Centre for International Health

Gender in poverty reduction. Critical Explorations of Norwegian Aid Policy on Gender Equality and Womens Rights

During the last decade gender equality and womens rights have become key issues in international development aid policies, and a main concern in the Millennium effort to eradicate poverty.

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Coordinator: Haldis Haukanes(Blystad main collaborating partner)
Period: 2009-2013  
Partners: The project is developed by a new cross disciplinary group of scholars based at the University of Bergen, Christian Michelsen Institute and Haraldsplass Deaconess University College, Norway.

Project page at RCN

Through historical assessments of Norway’s gender policies in development cooperation and through ethnographical studies of women’s’ protective sexual rights in a plural legal context we aim at producing empirical and theoretical knowledge that can be drawn upon in aid policies for poverty reduction as well as contribute to the development of gender/feminist theory. Focusing on policy and policy implementation in two of the long term partner countries in Norwegian development aid (Tanzania and Ethiopia), this project will explore gender politics in development aid, with a particular scrutiny of the dynamics in encounters between diverging notions of gender, gender equality, and women’s rights.

In line with recent trends in international poverty discourse this project sees poverty as a multi-dimensional phenomenon not limited to income and consumption. Such an approach views poverty in light of access to property, good health, education, dignity, self-esteem, gender-relations, empowerment and vulnerability. We argue that the inherent dynamic, complex and culturally diverging nature of gender issues is not sufficiently contextualized nor understood within international poverty and development discourse.