Structure of the Course
This course will be organized around a 3-hour weekly seminar. Every
Wednesday afternoon the class will meet to discuss the topic at hand
introduced by both a class-member and the course director. The main
purpose of these class meetings is to provide a context for developing
a critical understanding of micro-finance in general, and its impact
on women, in particular. The class meetings will offer a concise
yet comprehensive and systematic analysis of the complex and often
misunderstood relationship between micro-lending programs and the
empowerment of women. The class discussions will also aim at offering
a thorough assessment of the resulting mix of success and failures
of highlighted/widely acclaimed micro-finance programs.
Final evaluation will be based on the knowledge of materials covered
in this course as well as the assignments listed below:
In-class seminar 25%
Each class-member will be required to make at least one oral presentation
to the class based on the weekly topics. The presenter should
lead the discussion by providing a thorough and cogent analysis
of the topic that he/she is dealing. This presentation will serve
as the basis for understanding the theoretical perspectives on
gender, micro-finance, and human development. The presenter must
avoid introducing the summary of the topic at hand. Instead,
he/she is expected to raise critical questions and issues about
the chosen topic. In other words, the presenter will make an
effort to weave together empirical evidence drawn from specific
cases and current theoretical debates/analyses simply to develop
a deeper understanding of both mainstream and critical perspectives.
The presenter will be encouraged to use overheads, videos, and
other audio-visual aids in order to make the presentation both
stimulating and interesting. He/she will also be required to submit
a 5-page written summary (double-spaced) of the presentation topic
Seminar topics will be finalized at the first class-meeting. Depending
upon the size of the class, in-class seminars can be either a (small)
group or an individual project.
Journal Entry 20%
Each class-member will write one critical review (5 to 6 pages,
double-spaced, typed) of a book/book chapter/article listed in
the course outline. The requirements are that, in addition to
synthesizing the major points of the chosen piece, it should
provide a critical assessment of the analysis presented in that
book/article. This assignment will be due ob or before February
Essay Proposal 15%
Everyone must submit a brief, no more than 3 pages, proposal which
will contain -among other things - a statement of the problem,
objectives of the essay, a clearly stated thesis, and an annotated
bibliography. The proposal will be due on or before February
Research essay 40%
Each class-member will write a research paper drawing upon both
class readings and extensive research on a relevant topic. The
paper is meant to be a critical analysis of a topic to be agreed
with the course director. In order to provide a solid analytical
understanding of the chosen topic, class-members are encouraged
to write a case study, focusing on either a country or a micro-finance
organization of their choice interest. Grades will be based on
the quality of research, analysis, understanding of the dynamics
of gender and development, and the organization of the research.
This research paper should be no more than 20 pages in length,
including the bibliography (double-spaced; the font size must
be 12 points.). The deadline for the submission of the
essay is March 8, 2006 . Late essays will be marked down 5% per
Please note that all of the assignments will be graded on the
following criteria: quality of research, nature of scholarship,
strength of written analysis, presentation/writing style.
Please note that non-submission of work without
an approved extension from the instructor will be accredited
with the mark of "0".
In order to receive a final grade, the class-member will have to
receive a grade in each of the distributions noted above.
The class will use a course kit comprised of selected articles,
book chapters, and written assessments published by established
In addition to the course kit, the class will also make substantial
use of the following source materials which are alphabetically
- Bhavani, kum-Kum et. al, eds, (2003), Feminist Futures: Re-Imaging
Women, Culture and Development, Lonbdon: Zed Books.
- Cannon, Terry (2002), “Gender and Climate Hazards in Bangladesh”,
Gender and Development 19(2), July: 45-50.
- Datta, Rekha and Judith Kornberg (2001), Women in Developing
Countries: assessing strategies for empowerment, Boulder, CO:
- Hsiung, P (1996), Living Rooms as Factories: class, gender
and the factory satellite system in Taiwan, PA: Temple University
- Kabeer, Naila (1994), Reversed Realities: gender hierarchies
in development thought, London: Routledge.
- Lovibond, Sabrina (1990), “Feminism and Postmodernism”,
in Boyne, Roy and Ali Rattansi, eds., Post-modernism and Society,
New York: St. Martin’s Press: 154-86.
