Women's and Feminist Organizations in South Asia

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Abstract

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are the fashionable architects of the development world, with global development agencies electing to work via NGOs rather than state authorities. This shift to NGO-led development coincides with the neoliberal turn in the global economy, where reducing state intervention is an aspiration. Ironically these liberal ambitions toward governance of the global economy through a conservative prism also came together with feminist activists' calls for social engagement and state accountability. The upshot was that unlikely bedfellows became evangelical about NGOs. However, there is increasing acknowledgment that some NGOs may be prone to the problems that have been conventionally leveled against the state. Or more specifically, where NGOs have failed to appreciate and account for the local spatial politics, their status as a surrogate development arm unravels. This entry outlines the evolution of NGO activity, why feminists were enthusiastic about its early promises, and what the more recent critical evaluations reveal about the promises and pitfalls of NGOs for feminist politics.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies
EditorsNancy Naples et al
PublisherWiley-Blackwell
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781118663219
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2016

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