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I 20.2 Women and Gender
20.3 Development and Gender
20.4 Agencies of Development
20.5 Critiqueof Development
20.6 Women in Developmentto Gender and Development
20.7 Gender Development and Justice

20.9 Exercises


biological difference between and is generally the basis of defining in two opposite social categories as and female and thereby attributing to of masculine and This sexual difference becomes the basis of many unscientific, irrational and artificial differences between man woman. The way differences are produced then rationalised is what is known as gender relationship. sex is natural and biological and one can do very little to change it, gender is a socio-cultural phenomenon and hence changes its definition, etc., according to its socio-cultural locale. A pioneering feminist Ann has tried to state this in these terms: is a of culture, it refers to the social classification of and into 'masculine' and "feminine." Gender reflects existing power relationship
in society. power relations in society are of unequal nature, where women
are secondary position to men. What to be the way out? What are some of
ways in which the solution to massive inequality has been sought to be overcome?
are some of the issues we shall deal in this unit.


According to historians of gender relations, women have been given a lower socio- economic and political in social hierarchy. is determined by the politically and economically dominant power which is quite often wielded by the male be it as an individual or as a group. In 1974 Millet in her book Sexual Politics defined this
, structure of power as way a girl child is socialised into accepting the authority been, of themes of sociologists and historians.
Another pioneering feminist, philosopher Simone De in book Second tried to unravel this aspect of social life. There have been, therefore, serious attempts to and as a and a would say, to break the power relationship so that could out of their position to taste the of opportunity, life and


Patriarchal system impinges on every sphere of a woman's economy for example, woman, as woman, neither has easy access to the formal sectors of employment nor is there generally an equal wage structure for both men and women, women were paid less than the men for the same job. They also lack access to space and institutions to express themselves. At home, from selecting a partner to planning the size of the one finds, her power of decision-making is quite often circumscribed by societal or rules and norms. Finally,access to facilities of better health care nutrition is also preferentially distributed. Women, either as girl children or as pregnant women, or merelyas women, do not get the required attention. This gets in the rate of mortality and to illness.

In cultural arena too, religiousdiscourse to the portrayal in media, women quite are reduced to the role of is calledsecondsex or quite often treated as an object or a


Development has been differently defined as, progress, positive change in the socio- economic position of people, a community or a nation. In the Third World and in most of the erstwhile colonised countries, it was the demand for development and vision that defined their liberation. In India, for example, the nationalist leaders had already arrived at a consensus the developmental path that the country would choose once it gets independence. The idea of both the ability to take independent economic decisions and follow independent path of was shared by leaders across continents. The Marxist understanding of the primacy of economic basis of added an extra merit to such ideas. For the feminist who shared the analysis as well as politics therefore the idea of development was not something contrary to their basic programme. If was supposed to change the economic bases on gender relationship was defined then it was presumed development was the preferred mode of changing those bases.. It is therefore not a coincidence that large have never been ahti-developmental.

This vision of was, however, not merely economic progress but was closely to the political expression of independence. Democracy was: closely tied to this vision of independence. Democracy and democratic institutibns, for example, as Constitution framers of India thought, were the greatest guarantee of women's rights
well-being. As experience has shown, it is the democratic system which has provided the
women space to make their individual as well as collective felt, No wonder that we
have found that the voices were quite strong in for restoration of in Latin America, Asian and African countries.

. The occupied quite a central place in the developmental vision. First, it was the leadership of the anti-colonial movement which came to occupy the state apparatus and . therefore there was some of a close relationship between the leadership, the state and the masses. Second, it was the state which could have mobilised resources at
such large and therefore quite crucial. ,
. . .


Economic and political development was quite co-terminus with the for state, the society and its institutions. the legal rights of and woman, and idea of citizenship were the key to such modernisation. For example,
Egypt it was Abdul Nasser's administration which expanded the economy and brought large women work force out of their traditional working guaranteed equal rights and since 1954 guaranteed equal wages. Similarly, in where it
was the moderniser secular president and Iraq it was the Baath socialist which tried to bring by developing their economy. In India too it was the state initiated the first reform measure when after a lot of debate and
discussion, it reformed the Hindu Succession Act in 1956 in which women were given equal right of inheritance.

