Women in Contemporary Democratization

Authored by: Shahra Razavi

Categories: Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: Democratization and Political Participation, Political Transitions
Region: No Region
Year: 2000
Citation: Razavi, Shahra. Women in Contemporary Democratization. Geneva: United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, 2000.

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Over the past two decades authoritarian regimes in many parts of the developing world, as well as in East/Central Europe, have been replaced by democracies. This paper looks at the issue of democratization from a gender perspective. While many of the problems afflicting the new democracies (such as the elitist character of political parties, and the failure of the state to guarantee civil and political rights or make a significant dent in poverty) affect all citizens, they are manifested and experienced in gender-specific ways. Womenís persistent exclusion from formal politics, in particular, raises a number of specific questions about how to reform democratic institutions, since these institutions are not automatically gender-equitable.