Gender in the Developing World

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  • Gender in the Developing World
    • Explanations for the position of women in developing countries
      • Cultural explanations
        • Religious ideas underpin the values, norms and customers of the developing world
        • Modernisation theory finds that women's' potential contribution to the economy is not being fully realized, their status as mothers contributions to overpopulation
        • Women lack reproductive rights, they don't have the power to decide whether they can have children or not
        • Boserup: called for greater educational opportunities for girls to break the cycle of early childbearing
          • Moreover, family planning, health education and a sympathetic media transmitting Western values would reinforce female liberalization and sexual equality which, according to the modernisation model, are essential components of the Western-industrial model of development
    • The marginalisation thesis
      • Colonial powers and missionaries brought with them and imposed onto the idigenous people, traditional western values about males and females e.g. women's place is in the home
      • As Leonard argues the colonial powers introduced a money economy w and cash crops, men were absorbed into the money aspect whilst women were left with the work
        • However, colonialism did challenge traditional values like suttee (burning wives with husband), FGM and dowries - all of which were made illegal
      • Leonard also reviewed aid programmes and how it is not gender-neutral and instead mostly goes towrds en. In the West dealing with labour and technology is considered a mens job - aid workers bring these prejudices over with them
    • Solutions to gender inequality in the developing world
      • Marxist-feminist
        • Socialism is committed to dismantling patriarchal regimes in the developing world
          • Marxist-Leminist in Islamic states were open to change traditions such as child marriage and the viel as well as maximizing women's education and jobs
            • However, as Ellwood claimed "women can go to the moon but have to do the ironing when they come back"
      • Radical feminist
        • Women in developed world have different priorities to those in developing nations
          • Whilst women in the developed world were fighting for the trivialisation of women in the media, women in the developing world are fighting for reproductive rights which western women already took for granted
      • Postmodern feminist approach
        • Van deer Gaag
          • Sex tourism and prostitution has grown. Pimps groom girls to believe they can get jobs as waitresses or models and then steal their passports them and trap them in a life of sex working
            • Families reject them as they have "dishonored" the family
        • The concept of woman is socially constructed (female roles around the world)
        • Globalisation has led to a cocktail of problems
        • The rise of religious fundamentalism in the Middle East has seen a reversal in women's position in society
        • Shiva found that women are closely linked to nature, 60% of the worlds agricultural workers are women


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