WOST 392 C, Spring 2001
Tu. & Th. 2.30-3.45 p. m.
Bartlett 201

Kanthie Athulorala
Office: 73 Bartlett, 5-2433
Hours: Tues. & Thurs. 12:45 - 2:15p.m., Wed. a.m. by appointment


This course will assess the impact of economic development on women's lives in Africa, Asia, and Latin America from the' 80s to the present. Through reading material from a variety of theoretical traditions and field sources including videos this course will look at (a) theoretical issues surrounding economic development and women's relationship to that process, (b) how women experience this process, and (c) alternatives to traditional approaches for empowering women and influencing development policy. Particular emphasis will be given to the role of International Monitory Fund and World Bank in Third World development and women.


Specific course objectives within the focus indicated above are that the students will:

  1. become acquainted with Third World women's issues within the context of economic development

  2. gain knowledge on history, ideology, and global politics involved in Third World economic development and Third World women's relationship to that process

  3. gain knowledge on history, ideology, and politics involved in feminist theorizing of Third World women's experience in economic development

  4. develop an understanding of the interconnectedness of global conditions in global economic development and how Third World women's experiences are influenced by and influence this process

  5. explore alternatives to traditional approaches for empowering women and influencing economic development policy

  6. explore and critically assess one aspect of Third World women's experience


Readings: which include a range, of women thinkers explicitly grounding the analysis in multiple voices to highlight the diversity, richness, and power of women's ideas but also reflocting diverse theoretical traditions such as: Third World women's voices, development theory , feminist theory , Marxist social thought, and the sociology of knowledge.

Out-of-class activities: Self-directed research and reflecting on activities related to Third World women's experience in the economic development process and social change.

Instructor commentary and presentation.

Use of Video.

Class participation: discussions, debates, dialogue, and class presentations.

Group work: both in-class and out of class.

Written assignments.


Required Books:

  1. Waring, Mailyn. (1998) Counting for Nothing Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press

  2. Burn, Shawn Meghan. (2000) Women Across Cultures. California: Mayfield Publishing Co.

    (These books are available @ Food for Thought book store in Amherst.)

  3. WOST 392 C Course Reader. (Available @ Collective Copies)

WOST 392C Course Schedule
Spring 2001

Week 1
Introductions and Setting the Context