Sisters unite and fight development

You know every now and then if you’re very good I give you a jolt from the Women’s Studies mailing list. I have one now, fresh in this morning. Someone wanting material for a course she’s going to teach.

course is a straight-up political science one on “democracy and
development,” but I’m looking to inject some feminism into it. I
think I’ve got some good stuff on the democracy side, but I’m looking

1) articles on women’s/feminist engagement with “development” as a
discourse, or resistance to development projects
2) a film about the conflict between democracy and development–that
is, struggles against state-sponsored development projects that come
from democratic autonomous movements. Off the top of my head, I’m
thinking of action against dams in India, though I’m certain there
are good examples from elsewhere. I also know that women are at the
forefront of many of these struggles, so I’m hoping folks on this
list have some good ideas about where to turn for films on the subject.

I didn’t know resistance to development was feminist, did you? Funny, I thought underdevelopment was not all that good for women. I thought that when there are no schools and no roads and no plumbing that women don’t really thrive all that well. I thought that when there is poverty and resources are scarce, that most of the resources went to men and boys and women and girls got a lot less. I thought schools and books and transport and tools and technology and prosperity were better for women than poverty and backbreaking work and no education. But no – of course – that’s just silly. Development means malls and consumerism and parking lots and consumerism; has to be bad, and imperialist; the feminist thing is to live in a mud wallow and eat fleas for breakfast.

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