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Gender Balance in C. Scott’s and M. Mies’ Books Essay

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Updated: Jan 29th, 2021

In chapter 5 and 6 of the book Gender and development by Catherine Virginia Scott, the author tries to explain how the modernization and development theories can be modified further to substantiate the role of gender balance in the growth of societies. Scott explains that the growth of institutions and in particular nations can be explained in terms of the regard of gender equality. This basically implies that nations which welcomed the idea of gender balance from an early time are the ones that have seen the greatest development.

The dependency theory has already established that nations around the world are linked together in ties that help them benefit from each other. Developing nations generally wait for developed nations to give them the expertise needed for growth while the developed nations need the developing nations for the natural resources. From Scott’s perspective, the developing nations tend to borrow societal development ideas from the developed nations.

For instance, it is after third world countries realize the contribution that women play in the growth of the G8 that they now can tolerate calls for gender balance. The developed nations also appreciate the harmonious living that individuals in developing countries have by respecting gender roles. They, therefore, try to entrench this specificity of roles into their societies, consequently establishing relationships that have a beneficial role on society.

Scott comes to the conclusion that society only grows as long as there is a balance between the roles assigned to individuals from the two genders. She also notes that, it helps for nations to look at the best practice of other nations and adopt ideas that will help them develop.

In the opening chapters of the book Patriarchy and Accumulation on a World Scale by Maria Mies, the author introduces the concept of feminism as a fight against capitalist patriarchy. She, however, notes that most of the members of the feminist movement tend to forget their mission and end up portraying the image of individuals that are fighting the male race. Mies describes feminists as the persons who speak against the unbalanced relationship between men and women.

By citing the activities of various groups around the world, Mies comes to the conclusion that it is the conscious involvement of various interest groups that the awareness of the oppression that women have been going through over the years has been brought to the fore. Later, in the second chapter, Mies tries to underscore the concept of female productivity in underdeveloped societies as a function of male productivity. She explains that in developed societies, women have an equal chance to contribute to economic development, as jobs have not been given gender assignments. As such, instead of having women while their time away at home doing nothing they actively adopt responsibilities contribute to national growth.

Mies, through various examples, illustrates how women appropriate their own bodies as well as how men contribute to the appropriation of the bodies of their female counterparts. The author explains that former element is mainly evident in developed societies where women are given the freedom to choose what to do with their bodies. The latter aspect, according to Mies, is mainly present in societies where gender equality is still a myth. In this regard, men are regarded as supreme overseers and have control of what women can and cannot do with their bodies.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Gender Balance in C. Scott's and M. Mies' Books'. 29 January.

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