T13P05 - Towards Inclusive Bureaucracies for Diverse Societies - Policy Implications of (Non-)Representative Bureaucracies

Topic : Gender, Diversity and Public Policy

Panel Chair : Eckhard Schroeter - eckhard.schroeter@zu.de

Objectives and Scientific Relevance of the panel

Call for papers

Session 1 Representative Bureaucracy I: Encouraging and Sustaining Inclusive and Diverse Societies

Wednesday, June 28th 16:15 to 18:15 (Block B 2 - 1 (35))


Eckhard Schroeter - eckhard.schroeter@zu.de - Zeppelin University - Germany

Public Sector Diversity and Inclusiveness: Concepts, Findings and Suggested Policy Actions

Meredith Edwards - meredith.edwards@canberra.edu.au - Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis - Australia

This paper examines issues of diversity and inclusiveness with a particular focus on barriers to employment and career progression of two minority groups: people with disability and senior women.  After examining relevant concepts and literature findings, the paper provides findings from two recent 'cultural audits ' from the Australian Public Service: one examining perceptions of senior men and women about the barriers senior women face; the other examining the perceptions of people with as well as without disability of the barriers faced by people with disability. It also provides plausible and practical measures that public administrators can undertake if the benefits of a more diverse and inclusive workforce are to be gained. 

Outcomes of under-represented policy making: Transgender rights in India

Angela Chaudhuri - angela@swasti.org - Swasti - India

Deya Bhattacharya - deya@swasti.org - Swasti Health Resource Centre - India

Sri Bhavani Kumaran - bhavani@swasti.org - Swasti - India

Gadha Raj - gadha@swasti.org - Swasti - India

More than half  (51%) of total AIDS-related deaths in Asia occur in India. Among high-risk groups in India, transgender people have the highest prevalence of HIV at 8.82%. The National AIDS Control Organization (NACO), the agency that provides leadership in prevention of HIV in India, has identified transgender people as the most vulnerable group: yet, merely 25%  are covered by the public health system. Out of 1889 targeted HIV interventions currently running in India, only 32 of them focus on transgender people. Despite having the highest HIV incidence rate, only an estimated 52.9% of transgender women get screened for HIV. Proving that even the most ambitious and targeted program fails to reach the un-represented.

Only until recently, transgenders were considered part of the national discourse and for the first time ever were the counted in the National Census in 2011. They are considered a socially marginalized group and largely excluded from the formal economy, reportedly associated with homelessness.

The transformative 2014 Bill was based on the NALSA judgment that upheld the right of any person to identify as female, male or a third gender irrespective of medical intervention, including gender change surgery. However, this was replaced by the 2016 Bill, which while providing for the right to perceived gender identity, made it conditional on the basis of a certificate by a screening committee consisting of a psychologist and a medical doctor. This gross violation of human rights and constitutional principles that a supra-constitutional body would determine the identity of transgender people is clear that there was no participation or tokenistic at best, for the transgender people’s right to self-determination.

Despite the regressive policy environment, the legitimacy of transgenders’ rights to social protection has been on the forefront of the National AIDS Control Organisations’ mainstreaming and social protection agenda where it partnered with 22 ministries on instituting various social protection schemes. A study supported by United Nations Development Program and conducted by Swasti, A health resource center based in India and working across 22 countries, explored the uptake of social protection schemes for TG persons. The findings suggest that 249 social schemes that can be potentially accessed by those identifying as transgenders, where only 49 explicitly state that transgenders are eligible, and only 19 such schemes have ever been accessed by only 17% of TG persons. Challenges to access include first and foremost the inhuman bureaucratic process available only to transsexuals confirming their gender identity. Secondly, almost all schemes require a proof of residence. This is a form of identification not available to most transgender individuals as they are mostly ostracised from their biological families, run away from home and are highly mobile due to prevalent stigma.

Given the poor design of even targeted programs, policies and schemes,it is clear that policies were bereft of any community participation. The consequences are dire as they lead to a bureaucratic malaise on the account of transgender communities in India.



