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Keywords:

  • United Nations;
  • gender mainstreaming;
  • feminist activism;
  • gender and development

Summary

This paper explores the challenges and opportunities for feminists working as women's rights and gender equality specialists in the United Nations as analysed from a practitioner perspective. Part 1 by Joanne Sandler analyses the experience of feminists struggling with the institutional sexism of the UN bureaucratic machine and shows how this played out in the difficult but ultimately successful negotiations around the creation of UN Women. In Part 2, Aruna Rao describes how cross-agency UN Gender Theme Groups worked together through a process of reflexive inquiry to strengthen the gender equality programming of three UN Country Teams, respectively in Morocco, Albania and Nepal.