The Open Access version of this book, available at https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351245623, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license. 

The fact that women have achieved higher levels of political inclusion within low- and middle-income countries has generated much speculation about whether this is reaping broader benefits in tackling gender-based inequalities. This book uncovers the multiple political dynamics that influence governments to adopt and implement gender equity policies, pushing the debate beyond simply the role of women’s inclusion in influencing policy. Bringing the politics of development into discussion with feminist literature on women's empowerment, the book proposes the new concept of ‘power domains’ as a way to capture how inter-elite bargaining, coalitional politics, and social movement activism combine to shape policies that promote gender equity.

In particular, the book investigates the conditions under which countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia have adopted legislation against domestic violence, which remains widespread in many developing countries. The book demonstrates that women’s presence in formal politics and policy spaces does not fully explain the pace in adopting and implementing domestic violence law. Underlying drivers of change within broader domains of power also include the role of clientelistic politics and informal processes of bargaining, coalition-building, and persuasion; the discursive framing of gender-equitable ideas; and how transnational norms influence women’s political inclusion and gender-inclusive policy outcomes. The comparative approach across Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa, Ghana, India, and Bangladesh demonstrates how advancing gender equality varies by political context and according to the interests surrounding a particular issue.

Negotiating Gender Equity in the Global South will be of interest to students and scholars of gender and development, as well as to activists within governments, political parties, nongovernmental organizations, women’s movements, and donor agencies, at national and international levels, who are looking to develop effective strategies for advancing gender equality.

part I|2 pages

The politics of gender equity

chapter 1|18 pages

Beyond the inclusion-to-influence debate

The politics of negotiating gender equity
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chapter 3|21 pages

Ending domestic violence

The politics of global norm diffusion
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part II|2 pages

The power of strongmen and ruling coalitions

chapter 4|21 pages

Contesting ideas, aligning incentives

The politics of Uganda's Domestic Violence Act (2010)
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chapter 5|20 pages

Establishing a strong political commitment to gender equity

The politics of Rwanda's law on the Prevention and Punishment of Gender-Based Violence (2008)
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chapter 6|19 pages

Achieving a broad-based coalition

The politics of South Africa's Domestic Violence Act (1998)
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part III|2 pages

The significance of informal networks

chapter 7|23 pages

Building strategic relationships with the political elites

The politics of Bangladesh's Domestic Violence Act 2010
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chapter 8|19 pages

Between democratization and patronage

The politics of Ghana's Domestic Violence Act (2007)
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chapter 9|18 pages

Building strong alliances

The politics of the Protection of Domestic Violence Act in India (2006)
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part 189IV|2 pages

Concluding thoughts and ways forward

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chapter 11|7 pages

Researching the politics of gender equity

Next steps
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