- Mohanty, Chandra (1988), “Under Western Eyes: feminist scholarship
and colonial discourses”, Feminist Review 30: 61-88.
- Moser, Caroline (1989), “Gender Planning in the Third World:
meeting practical and strategic gender needs”, World Development,
- Moser, Caroline (1993), Gender Planning and Development, London:
- Naples, N and M. Desai, eds., (2002), Women’s Activism and
Globalization: linking local struggles and transnational Politics,
NY & London: Routledge.
- Nussabaum, Martha (2000), Women and Human Development: the
Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
- Parpart, Jane L., Shrin M. Rai, and Kathleen Staudt (2002),
Rethinking Empowerment: gender and development in a global/local
world, London, New York: Routledge.
- Parrenas, R. S (2001), Servants of Globalization: women, migration,
and domestic work,
Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
- Pqrpart, Jane L. et. al., (2002), Theoretical Perspectives
on Gender and Development, Ottawa: International Development
- Razavi, Shahra (2002), Shifting Burdens: gender and agrarian
change under neo- liberalism, Bloomfield, CT: Kumarian Press.
- Sassen, Saskia (2000), “Women’s Burden: counter-geographies
of globalization and the
feminization of survival”, Journal of International Affairs,
53(2): 503-524._____ (1998), Globalization and its Discontents:
essays on the new mobility of people and money, NY: The New Press.
- Scott, Catherine V. (1995), Gender and Development: rethinking
dependency theory, Boulder, CO: L. Reinner.
- Sen, Gita and C. Grown (1988), Development Crises and Alternative
Visions: Third World women’s perspectives, London: Earthscan.
- Sklair, L (1989), Assembling for Development: the maquila industry
in Mexico and the United States, London: Routledge.
United Nations (1999), 1999 World Survey on the Role of Women
in Development: globalization, gender and work, NY: U.N. Publication.
- Visvanathan, Nalini. ed., (1997), Gender and Development: a
reader, London: Zed Books.
- Wichterich, C (2000), The Globalized Woman: reports from a
future of inequality, London, Zed Books.
- World Bank (1989), The Role of Women in Economic Development,
Washington, DC: World Bank.
Section One: Understanding Theoretical Perspectives on Gender
Week 1: Women as a Constituency in Development
- Kabeer, Naila (1994), Reversed Realities: gender hierarchies
in development thought (chapter 4: Connecting, Extending, Reversing:
development from a gender perspective), London: Verso: 69-94 (also
see chapter 1).
- Rathgeber, Eva (1990), “WID, WAD, GAD: trends
in research and practice”, The Journal of Developing Areas
- Chowdhry, Geeta (1995), “Engendering Development?
Women in development (WID) in international development regimes”,
in Marchand, Marianne & Jane L. Parpart, eds., Feminism/
Postmodernism/Development, London: Routledge: 26-41.
- Agarwal, Bina (1997), “Bargaining
and Gender Relations within and beyond the household”,
Feminist Economics 3(1): 1-51.
- Butler, Judith and Joan W. Scott, eds. (1992) Feminists
Theorize the Political, London and New York: Routledge.
Sandra (1983), “Why Has the Sex/Gender
System Become Visible Only Now?” in Harding, Sandra and
Merrill B. Hintikka, eds., Discovering Reality: feminist perspectives
on epistemology, metaphysics, methodology, and philosophy ofsScience,
Dordrecht, Holland: D. Reidel Publishing: 311-324.
Week 2: Conflicting Perspectives on Gender and Development:
- Rathgeber, Eva (2005), “Gender and Development
as a Fugitive Concept”, Canadian Journal of Development
Studies, Vol. 26 (Special issue): 579-92.
- Baden, Sally & Anne Marie Goetz
Needs [sex] When You Have [Gender]? conflicting discourses on gender
at Beijing”, in Jackson, Cecile & Ruth Pearson, eds.
Feminist Visions of Development: gender analysis and policy,
London: Routledge: 19-38,
- Parpart, Jane L., M. Patricia Connelly
and V. Eudine Barriteau (2000), Theoretical Perspectives on Gender
and Development, eds. Ottawa: International Development Research
- Harcourt, Wendy, eds., (1994), Feminist Perspectives
on Sustainable Development, London: Zed Books.
