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Unit 2
Advocacy and Academic Perspectives
Sushila C. Nepali, PhD
March 2013
Today’s lecture
A. Development Approaches
 Overview of some of the main concepts
of WID, WAD, GAD issues and concerns
involved in studying gendered aspects of
B. Feminist Theories
A. Introduction
Gender is a development issue.
Different concepts:
women in development (WID)
women and development (WAD)
gender and development (GAD)
the efficiency approach
the empowerment approach
gender and the environment (GED)
mainstreaming gender equality
Different issues
Gender and education
Work and women
Maternal mortality ratio
Declining sex ratio
Gendered patterns of migration
Gender and violence
Theoretical Framework
WID liberal Feminists (a school of thought )
WAD Marxist feminists
GAD Socialist Feminists
WED - Ecofeminists
Different approaches of WID:
 Welfare
 Equity approach
 Anti-poverty approach
 Efficiency approach
 Empowerment approach
Theory and Policy:
‘WID’, ‘WAD’ and ‘GAD’
‘Women in Development’
Rooted in modernisation theory and liberal
feminist ideas on equality
 Economic change = empowerment
 Rise of micro-credit policies and the
recognition of women in productive
WID approaches
Women in Development (WID) to gender and development
 some improvements in women’s material conditions, but little in
their status
 women remained marginalized from “mainstream” development,
mainly due to how WID was implemented: the establishment of
women’s national machineries and WID units and the emphasis on
“women’s projects”
“integrating women” to “mainstreaming gender”
 relates to the second problem associated with WID, the continued
marginalization of women and women’s issues
 “mainstreaming” was seen as a way of promoting gender equity in
all of the “organization’s pursuits”
Women And Development Approach (WAD)
 Emerged from a critique of the modernization theory and the WID
approach in the second half of the 1970s
Theoretical base :
 Draws from the dependency theory
 Women have always been part of development process-therefore
integrating women in development is a myth
 Focuses on relationship between women and development
WAD Approach
Contribution :
Accepts women as important economic actors in their
Women’s work in the public and private domain is
central to the maintenance of their societal structures
Looks at the nature of integration of women in
development which sustains existing international
structures of inequality.
Wome And Development (WAD) Approach
Features :
Fails to analyze the relationship between patriarchy, differing
modes of production and women’s subordination and oppression.
Discourages a strict analytical focus on the problems of women
independent of those of men since both sexes are seen to be
disadvantaged with oppressive global structure based on class
and capital.
Singular preoccupation with women’s productive role at the
expense of the reproductive side of women’s work and lives.
Assumes that once international structures become more
equitable, women’s position would improve.
WAD doesn't question the relations between gender roles.
Gender mainstreaming
associated with the 1995 World Conference on
Women in Beijing and the Beijing Platform of Action
that signaled the UN’s first official use of the term
call for “gender mainstreaming” seems to have
been a culmination of two inter-related changes in
discourse prior to Beijing:
 Women in Development to gender and
 “integrating women” to “mainstreaming gender”
What is ‘Gender’?
“Gender” is the behaviour that lets people know “he
is a man” or “she is a woman”
 “Gender” is socially learned behaviour and creates
or CHALLENGES social expectations
 Gender roles may be different in different countries
 Gender identities can CHANGE – this is why the
political project of GENDER EQUALITY is possible
Gender and Development (GAD)
 As an alternative to the WID focus this approach developed in the
Theoretical base:
 Influenced by socialist feminist thinking.
 Offers a holistic perspective looking at all aspects of women’s
 It questions the basis of assigning specific gender roles to
different sexes
 Does not exclusively emphasize female solidarity- welcomes
contributions of sensitive men.
 Recognizes women’s contribution inside and outside the
household, including non-commodity production.
The purpose of gender
 Gender
mainstreaming is a
strategy to get development
organizations to promote gender
 It
is not an end in itself
‘GAD’ Ideas and Concepts
Equality vs. inequality
Roles, identity and value
Empowerment and power
Beyond household analysis
Practical vs. strategic interests
Double burden
Men and masculinities
Gender mainstreaming
Gender and Development Approach
 A strategy that is designed to enable gender concerns to be built into the
analysis, planning, and organization of development policies, programs, and
 An approach that seeks to promote equality between the sexes through the
empowerment33 of women and men in the population and in development
 An approach that values equality in all areas in which there are major gaps
between men and women, notably in:
 the division of labour;
 access to services and resources;
 control of resources and benefits;
 decision-making power.
