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Role of Women in Economic Development

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Women’s Role in Economic Development: Overcoming the Constraints
BACKGROUND RESEARCH PAPER

Sarah Bradshaw, Joshua Castellino and Bineta Diop

Submitted to the High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda
This paper reflects the views of the author and does not represent the views of the Panel. It is provided as background research for the HLP Report, one of many inputs to the process.

May 2013

Women’s role in economic development: Overcoming the constraints
Background paper for the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Prepared by Dr. Sarah Bradshaw, Principal Lecturer, Middlesex University with Dr. Joshua Castellino and Ms. Bineta Diop, Co-Chairs of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network Thematic Group on the “Challenges of Social Inclusion: Gender, Inequalities and Human Rights” 20 May 2013

1

1. Introduction This short paper aims to highlight the important role women have and can play in economic development. It addresses three questions: what is the evidence base to support investing in women? What are the current constraints on realising the full potential of women in the process of economic development? What are the priority areas of intervention necessary to unblock these constraints? It is focussed on women and on economic development, rather than on the wider issue of gender and development. However, before looking at the evidence base, constraints, and interventions, it will provide a brief context of the evolution of thinking around women and development.1

1. The Evolution of ‘Women in Development’ to ‘Gender and Development’ In the 1970s, research on African farmers noted that, far from being gender neutral, development was gender blind and could harm women. Out of this realization emerged the Women in Development (WID) approach, which constructed the problem of development as...

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