- Sweetman, Caroline
(2000), Gender in the 21st Century, Oxford, UK: Oxfam.
Week 3: Gender in the Era of Globalization
- Standing, G (1989),“Global Feminization through
Flexible Labor”, World
- Development 17:1077-1095.
- Sassen, S (2000), “Women’s
Burden: Counter-geographies of Globalization and the
of Survival”, Journal of International
Affairs, 53(2): 503-524.
- Marchand, Marianne, “Reconceptualising ‘Gender
and Development' in an Era of ‘Globalization'”, Millennium
25(3), 1996, pp. 577-603.
- Bhavani, kum-Kum et. al, eds, (2003),
Feminist Futures: re-imaging women, culture
and development, Lonbdon: Zed.
- Marchand, Marianne (1996), “Reconceptualising ‘Gender
and Development’ in an Era of ‘Globalization’”,
Millennium 25(3): 577-603.
- Sassen, Saskia (1998), Globalization
and its Discontents: essays on the new mobility of people and
money, New York: The New Press: 81-109.
- Thomas-Emeagwali, Gloria (1995), “Introductory
Perspectives: Monetarists, Liberals and Radicals: contrasting perspectives
on gender and structural adjustment”, in Thomas-Emeagwali
(ed.), Women Pay the Price: structural adjustment in Africa and
the Caribbean, Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press: 1-12.
Mariane & Anne Sisson Runyan (2000), Gender
and Global Restructuring: sightings, sites, and resistances,
London : Routledge.
Week 4: Gender Mainstreaming
- Moser, Caroline (1989), “Gender Planning in the
Third World: meeting practical and strategic gender needs”,
World Development 17(11): 1799-1825. http://scholarsportal.info/pdflinks/04111312563728402.pdf
Mandy, ed., (1994), Gender Planning in Development Agencies: meeting
the challenge, London: Oxfam: 15-22.
- Howard, Patricia (2003), “Beyond
resisters’: towards more effective gender mainstreaming through
stakeholder participation”, in Eade, Deborah, Development
Methods and Approaches: critical reflections, London: Oxfam:
- Tiessen, Rebecca (2005), “What’s
New about Gender Mainstreaming: three decades of policy creation
and development strategies”, Canadian Journal of Development
Studies, Vol. 26 (Special issue): 705-720
- Phillips, Lynne (2005), “Gender
Mainstreaming: the global governance of women?” Canadian
Journal of Development Studies, Vol. 26 (Special issue): 651-664.
- Ashworth, Georgina (1994), “An ABC of Institutionalizing
Gender", in Macdonald, Mandy (ed.), Gender Planning in Development
Agencies: meeting the challenge, London: Oxfam: 65-79.
Naila (1994), “Gender-Aware Policy and Planning:
a social relations perspective”, in Macdonald, Mandy (ed.),
Gender Planning in Development Agencies: meeting the challenge,
London: Oxfam: 80-97.
- Commonwealth Secretariat (1999), Gender
Management System Handbook, London: Commonwealth Secretariat:
11-15 and 30-43 http://www.unescobkk.org/gender/gender/documents/gender%20management%20system%20handbook.pdf
Regis M. (2003), “Reflecting on PRA, Participation
and Gender”, in Cornwall, Andrea and Garett Pratt, eds.,
Pathways to Participation: reflections on PRA, London: ITDG:
Section Two: Micro-finance and the Empowerment of Women
Week 5: Gender and Micro-credit Operations
- Molyneux, Maxine. (1985) “Mobilization
Without Emancipation? women’s interests, state and revolution
Feminist Studies 11(2): 227-254.
Week 6: Micro-credit and Women’s Empowerment: lessons
from South Asia
- Mahmud, Simeen. (2004) Microcredit and Women’s
Empowerment in Bangladesh. Attacking Poverty With Microcredit,
eds. Salehuddin Ahmed and M.A. Hakim. Dhaka: University Press
Limited and Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation: 153-188.
- Hashemi, Syed et. al.,
(1996), “Rural Credit Programs
and Women’s Empowerment in Bangladesh”, World Development
- Goetz, Anne Marie and Rina Sen Gupta. (1996) Who
Takes the Credit? Gender, Power, and Control Over Loan Use in
Rural Credit Programs in Bangladesh, World Development 24(1):
Katharine (2001), “Governing Development:
Neoliberalism, Microcredit, and Rational Economic Woman”,
Economy and Society 30(1): 18-37.
