Global and Development Perspectives
International Handbooks on Gender series
Edited by Laura Oso and Natalia Ribas Mateos
Chapter 4: The long shadow of ‘smart economics’: the making, methodologies and messages of the World Development Report 2012
Following on from Benería et al. (ch. 3 in this volume), and recognising the huge strides that have been made in respect of gender and development(GAD) policy since the United Nations (UN) Decade for Women, my contribution focuses on the current state of play through the World Bank’s World Development Report 2012 (World Bank, 2011a, b, henceforth WDR2012) on Gender Equality and Development. What does WDR 2012 – the first ever World Development Report devoted to gender – represent in terms of progressing gender justice in development? More particularly, are there signs of change in the Bank’s ‘smart economics’ approach, which has gathered ever more momentum in recent decades, was the zeitgeist of the Bank’s Gender Action Plan (GAP) 2007–10, and has conventionally been associated more with building women’s capacities in the interests of development than with promoting women’s rights for their own sake?
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