TitleEngendering the UN architecture
NameBaruch, Margot C. (author), Hinton, Alexander (chair), Bunch, Charlotte (co-chair), Hewitt, Nancy (internal member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - Newark,
DescriptionSince its inception, the United Nations has been shaped by a multitude of actors. From Member States to academics to civil society, the UN is a unique space where individuals from diverse political, sociological and economic backgrounds join together in an effort to maintain international security and achieve world peace through advancing a development agenda and human rights framework. From its founding, the UN has expanded its presence worldwide as well as enriched its programs and capacities comprised of a wide range of issues including women’s rights. In my thesis, I explore the multi-layered history of women’s rights organizing at the United Nations in an effort to grasp its most recent creation, UN Women. I seek to determine the significance of the impact that women’s rights activists have had on the United Nations and explain the importance of feminist activism in global governance. Therefore, this study analyzes how women’s rights advocates have impacted the United Nations reform process on gender equality architecture. Women’s rights advocates have been unrelenting in their efforts to establish a more coherent and robust women’s agency at the United Nations (UN). The Gender Equality Architecture Reform (GEAR) Campaign was created to monitor the United Nations reform process and actively lobby for a stronger women-specific agency within the UN. This Campaign proved to be a galvanizing force at a moment when civil society involvement in the UN has been curtailed. Based on primary sources and qualitative findings, I can explain the high level engagement among women’s rights activists and identify the significance of the GEAR Campaign’s contribution to the creation of UN Women. By using qualitative methods, I gained empirical knowledge of the impact advocates had on the reform process since 2005. GEAR has not only ensured the creation of UN Women, but also strategically shaped its form. My intention with this project is straightforward: I hoped to see what added-value a civil society campaign had on the creation of a UN entity and to document the strategic dedication of women’s rights activists in the development of a global organization tasked to meet the needs of women and girls worldwide. Without a doubt, GEAR was a significant force in ensuring that UN Women was structured to serve women systematically and methodically. Along the way, those advocating for its creation experienced the difficulties created by the UN bureaucracy unflinchingly. Many processes proved overly technical, painfully slow, inconsistent and erratic. When GEAR proponents believed they were close to achieving their goal, the process regressed. Thus feminist activists employed key strategies to advocate for the foundations of a more effective United Nations. They sought to value the lives of women holistically not only in the UN’s programming on gender equality and women’s empowerment, but by the restructuring the organization’s gender architecture.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Margot C. Baruch
CollectionGraduate School - Newark Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.