- Slides: 23
Religion, Gender, and Development November 24, 2004
Religion, Gender and Development n Does gender inequality retard development? n Is religion responsible for gender inequality?
Development as Freedom: Amartya Sen n The goal of development is the enhancement of human freedom n The enhancement of human freedom is the chief instrument of development
Gender Inequality: 100 Million Missing Women n Gender-based poverty n Infanticide n Perinatal mortality n Health Inequalities n Violence
What Does Religion Have To Do With Gender Inequality?
Male/Female Sex Ratios n 22 of 32 countries with sex ratios exceeding 102/100 are Muslim n India has a sex ratio of 106/100 n China has a sex ratio of 117/100
Male/Female Literacy Gap n Muslim countries: 18. 7 n Catholic countries: 4. 3 n India: 26 n China: 19
Variation Between Muslim Countries n Turkey n Indonesia
“The central values separating Islam and the West revolve far more centrally around Eros than Demos. ” - Pippa Norris and Ron Inglehart, Sacred and Secular (2004)
How Does Gender Equity Promote Development? n Increases GDP q n Reduces fertility q n Reduce illiteracy gap, raise GDP 1% Raise education level 3 years, reduce birth rate by 1 child Reduces inequality q 1% increase in labor force with secondary education increases income to poorest 40 percent by 6 -15%
The China-India-Kerala Comparison: n China: compulsory one-child policy 1979 -92 reduces birth rate to 2. 0 n India: non-compulsory family planning reduces birth rate to 3. 7 n Kerala: female literacy, health care program reduces birth rate to 1. 8
Increase Female Employment n Raises marriage n Increases birth spacing n Increases household income n Improves child survival rates n Improves child weight-height measures n Reduces spousal abuse
Progress in Empowering Women
Improve Female Political Participation n Makes government less authoritarian? n Improves welfare and health expenditure?
Women’s Empowerment: How to Get There n Electoral quotas for representation n Targeted investment in female education n Microfinance loans to women
Case Study: Grameen Bank, Bangla Desh n Female poverty and credit n Credit and purdah n Credit and gender discrimination n Microcredit and Islam
Personal Status Law n Liberalize and equalize divorce law n Equalize women’s rights in sharia law n Enforce property rights for females: inheritance, divorce, succession
Opposition n Authoritarian political leaders n Patriarchal family heads n Religious authorities n Women
Women’s Opposition n The value of religious freedom n The value of women’s autonomy
How to Bring Them Along: n Frame this as a development program, not as a women’s issue n Frame this as a local strategy, not a Western one n Work with men, not against them n Work within local institutions, not against them n Secure women’s consent: do not take it for granted
Is Religion Responsible for Gender Inequality? n Religion as a language of social justice n Religion as a language of patriarchal authority n Religion as a language of individual improvement n Religion as a site of political struggle