Knowing Bodies: Science and the Sex/Gender Distinction

The IRW hosts feminist researchers from around the world as Visiting Scholars, enabling them to pursue their own research and writing in a supportive environment while accessing Rutgers’ unique feminist resources. Visiting Scholars participate in the IRW seminar, present public lectures and speak in classes throughout the university.

Leslye Obiora

"Gender, Governance and Democracy"

leslye obiora smallpictureDespite the challenges of advancing equitable gender inclusion in leadership hierarchies and substantively promoting women’s participation in high-level political decision-making, a handful of women are managing to attain prominence in politics. Conventional emphasis on increasing women’s representation in deliberative arenas where power and influence are brokered and shared as a measurement index of value creation do not necessarily address the need for economy, efficiency and effectiveness in extracting the value constituted by women’s political participation. However, continuing dilemmas of attaining the ideals for meaningful gender inclusion point up the limitations that inhere in routine conceptualizations of power as primarily a site to contest patriarchal hegemony. With a view to enhance understandings about the implications of equitable gender participation for the quality of democracy, I draw on a Liberian case study to examine the logic of prioritizing a feminist ethic as both a strategic objective and a performance measure to improve the returns of gendering power for democratic quality.

Leslye Obiora has an LL.M. from Yale Law School, and a J.S.D. from Stanford Law School. She is Professor of Law at the University of Arizona