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Gender scholars argue that a federal model of governance can provide opportunities to advance gender equality and the rights of women. Those opportunities include increased opportunities to sit in public office, multiple access points for women to lobby for reform measures, encouraging policy transfer between different regions of a country, protecting women from violence by responding more effectively to ethnic diversity and conflict through the provision of autonomy, self-rule and self-determination, and enabling local concerns including the different interests of women to be better represented. In some situations, however, a federal model of governance makes it difficult to achieve uniformity of laws, programs and services that benefit women, it fragments the solidarity of the women’s movements, and it is costly and complicated to navigate making gender reform measures more difficult to implement. So, in light of this contradictory evidence. What is the relationship between federalism and gender equality? Under what circumstances can federalism contribute to enhancing gender equality, and when might it pose an additional hurdle?