Doing development with men: Some reflections on a case study from Mali
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The paper presents reflection on gender-based power relations based on the author's fieldwork in Mali. The paper highlights the need to acknowledge that unequal power relations are multi-dimensional and complex. Harris' work shows Foucault's micro-mechanisms of power and of resistance; showing that women have more power than it is attributed to them, but since this power is not part of the public discourse this limits their ability to exercise power. Gender-based power relations are subject to expected behavioral norms. The author presents her work with men and development, and confirms that men due to their higher power positions (Robert Chambers' term this the 'uppers'), have more possibilities for creating changes in power relations. Harris talks about how by addressing men as gendered beings, through encouraging different kinds of male power - male power 'within' and 'to'- can minimize the need for power 'over'. Helping men deconstruct masculinity is a step closer to produce power shifts because changes can only occur with the collaboration of the most powerful. To include men in the development discussion will allow practitioners to see men with their own difficulties performing masculinity and not just as the problem. The paper talks about other kinds of power such as age often above gender.