Re-Conceptualising Feminist Agency in the State: A Study of the Implementation of Women’s Equal Opportunity Policy in British Local Government

  • Cinnamon Bennett
Part of the Explorations in Sociology book series (EIS)


The organisation of feminist agency in local state bureaucracies has broadly shifted from, in the 1980s, separate women’s structures, such as women’s policy units or women’s working parties, to a mainstreamed approach in the 1990s which dispenses with dedicated staff. The agenda for ‘mainstreaming equality’ has been articulated most clearly at the European Union level. This discourse expressly embraces the economic and human resource arguments for equality outcomes. It has been praised by proponents as ‘transformative’ (Rees, 1996), while simultaneously provoking unease among women’s activists. They feel that mainstreaming may represent ‘male-streaming’, the deradicalisation and eradication of feminist practice in the local state.


Equality Practice Sexual Division Gender Order Chief Officer Feminist Agency 
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Copyright information

© British Sociological Association 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cinnamon Bennett

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