This multi-author report identifies critical factors preventing marginalized women’s inclusion in customary and democratic decision-making structures and describes how women have worked in overcoming barriers to their participation.
The report’s ten case studies gather knowledge and practical experience from around the world, drawing on reform efforts to identify ways in which women can impact on political processes through their participation in politics.
It details specific strategies marginalized women and their supporters have adopted, ranging from direct action strategies in Somaliland to ‘soft’ advocacy strategies in Cambodia.
Introduction: Journeys from exclusion to inclusion
PART I: Overcoming marginalization in customary governance
1. The intervention of PEACE during ‘the Crisis’: promoting the inclusion of women in customary systems in Bougainville
2. Breaking through the confines of traditions: the Wajir Peace and Development Committee in northern Kenya
3. The successful road towards inclusion of women in traditional governance institutions: the case of Namibia’s Uukwambi Traditional Authority
4. Living customary law in South Africa: a space for women to overcome exclusion
PART II: The intersection of gender and religion
5. Women’s political participation in Somaliland
6. The inclusion of Muslim women in Indian democratic governance structures and processes
Vasu Mohan and Suraiya Tabassum
PART III: Women’s stories from Myanmar
7. Solidarity in exile? The influence of gender politics on the pro-democracy struggle in Myanmar
8. A place on the platform: the participation of women in Karen community organizations
PART IV: Including women in local decision-making processes
9. ‘Beyond almost all politicians there are women in the shadows’: Cambodian women’s experiences of local governance
10. Making decentralization meaningful for marginalized communities: lessons from the Integrated Development Foundation in Cameroon
Julius Lambi and Oussematou Dameni
Conclusion: Learning from the stories of marginalized women