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Development

Introduction: Reclaiming Feminism: Gender and Neoliberalism

Citation:

Cornwall, Andrea, Jasmine Gideon, and Kalpana Wilson. 2008. "Introduction: Reclaiming Feminism: Gender and Neoliberalism." IDS Bulletin 39 (6): 1-9.

Authors: Andrea Cornwall, Jasmine Gideon, Kalpana Wilson

Abstract:

Neoliberalism -- that 'grab-bag of ideas based on the fundamentalist notion that markets are self-correcting, allocate resources efficiently and serve the public interest well' as Stiglitz (2008) puts it -- has been a focal point for contestation in development. Feminists have highlighted its deleterious effects on women's lives and on gender relations. They have drawn attention to the extent to which the institutions promoting neoliberal economic and social policies have undermined a more progressive agenda, as they have come to appropriate words such as 'empowerment' and 'agency' and eviscerate them of any association with a project of progressive social change. This collection of articles brings together reflections from a diversity of locations on prospects for reclaiming these ideas and using them to reframe and revitalise feminist engagement with development. To reclaim feminist concepts like 'agency' and 'empowerment', we argue, we need to return to and reaffirm their 'liberating' dimensions, reaffirming their association with forms of collective action that involve resisting and transgressing repressive social norms.

Topics: Development, Economies, Gender

Year: 2008

Feminist Economies and the Analysis of the Global Economy: The Challenge That Awaits Us

Citation:

Floro, Maria Sagrario, and John Willoughby. 2016. "Feminist Economies and the Analysis of the Global Economy: The Challenge That Awaits Us." Fletcher Forum on World Affairs 40 (2): 15-27.

Authors: Maria Sagrario Floro, John Willoughby

Annotation:

“Over the past half-century, feminist economists have transformed our understanding of how the world economy functions. They have critiqued the gender-blindness of traditional economic models and challenged analytic descriptions of development and globalization that ignore much of women’s economic activity. Feminist economists have developed analytical frameworks for examining gender relations that permeate political, social, and economic institutions including markets, governments, households, and firms. They have produced new methodologies that incorporate women’s experiences in economic models, statistics, and the evaluation of economic phenomena. Their research has pushed the boundaries of knowledge by challenging conventional paradigms and concepts, ideas and categories that were engrained and therefore rarely scrutinized.

“The result has been the emergence of a new consensus. Well-documented studies have shown that the erosion of systems of patriarchy not only empowers women economically, but also has demonstrably positive impacts on alleviating poverty and promoting human development. These changes in our understanding of the development process have produced a new politics as well as new forms of economic development policy. Key international institutions, donor agencies, and governments have adopted gender-sensitive policies in their development programs as part of ‘gender mainstreaming,’ or the process of institutionalizing gender-sensitive analysis and policy in governments and organizations. Advocates have also used feminist knowledge of development to strengthen women’s groups raising gender issues in broader social and political movements. Knowledge of feminism allows for greater clarity of the vision of social change and has served as a guide for consciousness-raising, thus enabling feminist research to be transformative at the grassroots level. This dynamic interaction between feminist thinking and feminist activism has revealed tensions regarding the intersections of knowledge, power, and development outcomes. It has led to debates among feminist economists in terms of what needs to be done and how best to accomplish gender equality. These tensions and debates are necessary and vital in pushing the boundaries of knowledge and in deepening our understanding of development.

“Despite this headway, several important challenges remain. The progress we can document has been halting and uneven. Moreover, in certain key areas of economic policy-making, gender-sensitive economic policy is absent, and approaches used in gender mainstreaming to assess the differential effects of a policy on women and men can sometimes legitimize women’s subordinate roles. Rather than treating the promotion of human rights and women’s well-being as ends in themselves, their labor and productivity potential are viewed mainly as means to further increase economic growth. The important focus on long-run transformation of gender relations toward equality in the context of regional, national, and global economic processes is, more often than not, neglected, particularly when countries face economic crises. The very real setbacks women experience as a result of the gender-blind management of the economy during booms and downturns have long-term consequences. In this time of increasing economic disruptions, it will be important to systematically integrate the promotion of gender equality in the implementation of appropriate economic stabilization policies.

