Two frontiers of development? A transnational feminist analysis of public-private partnerships for women's empowerment

Chizu Sato*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Since the economic crisis of the past decade, public development organizations have increasingly partnered with large private corporations to empower women through business. Existing feminist analyses focus on those public-private partnerships (PPPs) that are global, agenda-setting, benchmarking, and service initiatives. However, there are door-to-door initiatives that aim to empower women at the bottom of the pyramid (BoP) by turning them into entrepreneurs in the global South. At the same time, and unconnected to these Southern initiatives, PPPs in the global North attempt to empower middle-income women to care for distant others by consuming ethically. While these two kinds of PPPs are each identified in their own literatures as new frontiers in development, thus far they have not been studied together. Using transnational feminist literacy practices as a methodology, this paper reanalyzes existing studies on PPPs in the global South and North that target women's empowerment and have thus far been overlooked. It finds parallels and linkages between PPPs in the global South and North. The use of transnational feminist literacy practices deepens our understanding of the mechanisms by which market- led, corporate-sponsored, "smart economic" and "win-win-win" development approaches, justified in the name of women's empowerment, obscure and/or transform structural inequalities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-167
JournalInternational Political Sociology
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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