Changing Social Institutions to Improve the Status of Women in Developing Countries

Examining social power relations to tackle gender inequality
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This brief summarizes the lessons learned from the research done by Recent Development Centre and other research centers, which had shown that institutional framework is a key to understanding the economic role of women in developing countries. It also states that this framework has not received the attention it deserves and finding options to address this unfavorable institutional framework presents a tremendous challenge.

The brief analyzes the patriarchal structures that perpetuate gender inequality. It also elaborates on the role of social institutions in developing countries as major obstacles to gender equality. The three main questions that it addresses are:

  • Why are social institutions so important for gender equality?
  • What obstacles impede reforms of discriminatory social institutions?
  • What policy lessons emerge for donors?

About this Publication

By Jütting, J. & Morrisson, C.