There were two predominant strategies for development followed by the less developed and ex-colonial countries. First, there was a sense of urgency in correcting disarticulation effected by colonial countries. Creating an industrial base for the future industrial and economic activity in this sense was a natural outcome. This prioritised the heavy industries sector and an substitution strategy. In many India, Egypt, Iraq,
and even in Iran, it state which initiated and supervised the entire activity through
planning resource mobilisation as well as resource distribution.

The second strategy adopted was export led-growth. Followed mainly in smaller sized it entailed a close linking with the global and specialising in the goods and services produced for the world market. This was followed in the East Asian countries, Israel, Morocco, etc. Korean economy which was even in the 1960s was a sleepy economy could get into the fold and made huge strides.


There is a close link between the change of the overall status of and the autonomy that she gains through changes in crucial areas of her life, access to education, better access to gainful employment and opportunity to take decisions, etc. The society, as is empirically known, does grant these without struggle. Thus, there is a vicious circle. The agencies which to help in this struggle to break this circle and thereby her gain the required autonomy are namely, the individual (she herself), the community that she lives in and in the times the In recent times there have been other agencies, the United Nations, the World Bank, and multinational aid and agencies which are or multinational agencies. However, at the moment, in most places, they try invoke primarily the agencies of self,community and the state in interests and development of women.

There is a strong belief, the libertarian, which insists it is the individual and her merit that alone count. Any intervention by and the state on her behalf, they argue, proves not only in the final analysis but also detrimental to her well-being. l'his proves helpful in pursuing policies, which advocate the state's withdrawal from any welfare activities. It was made popular during the early eighties with people like Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan who argued for what is known as complete freedom to the individual and withdrawal of the state affairs of individual

Thus women too have to fend for themselves to this logic and only the meritorious would come up.

There is another stand, the communitarian view, which these days due to two factors. First, the most powerful women's movement over the last three decades have been fought by women with the help of the local communities. They thus inspired other struggles. Second, the western aid agencies too are propagating the communitarian idea in their programmes. Quite often they are projected in opposition to the state. The basic proposition is that women's and freedom lies in the community itself where rights are enshrined. It is therefore the which should be galvanised to further of the women. On analysis, however, one finds the or traditional communities in most places are with patriarchal normative universe from which the women could hardly get true justice. The religious communities, village or even artificial communities like trade unions or professional bodies are liardly the epitome of equality between men and women. Quite the made life of women worse as has happened with
the traditional Hindu or for that matter and social life. The women in countries like Algeria, Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco were gaining freedom and equality under modern till the arrived in the scene in eighties. So the case with Catholic communities where the are still struggling for their sexual rights or rights of divorce. There are matrilineal communities where women possess a lot of rights but a close look would reveal the matters of power and political decisions are controlled by men. There is also a effort to women's control even the residual powers. Thus, the claim that the communitarian makes, that it is the which ensures real freedom for women, seems, on a analysis, not true to a great extent. However, the of have proved to be a successful of feminist This not only gives women the needed political and social space to express themselves freely also paves the way for political and social

In modern it is the state which has most often played the crucial role in enabling the women to access those facilities and resources facilitate her autonomy. However, dilemma remains the powers to women's interest capture state, women are left to fight agency. it is superior to all others by virtue of having a monopoly over coercive authority. When the state goes to war, for example, with another state it can be harsh to the of women. Iraq under the Baath party rule in the seventies gave tremendous and facilitated their By the
.end of 1970s 29 per cent of medical doctors, 49 per cent dentists, 70 per cent of the
46 per cent of the teachers and university lectures, 33 per cent of the government staff and 45 per cent farm employees were women. Maternity leave was generous and pregnant women had their jobs protected. But the War with Iran in 1980 changed the state's attitude. Now they were told that should bear five children to narrow the gap between Iraq's population (1 5 people) and (47 million).

a very one to a supportive role, the state in all paradigms of
. development. In the socialist model of development, the state played not a central
role but was also and mobiliser of production in society. Market was seen to

have no role in the decisions of production. However, in cases like that of India, state was thought to be pivotal acted as such. Here state not only along side the market but at the same it played a socially role too. On the other side of the
societies like the USA where state to have a withdrawn role, in the final analysis it .
is the state which comes in basic developmental agent in both infrastructural as well as in
the domain of facilities for the development.

