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01 26 Lecture Notes - Gender and development.docx

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Western University
Geography 3312A/B
Haroon Akram Lodhi

Gender and development: one step forward, two steps back?  Focus on gender but not men and women because the latter is defined by sex Sex versus gender  Sex: the biological differences between men and women  Gender: like class or ethnicity, a set of relationships that organize societies o relations between women and men o relations between women, men and the tasks that they perform in a society  care both of children and of the aged and the ill  production of food for subsistence  production of products for cash, obtained through trade  management of resources and assets  distribution of resources and assets  planning and policy-making  transmission of societal norms and values  development of new ideas, norms and values  representation of society to outsiders  Many market-based-societies split these tasks into public and private o This split is not accurate – education/healthcare are both in the home & outside o Private tasks (care) are primarily given to women and tend to be undervalued o The private sphere becomes where the public least interferes on resource allocation between men and women & (pretends to not interfere in) behaviour, values and norms  So gender thus refers to the array of o socially constructed roles and relationships o personality traits o attitudes/behaviours/values o relative power and influence  That society ascribes to females and males on a differential basis  Gender identities are not natural or biological identities but an acquired identity that is: o learned o changes over time o varies widely within and across cultures  For this reason, in many societies in Asia & Africa there is a third gender o If you have 3 boys, but wanted a daughter, you may raise the last as a girl  Two implications: o Gender is profoundly relational and refers not simply to men or women but to the relationship between them o Gender relations are historically constructed  Gender relations are not a result of “tradition” – has implications for developing countries Colonialism altered gender relations  Recall: precolonial societies were either o precapitalist states with markets or subsistence societies  Colonialism connected subsistence societies to markets and the colonial state  Reflecting 19 century gender norms, the colonial state dealt with men, employed men, engaged with men in markets, and distrusted women – a masculine state  Colonialism thus generated 4 changes that affected gender relations in developing countries 1. Increased social (and spatial) distance between work and home, public and private  Before, everyone knew everyone’s business – you now worked for money 2. Loss of women's control over land, tools, seeds and income from trading & artisan work 3. Valorization of paid work over unpaid care work  value attached by activities (paid work > unpaid work) 4. Increased containment of women into home-based, private, unpaid care work  So rather than assuming a long history of gender inequalities in developing countries it is necessary to assess whether colonialism o Created gender inequalities/deepened existing gender inequalities/reconfigure them  The impact of gender relations on international development filters through 3 processes 1. Work 2. Social norms and values 3. Violence 1. Work  In 1991 the ILO found that a rural African women's workday was 16 hours – there is little reason to believe that it has improved – the thought is actually that it’s been increased o Male migration has reduced farm labour – but now men’s jobs are women’s o HIV/AIDS has reduced farm labour – there are less people to work, so you work more o Pressures from commercial agriculture have forced women into waged employment even as they continue subsistence farming  In a study on men’s work versus women’s work looking at both paid and unpaid: o Unpaid care work, done primarily by women, represents a lot of labour activity – not recorded and is not valued because it doesn’t pass through markets  Thus, according to the UN, women o do 60 % of the world’s work o receive 10% of the world’s income o own less than 1% of the land o have limited access to education o have limited access to finance o have less say in decision making  There are massive global inequalities in the distribution of wealth, incomes and work—the UN estimated in 1995 that of $23 trillion of worldwide production, $11 trillion was created by women, who do not receive anything like that share  Similarly, the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific estimates that gender-based discrimination reduces Asian production by US$42 – 47 billion a year, while gender-based discrimination in education costs a further US$16 – 30 billion  UNDP recently introduced the gender inequality index to measure in dollars the losses to human development caused by gender inequality  Thus, gender is a major source of human inequality and economic inefficiency  The material consequences of gender inequality are a consequence of…. 