The International Handbook of Gender and Poverty
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The International Handbook of Gender and Poverty

Concepts, Research, Policy

Edited by Sylvia Chant

In the interests of contextualising (and nuancing) the multiple interrelations between gender and poverty, Sylvia Chant has gathered writings on diverse aspects of the subject from a range of disciplinary and professional perspectives, achieving extensive thematic as well as geographical coverage. This benchmark volume presents women’s and men’s experiences of gendered poverty with respect to a vast spectrum of intersecting issues including local to global economic transformations, family, age, ‘race’, migration, assets, paid and unpaid work, health, sexuality, human rights, and conflict and violence.
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Chapter 84: Millennial Woman: The Gender Order of Development

Ananya Roy


Ananya Roy Millennial development The end of the twentieth century and the start of the new millennium have been marked by the emergence of a new global order of development. Neoliberal ideologies and austerity policies have given way to a concern with poverty and human development. From the remaking of the World Bank as a ‘kinder and gentler’ institution to the launch of global campaigns that seek to ‘make poverty history’, a remarkable mobilisation of conscience and effort is afoot. As an ensemble of discourses and practices, ‘millennial development’ is both global and intimate. The stark fact that of a world population of nearly 7 billion people, 2 billion live presently under conditions of poverty, 1.4 billion of whom live under the unimaginable conditions of earning less than US$1.25 a day, is now common knowledge. Yet, this extraordinary statistic has also become an everyday reality, anchoring a myriad of everyday efforts by everyday citizens to act on poverty. This is the liberal self of the new millennium, one that can both see poverty and seek to alleviate it. Millennial development is also a gender order. Central to the new poverty agenda is the ‘Third World woman’. From health and population programmes to environmental management initiatives, she has emerged as the key agent or, rather, in Jackson’s (1996: 489) phrase, an ‘instrument’ of development. If, in previous phases of development, the Third World woman was constructed as a victim who must be rescued and liberated, then today she is framed...

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