Gender and Political Settlement: Inclusion and Policy Influence in Developing Countries

PI: Jennie E. Burnet
PI: Sohela Nazneen, BRAC Development Institute (BDI), Bangladesh

This project investigates the relationship between women’s inclusion in politics and their ability to deliver gender-inclusive development, shaped by the character and dynamics of political settlement as well as ideas and discourses on women’s political entitlements and gender equity. Using a comparative methodology, the project examines the roles of the state, the executive and legislative branches, and civil society organizations in effecting change regarding women’s rights in developing countries, including two countries representing competitive clientelistic states (Bangladesh and Ghana) and two representing dominant party states (Rwanda and Uganda). This project will examine the quality of women’s inclusion and participation in formal political institutions and informal processes and the women’s movement’s ability to negotiate gender equity concerns in terms of legislative reform and policy formulation in two selected areas: gender parity in education and gender-based violence. The research seeks to answer two specific questions: (1) how do women and other state or non-state actors (including formal and information institutions, power brokers, and other key decision-makers) negotiate within given political settlements; and (2) how do different types of political settlements shape differences in gender equity outcomes in specific policy areas of gender parity in education and gender-based violence. The Effective States and Inclusive Development Research Centre (ESID) at the University of Manchester (United Kingdom) is managing this research internationally. The Rwanda case study is being led by Professor Jennie Burnet at Georgia State University.