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Gender mainstreaming has the definite ring of a buzzword to it, with all the confusion and misunderstanding that comes along with this kind of term. For a little background it first appeared in international literature after the United Nations’ 3rd World Conference on Women in Nairobi all the way back in 1985, hardly a modern phenomenon. It became a standard part of European Union policy in the 1990s and this is the main way that it affects policy in EU countries and in particular France.

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In modern times, the emancipation of women is progressed as far as never before. One part of this emancipation is the better opportunities for women in the workforce. When it comes to this institutional level, a lot of feminists have the opinion that women have to work in higher positions. But is this really what most women want? And further, is this what feminism should be about? I want to shed a light on the topic of anti-capitalist feminism.

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Power has a gender. This is the conclusion that many social scientists working on the relationship between power and gender or trying to understand why men still hold a large majority of positions of power including Réjane Sénac-Slawinski when she writes “Le pouvoir a un genre…” (Power has a gender). I will mostly be looking at French case in this article, seeing as it is the country I live in and intend to work in. The simplest explanation of this statement is that characteristic associated with power and leadership and often those traditionally considered as masculine traits.

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Domestic violence against men has been starting to be discussed on a broad level in the last years. The research on the subject is still meagre but conscience is slowly rising. Men as victims are starting to get noticed and women are said to adapt their violence behaviour to men because societal roles are changing. What portion does domestic violence against men take up and in what forms does it appear? Is the violence that men experience by their partners really the same as women’s? And what can be done about it? I will try to paint a full picture.

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In France, women represent 52% of the voters and 53% of the people enrolled in the electoral register. However, their ability to reach high job positions in the sphere of politics has not always been the norm, and even today, politicians are mostly men. 

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In this case, I will refer to the role of women in peacekeeping operations as gender advisors.

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Men’s Rights activists are often either mocked or accused of minimising the inequalities women experience. But is there anything to be said for defending Men’s rights? The debate about gender inequality has change in recent times, choosing to focus less on women’s rights, as the feminist movement often has, to centre itself more on equal rights for all genders, whether trans- or cisgender, independent of their sexuality. Most well-known was Emma Watson’s speech at the UN, launching the “He for She” campaign.

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In Wharton’s introductory chapter to The Sociology of Gender, An Introduction to Theory an Research, she highlights the complexity of the concepts of both gender and sex. The main underlying these ideas is the extent to which gender is a product of biological differences as opposed to the product of a social construct. To complicate the debate further, some scientists have shown how the social construct of gender affects us on a biological level. Some sociologists are willing to go as far to say that the entire idea of the existence of two sexes is a social construct.

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Behind this punchy headline lies a common frustration that feminists face. The expansion of the field of gender studies and its increasing recognition has led to more detailed, scientific and in depth research and knowledge about how gender permeates various aspects of our lives. But with these explanations of how gender is not just a fixed notion but a process that is constantly working to reproduce itself through our interactions and institutions, comes the feeling that gender equality will never be obtained.

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Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the middle east, and is ranked last by the 2014 Global Gender Gap Report (which mixes political and economic empowerment, health and education) making it « the worst place for women on earth ». Admittedly, one as observed progress since a few years. The Arab Spring has had incontestable consequences on the women’s ability to speak up. Indeed, they had a very strong role in the revolution - which started in early 2011, by taking over the streets, and burning their niqab to protest against inequalities in a context of democratic transition.

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The most striking point that the film made to me was the extent of institutionalized discrimination against women. The inferior status of women is instated in the laws of the land and it severely limits what they do, where they go and how they can get there. Without a husband by their side, their possibilities and freedoms are limited and this renders them lesser citizens of Iran. For example, a woman isn’t allowed to be alone in a car with a man who isn’t a relative or her husband. She can’t take the bus if she’s not either with her husband or a student.

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Hello fellow classmates My name is Gemma. I was born in England but I've lived in France for most of my life. I study at Sciences Po in Paris where I take classes in a mixture of subkects including History, Economics, Poltical Science and other Social Sciences. I am doingmy 3rd year abroad here at Potsdam university because I want to imrpove my German. I couldn't resist taking this class in English though because Gender studies is a field which is of great interest to me. I am looking forward to gaining a broader, more internation perspective on the topic.  

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