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Women and economic justice: Ethics in feminist liberation theology and feminist economics
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology.
2000 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This work focus on women, justice and economics. The work of feminist economists and feminist ethicists is analyzed with regard to economic justice.

The present situation for poor women in the world is that they have no or few possibilities to provide for their own basic needs through, waged work, access to and control of arable land or opportunities to obtain an education. They are denied equal rights and opportunities. This problem is viewed from the point of market economy. What does neoclassical economic theory and market economic practice contribute to the ethical dilemma of the lack of respect of right to life? This thesis argues that right to life is a universally recognized right supported by international law, feminist ethics and feminist economics. But the basic human needs required to uphold this right is not accessible to 1.5 billion people in the world today and 70% of those are women. The basic human need concept is used as a criterion for where economic theory and practice enter into a justice discourse. The demand is made, that in order for economics to justify a place within a justice discourse, all peoples who are willing and able, should have the option to provide for their basic needs; clean water, food, housing, elemen- tary education, elementary health-care and sanitation in a sustainable manner. Provision of basic needs is not seen through channels of redistribution but in connection to economic theory and practice.

This thesis contains an analysis of feminist economics as it is developed with regards to ethics by Bina Agarwal, Nancy Folbre, Julie A. Nelson and Gita Sen. Feminist economists focus on women's autonomy, construction of gender and of economics. They criticize issues pertaining to equality, flawed objectivity, view of human nature and women's rights in economic theory.

The treatment of justice by two feminist ethicists, Beverly Wildung Harrison and Karen Lebacqz is clarified. Feminist liberation theology ethics focus on how situations of injustice affect women and insists that attention is given to the actual situation of the poor. For justice to improve oppression must cease and right relations be invoked. Justice is pictured as a process that entails a number of criteria that are applied in a feminist hermeneutics of justice for a bottom line of justice in economics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2000. , 211 p.
Uppsala Studies in Social Ethics, ISSN 0346-6507 ; 25
Keyword [en]
Religion, Basic human needs, critical theory, economic justice, equality, feminist economics, feminist ethics, feminist hermeneutics, feminist theology, feminist theory, gender, justice, liberation, liberation theology, oppression, poverty, right relations, women's rights
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-480ISBN: 91-554-4759-7OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-480DiVA: diva2:165805
Public defence
2000-10-06, Sal X, Universitetshuset, Uppsala, 10:15
Available from: 2000-09-15 Created: 2000-09-15Bibliographically approved

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