Amherst College The Political Economy of Gender in Latin America

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Amherst College

The Political Economy of Gender in Latin America

Women’s and Gender Studies

Spring 2009

Professor Picq

Th 2-4h30 pm; Converse 208


The Political Economy of Gender in Latin America

Manuela Picq

542-5351;; 105 Earth Sciences

Office Hours: Tuesday/Wednesday 2-5pm and by appointment.

Th 2:00-04:30pm

Converse 208
Latin America has the greatest extremes of wealth of any region in the world, and gender is one of the most important factors leading to this inequality. The study of gender therefore offers a valuable window into the socio-economic structures and political systems of the region. Bringing together the disciplines of comparative politics, political economy, and gender, this course proposes to analyze the gender implications of economic and political reforms at large in Latin America, from the military dictatorships of the 1970s through the democratization of the 1980s, the neoliberal reforms of the 1990s, and the New Left. We will also explore the history and geography of women's rights in terms of political participation, agrarian reform, informal economics, reproductive rights, welfare policies, migration, and human trafficking. Beyond women's rights, the class offers a larger analysis of social movements and the politics of contestation in Latin America, the movements’ interactions with state actors and the impact of changing markets on women's empowerment.
Grading system
Class participation 15% - Students are expected to prepare and attend all class sessions and participate actively in class discussions. Unexcused absences can result in reduced credit.
Class presentation 20% - Once during the semester, each student will do a short oral presentation (10min) about one of the readings (10%) and turn in a written analytical essay (10%) to the professor via email before class.
Group Presentations: 20% - Students will do two group presentations (3 p. max) during the semester. The first on Feb 19 will analyze economic disparities related to gender. The second on Apr 9 will analyze the political and economic costs of gender-based violence – and will be accompanied by an individual essay (see below).
Essay 20% - Each student will write two individual essays during the semester. This exercise focuses on research and content as much as form and style. An analytical paper (5p) about gender inequality in Latin America is due on Feb 5. Another individual essay is due on Apr 9 to accompany the group presentations on the political-economic costs of gender-based violence.
Conference project 25% - At the end of the semester, each student will conduct a formal, in-class presentation of individual research projects combined with a 7-10 page paper (proposals to present final projects in a different format/support are welcome). This exercise will simulate an academic conference or roundtable, in which scholars write a paper and discuss ideas during a panel. We will discuss each student project individually during the semester. Project topics are due in class on Mar 12 and a detailed outline is due by email by Apr 16.
Course Readings (available on E reserve)

Every student must print and bring to class a hard copy of the readings
Book list (available at Amherst Books - 8 Main Street, Amherst - 413.256.1547)

Virginia Woolf (1929) “A Room of One’s Own”

