Reversed Realities: Gender Hierarchies in Development Thought

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Verso, 1994 - House & Home - 346 pages
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Reversed Realities uncovers the deeply entrenched, hence barely visible, biases which underpin mainstream development theory and account for the marginal status given to women's needs in current development policy.

Naila Kabeer traces the emergence of “women” as a specific category in development thought and examines alternative frameworks for analyzing gender hierarchies. She identifies the household as a primary site for the construction of power relations and compares the extent to which gender inequalities are revealed in different approaches to the concept of the family unit. The book assesses the inadequacies of the poverty line as a measuring tool and provides a critical overview of an issue that has been fiercely contested by feminists: population control. While feminists themselves have no unanimous view of the meaning of “reproductive choice,” Kabeer argues that it is imperative for them to take a lead in the construction of population policy.
 

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Contents

The Emergence of Women as a Constituency
1
Treating Cancer with Bandaid? The Theoretical
11
Structuralist
40
Development
69
Benevolent Dictators Maternal Altruists
95
Measuring Poverty
136
Claims
163
Women
187
Learning from
223
APPENDIX
307
INDEX
340
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About the author (1994)

Naila Kabeer is a Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. She has worked extensively on issues related to gender and development in Bangladesh, India and Vietnam.

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