Citizenship Key Resources

Citizenship in a development context
Citizenship and migration
Organisations and websites


Citizenship: Feminist Perspectives. Second Edition (2003) Ruth Lister, Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 323 pp., website:

This classic text provides a feminist critique of the gender-blind understandings of citizenship that have been present in much of contemporary political debate, arguing that ’[t]he universalist cloak of the abstract, disembodied individual has been cast aside to reveal a definitely male citizen, and a white, heterosexual, non-disabled one, at that’ (p.66). The book provides a theoretical examination of the gendered nature of citizenship, and analyses the results for women in the realm of social policy and in politics, highlighting the centrality of the public/private divide to any understanding of how citizenship has been constructed and experienced. Highly recommended.

‘Citizenship and gender’ (2004) Ruth Lister, in The Blackwell Companion to Political Sociology, ed. K. Nash and A. Scott, , Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing Ltd., ISBN: 978-1-4051-2265-X, pp. 323-332

In this short, theoretical chapter, Ruth Lister condenses much of the thinking and analysis she set out in her book, Citizenship: Feminist Perspectives (see earlier), making plain that the seemingly universal concept of citizenship is unquestionably gendered. The chapter discusses the way in which the elements that have traditionally been conceived as the constituent parts of citizenship - rights, political participation, and responsibilities / and on which different political traditions have placed different emphasis, might be interpreted and synthesised so as to ’re-gender’ citizenship. The chapter continues by examining the different feminist approaches to such a regendering, ending with Ruth Lister’s vision of a ’woman-friendly’ citizenship. A draft version of this chapter is available at: (last accessed 9 September 2011)

‘Rights and realities: limits to women’s rights and citizenship after 10 years of democracy in South Africa’ (2006) Mary Hames, Third World Quarterly 27, no. 7: 1313-27 (special issue: ’The politics of rights: dilemmas of feminist praxis’)

This article - written 10 years after the new South Africa, with its raft of seemingly progressive legislation for women came into being - takes a critical look at how effective some of these laws and other mechanisms had been up to that point in responding to the needs of the most marginalised in South African society. The discussion shows how difficult it still was for many women to exercise or even understand their newly acquired liberal ’rights’ and citizenship as entrenched in the constitution and elsewhere, for a variety of reasons. To illustrate these difficulties, the article draws on a series of workshops conducted with black women in an outer district of Cape Town. (The special issue of TWQ in which the article appears was also published as a book of the same name in 2008, edited by Andrea Cornwall and Maxine Molyneux.)

Women in the Middle East and North Africa: Agents of Change (2010) Fatima Sadiqi and Moha Ennaji (eds.), London and New York: Routledge, ISBN: 978-0-415-57321-4, 298 pp.,

In this collection, the contributors examine the position of women in the contemporary Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the countries of which are diverse, but nevertheless share common characteristics with regard to women and their relationship to state and society. The book is divided into five sections, addressing five major areas of women’s agency: politics; civil society activism; legal reform; culture and society; and religion. Theoretical analysis is combined with case studies from Egypt, Oman, Palestine, Israel, Turkey, Iran, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and Spain.

Gender and Citizenship in the Middle East (2000) Suad Joseph (ed.), Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, ISBN: 978-0815628651, 400 pp., website: www.

Opening with a thoughtful, theoretical introduction, this work is organised into four sections, dealing with North Africa, Eastern Arab States, The Arab Gulf, and the non-Arab Middle East. Less theoretical than the introduction, country-specific essays examine the ways in which Arab women are excluded from the rights that are characteristic of full citizens and the history behind concepts of citizenship in the Middle East, is assessed. Major recurring themes include the influence of religion on citizenship; the importance of the family, rather than the individual, as the most basic unit of the state; and family law.

