Michelle Bobala


Organization: Red Thread
Location: Georgetown, Guyana
Year: 2012

MRP/Thesis abstract:

Empowering Women and Improving Gender Equality?: The Relevance of MDG3 in The Context Of Georgetown, Guyana (winner: Faculty of Graduate Studies Graduate Thesis Prize)

By overemphasizing growth through neoliberal economic policies, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund have influenced mainstream development initiatives in a way that has integrated the concepts of ‘gender equality’ and ‘women’s empowerment’ into Millennium Development Goal 3 (MDG3) in loose and limited ways devoid of their original political meaning. Numerous scholars have therefore criticized the MDGs for being insufficient for promoting substantive equality. However, little research has focused on the relevance of the MDGs at the local level. This thesis discusses the extent to which MDG3 is on the development agenda in Georgetown, Guyana, while interrogating the relevance achievements on this goal have for grassroots women. Through an assessment of MDG3 programming, and an examination of the lived experiences of grassroots women from Georgetown, I argue that MDG3 is not being addressed at the organizational level in Guyana, nor does it speak to urban Guyanese women’s needs and priorities.