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Throughout the world, cultural norms determine a view of women as subordinate to men, and provide a rationale for denial of women’s economic and political rights. This collection of essays in the Focus on Gender series explores the issues of cultural traditions and beliefs, and their relation to gender and development. Topics discussed in this book include identity, meaning, and culture; the struggle of feminists from the South to gain legitimacy in Northern-dominated development debates; working to challenge restrictive gender roles in Zimbabwe; gender violence as a development issue; the use of rape as a weapon of war in former Yugoslavia; and the use of popular culture and the media to promote gender equity. Many of the writers recount their personal experiences of cultural constraints on women’s freedom of action, and how these can be overcome.

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