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Conceptualising the Wad Approach

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Conceptualising the WAD Approach
According to Rathgeber (1990), the WAD approach emerged as a neo-Marxist feminist approach and sought to address the limitations of modernization theory within Women In Development, (WID) approach. The WAD approach emphasizes the idea that the rise of globalisation with its inequitable gender relations and prioritisation of global capitalism was inimical to women and men in the developing countries. Another argument of the WAD approach is that, it accepts women as important economic actors in their societies and argues that women have always been part of the development process, therefore integrating women in development is a myth. A further WAD argument is that the structure of capitalism keeps women at home in the domestic arena and that the capitalist class system is the determining factor in the male abuse of women.
Connell et al (1999) explain that, one of the tenets of the WAD approach is that although women have always been involved in developmental activities, their contributions have been overlooked and marginalized in national and donor development plans. The WAD approach argues that women are deeply integrated in the Capitalist structures, and no amount of superficial manipulation will solve their problems. What is required for women to advance is the removal of the inequitable structures and relationships. The needed reforms are both international and domestic, and must be at the political and institutional level as well as the economic. They will include the state expropriating many privately owned assets. Once these assets are socialised and a measure of national and international equity is achieved, the emancipation of women is much more likely to be achieved.

Merits of the WAD approach

A major merit of the WAD approach is that it promoted the recognition of women as important economic actors in their…...

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