Reading and Discussion Schedule

syllabus is subject to change
Part 1. Conceptual Approaches
Week 1. Jan 29 - Introduction
Course overview and introductions – Defining IPE and mapping gender
Week 2. Feb 5 - Measuring the gender gap in Latin America: poverty and inequality
Guillermo O’Donnell (1996) “Poverty and Inequality in Latin America: Some political -Reflections,” Kellogg Institute for International Studies, Working Paper 225. [E]
Kelly Hoffman and Miguel A. Centeno (2003) “The Lopsided Continent: Inequality in Latin America,” Annual Revue of Sociology 29:363-90. [E]
V. Spike Peterson (2005) “How (the meaning of) Gender Matters in Political Economy,” New Political Economy, Vol.10, N.4, 499-521. [E]
International Poverty Centre (2007) “Poverty in Focus 11: the Challenge of Inequality,” IPC: Brasilia. [E]
Mala Htun (1999) “Women in Latin America: Unequal Progress toward Equality” Current History 98. [E]
Assignment - individual essays: gender inequality in Latin America (5p. approx)
Week 3. Feb 12 - Opportunities, Freedom, and Capabilities
Amartya Sen (1999) Development as Freedom (chapters 1/2/6/7) [E]
Martha Nussbaum (2005) “Women’s Bodies: Violence, Security, Capabilities,” Journal of Human Development, 6:2 [E]
Barros, Ferreira, Molinas Vega, Chanduvi (2009) “Measuring Inequality of Opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean” World Bank Report [E]
United Nations Millennium Project (UNMP) (2005) “Taking Action: Achieving Gender Equality and Empowering Women” Task Force on Education and Gender Equality (TFEGE) (Executive Summary, pp.1-26). [E]
Part 2. Economic Disparity
Week 4. Feb 19 - Economic inequalities: globalization and the informal economy
Kurt Lan Vee Beek (2001) “Maquiladoras: Exploitation or Emancipation? An Overview of the Situation of Maquiladora Workers in Honduras,” World Development, 29:9. [E]
Sylvia Chant (2006) “Re-thinking the Feminization of Poverty in Relation to Aggregate Gender Indices,” Journal of Human Development Vol.7. N.2 pp.201-220 [E]
James Biles (2009) “Informal Work in Latin America: Competing Perspectives and Recent Debates, “Geography Compass [E]
Jasmine Gideon (2006) “Accessing Economic and Social Rights under Neoliberalism: Gender and Rights in Chile,” Third World Quarterly, 27:7, 1269-83 [E]
Amy Bellone Hite and Jocelyn Viterna (2005) “Gendering Class in Latin America: How Women Effect and Experience Change in the Class Structure,” Latin American Research Review, Vol 40, N. 2 [E]
Week 5. Feb 26 – The economy of care and welfare
Nancy Folbre (2006) “Measuring Care: Gender, Empowerment, and the Care Economy.” [E]
Lourdes Beneria (2008) “The Crisis of Care, International Migration, and Public Policy,” Feminist Economics Vol. 14, N3, pp.1-21. [E]
Mala Htun (2005) “What It Means to Study Gender and the State,” Politics & Gender 1, pp. 157-166 [E]
Juliana M. Franzoni (2008) “Welfare Regimes in Latin America: capturing constellations of markets, families, and policies,” Latin American Politics and Society. [E]
Maxine Molyneux (2006) “Mothers at the Service of the New Poverty Agenda: Progreso/Oportunidades, Mexico’s Conditional Transfer Programme,” Social Policy and Administration, Vol.40, N.4 p. 425-449. [E]
Assignment: Discussion Final Conference Project
Week 6. Mar 5 - Property rights for human rights
Virginia Woolf (1929) “A Room of One’s Own” [B]
Carmen Diana Deere & Magdalena Leon (2003)."The Gender Asset Gap: Land in Latin America," World Development, Vol. 31(6), 925-947, June. [E]
Bina Agarwal and Pradeep Panda (2005) “Marital Violence, Human Development and Women’s Property Status in India,” World Development Vol. 33, N.5 [E]
Susana Lastarria-Cornhiel (2007) “Who Benefits from Land Titling? Lessons From Bolivia and Laos,” The Gatekeepers Series 132, International Institute for Environment and Development [E]
Elissa Branstein and Nancy Folbre (2001) “To Honor and Obey: Efficiency, Inequality, and Patriarchal Property Rights,” Feminist Economics 7:1. [E]
Part 3. Political Resistance and Opportunities
Week 7. Mar 12 - Political rights and participation
Liesl Haas (2001) “Changing Women From Within? Feminist Participation in the PT” Radical Women in Latin America
Mala Htun and Tim Power (2006) “Gender, Parties, and Support for Equal Rights in the Brazilian Congress,” Latin American Politics and Society, Vol.48, N.4, pp. 83-104. [E]
Roseanna Heath, Leslie Schwindt-Bayer, Michelle Taylor-Robinson (2005) “Women on the Sidelines: Women’s Representation on Committees in Latin American Legislatures,” American Journal of Political Science, 49:2.
Lisa Baldez (2007) “Primaries versus Quotas: Gender and Candidate Nominations in Mexico, 2003,” Latin American Politics and Society 49:3, 69-96. [E]
Spring Recess

