Getting beyond the barriers
The focus of this chapter is to examine strategies and positions within the policy process which can be beneficial (or damaging) to WIIs. In doing so I primarily analyse the British policy process, in particular using empirical material from Scottish local government, including the two case study regional councils, and WIs from all over Britain. Some strategies can effect social and policy change others reinforce the status quo; as shown in Chapter 1, strategies for maintaining the status quo include the mobilising of a bias against challengers and the employment of nondecision-making. I have shown, by case studies and historical investigations, that both such techniques have operated against WIIs in the British policy process often resulting in a socialisation process which discourages women from even raising objective interests. As Maddock (1993:341) contends:
In the past, authoritarian cultures have silenced women, which has made the prevailing culture of patriarchal relations appear pre-ordained and immutable. The sheer force of tradition has in turn left many women powerless and unable to contemplate the possibility of challenge or comment.