A Troubled Relationship
Kalpana Kannabiran
FEMINIST POST-DEVELOPMENT THOUGHT: RETHINKING MODERNITY, POST-COLONIALISM AND REPRESENTATION by Kriemild Saunders Zubaan Books and Zed Books, New York & London, New Delhi, 2006, 368 pp., price not stated
May 2006, volume 30, No 5

The place of women in development praxis has always been con- tested and troubling. This volume opens out the complex feminist debates in different geographic locations, simultaneously placing before us difference in feminist theorizing and the critical feminist engagements locally and globally with hegemonic forces of development especially over the past three decades. The introduction traces the trajectory of feminist post-development thought from WID (which assumed “the withering away of patriarchal ideology”) through GAD (which was “concerned to unearth gender as an ideological construct”) to southern perspectives on the imperatives of feminist developmentalism, notably DAWN. Esther Boserup’s pathbreaking work on developing a feminist vision of the development process in 1970, which challenged in very fundamental ways the assumption that the benefits of development would trickle down to the poor, by demonstrating women’s declining status provides the starting point for a discussion on the complexity of development debates and the positioning of women therein. Southern and subaltern perspectives present crucial turning points in this debate.

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