chapter  1
18 Pages

Analysing women in the politics of the Third World

ByGeorgina Waylen

This chapter aims to outline some of the issues involved in the analysis of women in Third World politics. It would be impossible for a piece of this type to be comprehensive in its coverage or to outline a definitive approach to the study of women in Third World politics but it does aim to provide some guidelines. Some of the themes covered will be specific to the study of women and politics in the Third World, while others will also be relevant to the study of women and politics more generally. This is based on three important assumptions. First, ‘polities’ does not have the same impact on women as it does on men as is often assumed and therefore this needs to be investigated. Second, the political process often alters gender relations, i.e. relations between men and women, and this needs to be explored. Third, women often participate as political subjects in political activity in different ways from men, which raises questions about the distinctiveness of ‘women’s political activity’—should it be classified and analysed as a separate entity? Addressing these questions has important implications for the study of politics as it has been conventionally constructed.1