In this course we will apply feminist theory to economics and international development and analyze empirical work that seeks to understand the plight and progress of women in the developing world. We will first explore the link between the social construction of gender and the social construction of the discipline of economics and then reformulate a definition of economics from one based on rational choice and markets into one that values the provisioning of human life. We will analyze the forces that shaped the evolution of patriarchal capitalism and the larger relationship between production and reproduction. Thereafter, we will consider measurement issues that define women’s empowerment in the developing world, such as studying the household and accounting for unpaid labor. We will examine evidence of the relationships between development and women’s empowerment including gender relations; income equality; the determinants and effects of women’s access to labor markets, credit markets and property; and disproportionate impacts of climate change. Finally, we will explore alternative visions and initiatives for engendering development.
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