economics of genders - gender differences

User Generated

jbah

Economics

Question Description

Does (can) development promote women's agency (i.e., women's ability to make choices and transform them into desired outcomes)? Explain, being sure to include where/under what conditions agency matters.

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Explanation & Answer

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Yes,  women continue to have less power than men to exercise agency; defined as the ability to make choices both in the household and in society. Increased agency for women leads to improvements in women's welfare and that of their children; yet such shifts have been elusive; even in rich countries. Economic development can improve conditions (higher incomes; greater access to services; and expanded infrastructure) that allow agency to be exercised; however; this potential impact relies in part on women earning their own income to acquire bargaining power. Despite some gains in women's rights; laws remain weak in regulating control over resources and family matters; such as inheritance; land ownership; and protection against violence. Social norms can prevail over laws or incomes to the detriment of gender equality; and can inhibit women's collective agency by limiting their political roles or access to positions of power. To counter these barriers; policies need to focus on providing incentives and needed information which; in turn; can influence outcomes and factors that shape women's individual agency.

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Erffl Z (494)
Duke University

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