Contours of Citizenship: Women, Diversity and Practices of Citizenship (2010) Margaret Abraham, Esther Ngan-ling Chow, Laura Maratou-Alipranti, and Evangelia Tastsoglou (eds.) Farnham, UK: Ashgate, ISBN: 978-1-4094-1899-3, 241 pp., website:

This book seeks to examine the complexity of citizenship in the context of an increasingly globalised world, which has seen the rise of neo-liberalism, welfare state retrenchment, decline of state employment, re-privatisation and a rising gap between rich and poor, and the increasing curtailment of the economic, social and political citizenship rights of certain categories of people. The edited collection draws on empirical research from a range of countries, contexts and approaches to address the subject of women and citizenship, and covers a variety of diverse issues, including immigration, ethnicity, class, nationality, political and economic participation, institutions, and the private and public spheres.

Citizenship in an Enlarging Europe: From Dream to Awakening (2010) Barbara Einhorn, Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN: 9780230273337, 296 pp., website: www.

In Citizenship in an Enlarging Europe, first published in 2006, Barbara Einhorn uses gender as the lens through which to examine the processes of democratisation, marketisation and newly emergent nationalism in Central and Eastern Europe in the context of European Union (EU) enlargement, reveals the centrality of gender to these processes, and the ways in which rigid codes of masculinity and femininity limit individuals’ choices. The book includes an examination of mainstream politics versus the promotion of civil society as routes to empowerment and participation, and draws attention to the growing public-private divide in the region, pinpointing the negative influences of the neo-liberal market model and its gendered media representations. Also highlighted is the relevance of fully active citizenship within a lively civil society as a measure of democracy and gender equitable societies. For this new, 2010 edition of Citizenship in an Enlarging Europe, Barbara Einhorn has written a new introduction, bringing up to date her analysis of the central issues following EU enlargement in 2007, and addressing the role of nationalism, gender mainstreaming policies and migration.

Gender, Citizenship and Governance. A Global Sourcebook (2004) Minke Valk, Sarah Cummings and Henk Dam (eds.), Amsterdam: KIT (Royal Tropical Institute) and Oxford, UK: Oxfam GB, 131 pp., (last accessed 13 February 2015)

In the 1990s, the issue of good governance assumed enormous significance in the debates on global development. Debates about and approaches to improving governance structures to obtain better development outcomes did not, however, automatically address the question of gender equality. In this book, four case studies – from India, Namibia, Pakistan, and South Africa - describe civil society initiatives that intervened in governance and brought about changes in institutional practice, aiming to secure strategic gender interests. The book’s Introduction, by Maitrayee Mukhopadhyay, provides a global perspective on governance and gender, and there is a detailed, annotated bibliography.

Citizenship (2003) Volume 11, number 3 of Gender & Development, (last accessed 13 February 2015)

Gender and Development published its last issue on the subject of citizenship in 2003. The issue begins with an editorial, providing an overview of the subject, and the articles consider the denial of citizenship rights from a gender perspective, and examining the relationship between gender inequality and political participation, not only in formal politics, but through activism in NGOs and community groups.

Citizenship in a development context

Gender and Citizenship (2004) BRIDGE Cutting Edge Pack,  (last accessed 13 February 2015)

The BRIDGE Cutting Edge Pack on Gender and Citizenship consists of three separate sections - a six-page ’In brief’ document; an overview report; and a comprehensive, supporting resources collection - and is an excellent introduction to the topic of gender and citizenship in a development context. Accompanying the theoretical analysis are many case studies from around the world, which illustrate how gendered citizenship manifests itself, and how women are working to reframe citizenship from the perspective of gender equality in development.

Gender Justice, Citizenship & Development (2007) Maitrayee Mukhopadhyay and Navsharan Singh (eds.), New Delhi: Zubaan and Ottawa, Canada: International Development Research Centre, (last accessed 13 February 2015)

This valuable edited collection opens with two theoretical chapters linking current thinking on gender justice to debates on citizenship, entitlements, law, and development, with the chapter by Anne Marie Goetz  – ’Gender justice, citizenship and entitlements: core concepts, central debates and new directions for research’ - being particularly helpful in defining the concept of gender justice and making the links between gender (in)justice and citizenship. Case studies from Latin America and the Caribbean, South Asia, and the Middle East and North Africa region are followed by a concluding chapter by Maitrayee Mukhopadhyay, which includes an overview of the rise in interest in theories and the practice of citizenship in the development field and what this means for gender justice.

