Personal is Political: Demystifying the Gender and Development Discourse in Contemporary Pakistan
Author: Aqleem Fatimah

The call personal is political has been sought to bring women to development. It has highlighted how women’s bodily access to public spaces has been restricted to keep them oppressed, and exploited. However, with women’s entrance into public arena, The discourses about new ways of women , her body and access to public space need to be questioned and problematized. For doing this, the present qualitative study sought to demystify the rationale for employing notion of personal is political by relying on the perceptual experiences of Pakistani urban women. It employs in-depth interviews from different stakeholders as the main method to collect primary data. Critical Discourse Analysis is employed to study policy as discourse while thematic analysis is conducted to study participants’ responses. It unfolds how do women’s personal, emotional, socio-cultural needs are ignored when they entered the mainstream development by following the development models of industrialization, liberation and empowerment. The study concludes that in the name of gender equality, women’s empowerment, liberation, individual choice and agency, the modern Gender and Development (GAD) discourse has made individual women precarious in public domain as well as in their family or social settings. It suggests that the precarity and the body politicization caused by the dual-faced nature of GAD discourses can be reduced by employing a vocabulary of common terms created by developing linkages among socio-cultural, religious and other power structures. A collective effort with a participatory development approach can reduce body politicization of Pakistani urban women. Supervisor:- Dr. Durre Nayab

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Keywords : Body Politics, Development Discourse
Supervisor: Durr-e-Nayab

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