No Shortcuts to Power: African Women in Politics and Policy Making

By Van Allen, Judith | African Studies Review, September 2007 | Go to article overview

No Shortcuts to Power: African Women in Politics and Policy Making


Van Allen, Judith, African Studies Review


Anne Marie Goetz and Shireen Hassim, eds. No Shortcuts to Power African Women in Politics and Policy Making. London: Zed Books, 2003. ix + 239 pp. Notes. References. Index. $31.95. Paper.

Goetz and Hassim provide a significant contribution to theorizing about women and political parties in Africa, and they offer useful guidance to feminist activists by combining analytical analysis with clear case studies of what has worked and what has failed. They place their work within the current move in feminist scholarship from analyzing women's activism in democratic transitions to examining women's capacity to push a gender equity agenda once they are in office. They specifically reject the "antipolitical" focus of much policy research, which concentrates on bureaucratic gender machinery as the significant mechanism for advancing feminist goals. As they argue, gender machinery can easily become an underfunded dead end for activists, who find themselves far from the centers of party and parliamentary power. Goetz and Hassim, along with the other authors in this book, seek instead to look at the politics in parties and parliaments and local councils, hoping to promote more analysis of how women "can enter and make an impact in the key institutions of representative democracy" (12).

The book focuses on Uganda and South Africa, current "trailblazers" in bringing greater numbers of women into formal politics, but it goes well beyond the specifics of those countries. Introductory chapters by the editors provide analytical overviews, and succeeding pairs of chapters on Uganda and South Africa provide case studies of attempts to advance gender equity in national and local government. The overview chapters succinctly synthesize current scholarship on women's activism in "new democracies," and provide a sophisticated and nuanced analytical frame for future comparative work on possibilities "for the entry of feminists into politics" (8; authors' emphasis). They distinguish "descriptive" representation (counting women) from "substantive" representation (a significant presence of active feminists), considering the former necessary but insufficient. They examine issues of access, influence, "voice," and accountability, and they evaluate the different mechanisms to guarantee women significant power and influence. On the basis of original empirical work and reference to existing scholarship, the authors identify four key variables for the success of gender equity agendas: formal party commitment to gender equity, strong left parties, the organization of women's structures within parties, and the continuing presence of a strong women's movement outside parties-which requires a political space for civil society organizations outside the control of a dominant party. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

No Shortcuts to Power: African Women in Politics and Policy Making
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.