Week 8. Mar 26 – Resistance and Contestation: women social movements
Helen I. Safa (1990) “Women’s Social Movements in Latin America,” Gender and Society, Vol 4, N.3. [E]
Maxine Molyneux (1984) “Mobilization Without Emancipation?” Critical Social Policy 10, 4:7, 59-75. [E]
Veronica Montecinos (2001) “Feminists and Technocrats in the Democratization of Latin America: A Prolegomenon,” Politics, Culture, and Society, Vol. 15, N1. [E]
Cathy Rakowski (2003) “Women’s Coalitions as a Strategy at the Intersection of Economic and Political Change in Venezuela,” Politics, Culture, and Society, Vol. 16, N.3 [E]
Barbara Sutton (2007) “Poner el cuerpo: Women’s Embodiment and Political Resistance in Argentina,” Latin American Politics and Society, 49:3, 129-162. [E]
Assignment: research women NGOs in Latin America (3 examples per student).
Week 9. Apr 2 - Overlapping exclusions: gender, race, ethnicity
Sylvia Chant (2007) Women and health: poor women in cities suffer most. Habitat debate, 13 (4). 7. [E]
Kia Coldwell (2008) Negras in Brazil: re-envisioning black women, citizenship, and the politics of identity, Rutgers University Press (selected chapters). [P]
Manuela Picq (2008) “Gender Within Ethnicity: Human Rights and Identity Politics in Ecuador” New Voices in the Study of Democracy in Latin America, Woodrow Wilson Center Reports on the Americas 19. [E]
Mala Htun (2004) “Is Gender Like Ethnicity? The Political Representation of Identity Groups,” Perspectives on Politics, Vol 2:3 [E]
Guest-speaker: Sonia Alvarez
Part 4. The Multiplicity of Violence
Week 10. Apr 9 - The (not so) hidden costs of violence
Bina Agarwal and Pradeep Panda (2007) “Toward Freedom From Domestic Violence: The Neglected Obvious,” Journal of Human Development, Vol. 8, N. 3. [E]
Lori Heise, Jacqueline Pitanguy, and Adrienne Germain (1994) “Violence Against Women: The Hidden Health Burden,” World Bank Discussion Papers 255. [E]
Sally Cole and Lynne Phillips (2008) “The Violence Against Women Campaigns in Latin America: New Feminist Alliances,” Feminist Criminology, Vol. 3, N.2. [E]
Nadirlene Gomes and Normelia Diniz (2008) “Males Unveiling the Different Forms of Conjugal Violence,” ACTA, 21:2 pp.262-7. [E]
CEDAW: Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Optional Protocol. [E]
Assignment - group presentations in class: reports on the political and economic costs of gender-based violence in Latin America / case-study analysis. Individual essays to turn in via email (5p. approx)
Week 11. Apr 16- From reproductive rights to sexual pleasure: abortion and beyond
Mala Htun (2003) Sex and the State: Abortion, Divorce and the Family Under Latin American Dictatorships and Democracies, (chapters 1/6). [P]
Map “Abortion laws worldwide” [E]
Brief (1996) “An Overview of Clandestine Abortion in Latin America,” Alan Guttmacher Institute. [E]
Latin American and Caribbean Women’s Health Network (2004) “Autonomous Decisions, Sovereign Lives: Women’s Right to safe, legal abortion.” [E]
Sonia Correa and Richard Parker (2004) “Sexuality, Human Rights, and Demographic Thinking: Connections and Disjunctions in a Changing World,” Sexuality Research and Social Policy, Vol. 1, N.1. [E]
Susie Jolly (2007) “Why the Development Industry Should Get Over it’s Obsession with Bad Sex and Start to Think About Pleasure,” IDS Working Paper 283. [E]
To watch:

“Vai pensando ai”

“O aborto dos outros”
Week 12. Apr 23 - Migration, conflict, and trafficking
Clare Ribando (2007) “Trafficking in Persons in Latin America and the Caribbean,” CRS Report For Congress [E]
Denise Brennan (2002) "Selling Sex for Visas: Sex Tourism as Stepping Stone to

International Migration for Dominican Women" in Ehrenreich and Hochschild (eds) Global Woman: Nannies, Maids, and Sex Workers in the New Economy. [P]

Marina Tzvetkova (2002) “NGO Responses to Trafficking,” Gender and Development, 10:1 [E]
UNFPA (2006) “State of the World’s Population 2006: A Passage to Hope: Women and International Migration” [E]
Film (2001) “En la Puta Vida” (Tricky Life) [E]
Week 13. Apr 30 - Institutional hierarchies and impunities: norms and practice
Emily Esplen (2006) “Engaging Men in Gender Inequality: Positive Strategies and Approaches,” Institute of Development Studies, BRIDGE, N. 15. [E]
Institute for Development Studies (2008) “Politicizing Masculinities: Beyond the Personal,” (Brighton: IDS). [E]
Caroline Moser and Annalise Moser (2005) ‘Gender Mainstreaming Since Beijing: A Review of Success and Limitations in International Institutions’, Gender and Development, 13:2, 11-22 [E]
Week 14. May 7 - Conference projects
Final projects presented by students in class; peer-reviewing process.

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