Gender and Development Approach
An approach that does not focus solely on
women or on men, but rather on transforming
the relationships between the genders in a
more egalitarian sense.
 An approach that does not attempt to
marginalize men, but tries to broaden women’s
participation at every level.
 An approach that is not designed to turn
women into men, but rather to make sure that
access to resources is not tied to belonging to
one sex or the other.
Integrationist or Agenda-setting?
integrationist “builds gender issues within existing
development paradigms”
agenda-setting “implies the transformation of the
existing development agenda with a gender
perspective.” (Jahan, 1995:13).
Gender and development
All societies have established a clear-cut division of
labor by sex, although what is considered a male or
female task varies cross-culturally, implying that
there is no natural and fixed gender division of labor.
Second, research has shown that, in order to
comprehend gender roles in production, we also need
to understand gender roles within the household.
The third fundamental finding is that economic
development has been shown to have a differential
impact on men and women and the impact on women
has both positive and negative results. .
Women ,Environment and Development (WED)
Origin in 1970s (Northern Feminist )
 Male control over nature and women
 Ecofeminism
 Ecofeminist (Rosi Braidotti, Harcourt, Maria Mies,
Vandana Shiva etc.)
 Theoretical stream within feminist movement
 Environment decline – patriarchal authority in
Development planning
 Destroying relationship between community,
women and nature
Practical Gender Needs and Strategic
Gender Interests
The following is a summary of some of the principal
differences between practical gender needs and strategic
gender interests.
Practical needs:
 Short-term, immediate (e.g. clean water, food, housing,
 Unique to particular women (i.e. site specific)
 When asked, women can identify their basic needs.
 Involves women as beneficiaries/participants
 Problems can be met by concrete and specific inputs,
usually economic inputs (e.g. water pumps, seeds, credit,
 Benefits the condition of some women
 Is potentially successful in ameliorating the circumstances
of some women
Strategic Gender Interests
Strategic interests :
Common to all women (e.g. vulnerability to physical violence,
legal limitations on rights to hold or inherit property, difficulty of
gaining access to higher education)
Women are not always in a position to recognize the sources or
basis of their strategic disadvantages or limitations
Solutions must involve women as active agents
Must be addressed through consciousness raising, education and
political mobilization at all levels of society
Improves the position of all women in a society
Has the potential to transform or fundamentally change one or
more aspects of women's lives. This is called 'transformatory
potential' of the project/policy
Gender and Security
Gender is a relationship of power: most
men are more powerful than most women
Male dominated
traditions about security
exclude women…
And are also bad for
Vulnerability and Capacity
What makes women vulnerable in times
of war and armed conflict?
 What capacities do women have?
What makes men vulnerable in times of
war and armed conflict?
 What capacities do men have?
What different problems do we
Men’s capacity for resistance is decreased
 Women are excluded from decision-making or
positions of authority
 Post-conflict insecurity impacts people
 Gender-based violence increases
 HIV/AIDS may spread
Security impacts of unequal
“Men discuss politics, security, the military,
everything. They are all men, speaking to
each other. But on the ground, where the
conflict is, women bear the consequences of
these men’s decisions.”
(woman peacemaker, Bukavu, DRC)
Male violence – a gender ‘trap’
“Men here generally like to be identified with
coercive measures and force. You cannot be
a man unless you have power, so you cannot
talk about a non-violent approach” Male peace
activist, Uganda
“Men who support women will have no
respect in our communities”
Woman peacebuilder, Sudan
Security Studies
Documentation and interpretation of
armed conflicts: ’All male field’
 Introduction of ’Peace Studies’ as an
academic field – engaged women
 Discourses of war and peace are highly
War is related to men
 Peace is related to women
Conflict - World Bank
Gender, Conflict and Development (2005)
Intra-state conflicts
Conflicts whose major causes and
protagonists can be found within a particular
society, but with external actors
 Some form of organized combat and a
planned, systematic strategy
 Excludes: spontaneous uprisings of short
duration, unique or single skirmishes i.e.
Sporatic riots and coups d’etat, and crime
Gender - World Bank
The review tries to take a dynamic perspective:
How women and men acquire and consolidate new
identities and roles in conflict situations.
 Focus on roles, not relations
 Focus on individual roles and identities, not
touching on the institutional ideological and
symbolic levels
 Actor-oriented, which considers agency, however,
could be overemphasized, risking an
individualization of power relations.
