Post poverty, gender and development?

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33 Citations (Scopus)


Poverty reduction lies at the heart of development discourses and practice. Yet it is a notion which is rooted in Enlightenment thought, and increasingly questioned by the intellectual currents which deny universalist ideas of progress and well-being. Similarly, much western feminism also invokes the promise of modernity, and faces postist challenges. This article looks at postmodernist arguements which critique the universalising character of current poverty reduction approaches – Sen's capabilities framework in particular – for what they signify for GAD's own emerging agenda on poverty: gender relationships. It attempts to indicate a way through what can be experienced as a disempowering critique. It does this by bringing together ‘materialist’ and ‘culturalist’ perspectives on poverty in the idea of the embodied subjectivity of women which transcends physical/mental dualism. The article draws on the work of Nancy Fraser and Seyla Benhabib towards a more discursively oriented way of thinking about gendered poverty and development. It also argues for the validity of universalist concepts of gender justice, and envisages a role for development intervention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-155
Number of pages11
JournalIDS Bulletin
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1997

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