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Towards a radical re-appropriation: gender, development and neoliberal feminism

Wilson, Kalpana (2015) Towards a radical re-appropriation: gender, development and neoliberal feminism. Development and Change, 46 (4). pp. 803-832. ISSN 0012-155X

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Identification Number: 10.1111/dech.12176


Tracing a complex trajectory from ‘liberal’ to ‘neoliberal’ feminism in development, this article argues that approaches to gender which are currently being promoted within neoliberal development frameworks, while often characterized as ‘instrumentalizing’ gender equality, in fact rely upon, extend and deepen gendered inequalities in order to sustain and strengthen processes of global capital accumulation in several ways. This is explored through development discourses and practices relating to microfinance, reproductive rights and adolescent girls. Drawing on examples from India, the article goes on to reflect on experiences of collective movements in which the assumptions underpinning this ‘Gender Equality as Smart Economics’ approach are challenged. Finally, it highlights several concepts associated with Marxist, Black, Post-colonial and Queer feminisms and underlines their importance to projects seeking to critically redefine development, arguing for a radical re-appropriation of gender in this context.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 International Institute of Social Studies
Divisions: Gender Studies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2015 10:45
Last Modified: 14 Apr 2024 22:03

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