Navigating Gender And Development

Authored by: Ragnhild Lund

The Routledge Handbook of Gender and Development

Print publication date:  February  2015
Online publication date:  February  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415829083
eBook ISBN: 9780203383117
Adobe ISBN: 9781134094714

10.4324/9780203383117.ch8

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Abstract

Any historical narrative is influenced by the situation and context of its author. Personal histories, experiences, and practices may inform people’s meanings, values, convictions, and forms of expressions, and their context may help us understand how knowledge is made and how it is being reproduced and changed over time. At every juncture in a person’s life course, insights into the strengths and weaknesses of their ‘entanglements’ (who they interact with and how) can be crucial to understand their capacity to act and how their interactions are situated. In my case, I had an opportunity to work for the Norwegian aid authorities as an undergraduate student in 1976, which formed my professional history and practices. I had written an exam paper on gender and development and was invited by a federation of women activists to assist the Norwegian Agency for Development Assistance (NORAD) in identifying how bilateral projects affected the situation of women. While working for NORAD in Oslo, on a six-month assignment, I also pursued my Master’s thesis work at the Department of Geography, University of Bergen. It was this work that motivated me to study how resettlement programmes impacted female settlers in north-eastern Sri Lanka. NORAD staff facilitated my first visit to Sri Lanka in their newly opened Colombo embassy, introducing me to scholars and practitioners who worked on gender issues in the country. Since then, most of my professional work has been related to gender and development, primarily in Asia.

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