The Gendered Political Economy of Southeast Asian Development


Elias, Juanita. 2020. “The Gendered Political Economy of Southeast Asian Development.” In The Political Economy of Southeast Asia, edited by Toby Carroll, Shahar Hameiri, and Lee Jones, 227-48. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. 

Author: Juanita Elias


This chapter considers what it means to focus on gender in analysing the political economy of Southeast Asian development. Drawing on examples from across the region, it uncovers the role that women in Southeast Asia play in both economic production and social reproduction. It shows that development planning is rooted in assumptions about the availability of a reserve army of low-cost female labour, with implications of widening gender pay gaps and inequalities. State planning has also been starkly non- or even anti-welfarist, placing burdens on female family members to undertake the work of care, which are exacerbated during times of economic downturn and crisis. Gender inequality has therefore played a central role in Southeast Asia’s development.

Keywords: gender, development, Southeast Asia, Industrialisation, social reproduction, welfare

Topics: Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia

Year: 2020

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