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Theorizing Gendering Development Notes

Politics Notes > Gender and Development Notes

This is an extract of our Theorizing Gendering Development document, which we sell as part of our Gender and Development Notes collection written by the top tier of University Of Warwick students.

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*Link - 1.2 Feminism & Difference / 1.4 Men, Masculinities & Development // PO381 1.1.4 Engendering Conflict

Theorizing Gender & Development
QUESTIONS

How might looking at 'gender' rather than 'women' add value to development research and policy?*

Is gender mainstreaming in development policy a political co-option?

Critically assess the limitations of the Women in Development (WID) approach in light of Gender and Development (GAD) and intersectionality*. [2018]

Evaluate the linkages that exist between more recent commitments to gender equality by Northern policymakers and earlier approaches to poverty reduction, framed by the WID approach. [2017,
2015]

Critically assess the legacies and limitations of the WID approach [2016]

Critically assess the WID approach as a means of addressing the inequalities faced by women in development processes. [2014]

Critically assess the contributions made by GAD scholars in addressing the limitations of the WID
literature. [2013]

CONCEPTUALIZING 'GENDER'
(see: 1.4 'GENDER & MASCULINITY')

Gender - 'the process by which individuals who are born into biological categories of male or female, become the social categories of men and women through the acquisition of locally-defined attributes of masculinity and femininity' [Kabeer, 1991]

Widely used, yet widely misunderstood and often conflated with 'sex' or 'women'

By assuming my gender is 'obvious' (perceptible) and thus 'irrelevant' when introducing myself, I am benefiting from cisgender, binary privilege - 'implies that 'masculine' and 'feminine' traits together constitute and exhaust the whole of human possibilities' [Delphy]. Gender distinctions matter when society does not accommodate/recognize you.

Fa'afafine - translation: 'in the manner of' (fa'a) + 'woman' (fafine) - are individuals who identify as nonbinary in Samoan culture. It defies Western categories of 'transgender', 'homosexual' and 'transvestite'.

CONCEPTUALIZING 'DEVELOPMENT'
In the early 1970s, a general disenchantment with development efforts in Third World countries led to a search for alternative strategies, and a growing awareness that women (addressed entirely in the context of their reproductive roles) were peripheral to development research/practice.
WOMEN IN DEVELOPMENT (WID)
Key ideas
(see: PO381 1.4 'LIBERAL FEMINISM')

Strengths

Ester Boserup's landmark study Women's Role in Economic Development (1970) argued that development plans were 'male-biased', and that it sidelined women and their contributions to the Third World,
especially in agricultural economies.

Her book - coupled with the resurgence of liberal feminism* in Northern countries - inspired considerable scholarship on the issue of women's marginalization in development. WID advocates sought to integrate women into the development paradigm by improving their income-earning potential in the public sphere.

UN's designation of 1975 as 'International Women's Year', and the UN Decade for Women (1976-85)
gave visibility to the major preoccupations of women around the world:
◦ Improved educational & employment opportunities;

Equality in social & political participation;

Increased welfare services.

Generated new research, including analytical case-studies on the impact of development projects on

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