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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The male-centric 1950s economic development paradigm promised progress to all. But aid agency programs often adversely affected women, promoting male privilege. Research showed women’s economic value; advocates demanded some funding be refocused on their concerns. Priorities and issues expanded; women in recipient countries organized. The UN world conferences on women were a platform for networking; the global women’s movement blossomed. Laws and regulations changed women’s status in many countries. Expanding their rights so civil laws took precedence over customary law altered marriage and inheritance patterns for greater equity. Critics complained this approach to including women in international development did not question the capitalist system. Others argued that emphasis on women ignored class, ethnicity, or religion. Political participation was recognized as necessary when women’s rights were restricted by government changes. Women’s organizations demanded feminist and economic goals. What those goals are is a pressing issue: What does justice for women entail?

Keywords: women in development (WID), economic roles, UN world conferences, global women’s movement, political participation, justice

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