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Gender Empowerment And Development Essay

6049 words - 25 pages

V

March 1989

WID, WAD, GAD:

TRENDS IN RESEARCH AND PRACTICE

Eva M. Rathgeber*

International Development Research Centre
Ottawa

*

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.

2

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",

is understood

integration of women into global processes

the

of

to mean

economic,

political and social growth and change, there often is ...view middle of the document...

cultivation,

areas

in

ploughs

and other

simple

men tend to do more of the agricultural

are used,

Finally,

where

of

intensive,

both men and women

share

in

irrigation-based
agricultural

tasks.

Boserup's work was remarkable in that it was based on analysis of

data and evidence which had

long

been available

scientists and development planners,

to

but she was the

first to

systematically use gender as an independent variable
analysis.

research

Boserup's

was

later

social

in

her

criticized by for

its

oversimplification of the nature of women's work and roles (e.g.,

belleria and gtn i99i), but

it

was Seminal

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

the Washington,

initially used by the women's committee of

D.C.

chapter of the

Development as part of
evidence generated
American policymakers

a

Society for International

deliberate strategy to bring the new

by Boserup and others
(Maguire 1984).

to

the attention

of

A set of common concerns,

loosely labelled "Women in Development" or WID began to be
articulated by American liberal feminists who advocated legal and

4

administrative changes to ensure that women would be better
integrated into economic systems

primary emphasis
disadvantages

egalitarianism

on

strategies and

(Jaquette

1982).

They placed

and on the development of

action programs aimed at minimizing the

of

women

the

in

productive sector

and ending

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
160s,

conventional wisdom decreed that "modernization," which was

usually equated with industrialization, would improve the
standards

of

living of

developing countries.

the

was argued

It

that through massive expansion of education systems,

stocks

well-trained workers and managers would emerge; this
would

enable

societies

evolution

the

growth of the economies

adequate

static,

of

better

i.e.

essentially agrarian

which was further

these

countries,

living conditions,

health services,

segments of the society.

etc.

would

the

wages,

benefits

"trickle down" to all

The policy prescription for this view,

supported by the

"human capital"

approach

in

was+

of
to

heavily in the establishment of education systems and to

develop strong cores
rarely,

of

education,

theorists such as the American economist Theodore Schultz,
inveet

turn

industrialized and modernized ones. With the

into

modernization,

of

in

of

if

ever,

of

workers and managers

(1961).

Women

were considered as a separate unit of analysis

the modernization

literature of

this period.

It

was assumed

S

that the norm of the male experience was generalizable to fama1e5

and

that all would...

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