Exploring Women's Understanding of Politics, Political Contestation and Gender Transformation in the Caribbean

IDRC's Democratic Governance, Women's Rights and Gender Equality initiative is supporting a body of comparative research on whether and how democratic processes and institutions are responding to women's rights and gender equality. The projects under this initiative will investigate issues surrounding women's participation in political decision-making, the judiciary and the public sector, and explore ways in which state institutions, political parties, civil society and kin-based social organizations can be influenced to advance women's choices and entitlements as citizens, including through increased representation.

This project focuses on the anglophone Caribbean and will examine four strategies promoting democratic governance, women's rights and gender equality. First, researchers will explore women's political leadership and the extent to which it promotes the will to transform gender relations both within and outside the state. Second, they will assess quota systems for their impact on women's participation and leadership in representative government. Third, they will evaluate the usefulness of national gender policy documents for promoting gender equality. Finally, they will investigate the impact of feminist movement-building on women's capacity to be transformational leaders within democratic political life.

This will be accomplished by documenting the history of three Caribbean countries in which the struggle appears to have been won: Trinidad and Tobago, which provides an appropriate case study for examining the impact of women's contemporary political leadership; Guyana, for exploring the impact of a quota system; and Dominica, for exploring the impact of national gender policies. Researchers will also look at the Caribbean Institute for Women in Leadership in order to evaluate the impact of feminist advocacy on women's rights, effectiveness and representation in democratic governance. The overall objective is to determine whether the growing visibility and number of women in political leadership translates into gains for women, including those who occupy marginal positions in society.

Project ID

106430

Project status

Closed

Start Date

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

End Date

Monday, March 31, 2014

Duration

24 months

IDRC Officer

Cos-Montiel, Franscisco

Total funding

CA$ 246,700

Country(s)

Dominica, North and Central America, Guyana, South America, Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies

Project Leader

Dr. Gabrielle Hosein

Institution

University of the West Indies

Institution Country

Trinidad and Tobago

Institution Website

http://www.uwi.tt