- Amin, Sajeda. (1997), The Poverty-Purdah
Trap in Rural Bangladesh: Implications for Women’s Roles
in the Family. Development and Change 28(2): 213-233.
Heather & John Weiss (2005), Great Expectations:
micro-finance and poverty reduction in Asia and Latin America,
Tokyo: The Asian Development Bank Institute.
Week 7: Reading Week – No Class Meeting
Week 8: Questioning Popular Assumptions: what empowerment means?
- Parpart, Jane L, Shirin M. Rai and Kathleen Staudt (2002), “Rethinking
Em(power)ment, Gender and Development: an introduction”,
in , in Parpart, Jane L, Shirin M. Rai and Kathleen Staudt, eds.,
Rethinking Empowerment: Gender and Development in a Global/Local
World, London: Routledge: 3-21.
- Lairap-Fonderson, Josephine (2002),
The Disciplinary Power of Micro Credit: Examples from Kenya and
Cameroo, in Parpart, Jane L, Shirin M. Rai and Kathleen Staudt,
eds., Rethinking Empowerment: Gender and Development in a Global/Local
World, London: Routledge, 182-198.
- Ellis, Patricia (2003), Women, Gender and Development
in the Caribbean: reflections and projections, London: Zed Books,
Chapter 3: Mechanisms and Strategies for the Advancement and
Empowerment of women: 92-116.
- Datta, Rekha and Judith Kornberg (2001) Women
in Developing Countries: Assessing Strategies for Empowerment,
Boulder, Colo: Lynne Rienner.
- Ronchi, Paola Emilia (2004) Micro-finance:
a new way of development? Geneva, http://www.microfinancegateway.org/files/26525_file_MEMOIRE_english.doc
Week 9: Questioning Popular Assumptions: what empowerment means?
- Kabeer, Naila (1998), Money Can’t Buy Me Love?
Re-evaluating Gender, Credit, and Empowerment in Rural Bangladesh.
IDS Discussion Paper No.363. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development
Studies. Sections 1, 2, 3, 9, & 17.
- Parpart, Jane L, Shirin
M. Rai and Kathleen Staudt (2002), “Concluding
Thoughts on Em(power)ment, Gender and Development”, in
Parpart, Jane L, Shirin M. Rai and Kathleen Staudt, eds., Rethinking
Empowerment: Gender and Development in a Global/Local World,
London: Routledge: 239-44.
- Karl, M (1995), Women, Empowerment: participation
and decision-making, London, Zed Press.
- Goetz, Anna Marie (2001),
Women Development Workers: implementing rural credit programs
in Bangladesh, Dhaka: University Press, Chapter 2: 58-102.
Week 10: Assessing the Impact of Micro-finance Programs: methodological
- Hulme, David (1997), Impact Assessment Methodologies
for Micro-finance: A review, Occasional Paper, AIMS, Washington,
D.C. Available online at http://www.ids.ac.uk/impact/resources/introduction/Hulme_IA_meth_review.pdf
- The Microfinance Gateway (2005), Developing an Impact
Assessment, available online at
John. 2002. “Striving for Scale and Sustainability in
Microenterprise Development Programs”, in The Journal of
Microfinance (4) 1: 65-80.
- Nelson, Candace ((2004), Learning from Clients: assessment
tools for microfinance practitioners, Washington, D.C.: AIMS/USAID.
Week 11: Assessing the Impact of Micro-finance Programs: what
Week 12: Gender and Micro-finance in the 21st Century:
commercialization or women’s empowerment?
- Drake, Deborah & Elisabeth Rhyne, eds., (2002), The
Commercialization of Micro-finance: balancing business and development,
Blomfield, CT: Kumarian Press, Chapters 1, 2 & 6.
- Poster, Winifred & Zakia Salime (2000), “The
Limits of Microcredit: transnational feminism and USAID activities
in the United States and Morocco”, in Naples, Nancy & Manisha
Desai, eds., Women’s Activism and Globalization: linking
strategies and transnational politics, London: Routledge.
Week 13: Overview of the course
No assigned Reading.