Feminist Economist’s Reflections on Economic Development: Theories and Policy Debates

  • Maria S. FloroEmail author


This chapter provides critical reflections from a gender lens on the economic development theories and the policy debates around the development trajectories undertaken by developing countries in the early eighties. It demonstrates that the pre-eminent theories of economic development are overwhelmingly androcentric or male-centered, in terms of the values they assert and the underlying premises upon which the theories are built. Since these models serve as framework for policymaking and analyses, their predictions and policy prescriptions also reflect male-centered predilections and biases. The chapter then introduces the gender dimensions of economic development processes, which have been largely neglected in economic models and theories. It highlights the contributions of gender scholars and feminist economists to the analysis of economic development and to contemporary policy debates around globalization and market liberalization. Finally, it presents a forward-looking agenda towards the development of a feminist theory of sustainable development. Such a development framework not only incorporates non-market activities and women’s experiences in its description of economic processes but also captures the underlying power relations including gender relations that underlie production, consumption and distributive processes. It also depicts the interdependence between human systems and ecological systems and the importance of accounting for the different impacts and outcomes for women and men.


Gender Male-centered development theories Globalization Feminist economics Sustainable development 


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsAmerican UniversityWashington, DCUSA

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