Feminist Development

Feminist Development is the successor to the Gender Initiative Interest Group that helped form the Sociology of Development Section of ASA.

The listserv address is asa_feminist_development@lists.riseup.net.

Join the Subsection listserv by emailing Firuzeh Shokooh Valle (fshokooh@fandm.edu).


Feminist theories have challenged development paradigms since Ester Boserup’s (1970) groundbreaking study. Despite nearly 50 years of feminist scholarship, however, many development approaches continue to sideline women, girls, and other marginalized groups. The failure to consider crosscutting power dynamics in development is obstructing intellectual growth as well as hindering the formation of more equitable development policies and practices (Bastia 2014).

Feminist Development brings together a diverse consortium of scholars and professionals who articulate and affirm feminist approaches to development, who seek more holistic understanding of the power dynamics informing development, and who support collaboration across difference. The Subsection provides a platform for exchanging information and resources on feminist development.


We encourage you to contribute to the advancement of Feminist Development by sharing your ideas and resources with Subsection Leadership.

Co-chair: Devparna Roy, Nazareth College of Rochester

Co-chair: Jennifer Bair, University of Virginia

Past Co-chair: Rae Lesser Blumberg, University of Virginia; Arizona State University

Past Co-chair: Firuzeh Shokooh Valle, Franklin & Marshall College

Secretary Treasurer: Heidi Rademacher, SUNY Brockport

Subsection Council: Manisha Desai, University of Connecticut; Rebekah Burroway, Stony Brook University; Susan Lee, Boston University; Marcia Texler Segal, Advances in Gender Research; Rae Lesser Blumberg, University of Virginia; Firuzeh Shokooh Valle, Franklin & Marshall College; Amira Karaoud, Independent Scholar; Jennifer Keahey, University of Arizona; Kristy Kelly, Drexel University.

FD meeting Detroit 2018

Feminist Development Council Meeting, Wayne State University, October 2017

Some Feminist Development Topics

  • Gender ideologies
  • Women’s reproductive rights
  • Female-headed households
  • Intrahousehold inequalities
  • Violence against women and girls
  • Neoliberal economic policies
  • Women’s labor force participation
  • Microfinance
  • Gender mainstreaming
  • The whiteness of development
  • Educational attainment
  • Sustainable development
  • Female political leadership
  • CEDAW and women’s human rights
  • Gender budgeting
  • Migration and development
  • Sexual orientation and gender identity
  • Ecofeminism
  • Women and technology
  • Masculinity and development
  • Neocolonialism
  • Transnational feminism
  • Intersectionality
  • Participatory development


Feminist Development Dinner, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, October 2018

Founding Members of Feminist Development

Rae Lesser Blumberg, University of Virginia; Jennifer Keahey, Arizona State University; Kristy Kelly, Columbia University | Drexel University; Rebecca Kruger, Columbia University; Susan Lee, Boston University; Ann Oberhauser, Iowa State University; Farhana Sultana, Syracuse University; Yvonne Underhill-Sem, The University of Auckland; Mildred Warner, Cornell University; Barbara Wejnert, University at Buffalo


Feminist Development Subsection Formation Meeting, Cornell University, October 2016


Bastia, Tanja. 2014. “Intersectionality, Migration and Development.” Progress in Development Studies 14(3):237-48.

Boserup, Ester. 1970. Woman’s Role in Economic Development. London: George Allen &  Unwin.