State, Difference, and Diversity: Toward a Path of Expanded Democracy and Gender Equality
AbstractThe centrality of the state in promoting gender equality is generally acknowledged, but a perplexing and complex issue confronts us: should the state treat men and women in identical ways, or should it legislate and enforce policies that are aware of gender differences? In other words, should the state be gender-blind or gender-sensitive? Gender, ethnic, religious, sexual orientation, ideological, economic, political, and cultural dimensions represent diversity among citizens. This paper argues that if the goal of the state is to promote democratic participation for all, a distinction must be drawn between socioeconomic characteristics that signify difference and those that manifest inequalities. The former require a politics of acceptance and recognition and policies to match, leading to equal treatment for all despite differences, while the latter necessitate interventions that remedy or remove structural elements that result in inequalities. The authors suggest that such a framework is useful in that it lends itself to a better understanding of gender-based asymmetries.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Levy Economics Institute, The in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number wp_493.
Date of creation: Feb 2007
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This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-04-09 (All new papers)
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- José Antonio Ocampo, 2006. "Market, Social Cohesion, and Democracy," Working Papers 9, United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs.
- Cooray, Arusha & Potrafke, Niklas, 2011.
"Gender inequality in education: Political institutions or culture and religion?,"
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Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 268-280, June.
- Arusha Cooray & Niklas Potrafke, 2010. "Gender inequality in education: Political institutions or culture and religion?," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2010-01, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
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