Reforms with a Female Face: Gender, Liberalization, and Economic Policy in Andhra Pradesh, India
Summary The state of Andhra Pradesh, India, provides a case study of a liberalization program with an emphasis on women's empowerment. Based on the state budget data and fieldwork data from two villages, this paper investigates the content of this policy regime to argue that women's empowerment policies were ultimately constrained by the policy context of liberalization. The state lowered shares of expenditure upon social reproduction and the substantive content of women's empowerment policy was reduced to a thrift and micro-credit program. Fieldwork data indicate, the latter lacks administrative support and relies upon the expenditure of time and resources by participants themselves, re-emphasizing class and caste inequalities among women and undermining the broader project of empowerment.
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