1963-2018 - 55 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Special Events (2000 - 2009)

Women, Politics and a Development Economics Renaissance (Draft)

I come to this discourse from the perspective of an advocate, a lobbyist to be more precise, working to open the minds of U.S. policy makers to alternative thinking on development, including the role of gender in development.

I think there are roughly four steps required to mainstream a new development economics theory and policy—empirical research, theory formulation and testing, education of technical experts in the use of new theory, and the ultimate adoption of the new theory by policy decision makers. Of these four steps, Women’s EDGE focuses its work on the last: to get U.S. policy makers to abandon the “Washington Consensus” and embrace a new formula for development, one which includes gender in its basic equation. Therefore, I will focus my contribution on how we might “close the loop” between researchers, economists, and decision-makers.

And, as you have already gathered from the name of my organization, I will offer some thoughts on how the neo-liberal model has affected women and why any new thinking on development economics must ground itself in the most basic social organization humans have—male and female.

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