Lecture 7.2

The Gendered Legacy of Reform

Emmanuel Teitelbaum

Economic Crises

Sri Lanka

  • Swimming in the president’s pool
  • Causes of the crisis
    • Years of economic mismanagement under Rajapaksas
    • Rajapaksa govt. cut taxes after it came to power in 2019
    • Banned fertilizer which decimated rice crop (staple)
    • COVID-19 killed demand for tourism and remittances
    • Then war in Ukraine led to grain shortages
    • Sri Lanka ran out of money couldn’t by fuel or medicine


  • Where is Sri Lanka now?
    • What is the IMF doing?
  • What is the World Bank doing?
  • In what ways is the Bank’s approach similar to or different from the one proposed by the Washington Consensus?


  • When robbing a bank seems perfectly justified

  • Read about the World Bank’s assistance to Lebanon

  • How is the Bank’s strategy similar to or different from its strategy in Sri Lanka?

  • Which strategy is better, the one being pursued in Sri Lanka or the one being pursued in Lebanon?

Women and the Washington Consensus

Discussion 1

  • What does Benaría mean by the term “feminization of labor” How is it manifested in the following sectors/activities?
    • Manufacturing
    • Agriculture
    • Services
    • Migration
    • Human Trafficking

Discussion 2

  • Benería identifies three potential effects of women’s employment on gender relations.
    • Liberating
    • Intensifying
    • Reconstitution of gender inequalities
  • Describe each of these. Which effect do you think is the strongest?

Policy Models

Policy Models

  • What policies effectively increase women’s empowerment?
  • Three (that we’ll consider)
    • Empowerment through development
    • Electoral quotas
    • Empowerment through finance/microcredit
  • Two things to consider
    • Effectiveness
    • Attainability

Development and Empowerment (Duflo)

  • Discussion
  • Development –> Empowerment
    • How does development empower women?
    • Is development the solution to discrimination and VAW?
  • Empowerment –> Development
    • What does Duflo mean by “empowerment”?
    • Is empowering women the answer for development?

Gender Quotas (Beaman)

  • Districts randomly selected for reserved seats
  • Some districts selected more than once
  • Basic findings
    • Districts selected twice in a row see changes in how parents view daughters and how girls perceive themselves
    • Districts selected twice in a row see improvements in educational outcomes for girls
    • No effects on labor force participation and education outcomes for older women
  • Mechanisms:
    • Changing policies (which changes beliefs)
    • Providing role models

Grameen Bank

  • Muhammad Yunus

    • Winner of Nobel Peace Prize (and GW President’s Medal)
  • Inspired by stool makers of Jobra village

    • Earned 2 cents per day
  • Set up Grameen bank to fill credit void for rural women

  • Repayment based on trust

Think About

  • Which Model is Most Compelling?
    • Development
    • Gender Quotas
    • Microcredit
  • Why?