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CPSA Workshop: Feminism and Institutions

On May 17, 2011, the Women, Gender and Politics section of the Canadian Political Science Association held a very successful half-day workshop titled Feminism and Institutions: Theory, Practice and Power at the CPSA Annual Meeting at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

The first session of the workshop featured a discussion centred around Gender, Institutions and Policymaking with papers presented by Jonathan Malloy (Carleton) on women's policy agencies in the Canadian provinces and by Miriam Smith (York) on the increasing influence of business interests on Canadian employment equity policy under neoliberalism. The discussion that followed (with contributions from discussants Joan Grace (Manitoba) and Sylvia Bashevkin (Toronto)) highlighted shifts in interest mobilization and the uneasy relationship between women's movement actors and state policy agencies.

The second session of the workshop focused on a theme of Gendering Institutions with papers from Rosalind Cavaghan (Edinburgh) on Gender Knowledge and Gender Mainstreaming in the UK, Debora Lopreite (Carleton) on Federalism and Women's Reproductive Rights in Argentina and Mexico, and Joan Grace (Manitoba) on theoretical approaches to gender and intergovernmental relations. Debate led by discussant Jill Vickers (Carleton) underscored difficulties in theorizing the relationship between gender and institutions, but also the benefits of pushing this area forward in the future. In the end, the workshop highlighted the interesting and ongoing research in the area of feminist institutionalism by seasoned and emerging scholars alike.

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