chapter  1
19 Pages

Mapping the Terrains of Gender Equity: Gender Mainstreaming, Contexts, Compromises, and Confl icts

This project emerges out of a passion for community and the need to map the ways gender equity has been achieved by or at times eluded feminists in the Anglophone Caribbean.1

I write with urgency-an urgency that prompts me to intervene philosophically and theoretically in what seems to be an increasing sense of apathy regarding matters of equity. To understand this apathy requires that we map the persistent political unwillingness of state-managers to aggressively pursue an agenda of equity for marginalized citizens in the region. From this point, we would need to traverse along the (shrinking) cache of civil resources available for challenging practices of discrimination within civil society. Our mapping would then turn our attention to the politics of a contemporary global economy that is increasingly hostile to small island-state economies, thereby increasing the diffi culty with which feminist activists are able to stem the trade off of social concerns for economic exigencies. And, in the hills and gullies of this cartography, we would need to explore the politics of feminist advocacy in the Anglophone Caribbean. As we pause here, we might be compelled to ponder the extent to which previous strategies of gender equity served to produce, even if unwittingly, their own marginal subjectivities. Have feminists undermined their own political agenda by offering state-managers very limited resources with

which to think through the complexity of the two categories that inform the concerns of this book-“gender” and “equity?”2 Further, what are the new terrains that we must map if claims toward gender equity are to matter as part of the region’s understanding of itself in the twenty-fi rst century? In Feminist Advocacy and Gender Equity in the Anglophone Caribbean, I engage these questions, using a number of different strategies and modes of engagement.