Agenda Setting, the un, and NGOs: Gender Violence and Reproductive Rights

Agenda Setting, the un, and NGOs: Gender Violence and Reproductive Rights

by Jutta M. Joachim

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Overview

In 1993 the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Violence against Women, condemning gender violence in both the private and public sphere as a violation of human rights. One year later the UN Conference on Population and Development approved a program that placed women's reproductive rights and health, rather than demographic targets, at the center of global population growth management. Each of these watershed events represented the culmination of a political process begun two decades earlier that was initiated and driven by the activities of international women's nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). While these developments may seem like political no-brainers, the evolution of this international consensus represents a remarkable shift in perceptions regarding women and their rights. Joachim tells the story of how this happened. She demonstrates how, prior to the 1990s, there was little consensus among states as to what constituted violence against women, and whether or how much control a woman should have over reproduction--what for some countries represented a violation of rights was for other countries a tradition or custom. Just how did the a consensus emerge? Joachim shows that women's organizations got savvy: they framed their issues in a strategic manner, seizing political opportunities in the international environment and taking advantage of mobilizing structures which they had at their disposal. Her framework builds a bridge between a rationalist approach, focusing on power and strategy and calculating actors, and a constructivist approach, emphasizing norms, ideas, and the interaction between agents and structures. Fittingly, Joachim's account is both academic and personal, blending theory and passions and personalities.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781589011755
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
Publication date: 09/28/2007
Series: Advancing Human Rights Series
Edition description: REV
Pages: 258
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.58(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Jutta M. Joachim is an associate professor with the Institute of Political Science at Leibniz University in Hannover, Germany. She is the coeditor of International Organizations and Implementation: Enforcers, Managers, Authorities.

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction: From the Margins to the Center—Women's Rights, NGOs, and the United Nations

1. NGOs and UN Agenda-Setting: Political Opportunities, Mobilizing Structures, and Framing Strategies

2. Rallying for Peace and Equal Nationality Rights: Women's Organizations between 1915 and 1945

3. Equality, Development and Peace: The UN Decade for Women, 1975-1985

4. Women's Rights as Human Rights: The Case of Violence against Women

5. Reproductive Rights and Health: Women's Organizations and the Population Establishment

6. NGOs and International Organizations

Appendix: UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Violence against Women

Notes

References

Index

What People are Saying About This

Karen A. Mingst

An innovative contribution to the burgeoning literature on NGOs and social movements. Joachim tells a fascinating story of how NGOs shaped two critical issues of our time and how the United Nations responded.

Michael Barnett

Expertly drawing from organizational theory and the literature on social movements, Joachim demonstrates the interplay between struggles among NGOs to define the principles that will hopefully become part of new global agendas, the institutional context that favors some NGOs and their principles over others, and the critical role of creative entrepreneurs who not only seize new opportunities and forge strategic alliances, but also, at times, make their own opportunities. A highly readable book that is warmly recommended.

From the Publisher

"Expertly drawing from organizational theory and the literature on social movements, Joachim demonstrates the interplay between struggles among NGOs to define the principles that will hopefully become part of new global agendas, the institutional context that favors some NGOs and their principles over others, and the critical role of creative entrepreneurs who not only seize new opportunities and forge strategic alliances, but also, at times, make their own opportunities. A highly readable book that is warmly recommended."—Michael Barnett, Stassen Chair of International Affairs, University of Minnesota

"This study significantly expands our understanding of a complex and vital topic—how various NGOs have successfully mobilized to pressure the UN to take [on] crucial initiatives affecting women's rights and women's welfare. Readers with interests in international institutions and women's studies will find this original and important assessment of particular value."—Ann Elizabeth Mayer, associate professor of legal studies, The Wharton School

"Combining fluid historical detail with thoughtful theorizing, Jutta Joachim illuminates the conditions under which NGOs can shape the global agenda, frame issues successfully, and stimulate state action. Read this book for its highly informative analysis of the international women's movement—and for the larger lessons it offers about NGO effectiveness in the global arena."—John Boli, professor of sociology, Emory University

"An innovative contribution to the burgeoning literature on NGOs and social movements. Joachim tells a fascinating story of how NGOs shaped two critical issues of our time and how the United Nations responded."—Karen A. Mingst, University of Kentucky

John Boli

Combining fluid historical detail with thoughtful theorizing, Jutta Joachim illuminates the conditions under which NGOs can shape the global agenda, frame issues successfully, and stimulate state action. Read this book for its highly informative analysis of the international women’s movement—and for the larger lessons it offers about NGO effectiveness in the global arena.

Ann Elizabeth Mayer

This study significantly expands our understanding of a complex and vital topic—how various NGOs have successfully mobilized to pressure the UN to take [on] crucial initiatives affecting women's rights and women's welfare. Readers with interests in international institutions and women's studies will find this original and important assessment of particular value.

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