Towards a Radical Re-appropriation: Gender, Development and Neoliberal Feminism


Wilson, Kalpana. 2015. “Towards a Radical Re-Appropriation: Gender, Development and Neoliberal Feminism.” Development and Change 46 (4): 803–32. doi:10.1111/dech.12176.

Author: Kalpana Wilson


Tracing a complex trajectory from ‘liberal’ to ‘neoliberal’ feminism in development, this article argues that approaches to gender which are currently being promoted within neoliberal development frameworks, while often characterized as ‘instrumentalizing’ gender equality, in fact rely upon, extend and deepen gendered inequalities in order to sustain and strengthen processes of global capital accumulation in several ways. This is explored through development discourses and practices relating to microfinance, reproductive rights and adolescent girls. Drawing on examples from India, the article goes on to reflect on experiences of collective movements in which the assumptions underpinning this ‘Gender Equality as Smart Economics’ approach are challenged. Finally, it highlights several concepts associated with Marxist, Black, Post-colonial and Queer feminisms and underlines their importance to projects seeking to critically redefine development, arguing for a radical re-appropriation of gender in this context.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Development, Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2015

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