Gender Politics Makes a Difference: Experiences of the Heinrich Böll Foundation Across the World

All over the world, gender relations are changing. Economic and cultural upheavals are giving rise to ever new ways of life and work. When those changes benefit women, that is usually due to the work of feminist networks, small and larger-scale gender-oriented organizations, and courageous individuals. They resist their social and political exclusion, the impoverishment of their lives, oppression, and violence. Sexual minorities, too, are defending themselves against oppression and discrimination, seeking allies all over the world. More and more men are also committing themselves to a gender-sensitive politics.

But the new dynamics of gender have also mobilized counter forces that defend the old roles and privileges, often citing tradition and religion. Although we can look back on great progress compared with the situation of women a century ago, the power imbalance that benefits men still persists to a great degree. And yet it has been clear for a very long time that politics requires a consistent gender perspective integrated into all domains - whether the economy, security, or the environment. Politics can only succeed when it is inclusive of all genders. Gender justice is an ambitious goal, one that the Heinrich Böll Foundation is pursuing together with many different allies worldwide. This publication gives an overview of their work.

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Date of Publication
September 2011
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