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Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach

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Proposing a new kind of feminism that is genuinely international, Martha Nussbaum argues for an ethical underpinning to all thought about development planning and public policy, and dramatically moves beyond the abstractions of economists and philosophers to embed thought about justice in the concrete reality of the struggles of poor women. In this book, Nussbaum argues th Proposing a new kind of feminism that is genuinely international, Martha Nussbaum argues for an ethical underpinning to all thought about development planning and public policy, and dramatically moves beyond the abstractions of economists and philosophers to embed thought about justice in the concrete reality of the struggles of poor women. In this book, Nussbaum argues that international political and economic thought must be sensitive to gender difference as a problem of justice, and that feminist thought must begin to focus on the problems of women in the third world. Taking as her point of departure the predicament of poor women in India, she shows how philosophy should undergird basic constitutional principles that should be respected and implemented by all governments, and used as a comparative measure of quality of life across nations. Nussbaum concludes by calling for a new international focus to feminism, and shows through concrete detail how philosophical arguments about justice really do connect with the practical concerns of public policy. HB ISBN (2000): 0-521-66086-6


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Proposing a new kind of feminism that is genuinely international, Martha Nussbaum argues for an ethical underpinning to all thought about development planning and public policy, and dramatically moves beyond the abstractions of economists and philosophers to embed thought about justice in the concrete reality of the struggles of poor women. In this book, Nussbaum argues th Proposing a new kind of feminism that is genuinely international, Martha Nussbaum argues for an ethical underpinning to all thought about development planning and public policy, and dramatically moves beyond the abstractions of economists and philosophers to embed thought about justice in the concrete reality of the struggles of poor women. In this book, Nussbaum argues that international political and economic thought must be sensitive to gender difference as a problem of justice, and that feminist thought must begin to focus on the problems of women in the third world. Taking as her point of departure the predicament of poor women in India, she shows how philosophy should undergird basic constitutional principles that should be respected and implemented by all governments, and used as a comparative measure of quality of life across nations. Nussbaum concludes by calling for a new international focus to feminism, and shows through concrete detail how philosophical arguments about justice really do connect with the practical concerns of public policy. HB ISBN (2000): 0-521-66086-6

30 review for Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach

  1. 4 out of 5

    Pável Granados

    Este libro se ocupa del complejo tema de la felicidad. Aparentemente inasible, se vuelve más complejo al referirse a la felicidad de las mujeres en general. Si ya la felicidad individual es un tema lleno de dificultades, sumar cada una de las ideas concretas supondría un obstáculo mayor. O bien, al contrario: si es necesario unir dos ideas de felicidad, se tendrá que buscar una categoría que las agrupe. La autora no se caracteriza por imponerse soluciones fáciles, de tal manera que sus ideas de Este libro se ocupa del complejo tema de la felicidad. Aparentemente inasible, se vuelve más complejo al referirse a la felicidad de las mujeres en general. Si ya la felicidad individual es un tema lleno de dificultades, sumar cada una de las ideas concretas supondría un obstáculo mayor. O bien, al contrario: si es necesario unir dos ideas de felicidad, se tendrá que buscar una categoría que las agrupe. La autora no se caracteriza por imponerse soluciones fáciles, de tal manera que sus ideas de la felicidad implican las antípodas del mundo: lo mismo consultó a las profesionistas neoyorquinas que a otras muy vulnerables de La India. ¿Qué puede resultar de confrontar percepciones tan lejanas? Nussbaum (1947) combina las herramientas aristotélicas (la gran categorización de las ideas concretas de felicidad) con las marxistas (los medios para crear las condiciones reales en el mundo), por lo que ha viajado por diversos países interrogando a miles de mujeres, para construir una lista de diez capacidades centrales para el funcionamiento humano: “Que los límites del propio cuerpo humano sean tratados como soberanos”, “Ser capaces de vivir con cuidado por los animales”, “Ser capaz de reír, jugar y disfrutar de actividades recreativas”, etc. Son ideas que brotaron originalmente de la necesidad pero que no necesariamente tienen conciencia de sí. De tal manera que uno de los debates más interesantes que se plantea en este libro es en torno al “bienestarismo”. Es decir: ¿qué capacidad tiene la gente de saber medir su propia situación? Cuando se les pregunta a los habitantes de un país si son felices, pareciera que esos habitantes han respondido luego de vivir en varios países y que sus ideas de felicidad se pueden comparar entre sí. Un habitante de un país pobre puede no darse cuenta de las deficiencias de su sistema de salud, y calificarlo mejor que el habitante de un país con un mejor sistema. Y, llevando más lejos esta idea: ¿es cierto que la gente puede saber lo que quiere si no tiene claras las implicaciones de sus preferencias? Sin interferir en la libertad, más bien al contrario, este libro tiene la idea de ampliar el concepto de “preferencia”: proporcionarle lentes a quien las emite, detonar un discurso crítico en vez de darle un lugar soberano a la opinión. ¿Puede una mujer intimidada por el abuso físico de un esposo y aterrorizada ante la idea de sobrevivir por sí misma, estar en condiciones de tomar una elección racional? En este sentido, vivimos bajo el imperio de una opinión: el elogio del crecimiento económico. Pero dado que el crecimiento económico no garantiza de por sí las mejores condiciones de salud o de educación, ¿se puede hacer dicho elogio incondicional? La autora le recuerda a la Filosofía Feminista Occidental que no la ha visto, por lo general, formada en la fila para pedir un préstamo o comprando a plazos una máquina de coser, y que entre más se entere de detalles aparentemente tan pequeños como saber las vicisitudes del gasto diario le permitirá adquirir la dosis de universalidad que se espera de ella. Martha C. Nussbaum. Las mujeres y el desarrollo humano. El enfoque de las capacidades / Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach (2000), tr. Roberto Bernet, 2ª ed, 2ª reimp. Barcelona, Herder, 2017. (Col. Pensamiento Herder)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Steven Schoonover jr.

