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Gender and Civil Society

Jude Howell, Diane Mulligan
Routledge (September 2004)

Over the last two decades there has been considerable enthusiasm for the concept of civil society amongst researchers, practitioners and activists. Yet despite this enthusiasm for the concept, the gendered nature of civil society has received minimal attention. This edited volume seeks to address this gap and considers how the political environment and nature of the state shapes the way women organise, the issues they address, and their capacity to affect changes in state policies on gender. Is the women's movement structurally different from other civil society organisations? Does the gender lens alter our vision of civil society? 

The chapters in this volume pursue two or more of these questions and cover a diversity of contexts, including the US, East and Central Europe, China, the Middle East, Africa, South East Asia, Central America and Chile. It not only draws together the concepts of gender and civil society, but also adopts an international perspective, highlighting the diverse trajectories of women organising in different country contexts and the historical, cultural and political specificities of civil society.