Limitations – World Bank
Little on men and masculinities, or the social
and historical construction of the male gender,
including the role of masculinized institutions
(army, business and the bureaucracy)
 Literature is biased on experiences of
agencies involved in conflict settings,
mulitlateral and international NGOs, at the
expense of grassroot civil society
 Bias towards post-conflict: little focus on
before and during a conflict
World Bank Agenda: 8 Themes
Gender and Warfare
Gender-Based and Sexual Violence
Gender and Formal Peace Processes
Gender and Informal Peace Processes, and
Rebuilding Civil Society
Gender-Sensitizing the Post-Conflict Legal
Gender and Work
Gender and Rehabilitating Social Services
Gender and Community-Driven Development
Policy Documents
Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995)
 UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women,
Peace and Security (2000)
 Both stressed the importance of women’s equal
participation and their full involvement in the
maintenance and promotion of peace and
security, as well as the need to increase women’s
role in decision-making in conflict prevention and
resolution, and post-conflict reconstruction.
Gender and Warfare
Myth: Men are more violent, women
Men in resistence or peace movements?
 Women as combatants
Between 1990-2003, girls/women were part of
the fighting forces in 55 countries, involved in
armed conflict in 38, and comprise between 1030% of the fighting forces
Sri Lanka and Nicaragua: 1/3 of the forces
El Salvador: ¼
Gender and Warfare
Symbolic roles created
 Serbian feminine ideals (the patrotic mother or the
occasional promotion of the woman fighter) were
deliberately constructed to bolster the militarization of
masculinity (Enloe 1998)
 ’the male soldier’s construction of his gender identity –
masculinity – molds boys from and early age to supress
emotions in order to function more effectively in battle.
Women support this system in various ways. The militarized
masculinity of men becomes prominent in conflict and is
reinforced by women’s symbolic embodiment of ’normal life’
and by women witnessing male bravery’ (Goldstein 2001).
Gender and Warfare
Women’s roles in armies
 Supporter
 Dependent
Implications for how they are treated
after the war in programs of
disarmament, demobilization, and
reintegration (DDR).
Gender-Based Violence
’GBV is frequently rooted in pre-conflict
conditions, but it increases and often becomes
an accepted practice during conflict and the
post-conflict phase. In addition, with the
transition from conflict to peace, a shift in GBV
seems to take place from the public to the
private domain through an increase in
domestic violence’.
GBV against boys and men, understanding
perpetrators, power issues...
Gender and Formal Peace
Women seldom involved
 No connection between women’s
political agency during the conflict, and
their participation national post-conflict
decision-making processes
 Once peace returns, traditional social
structures and gender divisions often
return also. Changes in gender ’roles’
rather than ’ideologies’.
Gender and Informal Peace
Conflict offers many women the
opportunity to enter into peace
They assume the roles of public institutions
 Can contribute to conflict management
 However, their roles in the informal sector
can also be considered as an extension of
their traditional gender roles, reinforcing
inequality – not taken seriously
Women in Sierre Leone
Alternative approaches to studying
gender and conflict?
Peace-building? Livelihood development?
 Study of conflict management as part of
everyday life, before, during and after
’escalted’ conflict
 Study of Resistance (Kjersti Larsen)
Indicator of changing power relations?
Study of powered negotiations over control of
 Social networks?
Negotiation over resources
Formal vs informal fora
 Dynamic
 Powered
 Extensive use of social networks
 Other allies
How do women and men negotiate over
Negotiating land rights (custom, Islamic law etc)
Negotiation over time
Morality and negotiation: firewood
Flexibility/Ambiguity and negotiation
Silent/muted negotiation
Covert strategies, where negotiations are concealed,
muted, or embodied in action, to be used when risk of
conflict is high
Negotiating mobility
Context- The Term Excluded Group
We have challenges and issues
We have policies and Acts addressing exclusions
GM and SI in Nepal’s development
"Good governance is perhaps the
single most important factor in
eradicating poverty and promoting
development." (Kofi Annan)
Development process is sustainable
when it ensures participation of all the
sectors of population in decision making
processes and maintains true democratic
governance systems.