“First, we explore the link between dismantling systems of male dominance and our understanding of the development process, with a particular focus on what is required to achieve the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We then turn to interventions from key international organizations in order to illustrate the impact that feminist economics has had on development policymaking. We then argue that, despite some advancements, several missing elements in the development of economic policy still allow unequal gender relations to persist or create new forms of gender inequalities. We conclude with a discussion of the challenges that we still face in developing inclusive and sustainable economic policy that promotes equality and expanded cooperation to address urgent global issues.” (Floro & Willoughby 2016, 15-17)

 

Topics: Development, Economies, Feminisms, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations

Year: 2016

Unheard Voices: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Millennium Development Goals' Evolution into the Sustainable Development Goals

Citation:

Carant, Jane Briant. 2017. "Unheard Voices: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Millinnium Development Goals' Evolution into the Sustainable Development Goals." Third World Quarterly 38 (1): 16-41.

Author: Jane Briant Carant

Abstract:

The United Nations’ 2001 Millennium Development Goals and 2015 Sustainable Development Goals are of major importance for worldwide development. This article explores the construction of poverty and development within and across these documents, specifically focusing on the influence of dominant economic discourses – Keynesianism and neoliberalism – in the development paradigm. It assesses the failures of the Millennium Development Goals, as articulated by oppositional liberal feminists and World Social Forum critics, who embody competing values, representations and problem-solution frames that challenge and resist the dominant economic discourses. Finally, it evaluates responsiveness of the UN in the constitution of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Keywords: Millennium Development Goals, Sustainable Development Goals, World Social Forum, Liberal Feminism, neoliberalism, Keynesianism

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Feminisms, International Organizations

Year: 2017

A Feminist Perspective on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Citation:

Abelenda, Ana Ines. 2014. "A Feminist Perspective on the Post-2015 Development Agenda." The Equal Rights Review 13: 117-28.

Author: Ana Ines Abelenda

Abstract:

World leaders and diverse development actors are currently embroiled in a series of negotiations around a new global development agenda to follow the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) once they expire in 2015. The Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) has been heavily involved in seeking to shape the new agenda to ensure that it adequately addresses human rights, including women’s rights and gender equality. The negotiation process has been complex, frustrating at times for civil society and women’s rights advocates, yet a historical opportunity to re-shape global understandings of development in the struggle towards social, economic, ecological and gender justice. As the world navigates a context of multiple intersecting global crises coupled with increasing inequality and militarism, it becomes clear that business as usual is not an option. A paradigm shift is needed. This position paper presents a feminist analysis to help unpack what is at stake for people and the planet by pushing the envelope on the kind of world we want to live in. This approach is one which both AWID and  the author believe is key to systemic change. A mere look at the ‘shopping list’ of goals and targets currently on the negotiating table is not enough. Feminist and progressive social movements must not bypass the opportunity to challenge the systemic root causes in the current economic system that continue to undermine women’s autonomy and the achievement of human rights for all.

Topics: Civil Society, Development, Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2014

Love and Money in an Age of Neoliberalism: Gender, Work, and Single Motherhood in Postrevolutionary Nicaragua

Citation:

Cupples, Julie. 2005. “Love and Money in an Age of Neoliberalism: Gender, Work, and Single Motherhood in Postrevolutionary Nicaragua.” Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space 37 (2): 305–22.

Author: Julie Cupples

Abstract:

Based on qualitative research conducted in 1999 and 2001 with a group of single mothers in Matagalpa, Nicaragua, this paper examines the contradictory impacts of neoliberalism on work, based on the understanding that economic restructuring can generate both crisis and a space for changes in gender identities. By focusing on the broader picture of women's work and on the intersections between paid and unpaid work, it discusses what happens to these intersections in times of intense political and economic change. Despite the hardships caused by neoliberalism, it appears that work is a site in which gender ideologies can be challenged. The paper has four main sections. First, it explores the ways in which certain cultural processes are intensified under neoliberalism which affects the relationship between constructions of masculinity and femininity. Second, it assesses the impact of neoliberalism on domestic work and the implications of this for GAD (gender and development) understandings of the double burden and of how the balance of women's paid and unpaid work changes under neoliberalism. Third, it examines the ways in which hegemonic understandings of femininities and motherhood and revolutionary legacies can be resistant to the neoliberal present. Finally, it discusses how work under neoliberalism can be a site of female empowerment or self-esteem.

