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Global gender goals and the construction of equality : conceptual dilemmas and policy practice

[working paper]

Colclough, Christopher

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Corporate Editor University of Cambridge, Faculty of Education, Research Consortium on Educational Outcomes and Poverty (RECOUP)
Abstract The achievement of gender equality in education, and of women's empowerment more generally, have recently become established amongst the highest international priorities for policy action. This paper examines the processes by which they came to be included amongst the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It argues that the revised targets to 2015 are more practicable than earlier goals. However, it shows that rates of progress will need to be improved, and that financial support from the north is still running at less than half the required levels. Goal achievement presupposes some agreed understanding of the meaning of gender equality. The paper reveals important contradictions between the language of analysis and the vocabulary of policy. Finally, it examines some of the instruments available for monitoring progress and building pressure for policy reform. It shows that failures to meet policy undertakings are as evident – and as serious in their implications for the possibility of achieving the MDGs – amongst aid donors as they are amongst developing-country governments themselves.
Keywords equality of rights; equal opportunity; woman; development policy; gender; human rights; international aid; educational opportunity; combating poverty; social inequality
Classification International Relations, International Politics, Foreign Affairs, Development Policy; Women's Studies, Feminist Studies, Gender Studies
Method applied research; descriptive study
Free Keywords education; international aid; gender equality; women's empowerment; Millennium Development Goals
Document language English
Publication Year 2007
City Cambridge
Page/Pages 20 p.
Series RECOUP Working Papers, 2
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works