However, the state has a significant role to play in the developing Even in the countries, it is the state, which has come up to mobilise social resources to provide of largest welfare measures to the women, In Latin America for example, it was the state, provided education to the largest chunk of women. Many of the West Asian countries played a crucial role in changing the status of women. Here the state has to fight the and ties. Iran, Iraq, Tunisia, Turkey, etc, helped to bring women out in the productive space and to attain some amount of autonomy.

In India, for example, like other colonised countries, the leadership of the freedom movement inherited state apparatus of erstwhile tried to reorient those structures into taking up the role of new tasks. Gender and particularly the of was also considered as a responsibility of state. The women's movement in India for till today keep forcing and demanding that the state should intervene more to bring equality between sexes in public places and work place, curb violence against in both domestic and public places, and provide opportunities to However, the movement felt that making the state take up these tasks needs the presence of women decision-making places and hence there are demands for guaranteeing
space otherwise of legislature.

The idea of well-being sees an entrenched development the of capabilities it is argued, her freedom and development is ensured. These capabilities are essential for her survival as a human being also. Exploring gender and development in India, Martha Nussbaum argues very strongly for an approach which seeks to raise capabilities of the women and therefore their possibilities in warding off the chances. She that the to development of women is to provide them with the cover of justice because only in such a situation can these capabilities be ensured. There is a strong need for the fulfilment of what she tried to develop as the list of 'Central Human Functional capabilities'. list includes, life, bodily health, bodily integrity, senses imagination and thought, emotions, practical reason, affiliation, other species, play, control aver one's own environment.

The fulfillment of these capabilities involves addressing the moral question too as it involves prioritising the of such capabilities over something else. Also, it is the question of these human abilities exerting a moral claim in the political arena. The basic which the capability approach begins, in the political arena, is that certain human abilities exert a claim that should be developed. This begs the question as to whom does this make claim on And then one realises that for gender justice and development issues of larger society be whisked away. They are as important as talking about the claim of capabilities, and there should be a order to which these claims can be made.

And it is here that a humane exploitation-less society based on some normative horizon is striven for, the century-old women's has been a living testimony of collective endeavour can change the face of human civilisation from a patriarchal barbarity to a
more equal and just society.


Beginning with the anti-Vietnam War movement to the radical students' movement:in the USA and Europe, were other events that were changing the world in the sixties. The growing environmental activism of the late 60s in the west and the culturai revolution in China with the massacre of the in Indonesia and other places and the intensification of the cold war and finally the defeat of the US forces in were face of entirely new world. in oil prices shocked the first world economy and there to be a new confidence of the Third World countries.

On the other hand, the growing awareness of the issues and criticism by the women's movement gradually began to view the existing models of women's liberation critically. Ester work, Woman's Role in Economic Development, for was a major eye opener. It argued economic work of the female is never accounted for in the analysis of economic activities. Thus, the Green Revolution agricultural strategy was criticised. It was argued it focused on technology and training of men while conveniently forgetting the women whose work, quite a substantial economic activity in the fields, was considered On the theoretical domain it meant there were efforts to: bring about changes in the way the activity is perceived and, 2) broaden the concerns and issues of women so as to include the women of World.

It was now argued feminist groups and women's in various countries, as they took cognisance of the experience and aspirations of the class European white women that some of fundamental premises the feminist movement was too limited. Any struggle for liberation, it was argued, must take into account the problems hich women in the Third World face in their day to day life. The poor wonzen of the World were doubly exploited. First, they are women and secondly, they come from Third World and poor Thus class and gender both fuse in them. Their issues were not merely related to domestic violence or demand for sexual choices but to tlze very basic development items, education, health and employment. They needed to come out of the vicious circle of poverty prevented them from even coming out of the tyranny of tradition. It began to be argued that for the end of subordination of the the
beginning should be from the lower end, the poor women of the Third World.

On the other hand, there have been efforts by the United Nations since 1975 ( which was declared as the women's year) to bring the issues related to women in the major international forum discuss the issues relating to their resolution even at a global level, As a result tlzere has been a real of the issues of development and freedom. The ensuing debate, in fact, forced many states and women's movement to have a at their programmes and priorities.