Topics: Development, Economies, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Nicaragua

Year: 2005

Woman's Role in Economic Development

Citation:

Boserup, Ester, Nazneen Kanji, Su Fei Tan, and Camilla Toulmin. 2007. Woman's Role in Economic Development. London: Earthscan.

Authors: Ester Boserup, Nazneen Kanji, Su Fei Tan, Camilla Toulmin

Annotation:

Summary:
This classic text by Ester Boserup was the first investigation ever undertaken into what happens to women in the process of economic and social growth throughout the developing world, thereby serving as an international benchmark. In the context of the ongoing struggle for women's rights, massive urbanization and international efforts to reduce poverty, this book continues to be a vital text for economists, sociologists, development workers, activists and all those who take an active interest in women's social and economic circumstances and problems throughout the world. A substantial new Introduction by Nazneen Kanji, Su Fei Tan and Camilla Toulmin reflects on Boserup's legacy as a scholar and activist, and the continuing relevance of her work. This highlights the key issue of how the role of women in economic development has or has not changed over the past four decades in developing countries, and covers crucial current topics including: women and inequality, international and national migration, conflict, HIV and AIDS, markets and employment, urbanization, leadership, property rights, global processes, including the Millennium Development Goals, and barriers to change. (Summary from Taylor and Francis Group)
 

Table of Contents:

Introduction

Part I: In the Village

1. Male and Female Farming Systems

2. The Economics of Polygamy

3. Loss of Status Under European Rule

4. The Casual Worker

Part II: In the Town

5. Women in a Men's World

6. Industry: From the Hut to the Factory

7. The Educated Woman

8. Women in the Urban Hierarchy

Part III: From Village to Town

9. The Lure of the Towns

10. Urban Job Opportunities for Women

11. The Unemployment Scare

12. The Design of Female Education

Topics: Armed Conflict, Development, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Education, Gender, Health, HIV/AIDS, Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2007

Building Inclusive Cities

Citation:

Whitzman, Carolyn, Crystal Legacy, Caroline Andrew, Fran Klodawsky, Margaret Shaw, Kalpana Viswanath eds. 2013. Building Inclusive Cities. New York: Routledge. 

Authors: Carolyn Whitzman, Crystal Legacy, Caroline Andrew, Fran Klodawsky, Margaret Shaw, Kalpana Viswanath

Annotation:

Summary:
“Building on a growing movement within developing countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia–Pacific, as well as Europe and North America, this book documents cutting-edge practice and builds theory around a rights-based approach to women’s safety in the context of poverty reduction and social inclusion. Drawing upon two decades of research and grass-roots action on safer cities for women and everyone, this book is about the right to an inclusive city. The first part of the book describes the challenges that women face regarding access to essential services, housing security, liveability and mobility. The second part of the book critically examines programmes, projects and ideas that are working to make cities safer. Building Inclusive Cities takes a cross-cultural learning perspective from action research occurring throughout the world and translates this research into theoretical conceptualizations to inform the literature on planning and urban management in both developing and developed countries. This book is intended to inspire both thought and action” (Whitzman 2013, i).

Topics: Civil Society, Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Poverty, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Transportation, Water & Sanitation

Year: 2013

Women, Environment, and Sustainable Development

Citation:

Pandey, Shanta. 1998. “Women, Environment, and Sustainable Development.” International Social Work 41 (3): 339-55. 

Author: Shanta Pandey

Annotation:

Summary:
“In developing countries, poor populations, especially women and children, are disproportionately concentrated in ecologically degraded, fragile, and marginal lands (Durning, 1989). A wide range of development programs have been launched to promote social and economic development of rural areas. These programs are in the form of reforestation, irrigation and drinking water improvement, innovative farming techniques, primary health care facilities and health education, and training and human capital development. People’s participation, especially women’s, in these development programs is crucial for their success. Much has been written on the failure of states and development projects to engage rural people, especially rural women, in these rural development initiatives (Mayoux, 1995). This paper reviews several case studies conducted in Nepal and identifies some of the factors that contribute to the participation of rural people, especially rural women, in forest resources management programs. The paper also discusses social workers’ role in promoting participation and sustainable development” (Pandey, 1998, 339).

