Femmes, genre et politique

N18(a) - GBA+ in Policy Analysis II

Date: Jun 14 | Heure: 12:00pm to 01:30pm | Salle:

Chair/Président/Présidente : Brooke Steinhauer (McGill University)

Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : Caroline Dick (Western University)

Stretching Social Reproduction: An alternative approach to researching gendered informal economies in the Global South: Laila Mourad (York University)
Abstract: In the contemporary global economy, informal labor is intertwined with what is traditionally defined as ‘formal’ labor. With that being said, the constructed boundaries between formality and informality as well as paid and unpaid labor still exist in the research and analysis of gendered informal economies, especially in the Global South. In this paper I participate in ongoing critical feminist discussions happening in various disciplines such as economics, development and gender politics, that advocate for alternative epistemological and methodological approaches (Agathangelou, 2004; Olmsted, 2005; Taha & Salem, 2019). I propose that social reproduction can be stretched from a concept (Salem, 2018) to a lens or framework that can be used to (re)conceptualize and (re)imagine key socio-economic principles. This can be done by centering women’s everyday knowledges and practices and using them to think differently about why people work (purpose), their choice of work (agency), what they produce (value and productivity), the challenges they face (precarity), and the skills and tools they utilize (knowledge). This proposition is based on fieldwork research in Egypt where I conducted interviews and ethnography with home-based women workers who prepared, cooked and sold food in the informal food sector. The interviews followed a life history approach, which created space for storytelling and for sharing personal and professional narratives. The ethnography involved working alongside several women workers in varying capacities and observing their work setup. The women’s stories and lived experiences portrayed how their everyday knowledges and practices often transcended material and emotional boundaries. Here I choose to focus on two, namely: hustling and tawfeer. Hustling, which is defined as hurried movement, in this case encompasses more than the physical motion but also the disruption of time and space and mobility within the economy and society. Tawfeer is an Arabic umbrella term that refers to saving time and money, being efficient, reducing waste, and using resources sufficiently. The thoughts and acts behind hustling and tawfeer demonstrate alternative ways of thinking about key aspects of labor including needs, choices, resource management, efficiency, risks, and productivity. Therefore, stretching social reproduction from a concept to a lens when researching women’s informal labor challenges the heterogeneity of informal economies in academic literature and development policy agendas (Escobar 1995; Mezzadri, 2021; Mitchell, 2002). This alternative approach expands the ways in which we conceptualize the intersection of work and everyday life and how we envision economic justice in an ever-changing global economy.

GBA+, Public Service Values and Social Media: Hannah Silver (McGill University), Francesca Scala (Concordia University), Stephanie Paterson (Concordia University)
Abstract: In the era of digital governance, social media has become an increasingly important part of public service work. The growing use of ICTs and social media among public servants has renewed debates about core public service values, such as neutrality and anonymity, and has showcased tensions between potentially conflicting values, such as efficiency and equality. While recognized as key sites of stakeholder engagement and information access, early research demonstrated that official tweets by the government were oriented towards publishing information, rather than promoting dialogue or engaging with users, reproducing traditional public service values (Small 2012). In contrast, the increasing use of unofficial or personal accounts has allowed public servants to discuss their work online, identify themselves as stewards of specific initiatives, and create stronger networks of interaction (Clarke 2019). In this paper, we situate Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) in this context, exploring public servants’ use of X (formerly Twitter) to communicate GBA+. GBA+ is Canada’s approach to gender mainstreaming, which requires analysts to apply an intersectional lens to all policies and programs to detect and mitigate disparate impacts. GBA+ presents a potential challenge to public service values, adhering, on the one hand, to notions of efficiency, while on the other hand, expanding ideas of neutrality and accountability (Paterson and Scala 2017). Importantly, GBA+ has nurtured pockets of feminist activism within the bureaucracy and has highlighted the importance of more recent public service values such as fairness, responsiveness, and equity (Scala and Paterson 2018). At the same time, however, the political nature of GBA+ has been hyperbolized and villainized by mainstream media and conservatives alike who view the framework’s challenge to perceived bureaucratic neutrality as harmful and anti-democratic (Paterson and Scala 2021). We consider how public servants’ use of X discursively constitutes GBA+ and how it connects to, challenges, or reconciles traditional public sector values, particularly neutrality and anonymity.

Distinctions and Divergences: The Political Economy of Governance Feminism in Mexico and Canada: Tammy Findlay (Mount Saint Vincent University), Alexandra Dobrowolsky (Saint Mary's University), Hepzibah Munoz-Martinez (University of New Brunswick, Saint John)
Abstract: Governance feminism, emerging in a variety of contexts, promises an inclusionary politics while reinscribing neoliberal values and practices (Scala & Paterson 2020; (Dobrowolsky, 2020; Dobrowolsky & Findlay, 2023). Previously, we have focused on mapping both shared features and significant differences in governance feminism in Mexico and Canada (Dobrowolsky & Findlay, 2023; Dobrowolsky, Findlay, & Muñoz-Martínez 2023). Here, we move from the what to the why – how do we explain these distinctions in governance feminism in these jurisdictions? This paper will trace unique state dynamics, women’s and feminist mobilization, and their interactions, using a comparative, intersectional feminist political economy and decolonial lens. While much of the governance feminism literature draws from either a feminist institutionalist, or Foucauldian perspective, we argue that more emphasis must be placed on variegated spatial political economies and social forces. Divergent colonial histories, institutional configurations, ideological foundations and patterns of feminist action and resistance, work to produce distinctive forms of governance feminism in Mexico and Canada.