The Unbearable Heaviness of Being: Reflections on Female Altruism in Cambodia, Philippines, The Gambia and Costa Rica

Citation:

Chant, Sylvia. 2010. “The Unbearable Heaviness of Being: Reflections on Female Altruism in Cambodia, Philippines, The Gambia and Costa Rica.” Progress and Development Studies 10 (2): 145–59.

Author: Sylvia Chant

Abstract:

Reviewing existing scholarship and drawing on our own experience of microlevel qualitative research on gender in countries in three regions of the Global South (Cambodia, the Philippines, Costa Rica and The Gambia), this article examines patterns of women’s altruistic behaviour within poor family-based households. As a quality and practice labeled as ‘feminine’, the article illuminates the motives, dimensions and dynamics that characterise this apparently enduring female trait. It also makes some tentative suggestions as to how the links between women and altruism might be more systematically examined, problematized and addressed in development, and gender and development (GAD) analysis and policy.

Topics: Development, Economies, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Households, Political Economies, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, West Africa, Americas, Central America, Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Cambodia, Costa Rica, Gambia, Philippines

Year: 2010

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