What do poor women want ? Public employment or cash transfers ? Lessons from Argentina
- Pavlina R. Tcherneva
In Development as Freedom, Amartya Sen takes expanding freedom to be the primary end and the principal means of development. I discuss his emphasis on women’s agency as central to development theory and practice and the strategies he advocates for enhancing it. Recent work in feminist economics and postcolonial studies tests Sen’s complex account of freedom. Further levels of complexity need to be added when we examine how global forces of power interact with local systems of oppression in ways that often limit women’s freedom. This argument rests on an analysis of how globalization affects a domain of freedom that is a central concern for Sen, that of increasing women’s freedom to work outside the home as a way of strengthening their agency. Attending to elements missing in Sen’s account will enhance freedom in women’s lives.