Inclusive Citizenship: Meanings and Expressions (2005) Naila Kabeer (ed.), London: Zed Books, ISBN: 1 84277 549 9, 274 pp., website:

In this important book - the first volume in Zed Books’ Claiming Citizenship: Rights, Participation, Accountability series - Naila Kabeer’s particularly erudite and thoughtful chapter is followed by 15 case studies from around the world, which are divided into the areas of Rights, Identity, Struggle, and Policy, which in the words of Naila Kabeer,…explore the meanings and experiences of citizenship in different parts of the world, giving particular attention to the perspectives of the poor and socially excluded. Their contributions thus touch on the different mechanics of exclusion which consign certain groups within a society to the status of lesser citizens or of non-citizens, and on the struggles by such groups to redefine, extend, and transform ’given’ ideas about rights, duties and citizenship. They therefore help to shed light on what inclusive citizenship might mean when it is viewed from the standpoint of the excluded. They also touch on some of the important debates in the field of citizenship studies’

While the issue of gender is only specifically addressed in two of the chapters, the whole of the book is of relevance for an understanding of the experiences and expressions of rights and citizenship from ’below’ (p.xiii) and how these are acted upon through political and social mobilisation.

Gender and Citizenship at the Grassroots: Assessing the Effect of NGO Initiatives in Social Mobilization and Political Empowerment in Kenya and Bangladesh [draft] (2011), Simeen Mahmud and Celestine Nyamu Musembi, 1052734718/original/1052734718-mahmud_etal.2011-gender.pdf?1299745681 (last accessed 15 September 2011)

In this very interesting and clearly written article, the authors assess the impact that social mobilisation/political empowerment initiatives led by NGOs have had on the gender dynamics of everyday expression of citizenship at the community level in Kenya and Bangladesh. The authors seek to make visible the role of agency in the construction of citizenship, and suggest in their conclusion that the explanation for gender inequality in the expression of citizenship at the grassroots level lies more in the sphere of public political space - that is to say, in more formal contexts -  than in informal, community-based interaction.

Citizenship and migration

Women, Migration and Citizenship: Making Local, National and Transnational Connections (2006) Evangelia Tastsoglou and Alexandra Dobrowolsky (eds.), Farnham, UK: Ashgate, ISBN: 978-0-7546-4379-1, 272 pp., website:

This edited collection begins with a particularly informative and helpful opening chapter - an ideal introduction to the subject of gender, citizenship, and migration - in which the editors set out the contemporary context in which this discussion is taking place and make the point that migration and citizenship share many commonalities - both are dynamic, deeply gendered processes, both involve inclusion and exclusion, and both are fundamentally about power relations (p. 22). The many case studies, which come from across the globe, examine women’s diverse migrant and immigrant experiences, and look at the way in which gender ideologies and practices affect migrant citizenship at the local, national, and transnational levels.

’Footloose’ Female Labour: Transnational Migration, Social Protection and Citizenship in the Asia region. IDRC Working Papers on Women’s Rights and Citizenship (2007) Naila Kabeer, International Development Research Centre (IDRC/CRDI) 57 pp. (last accessed 13 February 2015)

In this paper, Naila Kabeer reviews the literature on female labour migration flows within Asia from a gender perspective, in order to gain a better understanding of their patterns, causes and consequences as well as their implications for social protection and citizenship. The rationale for a gender perspective stems from evidence that women migrate for different reasons than men, they migrate along different routes and the consequences of their migration are also often different. Female migration, therefore, poses a particular kind of challenge for social protection and for the citizenship status of migrants. In their move generally into poorly regulated sectors of the host economy, female migrants are also moving from citizen to alien status / losing their ’right to rights’ twice over. In addition, the author argues that the study of gender-differentiated movements of the population are important for the mirror they hold up to the different ways in which gender inequalities in the division of labour are incorporated into the broader and spatially uneven processes of development in an era of globalisation.

