Feminisms in Development

Contradictions, Contestations and Challenges

Edited by Andrea Cornwall, Elizabeth Harrison, Ann Whitehead

Publication date:

31 December 2006


Zed Books



ISBN-13: 9781842778180

This collection of essays by leading feminist thinkers from North and South constitutes a major new attempt to reposition feminism within development studies. Feminism’s emphasis on social transformation makes it fundamental to development studies. Yet the relationship between the two disciplines has frequently been a troubled one. At present, the way in which many development institutions function often undermines feminist intent through bureaucratic structures and unequal power quotients. Moreover, the seeming intractability of inequalities and injustice in developing countries have presented feminists with some enormous challenges. Here, emphasizing the importance of a plurality of approaches, the authors argue for the importance of what ‘feminisms’ have to say to development. Confronting the enormous challenges for feminisms in development studies, this book provides real hope for dialogue and exchange between feminisms and development.
'It is honest, level-headed, yet deeply committed to core feminist values and principles. Its editors and authors must be commended for their courage and their persistence with the difficult questions.' Gita Sen 'A lively and self-critical set of essays on the perils and potentials of feminist engagements with the structures of power in the development field, by those who have been there.' Naila Kabeer 'Using an international perspective, it provides indispensable insights for everyone working on development, activists and women's movements around the world.' Pinar Ilkkaracan 'Highly recommended to researchers, teachers, and activists in all fields of development study and practice.' Population and Development Review 'Their work is significant for GAD (Gender and Development) practitioners and should be a mandatory read.' Wendy Miller, Lilith 'The book is exemplar in the field of feminist writing ... pioneering in its insights on the trajectory of gender and development debates and policy choices that have resulted from feminist engagement. The conceptual breadth of this work is impressive as it seamlessly covers multiple topics that are central to gender and development debates ... A compelling read.' Feminist Economics