The Research Programme Consortium on Pathways of Women’s Empowerment has an explicit commitment to influencing policy. Yet policy is a concept that carries many diverse and contested meanings. How feminists choose to conceptualise policy will influence their strategic choices in terms of what and how they seek to influence. This paper combines a general review of some of the current sociological and feminist literature concerning policy with a specific look at global policy processes in relation to gender equality. Drawing on complexity approaches, ‘networks’ are posited as the active change ingredient that dynamically engage with institutions, discourses and actors to seek policy change. Examples are provided from my own observations and experience as a policy practitioner working from within a development bureaucracy. Introducing a concept of power into the analysis, the paper identifies ten tactics for policy actors working in global spaces for women’s empowerment.
Pathways of Women’s Empowerment, IDS, Sussex, UK. ISBN 13: 978 185864 532 9. 83 pp.