Women, Culture, and Development: A Study of Human Capabilities

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Martha Craven Nussbaum, Jonathan Glover
Clarendon Press, 1995 - Social Science - 481 pages
* Distinguished editors and contributors * Addresses questions of some urgency for the question of women's quality of life * Inter-disciplinary, ranging over philosophy, economics, political science, anthropology, law and sociology * Combines theory with case-studies * Accessible to non-specialist reader * Sequel to The Quality of Life, edited by Martha Nussbaum and Amartya Sen, applying the 'capabilities' approach outlined in that volume * Topical - challenges 'politically correct' relativist approaches and discusses the validity of charges of 'cultural imperialism' levelled at Western aid and intervention policies. Women, a majority of the world's population, receive only a small proportion of its opportunities and benefits. According to the 1993 UN Human Development Report, there is no country in the world in which women's quality of life is equal to that of men. This examination of women's quality of life thus addresses questions which have a particular urgency. It aims to describe the basic situation of all women and so develops a universal account that can answer the charges of 'Western imperialism' frequently made against such accounts. The contributors confront the issue of cultural relativism, criticizing the relativist approach which, in its desire to respect different cultural traditions, can result in indifference to injustice. An account of gender justice and women's equality is then proposed in various areas in which quality of life is measured. These issues are related throughout to the specific contexts of India, Bangladesh, China, Mexico, and Nigeria through a series of case studies. Disciplines represented include philosophy, economics, political science, anthropology, law, and sociology. Like its predecessor, The Quality of Life, this volume encourages the reader to think critically about the central fundamental concepts used in development economics and suggests major criticisms of current economicapproaches from that fundamental viewpoint. Contributors: Martha Nussbaum, Marty Chen, Susan Wolf, Jonathan Glover, Onora O'Neill, David Crocker, Hilary Putnam, Linda Alcoff, Amartya Sen, Susan Moller Okin, Ruth Anna Putnam, Cass R.Sunstein, Christine M.Korsgaard, Catherine Lutz, Xiaorong Li, Margarita M.Valdes, Nkiru Nzegwu

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About the author (1995)

Martha Nussbaum is at Brown University. Jonathan Glover is at University of Oxford.

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