Women and Development Approaches Essay

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The role of women in society has always been debated in the modern era. The debate received greater impetus when a need was felt of involving women in global societies and in the larger processes of development. It was Ester Boserup who brought out in the beginning of 1970's that the role of women in development had been underestimated.


It shifted from, "woman and development" (WAD) to "women in development" (WID) and later to "gender and development". (GAD). (Braig: 2000). Ironically the use of acronyms at times has led to confusion in the debate which has otherwise seen gradual empowerment of women in development from a more holistic approach to progress in the developing World of the South. Some of the key issues which need to be considered are discussed as per succeeding paragraphs.
Key concepts linking development and women have been transforming over the years as progress is assuming a multi dimensional perspective and is viewed in differing time frames as well as stages. The progression of roles of women in development is linked with economic as well as socio-political theories. The Developed World has been able to transform a number of these theories after initialization and discussion to the developing World, which has largely benefited but with attendant malfunctionalities.
Women and Development (WAD) was the initial theory evolved in relation to role of women in development. It adopted a neo-Marxist and feminist approach. Thus the interpretation of class and exploitation of the under class is inherent in this approach. The "Third World" is seen as being a victim to the class struggle imposed from the top. ...
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