The Indian case is worth considering as it has major contributions. The women's movement during the anti-colonial struggle. The fact that the constitution had accepted equal rights to vote other equalities was a vindication of the fact that national movement had accepted the basic ethos of equality in 1947 itself. The focus of independence movement was to get state involved more and more into the development programme in such ways as not to let lag behind. It is for this reason they attacked the government to shed its approach. Since the mid-1 however, one can see two broad terrains in the women's movement. One that was part of the larger political economic and demanded state's action in the issues of women. The other were the autonomous groups which took specific issues of women and people along those issues. Soon sharp divergences began to appear as one could see that the autonomous groups began attacking the development role of the state.

There have been criticisms of idea of development. The ideas of modern industrialism, nation-state, scientific world view are closely associated with
idea of which was the newest of all. The criticism came that all of them worked against women. They have, it is argued, increased inequalities and deprived women
of whatever control they earlier had over the resources of or family. It is the modern state its agencies which were supposed to have taken over those rights and powers. Similarly, the critique pointed out that the massive industrial are antithetical to the women's interests. Technical complexes and technological world militates against some of the basic features of women's nature and interest. Thus the stream of environmental activism one stream of mingled and created a strong critique which to be known as eco-feminism. of the feminist authors have shown India's Green Revolution as a classic example of how was anti-women.

In 1950s to the late the Green swept the world. It
food production expanding the area under production and increasing yields those areas already under production by using faster and higher yielding seed varieties and inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides. It resulted in dramatic increases in food production, increased of living some regions (increases in housing, electricity, transportation, etc.). Critics of the Revolution have pointed out that it brought distribution of benefits and its emphasis on new in fact was creating inequality between women. This also resulted in
meant less variety and therefore dependence the thereby making the lives
of women more difficult before. Similarly, with crops also become vulnerable to pests, droughts, etc., thus not only there is food security at local level but also environmental hazard such- as increased salinity, etc,
began to affect the life of people. this woinen were a major casualty.

The post-independent development in a ex-colonised countries was also seen from the prism of socialism. It was argued that development was leading to a capitalist development which does augur well for as it was argued that is not only antithetical to gender justice, which is leading to capitalism, but also conducive to women's well-being. show as vindication of their point, the wide spread practice of female foeticide some of the relatively more developed states like
and India.

It was argued that during the 1950s and 60s development was considered merely a technical problem of raising productivity by technological input. It is said to have been lacking both political or ideological and even policy dimensions whereby women and children could be brought under the rubric of development. When women were included they were more often than not confined to the reproductive roles which was a stereotypical western understanding of the Third World women; No agency was given to women to voice their own understanding and concerns. At a more basic level they argued that initial concern for equality between women and men was based on the enlightenment ideals of a liberal western world which did not take into cognizance the women of the Third World. Here they were not only countering the male dominance but also poverty and other forms. of exploitation and inequality. Thus, the concern what emerged as the feminist studies also began shifting to "poor women" and poverty alleviation than,the welfarist or pure humanitarian concerns. Women were now constructed as "vulnerable," as "victims," and as "invisible." Scholars policy makers argued that one of the major reasons for the failure of different development projects was precisely this invisibility.


The result of the criticism of development was that by 1986, at the end of the United Nation's initiative in which Indian experience and women's movement also had a contribution, there should be large scale and conscious effort to involve women into the development process and be given access the formal sector of the economy. Its rationale was that development was failing because it is failing to take.advantage of the labour of half of the population- that is, the labour of women. As a prescriptive analysis, income-generation and micro-enterpriseprojects become popular focus. Women's tune began to be seen as "elastic",
in other words they time to take on new projects. Thus, the incorporation into formal or sector as workforce was seen to be a solution to the vicious circle in the women were.