Migrations and Mobilities: Citizenship, Borders, and Gender (2009) Seyla Benhabib and Judith Resnik (eds.), New York: New York University Press, ISBN: 978-0-8147-7600-1, 576 pp., website:

In the introductory chapter (’Citizenship and migration theory engendered’) to this collection, the editors argue that both the practices and theories of citizenship must be reassessed in light of both the diverse nature of migrants / who are not just disembodied individuals, but real, gendered human beings, with family ties / and twentieth-century commitments, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to their dignity and equality. The chapters are organised into five sections / Situated Histories of Citizenship and Gender; Global Markets, Women’s Work; Citizenship of the Family, Citizenship in the Family: Women, Children, and the Nation State; Engendered Citizenship in Practice (in which the essay ’Global feminism, citizenship, and the state: negotiating women’s rights in the Middle East and North Africa’, by Valentine Moghadam, is of particular interest); and Reconfiguring the Nation-State: Women’s Citizenship in the Transnational Context. The introductory chapter is available to download from: www. (last accessed 14 September 2011)

Transnational Migration: Influences on Citizenship, Social Control, and Carework (2006) Part II in Mary K. Zimmerman, Jacqueline S. Litt, and Christine E. Bose (eds.) Global Dimensions of Gender and Carework, pp. 103-194, Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, ISBN: 978-0-8047-5324-1, website:

This section of the Mary Zimmerman, Jacqueline Litt, and Christine Bose edited work, Global Dimensions of Gender and Carework, opens with an introductory chapter in which the editors explain some of the concepts that help to illustrate how migration and citizenship have shaped who performs paid and unpaid carework, and under what conditions it is done. Beginning with a description of current migration patterns, they go on to describe three outcomes of migration - firstly, fluidity between paid and unpaid carework over a woman’s lifecourse; secondly, careworkers limited citizenship rights and their experiences of surveillance by governments and employers; and thirdly, the marginalisation of transnational migrants based on the interconnections of gender, class, and nationality, highlighting the presumed racial-ethnic characteristics of migrants. This introduction is followed by six case studies.

Organisations and websites

Collective for Research & Training on Development-Action, PO Box 165302, Beirut, Lebanon, tel./fax: 961 1 616751, email: via website, website:

Based in Beirut, the Collective for Research & Training on Development - Action (CRTD.A) is a non-governmental organisation founded in 1999. The Collective, which includes researchers, trainers, and practitioners, works both in Lebanon and across the Arab world, and its aim is to contribute to the social development of local communities and organisations through enhancing capacities, particularly in the areas of gender analysis, gender and development, and tackling poverty and exclusion, so as to contribute to the creation of a more just and equitable environment. Current CTRD-A projects include: ’Active Citizenship and Gendered Entitlements’; ’Faith Based Organisations’; ’Sustainable Economic Opportunities for Women’; the ’Machreq/Maghreb Gender Linking and Information’ project; and the ’Women’s Right to Nationality’ campaign. Information on these and other CRTD.A projects can be found on the organisation’s website.

Development Research Centre on Citizenship, website:

The Citizenship Development Research Centre (DRC) is a network consisting of seven institutional partners, plus associate researchers and collaborators from around the world, who, between 2000 and 2010 conducted research into a variety of themes around the issue of citizenship, some of which include; ’Social movements in the South’; ’Citizenship in violent settings’; and ’Global citizen engagement’. Information on the key documents and related publications derived from the DRC’s research is available on their website, and most of the papers and reports can be downloaded.

