WID, WAD, GAD:
TRENDS IN RESEARCH AND PRACTICE
Eva M. Rathgeber*
International Development Research Centre
The views expressed here are those of the author and
This paper was
do not necessarily reflect those of IDRC.
originally presented at the meetings of the Canadian
Institute for the Advancement of Women held in Quebec
City, November 1988.
During the past few years, the term "women in development" has
become common currency both inside and outside academic settings.
But while "women in development" or "WID",
integration of women into global processes
political and social growth and change, there often is ...view middle of the document...
men tend to do more of the agricultural
both men and women
Boserup's work was remarkable in that it was based on analysis of
data and evidence which had
scientists and development planners,
but she was the
systematically use gender as an independent variable
criticized by for
oversimplification of the nature of women's work and roles (e.g.,
belleria and gtn i99i), but
in focussing scholarly
attention on the sexual division of labour and the differential
impact by gender of development and modernization strategies.
The term "WILY" was
initially used by the women's committee of
chapter of the
Development as part of
Society for International
deliberate strategy to bring the new
by Boserup and others
A set of common concerns,
loosely labelled "Women in Development" or WID began to be
articulated by American liberal feminists who advocated legal and
administrative changes to ensure that women would be better
integrated into economic systems
and on the development of
action programs aimed at minimizing the
discrimination against them.
The Win perspective was closely linked with the modernization
paradigm which dominated mainstream thinking on international
development during the 1960s and into the 170s. in the 1950s and
conventional wisdom decreed that "modernization," which was
usually equated with industrialization, would improve the
that through massive expansion of education systems,
well-trained workers and managers would emerge; this
growth of the economies
which was further
segments of the society.
"trickle down" to all
The policy prescription for this view,
supported by the
heavily in the establishment of education systems and to
develop strong cores
theorists such as the American economist Theodore Schultz,
industrialized and modernized ones. With the
workers and managers
were considered as a separate unit of analysis
that the norm of the male experience was generalizable to fama1e5
that all would...