How Inclusive is Inclusive Peace? Women in Shaping Public Policy for Peace in Mindanao

ELISEO JR. HUESCA - 15h1103@ubd.edu.bn - Davao Oriental State College of Science and Technology; Institute of Asian Studies, UBD Brunei - Philippines

Women remain invisible in most of peace negotiating tables 15 years after the passage of United Nation Security Council 1325, popularly known as Women, Peace and Security. The efforts and results on women inclusion as mediators, for instance, continue to be slow and far from sufficient and frustrating. Simply put, peace process, especially at the national level, remains to be a male-dominated political industry. While these observations and generalizations are applicable to most, if not all, countries with intrastate conflicts, the Philippines has noticeably stood out among its peers in Asia in advancing the aspirations of Resolution 1325 in the past 5 years. In fact, the UN, international NGOs, academes, donors, and other key international stakeholders have lauded this progress responds to the primary objectives of Resolution 1325. Thus, this research intends to understand the progress of Resolution 1325 in Philippines with particular emphasis on Mindanao’s Bangsamoro problem using norm localization as an overarching framework of analysis. Generally, this study aims to explore the achievements of, challenges on, and ways forward for, women engagements on peace and security processes in Muslim Mindanao. Specifically, this research project will examine two major aspects: firstly, the current trend on the participation of women in peace and security processes in Mindanao; and secondly, the extent of participation of Muslim women in these particular political affairs, as they are oftentimes considered as minorities for being women, being Muslims, and being women in Islamic communities. This paper argues that the Philippines managed to get global attention in advancing women in peace processes, however, questions on how women represented themselves in shaping peace-related policies and how such representation affected domestic peace politics necessitates further investigation and analysis.

The gender of post-separation bureaucracies: A cross-national investigation

Kay Cook - kay.cook@rmit.edu.au - RMIT University - Australia

This paper describes a multi-level, cross-national research study that seeks to examine the gender of post-separation parenting bureaucracies. The aim of the project is to examine the barriers to child support that women experience, and in doing so, seeks to reduce single mother and child poverty. The project employs interpretive policy, institutional and personal-level methodologies across countries to examine the black box of institutional practices that operationalize child support policy, often in the context of fiscal constraint and neoliberal assumptions regarding individual and familial responsibility. The focus of the analysis is then on the gendered consequences – intended and unintended – produced in this process.

Child support, known also as child maintenance, is money paid by a non-resident parent (typically a father) to a resident parent (typically a mother) for the purpose of financially supporting children following parental separation. Yet across jurisdictions, child support compliance is poor.

In many countries, single parent welfare benefit recipients (who are overwhelmingly women) are compelled to seek child support as a condition of eligibility. Women are thus made responsible in bureaucratic settings for seeking and managing payments, which serve to reduce welfare state expenditure and enforce fathers’ financial responsibility for children. In addition, in most jurisdictions, women are the interface between institutions, such as the family court and welfare systems that manage the changing state-family-market configuration of financial responsibility for children post-separation, and their ex-partners, who provide payments. Yet, in some countries, given the low likelihood of receiving payments, child support orders are becoming less likely, with mothers accepting less benefits than they are entitled to in order to avoid seeking payments from ex-partners. Here, we know little about the way that institutional systems support or hinder women’s access to child support, and how the gendered nature of these settings lead women to not pursue payments.

Previous individual-level research reveals that women may avoid payments for many reasons, often linked to the enforcement of familial ties and the individualization of responsibility for managing payments. For example, establishing orders, seeking payments, or reporting non-compliance may: lock women into unwanted relationships; place them at greater risk of violence; entail onerous administrative demands; or renew custody disputes. Child support policies, institutions and practices are often insensitive to such issues, which tend to disadvantage women and their children along race and class lines. Existing scholarship provides little guidance for policy or administrative reform in this area as women’s reasons for child support avoidance are largely unacknowledged in research and institutional data collection practices are not attuned to such issues.

This paper will outline what is known about women’s experience of institutional data collection and administrative practices; and the data and policy blind-spots that render women’s experiences invisible to bureaucratic regimes. It will then set out how the in-progress multi-level project seeks to address these blindspots.

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