Getting Institutions Right for Women in Development

Published on 1 January 1997

‘Gender and Development’ policies have been promoted in development organizations for almost three decades now, but often the feminist ambitions for these policies fall away as they are processed through development institutions.

Outcomes rarely seem to alter the asymmetrical distribution of resources and social value which contribute to the social construction of gender inequality. Feminist perspectives are still largely absent from the world of economic policy-making.

This book argues that the persistent marginalisation of gender-sensitive policy measures points to gendered patterns in administration of development, which makes tinkering with policies or project profiles futile in the absence of more fundamental institutional change.

Development institutions must be recognised as deeply gendered in their structure, and strategies to institutionalise women’s interests and gender-sensitive accountability in development must be orientated to institutional transformation. The book offers a gendered analysis of development organisations in a range of different institutional arenas from the state to the community.

It looks at the gendered dynamics in both state level bureaucracies and NGO’s, including women’s organisations. It builds a conceptual framework for exploring the gendered politics and procedures internal to the institutions which design and implement gender policy, and then applies this to the analysis of empirical case study material.


Anne Marie Goetz

Emeritus Fellow

Publication details

published by
Zed Press
Goetz, A.M.
1 85649 526 4


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