Review Essay - A Year of Reflection: Gender and Women's Rights in International Development Cooperation

Developing Partnerships: Gender, Sexuality and the Reformed World Bank by Kate Bedford . : University of Minnesota Press , 2009 . 328 pp., £15.50 paperback, 978 0816665402

Body Politics in Development: Critical Debates in Gender and Development by Wendy Harcourt . : Zed Books , 2009 . 176 pp., £16.99 paperback, 978 1842779354

Women's Human Rights by Niamh Reilly . : Polity Press , 2009 . 224 pp., £15.99 paperback, 978 0745637006

2010 marks the anniversary of two major events relating to gender and global politics: in March the 15-year review of the Beijing Action Plan will bring together members of the international community to assess implementation since the 1995 World Conference on Women; and in October, the 10-year anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Gender, Peace and Security promises to inspire a plethora of conferences, declarations and high-level meetings. Against this background, these three texts offer a welcome and timely contribution to analysis of the role of gender in international development cooperation. They each approach the issues in refreshingly different ways, and contribute to the currently revitalised and reflective discussions on how gender is a reality to be grasped, an analytical perspective that must be applied and a means as well as an end for effective development cooperation.

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