GM and SI in Nepal’s development
Guiding International Conventions:
 Convention for Elimination of All Forms of
Discriminations Against Women
 Beijing Platform for Actions (BPFA),1995
 UN Security Council Resolution, 1325
 ILO Convention 169 (social inclusion)
GM and SI in Nepal’s development
Four main areas of GM:
 Gender disaggregated data and gender
analytical information
 Influencing development agenda
 Context specific actions to promote
gender equality
 Organizational capacity building
…and therefore must be
addressed at many levels
Relationship Individual
B. Feminist theories
The term "feminism" originated from the French
word féminisme, first used in 1837 by the French
philosopher Charles Fourier. Fourier wanted to improve
the status of women in society, but he did not advocate
equality between the sexes.
 The first English definition of "feminism" appeared in the
Oxford English Dictionary in 1895: "advocacy of the rights
of women (based on the theory of equality of the sexes).“
 Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at
defining, establishing, and defending equal political,
economic, and social rights for women. In addition,
feminism seeks to establish equal opportunities for
women in education and employment.
the Greek words episteme
(knowledge) and logos (word/speech) is
the branch of philosophy that deals with
the nature, origin and scope of
Refers to our theory of knowledge, in
particular, how we acquire knowledge
(Hirschheim, 1992).
Research background
action research
discourse anal.
focus group
case study
stat analysis
data reduction
cognitive mapping
interpretative meth
document analysis
content analysis
conversation anal.
Crotty, 1998
Is Knowledge Possible?
Epistemology – the study of knowledge (how
we know)
 Empiricism – theory that knowledge comes
through experiencing with the senses
 Rationalism – theory that reason is the
source of knowledge
 Skepticism – “to reflect on,” “consider,” or
“examine”. Doubting or suspending judgment.
is there a feminist method?
method: research techniques/practices – e.g. ethnography, survey,
interview (choice of recipe)
methodology: theories of how research is conducted – e.g. qualitative
or quantitative (cooking process)
epistemology: theory of knowledge – (kind of meal produced)
according to Stanley & Wise (in Stanley 1990:26):
who can be a knower?
what can be known?
what counts as valid knowledge?
what is the relationship between knowing and being (ontology)
what makes feminist research ‘feminist’ is the methodology and
epistemology NOT the method
Feminist epistemology and
philosophy of science studies
the ways in which gender does and ought to influence our
conceptions of knowledge, the knowing subject, and practices of
inquiry and justification
Its needed because:
 (1) excluding them from inquiry,
 (2) denying them epistemic authority,
 (3) denigrating their “feminine” cognitive styles and modes of
 (4) producing theories of women that represent them as inferior,
deviant, or significant only in the ways they serve male interests,
 (5) producing theories of social phenomena that render women's
activities and interests, or gendered power relations, invisible,
 (6) producing knowledge (science and technology) that is not
useful for people in subordinate positions, or that reinforces
gender and other social hierarchies.
How to overcome the failures
(1) explain why the entry of women and
feminist scholars into different academic
disciplines, especially in biology and the social
sciences, has generated new questions,
theories, and methods,
 (2) show how gender and feminist values and
perspectives have played a causal role in
these transformations,
 (3) promote theories that aid egalitarian and
liberation movements, and
 (4) defend these developments as cognitive,
not just social, advances.
gendered knowledge?
(e.g. Letherby 2003)
reason and the ‘gendered metaphor’ – dualistic, oppositional,
and hierarchical:
men - women
culture - nature
reason - emotion
mind - body
public - private
‘authorized knowledge’ - basis of academic knowledge
(institutionalised and legitimate), scientific, reason, objective,
associated with men?
‘experiential knowledge’ – everyday, emotional, subjective,
associated with women - dismissed?
