Author

Mariam Salem

Abstract

Historically, women were largely invisible to early development planners and they were only discussed in passive terms. This was based on the assumptions about the gendered division of labor and women's supposed absence from the productive labor. However, development discourses today are full of images of the empowered women in the Global South; she is the selfless mother, the strong entrepreneur and the resourceful breadwinner. The World Bank in particular depicts women in the Global South as vulnerable, marginalized, yet a major "untapped resource". The key is to acquire them with appropriate means along with the necessary legal reforms that would empower them against the traditional barriers and enable them access to the labor market. This depicts the gender equality as smart economics, which represents the primary modes by which women in the Global South became visible through the development gaze of the World Bank. The idea here is to show how the World Bank has redefined feminism to resonate with its neoliberal agenda. In order to understand how these legal reforms legitimize the work of the World Bank's private partners and the underlying reasons behind framing women in the Global South to become visible in those specific characteristics, it is helpful to analyze World Bank Gender and Development reports, starting from 2012 to 2018. This paper argues that this specific feminism that is promoted by the World Bank has its costs and those legal reforms maximize the profits of their private partners. It has left those women suffering from a new kind of violence caused by the neoliberal agenda in addition to their already existing oppression from their unpaid work. This analysis will demonstrate the World Bank’s construction of women in the Global South and the true cost of those legal reforms on their lives.

Department

Law Department

Degree Name

LLM in International and Comparative Law

Date of Award

2-1-2020

Online Submission Date

September 2019

First Advisor

Taha, Mai

Committee Member 1

Beckett, Jason

Committee Member 2

Sayed, Hani

Document Type

Thesis

Extent

93 p.

Rights

The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

IRB

Not necessary for this item

Comments

Nabil El Araby Fellowship

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