Women in Development: A Critique of Neo-Classical Economic Theory as One of the Causes for Gender Inequality

Author: Reham El Morallyorcid

This research reviews and critiques neoliberalism and neoclassical economics for them being one of the main causes for the subordination and oppression of women. This research does not claim that neoliberalism is the axis of evil; however it discusses how alternative economic and political theories can be more useful and efficient for women and gender development. The research question is mainly concerned with how far do neoclassical economic theories perpetuate and intensify power struggle between genders? The research argues for neoclassical economic theory being a main driving force in the subordination and oppression of women, especially in global South countries that have been subjugated to structural adjustment. In order to do so, this research utilizes an intersectional feminist framework of analysis to methodologically deconstruct neoclassical economic theory and critically investigate their gendered effects on beneficiary countries. Moreover, the political conceptual framework of “inside-outside”, pioneered by Robert Cox, is the analytical tool used throughout this research. The research will, therefore, first clarify the difference between gender and sex, and clarify what I mean when I say “neoclassical economic theory”. Followed by a criticism of how neoclassical economics is a theory of discrimination. An argument for the non-existence of a separation between the global level and the social level when analyzing gender relations will be the primary objective of this study. Lastly, the research discusses how structural adjustment programs affect women, specifically women living in poverty and armed conflict.


Journal: Open Journal of Political Science
DOI: 10.4236/ojps.2020.101001

Paper Id: 96932 (metadata)

See also: Comments to Paper

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