Working Papers

Published March 23, 2016 | By Hannah Bryant, Barbara Miller, and Marlene Stearns

This analytical literature review builds on the International Forum on Women’s Food Leadership in the Global South, a two-day international conference, sponsored by the Women’s Food Leadership Initiative and the Global Gender Program. As the conference explored the successes of and future directions for women’s food leadership, this paper summarizes the relevant literature. Library research, conducted during 2014-2015, focused on women’s participation in farming and agricultural entrepreneurship globally. Relevant sources are listed in this paper, along with brief summaries of regional trends and gaps. The list of sources is not exhaustive, with sources published in the past 15 years (2000-2015) included. The compilation of research demonstrates the transformative potential of women agricultural entrepreneurs, as well as the need for deeper commitments to support and learn best practices to promote women’s food leadership.

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Published March 08, 2016 | By Robin Mae Kuprewicz

The LGBT community faces a large variety of mental and bodily health issues, as well as a need for cultural acceptance, that differs from the general population. This paper will provide a literature review of some of these issues, including stigma, HIV, and mental health, in order to provide the reader with a broader understanding of the complexities of being LGBT and a knowledge of where further research is needed. This paper does not focus on one geographic region, but rather looks at global case studies in order to provide the reader with a strong introduction to these issues.

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Published May 01, 2014 | By Barbara Miller, Milad Pournik, and Aisling Swaine

This Working Paper looks at the Women, Peace and Security agenda as laid out in UNSCR 1325 and in six following Security Council Resolutions – UNSCR 1820, 1888, 1889, 1960, 2106 and 2122 – to assess progress in the past decade and a half since the adoption of UNSCR 1325 in 2000. We conducted an extensive desk study of the existing literature on UNSCR 1325, performed a detailed content analysis of 40 of the 42 existing 1325 NAPs, and offer an update on implementation of Women, Peace, and Security goals more broadly. The Working Paper is addresses three main questions:

  1. What does the social science and related literature say about UNSCR 1325 since its adoption in 2000?
  2. What does content analysis of National Action Plans (NAPs) in support of UNSCR 1325 reveal about the effectiveness of such plans?
  3. What are examples of implementation of 1325 principles with and beyond 1325 NAPs?

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Published January 01, 2014 | By Amanda Eller

This paper adds to the discussion of transactional sex relationships in Africa by examining the distinction between transactional sex and sexual harassment in the context of professor-student relationships and their inherent power dynamics.

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Published December 02, 2013 | By Asthaa Chaturvedi

Most of the existing literature on women’s empowerment and self-help groups in South Asia emphasizes quantitative indicators about their results, ignoring the voices of the women participating in the organizations. This study examines the changes in the members of the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) in New Delhi as an effect of being part of SEWA. It uses qualitative data collected from interviews and focus groups during the summer of 2013. The research traces the process of increasing confidence and expanding the capabilities of members by highlighting the voices of the women of SEWA Delhi, using their words instead of an abstract measure of empowerment. The women emphasized the importance of sisterhood and an increase in knowledge about opportunities, particularly in the realm of work and government schemes. Qualitative data provides a more complete picture of how development programs, in this case a women’s self-help group, can improve women’s lives.

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Published October 01, 2013 | By Marlene Stearns

This collection of case studies compares the strategies used by ten women in eight sub-Saharan African and Latin American countries to successfully start an agri-business, finance growth, develop new sales, manage employees, manage familial responsibilities while running a business, and achieve industry leadership positions. Whereas many institutions have documented the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs and farmers in low-income countries, little research has documented the strategies women business owners have successfully employed to surmount the obstacles to doing business in the traditionally, male managed, agriculture and agribusiness sectors. This collection of case studies aims to address that gap.

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Published July 01, 2013 | By Elizabeth Andrews, Nicoletta Barbera, Morgan Mickle, and Hilary Novik

This report examines the prospects for women’s economic empowerment through the artisanal sector. Through interviews with members of nongovernmental, governmental, and non-for-profit organizations in Washington, D.C., an online survey to organizations in Afghanistan, field research by one of the authors in Rwanda, and team field research in Bogotá, Colombia, in April 2013, it is evident that the artisanal sector is not a sustainable method of economic empowerment for women on its own. Artisanal work must be linked with at least one other income generating activity. Our research illustrates the challenges and dynamic opportunities within the artisanal sector. We provide recommendations to address problems in order to increase the sustainability and efficiency of the women’s economic empowerment movement through the artisanal sector.

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Published May 01, 2013 | By Milad Pournik

This report is a preliminary attempt at shedding light on the grassroots work done by civil society to advance the standing of women and girls. The report provides a brief history of the women’s movement in Iran and a review of the current state of civil society groups working with women and girls. A statistical background provides the context in which the CSOs featured in this report work to empower women and girls. Informed by interviews conducted by the author, the report highlights the activities of featured CSOs, which range from helping female drug addicts to working with Afghan refugee women and children; from promoting women entrepreneurs to educating adolescent girls; and from supporting HIV/AIDS widows to rehabilitating disabled children.

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Published March 01, 2013 | By Kerry F. Crawford, James H. Lebovic, Julia M. Macdonald

How do we account for the dearth of female contributions to UN peace operations? More specifically, how well do political explanations account for variation in the cross-national contribution of female personnel to UN missions? For answers, this study proceeds as follows. First, it examines the demand-side pull to contribute female personnel to UN operations by assessing the costs of female non-participation. Second, it presents theoretical explanations for the varying contributions of personnel to UNPOs. These explanations include the political and socio-economic character of the contributing states, international reputations and norms, and various demand-side influences exerted by missions. Third, it presents descriptive statistical results that reveal the depth and scope of the under-representation of women in peace operations. Fourth, it specifies and tests a cross-sectional time-series logistic model (with contributor-mission-year as the unit of analysis) that competitively tests various explanations for female personnel contributions to each mission in the 2010-11 period. Although it finds significant support for domestic political explanations, even when controlling for gender equality within a society, it concludes that gender diversity is not a primary goal of most contributors and is largely an unintended by-product of force sizes.

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Published March 01, 2013 | By Kerry F. Crawford, James H. Lebovic, Julia M. Macdonald

Do states devote valuable material resources and political capital to condemning atrocities when armed intervention is not imminent or when the perpetrator is not an adversary? By exploring United States efforts to condemn the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war, this paper seeks to understand state recognition of wartime atrocities abroad. Observing that strategic concerns cannot sufficiently explain a state’s rhetorical and material efforts to condemn the use of wartime sexual violence, this paper offers an alternative theory of non-strategic recognition of wartime sexual violence through a case study of United States efforts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The study finds that the perception, among activists and policymakers, of sexual violence as a weapon of war led the United States government to rhetorically and materially respond to wartime sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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