Handbook on Gender and Social Policy
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Handbook on Gender and Social Policy

Edited by Sheila Shaver

Providing a state of the art overview, this comprehensive Handbook is an essential introduction to the subject of Gender and Social Policy. Bringing together original contributions and research from leading researchers it covers the theoretical perspectives of the field, the central policy terrain of gender inequalities of income, employment and care, and family policy. Examining gender and social policy at both the regional and national level, the Handbook is an excellent resource for advanced students and scholars of sociology, political science, women’s studies, policy studies as well as practitioners seeking to understand how gender shapes the contours of social policy and politics.
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Chapter 5: Rethinking social policy: a gender perspective from the developing world

Shahra Razavi and Silke Staab


Building on the twenty-first century imperative for social policy to embrace a global scope, the chapter advances a gendered perspective that speaks to the diverse experiences of women in the developing world while referencing some of the important conceptual breakthroughs made by feminist scholarship on welfare regimes. In doing so, it analyses what labour commodification, de-familialization and care mean in country contexts where labour markets are extensively informal, where basic infrastructure is still under-developed and where social security systems are fragmented and segmented, placing the onus on informal institutions of family and community. From a policy perspective, this means identifying functional equivalents of what feminists have called for in the context of advanced welfare states, if they are to serve the same goals that traditional social and employment policies have pursued in more affluent parts of the world.

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