Chapter

Active Citizenship: Gender Equality and Democracy

Rona Fitzgerald

in Active Citizenship

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780748638666
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671939 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748638666.003.0006
Active Citizenship: Gender Equality and Democracy

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This chapter starts with the observation that the concept of citizenship embedded in the classical republican tradition is inherently ‘gender biased’. It then argues for a concept of active citizenship fit for ‘a more sophisticated polity of the twenty-first century’ which is gender sensitive. The chapter explores Ruth Lister's argument that citizenship should be ‘re-gendered’ to account for the various experiences of all citizens in the political community, not just male heads of households as has been the traditional model. It endorses the idea of ‘gender pluralism’ which both includes the concept of equal treatment, and also recognises the different virtues, experience and possible choices of women and men. It argues that Gender Budget Analysis represents a possible means of establishing the differential impacts of public expenditure on women and men and the value of care within society. As well as drawing on feminist theory, the chapter discusses the legislative requirements to promote gender equality.

Keywords: active citizenship; Ruth Lister; gender pluralism; Gender Budget Analysis; feminist theory; gender equality; virtues; public expenditure

Chapter.  5577 words. 

Subjects: UK Politics

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