Women Development Workers: Implementing Rural Credit Programmes in Bangladesh

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Women Development Workers: Implementing Rural Credit Programmes in Bangladesh

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Language: English

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Language
English (US)
Publisher(s)
The University Press Limited
First Published
2001
Page Length
0

Book Info

"Goetz′s book is an important work as it fills a significant gap in the literature on development intervention - the role of women field staff in implementing programmes for all women clients - because "it is at the field level where resistance, miscomprehension or lack of commitment are most played out" - Asif Dowla, The Journal of Development Studies "Whether or not Goetz′s insights are incorporated into practice, her analysis of the ways in which an organisation is gendered provides empirical substantiation of what is usually discussed only at a theoretical level by feminist scholars" - Jana Everett, Contemporary South Asia This book studies the efforts of women development agents in micro-finance programmes to promote the interests of their poor rural women clients. It exposes the differences in the ways men and women staff of these programmes interact with these poor women and argues that gender biases in the structures, cultures and incentive systems of development organisations constrain women staff from promoting women′s rights more aggressively. The author shows that women field workers are an important resource for the empowerment of poor women, since they often display a greater degree of responsiveness and sensitivity to women′s social and economic constraints. It allows them to engage with their clients on matters like domestic violence, reproductive health, children′s well-being, and property rights. Through this analysis the author develops a conceptual framework for understanding the gendered nature of organisations, demonstrating how male-dominated organisational hierarchies constrain women′s management capabilities. She also illustrates the gendered process of policy implementation, exposing the inability of women staff to act upon their interpretations of women's needs. And finally, the author builds theory on institutional capacity building in development from a gendered perspective, which is about establishing accountability to women in state and non-governmental development institutions.


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