    Among the most powerful cases around for moral universalism.....

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rainier Moreno-Lacalle

    The book the will change how you see feminism. Clear, concise, and full of examples. I think we are lucky to have been in a country which values gender equality, but not all countries are like that. This book provides various examples from a specific country plagued by gender inequality. Attributed for various reasons such as culture, religion, hegemony, and the mere want to make the male a dominant gender. Nussbaum offers an alternative- capabilities approach. What a great book!

  4. 4 out of 5

    John

    This was not the book by Nussbaum I was planning to read--but in many ways, this serves as the "practical" version of Jessa Crispin's "Why I'm Not a Feminist". It's definitely a bit dry a ports, but give a lot of information about how to foster and spread feminism in say, India. But, as Crispin's scathing manifesto points out---there's still miles to go "at home". This was not the book by Nussbaum I was planning to read--but in many ways, this serves as the "practical" version of Jessa Crispin's "Why I'm Not a Feminist". It's definitely a bit dry a ports, but give a lot of information about how to foster and spread feminism in say, India. But, as Crispin's scathing manifesto points out---there's still miles to go "at home".

  5. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    tired at moments at the end when nussbaum discusses some practical issues related to religion and family but very approachable introduction to her capabilities theory. i really admire the motivation underlying the work (what do women in the third world strive for and want?) and her injection of just the right amount of theory. features a subtweet for milton friedman

  6. 5 out of 5

    Leonardo

    Citado en los artículos de Comim y de Pugno en Capabilities and Happiness. Citado en los artículos de Comim y de Pugno en Capabilities and Happiness.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Marcos Francisco Muñoz

    "Las mujeres y el desarrollo humano" nos presenta una aproximación a la problemática de género no solo enfocada a la razón práctica, si no llevándonos a un recorrido histórico/antropológico de lo que constituye una vida realmente humana y digna en el mundo actual. Vida que de muchas maneras les ha sido negada a las mujeres a través de los tiempos. Es una invitación a mirar a un espejo cruel que nos devuelve la realidad que se vive y desvive en todo el planeta. Si bien hay ciertos nudos discursivo "Las mujeres y el desarrollo humano" nos presenta una aproximación a la problemática de género no solo enfocada a la razón práctica, si no llevándonos a un recorrido histórico/antropológico de lo que constituye una vida realmente humana y digna en el mundo actual. Vida que de muchas maneras les ha sido negada a las mujeres a través de los tiempos. Es una invitación a mirar a un espejo cruel que nos devuelve la realidad que se vive y desvive en todo el planeta. Si bien hay ciertos nudos discursivos que parecen dar vueltas en círculos sin llegar a una conclusión cierta, hay que admitir que esa tal vez sea la mejor manera de presentar las ideas de igualdad. El libro plantea las preguntas correctas, es nuestra tarea trabajar para que los ideales de igualdad no se queden en ideales y en eso, el texto es una preciosa piedra de toque para no solo continuar con los procesos, si no también empezar nuevas y más ambiciosas maneras de alcanzar la sociabilidad de los derechos colectivos.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Anette

