Construction of third world women's knowledge in the development discourse

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Blackwell Publishers

This paper reflects on the question of "fields of power" to explore the cultural relations of knowledge production. The gender dynamics, age, class, caste, education, marital status and other factors also influence the way knowledge is produced, shared, or silenced. The asymmetrical gender relations give men the power to ignore women's knowledge, and women the overestimation of men's knowledge. Knowledge also changes due to political, social and environmental causes as new knowledge is created. It is for these reasons that the author refutes the concept that women's knowledge is "special" to women because they are women. The paper defends that women's knowledge is not exclusive of women, but it is contextual based on women's roles and labor practices. Women's knowledge is practical knowledge and they are active creators of new knowledge. The focus should be turned to the knowledge within the power relations that shape production, transmission processes. The examples for the study were drawn from the Kumaon Himalayas.

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Local knowledge, Women, Gender, Knowledge production, Unequal power relations, Gender dynamics, Women's knowledge, Himalayas
International Social Science Journal 54(173): 313-323