G. Waylen, Women and democratization: Conceptualizing gender relations in transition politics”, World Politics 46 (1994), pp. 327-354.

_Main Argument:_ Most analyses of democratization fail to incorporate a gendered perspective. The paper focuses mainly on women and starts from the premise that popular movements play an important role in the transition to democracy and that a gendered analysis of these movements is essential, as women often participate on the basis of the politicization of their social roles. A new approach is therefore needed to address the questions of the role of women in the transition and the way that gender relations have changed as a result of the process. This approach illuminates notions of citizenship, democracy, and civil society and the interaction of gender relations and the state.


_Method:_ Weylan develops a framework to analyse gender-based movements in democratic transitions. Uses examples from LatAm as well as Eastern European countries to illustrate.



== Notes ==



– The first questions asks why women choose to organize or not to organize in different contexts such as Latin America and Eastern Europe

– The second question asks about the nature of these movements where they exist

– The third question, which examines the “external characteristics,” or context, considers the interaction between women’s political activities and the process of transition

– The fourth question shifts the focus to the outcomes of transition and asks about the impact of democratization on gender relations



–     This literature makes no mention of gender issues –> the omission stems from the most common definition of democracy used in the literature

–     The majority of scholars working on democratization in the 1980s quite consciously adopted a narrow and restricted institutional definition of democracy

–     These definitions have a long intellectual history and are indebted to the work of Dahl, and particularly Schumpeter and the school of competitive elitism

–     A political system is defined as democratic insofar as “its most powerful collective decision-makers are selected through periodic elections in which candidates freely compete for votes and in which virtually all the adult population is eligible to vote” (Dahl, Diamond, Linz, and Lipset)


Problems when using existing work on social movements to describe gender-based movements:

–     the bottom-up focus meant that links between grassroots political activity and the wider context, particularly the relationship with political parties and the state, were ignored

–     the majority of writers fail to discuss gender issues, despite the frequent acknowledgment that the majority of participants in popular movements are women