality policies with reference to deep-rooted societal norms and practices within which gender inequalities are embedded. To this end, the article draws on in-depth interviews conducted in Rwanda with a range of stakeholders, as well as on documentary research. It explores the factors informing the Rwandan commitment to gender equality, and the positive developments this has brought about, before identifying five trends that threaten the transformative potential of Rwandan gender equality policies. The authors conclude that while a strong political will and target-driven policies offer opportunities for promoting gender equality, the transformative potential is jeopardized by the dominance of an underlying economic rationale; the neglect of the ‘invisible labour’ of women; the formalistic implementation of gender policies and their focus on quantitative results; the limited scope for civil society voices to influence policy; and the lack of grassroots participation.},
  author       = {Debusscher, Petra and Ansoms, An},
  issn         = {0012-155X},
  journal      = {DEVELOPMENT AND CHANGE},
  keywords     = {AFRICA,SOCIETY,POLITICS,GOVERNANCE,WOMEN,POST-GENOCIDE RWANDA},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {1111--1134},
  title        = {Gender equality policies in Rwanda: public relations or real transformations?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/dech.12052},
  volume       = {44},
  year         = {2013},
}

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