Chapter 19: Applying a gender lens to federal systems
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Gender-federalism research applies a gender lens to many themes found in the other chapters. While feminists initially ignored federalism, those living in federations realized that advancing gender equality required activism at multiple levels of government. They first followed their intuition that federalism is experienced differently by women and men (i.e., is 'gendered'). Research confirmed their intuition, as did real-world events. Evidence suggests that half the world's women experience multilevel governance (MLG), making it important to understand gender/federalism interactions, to identify obstacles produced by federal arrangements and opportunities produced for activism, including venue shopping (i.e., shifting between orders of government to find the most sympathetic). More recent research shows how federal arrangements interact with democratization, decolonization and military/authoritarian governance. This expands the scope of mainstream federalism, especially in the global south, which promotes more dynamic concepts of federalism.

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