feminists claim that knowledge is not gender neutral
‘malestream knowledge has been used to control women, and
feminist knowledge is an aid to the emancipation of women’
(Abbott et al 2005: 366)
‘a feminist sociology of knowledge’
(according to Lengermann & Niebrugge-Brantley in Ritzer 2000: 477)
claim that knowledge and understanding of the world:
from the standpoint of groups of people
is always partial and interest laden
varies within and between groups
power relations
‘feminist standpoint epistemology’ – standpoint of women
feminist sociology and knowledge
‘sociology for women’ (Smith 1987)
women’s ‘outsider status’
‘epistemic privilege’
Factors that effect knowledge
 embodiment:
experience of world by
 Emotions, attitudes, interests, and
 Social situation: Gender
 gender
roles, gendered traits and virtues,
gendered performance and behavior, gender
 Independent/Dominant
 Leading Capacity
 Aggressive
 Competitive
 Courageous
 Producer
 Bread earner
 Self Controlled
 Dependent
 Passive
 Submissive
 Fragile
 Timid
 Consumer
 Caretaker
 Expressive
Feminist Epistemology: A Non
Western Perspective
Feminist epistemology began as a critique of
existing theories
 Argues ways of knowing are not universal
 “standpoint” epistemology – acknowledges
that all knowing substantially involves the social
and historical context of the knowers
 Positivism – theory that modern science and its
methods of empirical and experimental
verification are the only sure guide to knowledge
feminist standpoint epistemology
sometimes called ‘women’s experience epistemology’- because
experience is the considered the basis of knowledge
‘standpoint’ – ‘what we do shapes what we know’
builds on and adapts Marx’s insights of the proletariat / particular
emphasis on the sexual division of labour – women are particularly aware
of and responsible for the grounded responsibilities of everyday life
women – oppressed class – comprehend their own subordination and
those who oppress them (men) – this affords a ‘truer’ understanding of
social reality – not distorted by ideologies of power
claim that feminist knowledge is less biased than malestream knowledge
feminism motivated by political interests too?
are all women the same – is there a common basis of
oppression – can some women share more in common with
some men than with other women?
hierarchy of oppression?
are some women more oppressed than others e.g. Black
women – hence do they produce truer or different version(s)
of reality?
problem of relativism?
is it more accurate to speak of standpoints?
feminist empiricism
accepts the norms of positivist science – change ‘bad’ and ‘sexist’
practices instead (compatible with liberal feminism - reform)
‘faulty science’ becomes more ‘accurate’ and ‘good science’
(assumes a realist ontology)
promote ‘non-sexist’ research
e.g. language; concepts; implications of findings
research designs and samples include
men AND women
correct androcentric biases in knowledge and research
perpetuates and leaves intact the myth of
‘hygienic research’ - many feminists reject this
i.e. notion of a neutral researcher who attempts
to access and represent an objective reality
people are objects in such research
lacks reflexivity and transparency of research
summary of main issues
feminist critique of sociological research and methods
counting or quoting?: debate over the appropriateness
of quantitative or qualitative research methods in
feminist research
tend to favour qualitative methods
e.g. refer to Oakley’s (1981) study – transition to
motherhood - and the idea of a ‘participatory model’
is there a feminist method?
summary of main issues
gendered nature of knowledge
feminist sociology of knowledge
feminist epistemologies: e.g. standpoint and
some final points to think about
Feminist Methodology and its principles
 Origin:
Second wave women’s
movement ( 1960’s) with realization that
what they have learnt was mainly
produced by males and based on male
 Also with the establishment of “women’s
studies”, “feminist studies”, “gender
studies” as an academic discipline.
Principles of feminist research ( Acker,
Feminist research involves an acute sense of the
injustice women suffer because of their sex.
 in between the lines........feminist methodology can
be used in study of men as well
 Feminist research asserts the centrality of gender to all
aspects of human experience and existence
 Importance to subjective, lived, embodied experience
of women ( and men)
Cont ( Reinharz, 1992)
Feminist research not only aims to understand the society
but attempts to create social change ( policy, ideology,
behavior, programmes)
 researcher is obliged to contribute to social change
through consciousness raising or specific policy
 Feminist research strives to recognize diversity
 sexual orientation, class, caste, ethnicity, regional
 Involvement of Researcher as a person
 Rejection of subject/object separation that is
advocated in other social sciences
Researcher as person ( cont)
 Feminist’s rejection of myth of “value free” research
 How a positionality of researcher shapes research
What she or he views as important topics for study.
 How participants respond (e.g., in face to face interviews).
 How she or he interprets data.
The researcher should enter into the same space as the subject
rather than taking up a powerful or detached position. Using
“reflexivity” about how the researcher’s identity, values might have
shaped research process and findings
The Project of Feminist
Uma Narayan
Critiques western feminist epistemology from
an Indian feminist perspective
 Feminist epistemology poses political
problems for nonwestern feminists due to
 Positivism is not necessarily the main target of
feminism for nonwestern feminists
 It is not always advantageous to have the
“epistemic advantage,” which is the ability to
see a situation from more than one context
Feminist research methods mainly use the research
methods frequently used by other social sciences
 But the way they use it may be different as influenced
by feminist epistemology and the principles of feminist
methodology ( based on feminist epistemology)
 More focus is on use of qualitative tools than
quantitative, but often feminist researchers use both
approach/tools in order to practice “triangulation”