A Tale of Two Femocrats: Brokering Gender Norms in Addis Ababa

Karmen Tornius

Publikation: KonferencebidragKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskning


This article explores the potential of using life histories to unpack the roles of individual people in creating, contesting, and diffusing global norms on gender equality. In this methodologically adventurous study, I illustrate how life stories and personal experiences entangle with global discourses and political pressures, and how brokers facilitate policy innovation by mediating the demands of the state, activists and development partners. Based on interviews, autobiographies and online archives, the article traces the life stories of two women: an employee at the Women’s Unit at the Organisation for African Unity (OAU, later African Union) and the first minister of Women’s Affairs of Ethiopia (later ambassador). In their roles as political brokers, the two women were integral to the development of regional gender governance, in the African Union secretariat and member state respectively. I conclude that femocrats as subjective, social and historically situated beings, are the brokers of normative ideas about gender equality.

Publikationsdatoaug. 2022
StatusUdgivet - aug. 2022
BegivenhedGloBio Summer Institute - Cheltenham, Storbritannien
Varighed: 8 aug. 202212 aug. 2022


WorkshopGloBio Summer Institute

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