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Gender and Institutions: Creating an Enabling Environment

Enhancing women's participation in development requires an "Enabling Environment”. What does an enabling environment look like? An enabling environment would presumably be favorable towards women's empowerment and it would need to be described and assessed at global, national and local levels. The actions and change strategies to create such an environment would be undertaken by international organizations, Governments, and civil society actors.

At the global level, an enabling environment has been created under the UN aegis, where women's networks have learned about lobbying and advocacy, come together to debate and promote their views, to negotiate with Government representatives and hold them accountable for global conventions and resolutions (Kardam, 2004). In many countries, women's movements have also successfully pressured Governments from below to change legal institutions, laws and policies.

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