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Women-in-development and women's studies : agenda for the future

Author: Hanna Papanek
Publisher: East Lansing, MI : Office of Women in International Development, Michigan State University, [©1984]
Series: Working paper (Michigan State University. Office of Women in International Development), #55.
Edition/Format:   Print book : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Future work on issues concerning women and development requires an internationally oriented scholarship on women that is closely tied to both research and practice. American universities have not served us well in building that scholarship both because of failures to include international orientations and teaching and research concerning women. In the growth of an internationally oriented scholarship on women,  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Papanek, Hanna.
Women-in-development and women's studies.
East Lansing, MI : Office of Women in International Development, Michigan State University, [©1984]
(OCoLC)957069920
Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Hanna Papanek
OCLC Number: 11918316
Description: 18 pages ; 28 cm.
Series Title: Working paper (Michigan State University. Office of Women in International Development), #55.
Responsibility: by Hanna Papanek.

Abstract:

Future work on issues concerning women and development requires an internationally oriented scholarship on women that is closely tied to both research and practice. American universities have not served us well in building that scholarship both because of failures to include international orientations and teaching and research concerning women. In the growth of an internationally oriented scholarship on women, several important groups have also remained aloof from each other instead of joining forces. Women in "area studies" were responsible for the first major United States academic conference on international feminist issues in 1976, but this initial effort did not lead to the integration with feminist scholarship and development studies that organizers had hoped for. The formation of the new Association of Women in Development in 1982 drew on other groups of academic researchers and practitioners, building on regional networks supported by USAID's Office for Women in Development. Although there is some overlap between the academic researchers primarily concerned with development research and practice and academic researchers focusing on teaching and research about women internationally, these two groups have not yet sufficiently linked forces to develop a body of research on both theory and policy. In development-assistance institutions, which play an important role in supporting both research and projects oriented to women in development, female staff are still few and lack power. This makes it difficult to consolidate critical and adversary research with activities that more directly serve the interests of development-assistance institutions. Developing the common ground of theory and policy is not the same thing as achieving consensus nor is consensus needed to carry forward our common enterprise. An important element in this common enterprise at the present time is to achieve better integration of findings and analyses about women and gender in the ideas prevailing in the development community. Far too many people concerned with development planning and research still consider that "women's issues" are simply a matter of advocacy by a few activists who can be satisfied by a few token gestures. This usually means that action and research concerning women are subjected to "false specialization" the creation of a special niche where women in marginal positions and small budgets lack institutional influence. It is crucial for the development community to realize that "women's issues" have arisen as a result of vast changes brought about by development. These changes represent fundamentally new problems for researchers and planners that must be approached in new ways. On the practical level, introducing "women's components" into projects, while important, should be seen only as steps in a broader process of integration. Women's projects are often needed because policies affect women adversely. Why not focus equal attention on achieving policy changes? This requires common efforts by many different individuals and groups concerned with women and gender relations. The internationalization of Women's Studies, the development of research paradigms that make gender central to analyses of social change, and rethinking development issues from a new perspective on women are all essential to meeting the challenges of the immediate future.

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