At the strategic the Women in Development (WID) approach focused on women as a group and sought to address the exclusion of women the development process. It emphasised that if development would only incorporate and include women's productive capacity, it would be much more efficient. Since the 1970s the world is no more the old world. Global environmental concerns, issues of smaller communities living in far off places like the villages in the Himalayan hills, or the Andean villages in South America or the Chiapas in Mexico or in the continents, etc. were coming to fore in the discourse on development. The.issue.of power relationship, key to the process, also was gradually coming into open even in the discussion of women's issues. Starting with the German Greens, the concerns began to take shape in the women's movement as well as movements of different local communities in Asia; Africa and South America. From 1974, the women in the Garhwal Himalayas (India) got engaged in a long struggle against the felling of trees Government contractors. As forest was key to the day to day livelihood in which it was women who to struggle most, it was the women of the area who pioneered the movement. It was not a feminist movement so to say, but a struggle for livelihood, for a better and humane development. Soon the protest embraced other issues

but the protest attracted outside attention became a focal point in concern over the livelihood issues which were intimately connected with the planning process and developmental struggles dotted the South and Latin America where the 1970s was also the phase of a bitter powerful democratic upsurge as as popular movements. Neo-liberal reforms had failed to provide a better life situation or opportunities and the end of the 1970s saw economies after in Latin America plunging into economic financial crisis. The women became the sufferers of these developments. As a result grew a strong reaction to the idea development itself is a solution. Suspicion state too has surfaced in many quarters. Thus critique of of development has the shape of a critique of development itself. A of movements across the world also added to the experience. They showed the deep negative of work by the State or multinational agencies were doing on the lives of the local level. These experiences then got transferred into the theoretical domain.

All these have led to what is in the theoretical began to be referred to as Gender and (GAD) paradigm. This would advocate not to look at as just to be there to be inducted into some developmental but argue for looking at as something completely different how it has been perceived so far. It would argue for closer look into structures of decision-making of development. One of the was that the dictated was defined and structured along patriarchal lines and quite often based on western models too which
ipcapable of taking nccount the concerns and issues of the western women hence paradigin has to be shifted.

One this talked of spaces to be given more importance. It that self-reliant is not possible within established structures were definitely patriarchal. The large projects were seen as detrimental to well-being at the prescriptive level they favoured small, local and projects where voice could be decisive. Hence, instead of projects, small is to and

of was thought to be the only way their participation in their own development this in was possible only when the concentration were to be small with an effective local level development vision. Thus, at the execution level it initiative which it was thought could bring in more of the participatory approaches, focused small-scale women-only projects, to assure participation and prevent male domination. At the level of political'struggle an autonomous
movement of women has been projected as only possible way to achieve more power to the ,

In understanding, the crucial feature been the attack on idea of traditional understanding of the domain of Private and in which women's work well as life has been It been argued in the final analysis this dual is instrumental getting exploited a daily basis. The male of being breadwinner rests on work on the public domain. The the private

domain is even valued and if she as well, only the outside is valued. Therefore, the notion of help sustaining an exploitative gender division.

premise of this approach is also that women "poor" and "victims". It somehow ignored a more analysis of the way the domination is established by ascribing gender roles in the society. It spent quite a lot of energy attacking western models of development, capitalism and power relations. There have been shifts in the GAD in recent years and now people assert the need to investigate relationships among gender ideology, the sexual division of labour, women's subordination, and the operation of social, political power. It draws on both the perspectives of the north and the south and global diversity of experiences and interests. Influenced by the writings of World" feminists, it acknowledged the need to understand gender relations the ground. It the global inequalities and global systemic crises. It
to women collective action in grassroots women's groups.

is accompanied by a newly emerging notion of power which saw power relations not in grand scale between male and but it argued that the negotiate everyday basis. the struggle for the well-being of has also to be on a day
to day basis and micro construction of ideology of gender of gender roles is by the power relation the society and its negotiation, has also to be westing this power.

The consequences of these have been increasing voices which argue for as the basic approach to women's issues. Emerging from the south are voices of Agarwal, Vandana Shiva, Arturo Escobar, Maria Mies, etc.

At the strategic level GAD focused on women and men in relation to one another. GAD sees the status of to men as deterinined by society as the core problem that needs to be addressed, and believes that focusing on women in isolation does not address power issues that are at the core of the problem. For more information, see who provides a analysis and discussion of the evolution of
field of in Development to Gender and Development (GAD).


