Western Feminism And Development Essay

1176 words - 5 pages

Western feminism and development
Western feminism started mainly emphasizing on women’s role in development during the 1970s what is known as the “Second Wave” of feminist movements. Ester Boserup, a Danish economist, analyzed development as an ideology that excluded women, and proposed alteration in looking at the established development processes, and policies in her book “Woman’s Role in Economic Development” in the 1970. Aguinaga et al (2013) mentions that Boserup’s book resulted to the first World Conference on Women, which the United Nations declared the next decade the “Decade of Women” and institutionalized women’s perspective as part of development on July 2, 1975 in Mexico. Until the 1970s, women had only been considered in development policies as submissive beneficiaries, as being mothers and housewives, while training, technology and finance were in the hands of men. The Western model became popular through development programs and the model focused on the home as a standard recipient unit and women were dependants, in charge of the home. More particularly the model considered men as breadwinners with a salaried job. Hence, the involvement of UN lead to including women in development areas and development related resources and lead to concepts like Women in Development” (WID), “Women and Development” (WAD) and “Gender and Development” (GAD).
In the “Women in Development” (WID) huge numbers of NGOs were involved, that were programmed so that women can gain access funds and be included as program beneficiaries in the development process. “Women and Development” (WAD) its roots in Marxist feminism and the theory of dependence, which believes that the fruit of development which the North or western world enjoys is the result of exploitation of the south done in the past by the north. However, most still men were in the field of production and salaried work whereas most women were just the part of reproduction and this led to the approach known as “Gender and Development” (GAD). GAD that started in the 1980s is a program based on the conception of socialist feminism and the poststructuralist critique. Socialist feminists challenged concept of development being an integrated part of capitalism and patriarchy, and GAD reasons that both genders are social constructs that are beyond biological sex and that gender alone does not construct the idea of women but other categories of domination, including ethnic and cultural origin, their sexual orientation and age also play a part.
Despite the assumption that women were “included in development”, the patriarchal modification within the household and in the public domain adopted another form, starting a new cycle of poverty for women and the feminization of poverty, anchored in subsistence economies (Bruno, 2006). Thus it was women who had to create jobs for themselves and move into the labor market in unequal conditions, where they suffered wage discrimination. A hyper-masculinised...

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