Activities is the second dimension which is a
determinant of who does what gets what and claims what they may be
distributive, productive or regulative. Next is resources determining what is used and what is produced this
includes human in terms of labor, education, material like food, assets, capital,
or intangible resources like goodwill, information, networks. Then the other
dimension is people determining who is in or out and who does what.
Institutions are selective in the way they include or exclude people, assign
them resources and responsibilities, and position them in the hierarchy. Lastly
the power is a determinant; meaning the one who decides, and whose interests
are served (ILO, 1998).
The structural relations which comes with it institutionalization
has caused gender to be at the heart of development in an effort to streamline
development and to provide equity. This section shows how gender discourse has
been at the center of development agenda.
Emergence of women as a
constituency in development
Women issue being treated as development issues has emerged
in many nations. Women are changing the significance within the policy
declaration and institutional structures of major development agencies (Kabeer, 1994). The UN at the
start of the sixties marked each official decade of development with a
declaration summarizing the lessons learned from the past experience and
setting out its priorities for the coming ten years. On the first development
decade 1961-1970 was lacking any specific reference to women. In the second
decade, there was the encouragement of the full integration of women in the
total development effort and this was the first hint of the glimmering of the
new consciousness about women. It was further spelt out in the strategy for
1980s which declared women as agents and beneficiaries in all sectors and at
all levels of the development process (Kabeer, 1994).
In the 1990s the UN declared that the task ahead was
to translate greater understanding of women’s problems into altered priorities.
The empowerment of women for development should have high returns in terms of
increased output greater equity and social progress (UN 1989). The changes
effected in the organization structure of the UN also one of the evidence of
this new consciousness. In the early years, women’s issues have been primarily
addressed in the context of human rights and confined to the commission on the
status of women and to the third committee of the UN general assembly dealing
with social and humanitarian matters. By the end of the 80s there were several
organizations within the UN system tasked with ensuring that women were
integrated into its efforts of development.
From welfare to
Most approaches to women in development can be
classified as welfare anti-poverty and equity. Various colonial and
post-colonial governments had systematically bypassed women in diffusion of new
technologies, production inputs and extension services (Boserup, 1970).
Reinforced by women in development advocates there was a shift of attention
from welfare to equality for women in the development process. Fully blown
concern with efficiency has emerged as a dominant theme in the WID Policies as
opposed to the earlier emphasis on women and welfare.
The shift into efficiency led WID policies and the
emphasis on women as economic agents in their own rights however occurred at a
time of wide spread deterioration in the world’s economy and the ability of
nations to act as sovereign agents was under threat (Rai, 2011). Increased
attention to questions of social justice, poverty and welfare under the rubric
of “basic needs” and redistribution with growth broadened the early narrow
focus on the technical aspects of economic growth. WID focused on two different
concerns; firstly that women had either been excluded from the benefits of
development, or had been included in ways that had marginalized them. The
policy orientation of WID was to use development resources for improving
women’s conditions and making their contributions visible (UN, 1999).
Women and Development
This originated from the weakness of WID when a
whole new debate was opened up which resulted in the wider emphasis placed on
the concept of gender within which gender as a category of
analysis took the central stage. While WID programs did help to improve women’s
conditions and access to resources, they did not address the basic structure of
inequality in the relationship between men and women. These programs fell short
in addressing the inequalities between men and women as they had a tendency to
focus solely on women. This is first by focus being shifted from women to
gender and the unequal power relations between women and men. Second, all
social, political and economic structures and development policies are re-examined
from the perspective of gender differentials. Third, it is recognized that
achieving gender equality requires transformative change (UN, 1999).
mainstreaming was first articulated as a transformative strategy to achieve
gender equality at Beijing in 1995 at the Fourth World Conference on Women. In
1997, the Economic and Social Council adopted the following definition, meant
as a guide for all agencies in the