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Strategies of Feminist Bureaucrats: Perspectives from International NGOs

Strategies of Feminist Bureaucrats: Perspectives from International NGOs

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The challenges and opportunities for feminists working as women’s rights and gender equality specialists in international non-governmental development organisations, as analysed from an insider practitioner perspective.
The challenges and opportunities for feminists working as women’s rights and gender equality specialists in international non-governmental development organisations, as analysed from an insider practitioner perspective.

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Published by: THINK The Innovation Knowledge Foundation on Jul 26, 2012
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08/03/2013

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Strategies of Feminist Bureaucrats:Perspectives from International NGOs
Ines Smyth and Laura Turquetwith Preface by Rosalind EybenJuly 2012
IDS WORKING PAPER
Volume 
2012
 No 
396
 
 
 
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Strategies of Feminist Bureaucrats: Perspectives from International NGOsInes Smyth and Laura Turquet, with preface by Rosalind EybenIDS Working Paper 396First published by the Institute of Development Studies in July 2012© Institute of Development Studies 2012ISSN: 2040-0209 ISBN: 978-1-78118-064-8A catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library.All rights reserved. Reproduction, copy, transmission, or translation of any part of this publication maybe made only under the following conditions:• with the prior permission of the publisher; or• with a licence from the Copyright Licensing Agency Ltd., 90 Tottenham Court Road, LondonW1P 9HE, UK,or from another national licensing agency; or• under the terms set out below.This publication is copyright, but may be reproduced by any method without fee for teaching or nonprofit purposes, but not for resale.Formal permission is required for all such uses, but normally will be granted immediately. For copying in any other circumstances, or forre-use in other publications, or for translation or adaptation, prior written permission must be obtained from the publisher and a fee may bepayable.Available from:Central Communications, Institute of Development Studies, Brighton BN1 9RE, UKTel: +44 (0) 1273 915637 Fax: +44 (0) 1273 621202E-mail: bookshop@ids.ac.uk Web: www.ids.ac.uk/ids/bookshopIDS is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (No. 877338)
 
 
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Strategies of Feminist Bureaucrats: Perspectives from International NGOs
Ines Smyth and Laura Turquetwith Preface by Rosalind Eyben
Summary
This paper explores the challenges and opportunities for feminists working as women’s rightsand gender equality specialists in international non-governmental developmentorganisations, as analysed from an insider practitioner perspective. Part 1 identifies thestrategies used and the challenges encountered when Turquet lobbied DFID on its genderequality policy while struggling to avoid marginalisation within her own organisation, ActionAid. In Part 2, Smyth describes how she left Oxfam for a year to work in the AsianDevelopment Bank and uses this experience to consider the strategic opportunities availableto a gender specialist working in an NGO such as Oxfam as compared with working in aninternational finance institution.
Keywords:
INGOs
,
gender mainstreaming, feminist activism, gender and development
Ines Smyth
is Senior Gender Advisor in Oxfam Great Britain, where she is responsible fordeveloping strategies and policy positions on women’s rights, and working closely withprograms across the many countries in which the organisation works. She recently spent aninteresting year as the Leading Gender Specialist at the Asian Development Bank, as thispaper testifies. Before joining Oxfam she was a lecturer and researcher in various academicinstitutions, focusing on various aspects of gender and development. Ines considers herself afeminist and a development practitioner.
Laura Turquet
is currently the manager of UN Women’s flagship report, Progress of theWorld’s Women, and she was also the lead author of the last edition which focused onwomen’s access to justice. Laura has worked for UN Women and its predecessor UNIFEM inNew York for three years. She has worked on women’s rights for 10 years, including at theinternational NGO ActionAid UK (which she draws upon in this paper), at the Institute ofDevelopment Studies at the University of Sussex and for a UK feminist campaigningorganisation, the Fawcett Society.
Rosalind Eyben
is a Fellow in the Participation, Power and Social Change Team at theInstitute of Development Studies, University of Sussex.

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