Strategies of Feminist Bureaucrats: Perspectives from International NGOs


  • Ines Smyth,

    1. Senior Gender Advisor in Oxfam Great Britain, where she is responsible for developing strategies and policy positions on women's rights, and working closely with programs across the many countries in which the organisation works.
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  • Laura Turquet,

    1. Currently the manager of UN Women's flagship report, Progress of the World's Women, and she was also the lead author of the last edition which focused on women's access to justice.
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  • Rosalind Eyben

    1. Fellow in the Participation, Power and Social Change Team at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex.
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This paper explores the challenges and opportunities for feminists working as women's rights and gender equality specialists in international non-governmental development organisations, as analysed from an insider practitioner perspective. Part 1 identifies the strategies used and the challenges encountered when Turquet lobbied DFID on its gender equality policy while struggling to avoid marginalisation within her own organisation, Action Aid. In Part 2, Smyth describes how she left Oxfam for a year to work in the Asian Development Bank and uses this experience to consider the strategic opportunities available to a gender specialist working in an NGO such as Oxfam as compared with working in an international finance institution.