An ecofeminist perspective of the impact of development policies on women’s lives. The case of Ethiopia
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Development is a contested concept that is still evolving within the global debate in which gender literature largely contributes. However, if there is no consensus on the broad notion of development, the integration of the gender dimension within it is also very controversial. This thesis suggests looking at the impact of development policies on women’s lives through a constructivist social ecofeminist perspective. Hence, this analysis is based on the assumption that the environment and women are interconnected in in terms of developing policies. The constructivist theory avoids essentialization, and as such, women are coerced to act as social and cultural agents not because it is in their essence but because the patriarchal capitalist system constrains and limits them in their opportunities. Focusing on the case of Ethiopia, the impact of development practices on women’s relations with the environment and industrialization processes will be discussed. This research will bring a fresh insight on the consequences of development practices in the areas of industry, food and health on the living conditions of women. It will highlight that such practices increase gender inequality, food insecurity and risks of infection. In this respect, these dimensions must be fully integrated by donors and actors not only in their guidelines but also in practice.