اصلاحات با چهره زنانه: جنسیت، آزاد سازی و سیاست اقتصادی در آندرا پرادش، هند
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|24432||2008||20 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||11515 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : World Development, Volume 36, Issue 7, July 2008, Pages 1213–1232
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.
During 1996–2004, the southern state of Andhra Pradesh led the “second generation of reforms” in India, being termed at one point the “state that would reform India” (The Economist, 2000). Interestingly, this period also saw a change in the state’s position toward gender. From being largely silent on the subject of women, official documents began to emphasize women’s empowerment as an important goal of state policy.1 Andhra Pradesh during this period thus appears to exemplify the gender-aware liberalization program promised by the World Bank’s “Engendering Development” report (World Bank, 2001). This paper focuses on the content of this unusual policy agenda. I find that while feminists urge states to increase spending on social reproduction so as to reduce the burden of reproductive labor that falls upon women (Elson & Cagatay, 2000), state shares of expenditure on these categories in Andhra Pradesh fell during this period. In this environment of reduced state social provisioning, the primary component of “reforms with a female face” lay in a widely publicized women’s thrift and micro-credit program.2 There is now a substantial literature evaluating the impact of NGO-led micro-credit upon poverty alleviation and women’s empowerment. This paper, however, specifically addresses the state’s own program.3 In comparison to other micro-credit programs, the state’s program provides little administrative or financial assistance to participants, shifting program costs onto the participants themselves. Fieldwork data indicate that as a result successful beneficiaries are those with the resources to bear these costs, rather than land-poor, lower caste women.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The state of Andhra Pradesh during 1996–2004 provides a case study of “engendered liberalization” policies. Post-liberalization development policy in Andhra Pradesh seemed to rectify a long standing failure of male-biased state policies in India by explicitly addressing women as economic agents. This paper argues, however, that despite this welcome focus on women, the impact of the government’s focus on women was ultimately limited by the fiscal constraints imposed by the liberalization discourse. Despite the rhetoric of “reforms with a female face,” the government in Andhra Pradesh was spending smaller shares of its budget on components that could help reduce the double burden of women’s work. Fieldwork data suggest that the substantive content of the state’s focus on women, a thrift and micro-credit program, was also limited by the anti-deficit radicalism of the post-liberalization state. In the villages studied the program was not backed up by the kind of administrative support that would allow the poorest, lowest caste women to participate, or indeed upper caste women to participate without assistance from their husbands and children. Micro-credit provided a way for the banking sector to shift the costs of rural credit onto women’s groups, but the women’s groups differed in their ability to bear such costs with the poorest, lowest caste women excluded as a result. The case of Andhra Pradesh suggests that contradictions may remain between the feminist project and that of liberalization, even in the latter’s pro-women avatar. Interestingly, a majority of women voters in Andhra Pradesh voted in May 2004 to defeat the pro-liberalization government (Suri, 2004). It remains to be seen whether an alternative set of economic policies that retains the focus on women’s empowerment will emerge in the region.