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In what ways might the state be considered to be 'gendered' - Essay Example

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An author of this paper suggests that in general, any discussion on gendering the state will have to deal with matters of inclusion as well as exclusion of women in and from politics. In the following paper, the reasons, factors and arguments will be represented for such suggestion…
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In what ways might the state be considered to be gendered
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"In what ways might the state be considered to be 'gendered'"

Download file to see previous pages The status of women in this generally patriarchal world is a discussion that has passed, at least two centuries. It has been a sociologically proven fact that “historical construction of the state […] represents a gendered masculine model”. Women who “constitute half the world’s population, perform nearly two-thirds of its work hours, receive one-tenth of the world’s income, and own less than one-hundredth of the world’s property” (cited in Bubeck, 1995: 2). It is this injustice and inequality that prompts discussion on the possibility of gendering the state. In different countries, women as individuals and as groups have been engaged in attempts to gender the state that govern them. Men who have internalized gender politics have also been partners in such attempts. To assess whether and to what extent a state is gendered, is to be able to scrutinize the actions, attitudes and policies of the state. And this assessment has to be based on the notion that “any meaningful conception of equality must provide all women with political, social and economic rights” (Cornell, 1993: 162). From this reasoning and the discussion made above, it can be seen that just like there is no gendering of the state possible without the gendering of the society, no political change is possible without corresponding social and economic changes. But still, for the sake of convenience while making a gendering intervention, the state can be compartmentalized into different segments. like executive, legislature, media, informal political sphere, public space, etc. Gendering the processes of state The communist, capitalist and democratic forms of state, have been criticized by feminist scholars, for being hierarchical when it comes to gender relations (Abu-Laban, 2009: 7). The gender power relations within each of this system of rule were found to be typically an extension of family and its gender relations (Abu-Laban, 2009: 8). Some feminist scholars (cited in Abu-Laban, 2009) have debated whether nationalism is “progressive or reactionary” in terms of a gender perspective (12). The duality and contradiction involved with the role of women as citizens and as inferior members in a family has to be addressed if the gendering process of the state is to gain stability by finding roots in the society (Abu-Laban, 2009: 13). True (2003) has drawn attention to the need of “gendering socialist state” by which it becomes clear that even a state establishment that addresses certain inequalities like class and race cannot be considered as gender-sensitive (28). In such a scenario, the gendering of state is viewed as to include: Election [of women] to legislatures, the appointment of women to public office as ministers and bureaucrats, the presence of women’s policy agencies, and the potential for these women and agencies to promote women-friendly policy outcomes (McBride and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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