Fundacion para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Dilogo Exterior, Goya, 5-7, Pasaje 20 , 28001 Madrid, Spain, tel.: 34 912 44 47 40, fax: 34 912 44 47 41, email: fride, website:’s-citizenshipin-the-context-of-state-building

Fundacion para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Dilogo Exterior (FRIDE) is an independent Spanish think-tank, working on issues relating to democracy and human rights; peace and security; and humanitarian action and development, with the aim of influencing policymaking, and informing public opinion. It argues that there has been great interest within the international community in how to ’rebuild’ fragile states, but that the new state building approaches that are emerging are weakened by their lack of gender analysis. FRIDE’s recently completed ’Strengthening women’s citizenship in the context of state building’ project, was carried out with the aim of informing state building processes that result in stronger citizenship for women. The project undertook case studies in six fragile contexts / Burundi, Colombia, Guatemala, Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Sudan - and the resulting reports are available to download from FRIDE’s website.

Institute of Development Studies, Library Road, Brighton, BN1 9RE, UK, tel.: 44 (0)1273 606261, fax: 44 (0)1273 621202/915688, email:, website: rticipation-themes/inclusive-citizenship-and-governance (last accessed 16 September 2011)

’Inclusive citizenship and governance’ is one of the themes explored by the Participation, Power and Social Change research team at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS). Their work into the meanings of citizenship and forms of citizen engagement in different settings includes: participation in policy processes; citizen participation in local governance; citizen engagements in a globalising world; and civil society mobilisation and engagement for policy change and for claiming rights. The website contains many research reports and papers, available to download.

Oxfam - ’Raising Her Voice’ Programme, Oxfam House, John Smith Drive, Oxford OX 4 2JY, UK, tel.: (from the UK) 0300 200 1292, (from ROW) 44 1865 47 3727, email:, websites: citizen-states/raising-her-voice, and (last accessed 15 September 2011)

Launched in August 2008, and running until 2013, ’Raising Her Voice’ (RHV) aims to promote the rights and capacity of poor women to engage effectively in governance at all levels. The programme also seeks to draw out important lessons from its experiences at country level, to strengthen Oxfam’s wider governance work, and to feed back into its grassroots projects. RHV is a collection of projects in 17 countries, each with its own priorities and approaches, which take into account local realities and opportunities. However, all RHV projects focus on four broad areas of work: empowering civil-society organisations to achieve poor women’s rights as citizens, through awareness-raising, capacity building, and training; enabling poor women activists to network, campaign, and advocate; working with public institutions and decision-making forums, including traditional structures; and disseminating lessons and good practice through innovative media and communications work.

The Royal Tropical Institute, Postbus 95001, 1090 HA Amsterdam, Netherlands, tel.:31 20 568 8711, fax:31 20 668 4579, email:, website: (last accessed 13 February 2015)

Based in Amsterdam, The Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) is an independent, not-for-profit organisation. It works on sustainable development, poverty alleviation, and cultural preservation and exchange, and conducts research and training, and provides consultancy and information services. Information and publications from KIT’s ’Gender Inclusive Citizenship and Governance’ project - which undertook action research to bring to the fore gender equality and women’s rights in debates on global good governance - is available on their website.

Womankind Worldwide, Development House, 2nd Floor, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT, tel.: 44 (0) 20 7549 0360, fax: 44 (0) 20 7549 0361, email:, website:

Based in the UK, Womankind is an international women’s human rights charity working to help women transform their lives in Africa, Asia and Latin America through partnership with women’s rights organisations across the globe. Among Womankind’s programmes are two of particular relevance to citizenship issues - ’Women’s Civil and Political Participation’, and ’Women’s Rights’, details of which can be found on Womankind’s website.

Women’s Learning Partnership for Rights, Development and Peace, 4343 Montgomery Avenue, Suite 201, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA, tel.: 1 301-654-2774, email:, website:

From its beginnings in the 1990s as a network for activists in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, Women’s Learning Partnership for Rights, Development and Peace (WLP) now includes 20 organisations from the across the global South, and specialises in participatory leadership training at the grassroots level. WLP also works on citizenship issues, through its ’Claiming Equal Citizenship’ campaign, which focuses on the MENA and Gulf regions, more about which can be found on their website.