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Back | Programme Area: The Social Effects of Globalization

Gendering Macro-Economic Policies: Concepts and Institutions

Date: 6 Sep 1995

A roundtable discussion on Gendering Macro-Economic Policies: Concepts and Institutions, was held at the NGO Forum in Huariou. The presentations by the panelists — all researchers working in the area of feminist economics — attested to the considerable progress that feminist economists have made not only in challenging macro-economic models from a gender perspective, but also in presenting alternative models that incorporate gender as an analytical category. In her presentation, Nilufer Cagatay spoke of the extent to which apparently "genderless" macro-economic outcomes, such as agricultural supply response, expenditure patterns and growth levels, are in fact deeply influenced by the way in which conjugal and gender relations are organized in different societies. The aim of new gendered models, she argued, is to provide formulations that may ultimately lead to alternative macro-economic policies.

In the course of the presentations, frequent reference was made to the need to find ways of feeding this emerging body of analytical work into the policy process and to the obstacles that hinder progress at both the national and international levels. While highlighting the important advocacy role of gender lobbies, participants spoke of the danger of a potential split between feminist advocates and feminist economists owing in part, at least, to the technical language used by the latter. As Ruth Pearson put it, both groups must work more closely together, rather than in parallel, in order to create a clearer picture of what gender transformative policies would look like.

Nilufer Cagatay, University of Utah, Salt Lake City
Joanna Kerr, North-South Institute, Ottawa
Valentine Moghadam, World Institute for Development Economics Research (WIDER), Helsinki
Ruth Pearson, Overseas Development Group, School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia, Norwich

Swasti Mitter, Institute for New Technologies (INTECH), Maastricht