Topics: Civil Society, Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Humanitarian Assistance, Infrastructure, Energy, Transportation, Water & Sanitation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 1998

Gender and Transport in Less Developed Countries: A Background Paper in Preparation for CSD-9

Citation:

Peters, Dieke. 2001. "Gender and Transport in Less Developed Countries: A Background Paper in Preparation for CSD-9." Paper presented at Gender Perspectives for Earth Summit 2002: Energy, Transport, Information for Decision-Making, Berlin, Germany, January 10-12.

Author: Deike Peters

Abstract:

Few developing country research and development projects have adequately accounted for the intersection of gender, transport, and mobility. This paper brings together recent evidence from rural and urban transport case studies in less developed countries. Women's disadvantaged position in transport systems is apparent throughout. However, rather than simply use the studies to confirm general trends, this paper highlights both similarities and differences in women's experiences in order to stress the need for locally-adapted gender-sensitive transport strategies. Once this local dimension is brought back in, "giving voice" to women in transport planning and practice does not have to remain a lofty theoretical principle. Crucial, practical advances can be made by improving the quality of household and user surveys and by collecting all data in a sex-disaggregated manner. These efforts should be complemented by comprehensive, locally-targeted gender analyses and action plans. Depending on local context, the provision of special transit services to women may be an appropriate intervention, but should not be seen as a permanent solution. (Abstract from original source
 

Topics: Development, Gender, Households, Infrastructure, Energy, Transportation

Year: 2001

Questioning Financial Governance from a Feminist Perspective

Citation:

Young, Brigitte, Isabella Bakker, and Diane Elson, eds. 2011. Questioning Financial Governance from a Feminist Perspective. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Authors: Brigitte Young, Isabella Bakker, Diane Elson

Annotation:

Summary:
Questioning Financial Governance from a Feminist Perspective brings together feminist economists and feminist political economists from different countries located in North America and Europe to analyze the 'strategic silence' about gender in fiscal and monetary policy, and financial regulation. This silence reflects a set of assumptions that the key instruments of financial governance are gender-neutral. This often masks the ways in which financial governance operates to the disadvantage of women and reinforces gender inequality. This book examines both the transformations in the governance of finance that predate the financial crisis, as well as some dimension of the crisis itself. The transformations increasingly involved private as well as public forms of power, along with institutions of state and civil society, operating at the local, national, regional and global levels. An important aspect of these transformations has been the creation of policy rules (often enacted in laws) that limit the discretion of national policy makers with respect to fiscal, monetary, and financial sector policies. These policy rules tend to have inscribed in them a series of biases that have gender (as well as class and race-based) outcomes. The biases identified by the authors in the various chapters are the deflationary bias, male breadwinner bias, and commodification bias, adding two new biases: risk bias and creditor bias. The originality of the book is that its primary focus is on macroeconomic policies (fiscal and monetary) and financial governance from a feminist perspective with a focus on the gross domestic product and its fluctuations and growth, paid employment and inflation, the budget surplus/deficit, levels of government expenditure and tax revenue, and supply of money. The central findings are that the key instruments of financial governance are not gender neutral. Each chapter considers examples of financial governance, and how it relates to the gender order, including divisions of labour, and relations of power and privilege. (Summary from WorldCat)
 
Table of Contents:
1. Macroeconomic regimes in OECD countries and the interrelation with gender orders
Friederike Maier
 
2. Changing macroeconomic governance and gender orders: the case of Canada
Isabella Bakker
 
3. EU macroeconomic governance and gender orders: the case of Austria
Christa Schlager
 
4. Taxation, employment, and gender: the case of state taxes in the USA
Caren Grown
 
5. Central banks, employment, and gender in developing countries
James Heintz
 
6. IMF policies and gender orders: the case of the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility
Tonia Warnecke
 
7. The role of gender in governance of the financial sector
Brigitte Young
 
8. Macroeconomic governance, gendered inequality, and global crises
Adrienne Roberts.
 

Topics: Development, Economies, Governance, International Financial Institutions, Privatization Regions: Americas, North America, Europe, Western Europe Countries: Austria, Canada, United States of America

Year: 2011

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