Copyright © 2000 International Development Options
All Rights Reserved
Volume Two Winter 1999-Spring 2000 Numbers 1-2.
THEME: CARIBBEAN DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES: ISSUES AND OPTIONS
GENDER IN CARIBBEAN DEVELOPMENT THOUGHT AND STATE POLICIES, 1940-1995
Diana Ruth Thorburn
School of Advanced International Studies
John Hopkins University
Washington, DC 20009
Published Online: December 15, 2016
This article reviews the analyses of gender in the development thinking and policies of Commonwealth Caribbean countries from 1940 to 1996.2 The article begins with a review of other gender and development studies, including Caribbean-specific works. It then proceeds to examine the extent to which one might consider Caribbean societies gender inequitable. The discussion concludes that while Caribbean women are productively employed and are heads of household, they do not enjoy the same status and life opportunities as men, nor do they have the necessary access to power and decision-making to change the existing situation. Finally, a comprehensive analysis of Caribbean development thought and policy is undertaken, from the Moyne Commission (West India Royal Commission) Report of 1945 up to state development policies of 1995. The analysis finds that in each phase of Caribbean development thought gender has been a significant factor, both explicitly and implicitly. However, except for a brief period in the late 1970s and early 1980s, gender equity as an objective of development policy has not been a serious priority of development policy or thinking, and that the 1990s phase of neoliberal economic policy holds contradictory implications for feminist developmental objectives.