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Engendering Development in the Global South

24 May 2023

Do development theories pay enough attention to the role of patriarchal property and labour relations in diversifying the trajectories of socio-economic transformation?

For the last seminar in the IKD series of 2023, a panel of experts, including Anjana Thampi, Irene Selwaness, and Ece Kocabıçak, adopted an intersectional approach to explore the relationship between gender inequality and capitalist development. Critically engaging with the views of development economists, through an analysis of India, Egypt, and Turkey, they demonstrated that the gendered patterns of wealth accumulation, unpaid care work, and state formation have significant roles in shaping the trajectories of capitalist development.



Anjana Thampi is a Fulbright-Kalam postdoctoral researcher at the Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and assistant professor at Jindal Global Law School, O. P. Jindal Global University, India.

Paper title: Gender and the Reproduction of Wealth Inequality in India: An Intersectional Analysis

In these times of high and rising inequality across the world and in India, the paper examines differences between women in their ownership of wealth and in their position in reproducing wealth inequalities. Gendered inequalities in land ownership within the overall wealth distribution in India are analysed using an intersectional perspective. Differences between women by caste and class can be traced to the use of the unpaid or unfree labour or sexual services of women of subaltern communities in the fields and homes of dominant communities.

Irene Selwaness is an associate professor at the Faculty of Economics and Political Science at Cairo University, Egypt. She also worked as a research fellow in the Equity and Social Policy Programme at ODI, London.

Paper title: The Care Economy in Egypt: recognizing and redistributing unpaid care work

SDG 5 calls on Egypt to improve “gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls” by recognizing and redistributing of unpaid care work and promoting women’s employment.  How severe is Egypt’s gender inequality in unpaid care work, what are its implications on women’s work in the labour market and what key social and economic factors explain Egypt’s current situation?

Ece Kocabıçak is a Lecturer in Sociology at the Open University, having obtained her PhD in Sociology from Lancaster University. Kocabıçak has held various positions in the ESRC-funded Global Challenges Network and Varieties of Gender Regimes Network.

Paper title: Engendering the developmental state: Evidence from Turkey

This study challenges ungendered accounts of the state by drawing on the case of Turkey and conducting qualitative and quantitative analyses. It distinguishes between two major forms of the patriarchal state character, examines how the patriarchal state diversifies capitalist development trajectories, and investigates the significance of multiple state agendas for socio-economic transformation. The study further elaborates on effective feminist strategies to intervene in state formation and shape the trajectories of capitalist development, based on insights gained from the case of Turkey.


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