2. Social norms and values  These are created and recreated through o families o schools o religion o communities o the state  Processes of identity creation and socialization that ascribes unequal gender relations as natural and correct bring direct benefit to males – this we call patriarchy  Patriarchal norms and values produces son preference  'Around these parts, you can't get by without a son. Girl babies don't count' - Mother, Shandong province, China  Modern medical technology reinforces son preference because of sex-selective abortions – aborting female foetuses but not male foetuses  In a study in UBC shows that amongst Canadians of South Asian descent, if 2 girls are born, the 3 child is twice as likely to be a boy as expected  So too does female infanticide and neglect  The result: missing women (Amartya Sen)  Son preference rises with incomes and education – so the most prosperous states in China and India have the most marked son preference  Yet the social consequences of son preference will amplify over the next generation o as fertility rates decline, son preference will increase o fetal imaging technology will spread o too many young men will be unable to find a female partner o in many countries young men that are unable to get married and have children have lower social status and may turn to violence and crime o so in China and India higher crime rates are correlated with biased sex ratios  Particular forms of criminality: o bride abduction o the trafficking of women o prostitution o rape – in Congo, rape is used as a tool of the militia  Gender-based differences in work, assets and incomes are based upon patriarchal values and norms that are in turn sustained by 3. Gender-based violence  Thus, the inequalities between men and women globally are the result of the social and material relationships between men and women that are founded on power  Addressing these inequalities requires addressing the character of the social relationships between men and women  In so doing, it is useful to distinguish between practical and strategic gender needs - Molyneux  Practical gender needs: o Needs women and men have in their given roles in society (e.g. women as mothers, as those who are responsible for food preparation, etc.)  Strategic gender needs: o Needs women and men have in terms of changing their respective roles in society (e.g. entering labour markets, reducing and sharing unpaid care work, etc.) o The fundamental need to transform existing relationships of subordination between men and women, which are a direct cause of human inequalities, and thus promote gender equality Gender equality o entails the idea that all human beings, both men and women, should be free to develop their personal abilities and make choices without the limitations set by  Stereotypes, rigid gender roles and prejudices  Gender equality means that the different o Behaviours, aspirations and needs  of women and men are o considered, valued and favoured equally  Gender equality does not mean that women and men have to become the same, but that their rights, responsibilities and opportunities will not depend on the sex they are born Gender Analysis  Gender analysis is, in this light, a systematic way of looking at the different impacts of international development o policies o programs o legislation  on women and men that entails collecting sex-disaggregated data and gender-sensitive info about the population to see whether ‘development’ helps or hinders gender equality  Gender analysis can also include the examination of the multiple ways in which women and men, as social actors, engage in strategies to transform existing o Roles, relationships and processes  in their own interest and in the interest of others Gender mainstreaming  A first step by which roles may be transformed is by gender mainstreaming in development policies and practices  ‘Mainstreaming a gender perspective is the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programmes, in any area and at all levels. It is a strategy for making the concerns and experiences of women as well as men an integral part of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political, economic and societal spheres, so that women and men benefit equally, and inequality is not perpetuated. The ultimate goal of mainstreaming is to achieve gender equality.’ - UN Economic and Social Council, 1997 Achieving Gender Mainstreaming – 4 phases The welfare approach (pre-1970)  The welfare approach presumed that men were involved in the development process as household heads and productive agents while women were viewed primarily in their role as housewives and mothers (men are breadwinners, women stay home)  With these views, development planners failed to see the role that women play in production  Believing that women as household managers were central to family welfare projects and programs targeted women so that the welfare of the family would improve (food, health)  The welfare approach was a top-down approach in which goods and services were handed out to women rather than involving them as active participants in planning and implementing the activities and projects that they identified as important or urgent  The welfare approach thus: o recognized for the first time the importance of women o recognized their reproductive roles and thus their roles in taking care of family welfare, and in so doing sought to provide women support in these roles  However: o in focusing on women as welfare agents it ignored women’s productive roles in society o Often enhanced women’s dependence – not increasing independence or self-sufficiency o it can be critiqued as being instrumentalist-- women were seen as an instrument for enhancing development by  improving economic growth  reducing poverty 2. The Women In Development (WID) Approach (1970s – mid 1980s)  The WID approach emerged as a direct result of the publication in 1970 of Ester Boserup’s Woman’s Role in Economic Development  Boserup’s evidence of women’s role in (African) agriculture o challenged the conventionally held view of division of household roles in which there was a male breadwinner and a female dependent o highlighted the concern that women had been left out of development efforts despite their important—indeed, critical--role in the agricultural economy  Boserup’s study attracted the attention of development agencies such as USAID - became aware of women as an untapped resource who could be used for economic development & growth  The ‘discovery’ of women’s productive roles occurred
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