Development Ethics, Gender Complementarianism, and Intrahousehold Inequality

Hypatia 30 (2):352-369 (2015)

Authors
Serene J. Khader
CUNY Graduate Center
Abstract
Development ethicists see reducing intrahousehold gender inequality as an important policy aim. However, it is unclear that a minimalist cross-cultural consensus can be formed around this goal. Inequality on its own may not bring women beneath a minimal welfare threshold. Further, adherents of complementarian metaphysical doctrines may view attempts to reduce intrahousehold inequality as attacks on their worldviews. Complicating the justificatory task is the fact that familiar arguments against intrahousehold inequality, including those from agency and self-esteem, depart from premises that complementarians reject—premises about the value of independence or the moral irrelevance of gender. I propose that development ethicists should offer complementarianism-compatible arguments against the norms and practices constitutive of intrahousehold inequality. I develop arguments against two intrahousehold inequality-supportive practices that depart from complementarian premises. Specifically, I argue that patriarchal risk and gender schemas that devalue women's labor prevent men from discharging complementarian duties to promote women's welfare
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DOI 10.1111/hypa.12152
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The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.

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