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Retreat or advance? Mainstreaming gender analysis at the Institute of Development Studies


  • Susan Joekes

    (Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton)


This article reports the proceedings of the 1995 annual retreat of academic staff of the Institute of Development Studies, in which IDS took stock of its broad-based efforts in gender analysis. There were presentations on the strategic dilemmas of state and non-governmental organisations attempting to promote gender concerns; on the correlates of low female enrolments in education and the possible significance for developing countries' export performance of high levels of female education; on the relationship between gender analysis and the participatory appraisal (PRA) approach, and the use of gender analysis in farming systems research; on gender assumptions and inconsistencies in social welfare policies in East Asia; and on the selectivity of treatment of gender issues in current attempts to assess government expenditure policies in general and anti-poverty programmes in particular. In discussion of the presentations, some researchers displayed considerable irritation at what they saw as the reluctance of gender advocates to acknowledge and welcome the influence they had been having in colonising the intellectual agenda of development studies. Others were concerned that research into into the gender dimension at the sectoral level failed to address the all-pervasive and resilient nature of discriminatory gender relations. They felt there was a danger that the true costs of eliminating gender discrimination comprehensively were being underplayed, and were concerned that the likely failure of sectoral gender-focussed interventions to bring about the intended social benefits might lead to disenchantment with efforts to promote gender equity.

Suggested Citation

  • Susan Joekes, 1996. "Retreat or advance? Mainstreaming gender analysis at the Institute of Development Studies," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(5), pages 697-727.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:8:y:1996:i:5:p:697-727 DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1099-1328(199609)8:5<697::AID-JID402>3.0.CO;2-Q

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Barbezat D., 1993. "Occupational segmentation by sex in the world," ILO Working Papers 992989003402676, International Labour Organization.
    2. repec:ilo:ilowps:298900 is not listed on IDEAS
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