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Reflect on your learning

An uneasy relationship exists between development and gender with ongoing major turning points. Watch Dr Maree Pardy summarise this course journey.
MAREE PARDY: We’ve come to the end of our two week open course on gender and development. And it’s been pretty challenging, and hopefully, for you, it’s been exciting though brief. Core to our work in this course has been to reflect on the problems that arise from a single story. And that’s a single story of either gender or development. We’ve considered this and we’ve considered the uneasy relationship between development and gender. And we’ve examined some of the major turning points or the ongoing transformations of gender and development. First, if you remember, we considered how development was historically positioned as a project of economics, of modernization, and of economic growth.
And this incorporated a whole range of approaches, each trying to address the problems created by development, or as we discovered, that were left unattended by development. But in the end, we saw this approach actually resulted in more rather than less poverty. It created new problems, such as growing inequalities, health problems, and injustice. Newer approaches tried to grapple with this problem and introduced different frameworks. And some of those frameworks we considered were basic needs–
MAREE PARDY: – the human development approach particularly. But to what extent, we asked, have these been successful? And this is what remains arguable.
FRANCESCA BUSSEY: So secondly, we considered the ways in which gender has been understood in terms of development. And this has gone through various changes, as well. If we remember, it was originally understood to solely be about the need to include rather than exclude women from development processes and programmes. But over time, not only did these gender approaches change from women to gender, but the complex meanings and exclusions of the term gender itself also changed.
MAREE PARDY: And now the Sustainable Development Goals, or what we call the Agenda 2030 or the 2030 Agenda, the overarching agenda of the current global development programmes and paradigm, actually pledges to engender inequity everywhere in the world by 2030. So that’s the agenda that we’re engaging with at the moment.
FRANCESCA BUSSEY: So but just how this is going to happen is a focus of gender and development. And in thinking about these major points, we’ve considered ways in which organisations have tried to navigate these complex meanings and approaches to gender and to development, which makes working in this space really interesting. And so it was really good to look at some of these nuanced approaches to gender and development.
MAREE PARDY: We had Caroline Moser’s Gender–
MAREE PARDY: – Analysis Framework. And this Gender Analysis Framework, which advocates an approach that works simultaneously on a whole range of levels at the immediate, or what she calls the practical needs of women and communities, alongside their strategic needs, and those needs which require a transformation of the balance of power between men and women and between the structures that support those power relations between men and women. We have throughout the world wars, constant wars, we have famine, we have this displacement of people through climate change, through intensifying austerity, through environmental catastrophes, and through the need for environmental sustainability.
And really, just how gender will be either part of this, excluded from it, or become central to it remains the challenge for us who are committed to gender justice and development.
FRANCESCA BUSSEY: So this is the end of our brief excursion in this open course through some of these issues. And we want to thank you all for being part of it. We hope it’s been really stimulating and rewarding, a really good experience for you. And if you want to follow-up on some of these issues or continue with this in an academic setting, then Deakin University invites you to join the next section of this unit, which over a further eight weeks will delve more deeply into the rich and vexed scholarship and practise of gender and development.

Reflecting on the problems of a single story has created a rich conversation.

In this course we’ve explored how the construction of a single story affects the way we think and act regarding either gender or development and in Gender and Development.

By now you should be able to critically analyse how gender and development are framed in contemporary society.

Articulating your thoughts, ideas and feelings is an important part of learning.

As a learning community, we’ve had the benefits of sharing many viewpoints. These kinds of rich conversations build critical thinking skills and an awareness of being a global citizen.

Your task

Watch the video to hear Maree summarise what we’ve learnt about the sometimes uneasy relationship that exists between development and gender in relation to major – and ongoing – turning points.

When you’re done, reflect on the materials you’ve covered and conversations we’ve had, and use the comments to summarise your own key takeaways and how your learning has affected your understanding of gender and development.

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Gender and Development

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