International Development, Community, and Environment

Title

Rescuing Girls, Investing in Girls: A Critique of Development Fantasies

Document Type

Article

Abstract

The girl child increasingly is at the centre of development programming. We draw on Slavoj Žižek's notion of fantasy to show how and, more importantly, why girl-centred initiatives reproduce the shortcomings of women and gender-focused programmes before them. Through an analysis of three girl-centred campaigns, we illustrate how experts identify and diagnose girls' problems and prescribe solutions that not only circumscribe girls' futures, but are also counterproductive. We argue that even as campaigns try to integrate lessons learned from earlier gender and development initiatives, the critical reflection that a Žižekian approach promotes would better enable development actors to reformulate campaigns and fundamental campaign assumptions.

Publication Title

Journal of International Development

Publication Date

10-1-2015

Volume

27

Issue

7

First Page

881

Last Page

897

ISSN

0954-1748

DOI

10.1002/jid.3146

Keywords

adolescent girls, education, empowerment, gender equality, girl-centred programming, Slavoj Žižek

Disciplines

Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Gender and Sexuality | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology

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