Skip to 0 minutes and 5 secondsSo hello again, everybody. Most of you have met me already on video, and most of you have already met Fran, who's sitting beside me, on the comments. But I'd like to formally introduce you to Dr. Francesca Bussey who is the expert mentor in this unit. And as I said, she has engaged with many of you already and will continue to engage with you, through the comments, for the duration of our course. It's great to be here. We've had quite a week, haven't we. It's been really fascinating. We've been on a journey that's allowed us to look at the notion of the single story.

Skip to 0 minutes and 44 secondsAnd how that can present sometimes quite a myopic vision of the way in which the world works or the way in which gender works in the world and development works in the world. We've looked at those in quite a lot of detail, and we complicated both of those concepts, which I think is really exciting. So one of the things I wanted to do was to, while I have Maree with me, is just to ask her, what do you think is the biggest myth about gender and development? Well, it's difficult to limit it to one myth, I think, Fran. I think some of the myths include this notion of gender and development being particularly and solely about women.

Skip to 1 minute and 27 secondsBut even more specifically, there's an assumption that it's about poor women, and that all those poor women are also oppressed. And those poor women all belong to something which has been labelled as either the third world or the global south or the developing world. So that's one set of myths, and that feeds into another set of myths, really, about development and about ways out of development. So there's an idea about a mythical idea that development is really about the so-called developing world becoming or replicating the so-called developed world. But the path to that, it is assumed, is the help and the support of those from the western or developed worlds.

Skip to 2 minutes and 17 secondsAnd these are a series of myths around the idea of gender, that it's just about women, that the women that we are dealing with in development are always poor and oppressed, and that there's a reliance on those in the west, or the so-called developed, world to lift those women out of their current situations. So there are myths that we will begin to unpack immediately in the coming sections of the course, next week.

What have we learnt so far?

Bringing Gender and Development together.

In this video Maree and Francesca discuss the key concepts we’ve explored this week and relate these back to our big questions about:

  • how the complex concepts of gender and development interrelate
  • whether this association is making a positive difference in people’s lives
  • how can thinking about gender and development improve the life experiences of people in diverse situations.

Up Next?

While we have complicated concepts of gender this week, next week we will focus on women. We will consider how women bear a disproportionate burden of the world’s poverty and disadvantage. We observe how celebrities, corporations, the media and philanthropic organisations have taken this up. We will ask how this newfound attention has improved (or not) the lives of both men and women.

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Gender and Development

Deakin University

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