    Nussbaum has a good pen, writes clearly and is a very interesting intellectual. Her development of the capabilities approach is very convincing and I recommend this book for anyone and everyone. When I have not given the book five stars, that is because I disagree with Nussbaum in her understanding of radical feminism and also - more precisely - her arguments and conclusion about tax deduction for religious institutions that discriminate on basis of gender. I believe gender discrimination for re Nussbaum has a good pen, writes clearly and is a very interesting intellectual. Her development of the capabilities approach is very convincing and I recommend this book for anyone and everyone. When I have not given the book five stars, that is because I disagree with Nussbaum in her understanding of radical feminism and also - more precisely - her arguments and conclusion about tax deduction for religious institutions that discriminate on basis of gender. I believe gender discrimination for religious positions is a very good reason to remove tax benefits for the institution, and I also think that case law from the US supreme court support my argument. However, I will not discuss that at length here. read the book, make up your own mind! The book is well worth reading.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kyla

    Life is too short to read bad books or books that oppose everything I believe in - but not for lack of trying. I've read about half of this book, but I just can't be past the lack of an intersectional analysis of feminist issues in India and the exceptionally Western-centric perspective that never checks itself, never considers how the author's personal biases are affecting the narrative she is constructing. Maybe I'll revisit this someday - but not any time soon. Life is too short to read bad books or books that oppose everything I believe in - but not for lack of trying. I've read about half of this book, but I just can't be past the lack of an intersectional analysis of feminist issues in India and the exceptionally Western-centric perspective that never checks itself, never considers how the author's personal biases are affecting the narrative she is constructing. Maybe I'll revisit this someday - but not any time soon.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kony

    Not your typical hifalutin' philosophy. Nussbaum's prose is accessibly clear, and she injects a healthy dose of real-life narrative into topics often obscured by abstract theory. She critiques modern philosophy for failing to address the plight of the worst-off, and she offers an elegant framework for moving forward -- not just theoretically, but practically! Recommended for people who care about social justice and enjoy intellectual rigor. Not your typical hifalutin' philosophy. Nussbaum's prose is accessibly clear, and she injects a healthy dose of real-life narrative into topics often obscured by abstract theory. She critiques modern philosophy for failing to address the plight of the worst-off, and she offers an elegant framework for moving forward -- not just theoretically, but practically! Recommended for people who care about social justice and enjoy intellectual rigor.

  11. 5 out of 5

    C

    So many logical fallacies. This book is 90% appeals to authority, intuition, or popularity. Nevertheless I still think Nussbaum is right that justice ought be about what people are to do, be, and become.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mikaela

    A thorough treatment of international feminism with a good balance between requiring expert knowledge and beginner understanding. It effectively demonstrated philosophy's possibility to contribute concretely to international human rights. A thorough treatment of international feminism with a good balance between requiring expert knowledge and beginner understanding. It effectively demonstrated philosophy's possibility to contribute concretely to international human rights.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Hawkins

    A great book, a great methodology for empowering women and girls. And yes, global, core constitutional principles are needed for not only for the human functioning of women globally who are the poorest among us, those intrinsic unalienable rights are conferred upon all human beings, including men.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Zermatt Summit

  15. 5 out of 5

    Biagio Mazzella

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lauren and Felly

  17. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

  18. 4 out of 5

    Hermawan Mulyono

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ina Cawl

  20. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kendra

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Lubchenco

  23. 4 out of 5

    PhiTech

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kerstin Stenberg

  25. 5 out of 5

    Autumn

  26. 5 out of 5

    Krysta B.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Julia Smith-brake

  28. 5 out of 5

    Olga Molina

  29. 4 out of 5

    Paul R.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Adriana

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