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Tracking the Gender Politics of the Millennium Development Goals: from the Millennium Declaration to the post-MDG consultations


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Speaker(s): Professor Naila Kabeer
Chair: Professor Diane Perrons

Recorded on 2 October 2013 in Old Theatre, Old Building.

The Millennium Declaration, signed by over 180 world leaders at the start of the new millennium, committed the international community to targeted achievements on a number of goals by 2015. Along with poverty reduction and human development, these goals included gender equality and women's empowerment. Now, as we draw closer to 2015, there have been worldwide consultations on what will replace the MDG agenda. This lecture will focus on the gender politics of this process: the gender text, and sub-text, of the goals themselves, the extent to which gender advocates and activists were involved in the formulation of the goals, how the goals relate to previous gender-related commitments of the international community, including the Beijing Platform for Action and the Vienna Declaration on human rights and what has been achieved so far. It will conclude by examining how feminist organisations are seeking to influence the post-MDG agenda.

Naila Kabeer joins the Gender Institute in October 2013 as professor of Gender and Development. Prior to this, Professor Kabeer has been professor of Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and professorial fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex where she worked for many years.

She has also worked as a senior research fellow at the Department for International Development, UK between 2009-2010. She was the Kerstin Hesselgren Professor at the University of Goteberg, Sweden in 2004-2005 and senior sabaticant with IDRC Regional Office in South Asia in 2005-2006. Her research interests include gender, poverty, social exclusion, labour markets and livelihoods, social protection and citizenship and much of her research has focused on South Asia.

Her publications include Reversed realities: gender hierarchies in development thought, The power to choose: Bangladeshi women and labour supply decision-making in London and Dhaka and, more recently, Gender and social protection in the informal economy. She has carried out extensive training and advisory work with national and international NGOs (including Oxfam, ActionAid, Women for Women International, BRAC, PRADAN and Nijera Kori) as well as for a number of international development agencies (including the UNDP, UNICEF, World Bank, SIDA, NORAD and UN Women). She is currently on advisory editorial committee for the journals Feminist Economics, Development and Change and Gender and Development and she is also on the board of the Feminist Review Trust.

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