Women are often firmly tethered to their homes, children, environment and their place, and this rootedness influences the outcome of development programmes. Hence, the editors of this book suggest that, putting women squarely at the centre of the development process can rectify `maldevelopment’. The phenomenal success of women-centred programmes such as the Grameen Bank and the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), attests to this. In addition, communities united on the basis of gender identity, can more easily overcome differences based on religion, caste and class, thus eliminating many of the frictions in our society, and hence legitimise the editors’ case for a Women, Culture and Development (WCD) approach to improving lives.
For those of you, who have read Kalpana Sharma (Rediscovering Dharavi, for example) and Aruna Roy (especially the article titled Redefining Gurus (a doc file) ), this might not be news; however, it will help reinforce the need for making development more women-centric.