Gender equality, equality between and women, entails the concept all human oeings, both and women, are free to develop their personal abilities and choices without the set by stereotypes, rigid gender roles and political and other Gender equality that different aspirations and needs of women are considered, valued and equally. It does not mean that women men have to become the same, that their rights, responsibilities and opportunities not depend on whether they are born or female. Gender equity means fairness of reatinent for men, according to their respective needs. This may include equal or treatment that is different but which is considered equivalent in terms of
benefits, obligations opportunities.

of crucial issues face women's question today is of' larger political processes, the idea of justice and the role of women. There is no today that the agency of women to be in their well-being and that the
well-being is something on which even male's well-being depends. This close relationship been reflected in very high human development indicators from several states in India, like Kerala, Himachal Tamilnadu, etc., where a general in the conditions of of women has led to the general of health of both
child and child.

the political processes are and quite crudely male-centred. Thus, another vicious circle presents itself. To the political processes spaces attuned to
. presence also, of dominance, ownership patterns, decision monopoly, etc., have to be weakened. I-Iere lcey one agrees, is where the voting rights give power to women. No wonder that in a country it is the are in forefront of to bring democracy in that country because existentially one can see that it is the which is the greatest of well and independence. As Sen has pointed out, in one area fosters freedom in other area as well".

Development is seen as only way possible to bring out positive status of women change exploitation. Indian experience has a shining of this. What is referred to as vision is based on the development. In India for at of independence the political equality between men and was considered as a matter that was settled. it was only economic equality sought after. Despite criticism, development has improved the conditioh of women a

Over the years India the approach the pressure of autonomous groups have provided a major corrective to attitudes of the state and the male. During the 1980s were made gender an important development programming. This was beginning the 30 per cent reservation for at lacal level administration, so that they could enter into the
decision-making domain. The of 30 per reservation for in parliament and state legislature then was up is still in and debates and pending before the Indian parliament.

Economist Amartya called as where is the way to provide capabilities to women to bring out This is, as is argued, to be done through providing literacy, health other basic facilities that give her the wherewithal to change her economic standing in family and society and thereby improve her position in order to wrest decision powers too, In phenomenon, development as a philosophy of progress assumed that with asset formulation, women would have greater freedom in traditional society. Third World development discourse the very beginning believed it was poverty and quite often
economic and exclusion that deprived her of any role in decision-making. strengthened the patriarchy system and women's was accentuated due to the extreme poverty.

The Indian development experience can that through the development process tlzere has been a revolutionary change in the basic indicators of women's lives. indicators like education, health, or life does not simply reflect the well being of the woman involved, but as coinmented by many an or sociologists, its fruits are shared by the generations too.


Gender refers to the social of women into masculine and reflects the existing power relationship in any given society. It is a socio-cultural phenomenon. Women have been historically a lower socio-economic and political status in society and this continues in society, Democracy and development are two main areas by which the state has to progress in order to modernise the state, society and institutions in order to guarantee equal and legal rights to and women. In this respect women too have put their effort in the for restoration of democracy subsequent development.

There are three agencies of development which are regarded as important in struggle for These are the individual, state and All these
play a role in ensuring the well-being of a and the of
and her freedom. But it has been argued that while focusses on teclzizology and training of men, work of women is never for was considered non-consequential. All ideas of development usually work against women, increasing inequalities and depriving of control they had over the resources of family and As a result the Nations decided that there should be a conscious effort to involve women in give
sector of the economy. was Wonzen in Development (WID) approach. To this was added a multitude of movements showing the negative impact of the work done by the state or multinational on the at the local level. These were at tlzeoretical level and to be referred to as the Gender Development (GAD) paradigm. It advocated a at the decision-malting structures of was along patriarchal often based on western incapable of taking of non-western women. Thus what can be done is empowerment of to ensure their participation in their own development, focus on small scale women-only projects to avoid in recent years need to investigate relationships gender ideology,
subordination and operation of social, and political power. GAD has been
focussing on and in relation to one

Gender equity entails the concept all beings be it or women are free to develop their personal abilities and choices the set by stereotypes, rigid gender roles and political and other prejudices. Their different behaviour and should be valued and favoured equally would be treated fairly according to respective needs. Development is as an important way to achieve this.


1) What is development and how does it help in ensuring the rights of women?

2) Identify the agenciesof development. they contribute towards bringing women out into the productivearena?

3) Has development been anti-women?Comment.

4) Write short notes on: Gender Equity and ii) Women in Development (WID) Approach.


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