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Remarks to Amartya Sen"s book "Development As Freedom"

By Hadas-Rebecca Youman

Abstract

Sen is a very enthusiastic writer with a solid understanding of economics. His book is easy to read and understand. One can appreciate the fact that Sen spares the reader the bombardment with boring statistics that most other writers cannot do without, but uses them only when needed to illustrate some point. I appreciated also that Sen takes the time to illustrate the dreadful situations in which women find themselves in countries that struggle economically, but at the same time gives examples on how to improve a situation, as well as examples of what happens when women are given a choice in determine their own lives. However, it is important to understand that women, especially those in countries that struggle financially, very often do not have the choice of improving their own lives. They depend mainly on the good will of their husbands or any other man. One must also understand that the governments of these countries are male-oriented and male-run, and that in most cases men do not want women to succeed, even if this would mean an improvement in their own situations, as Sen pointed out. My critique to Sen is, that although he very ably shows that women have the misfortune of living in financial poverty and dependence, and that interestingly enough the men in the societies he mentions hold the women responsible for many of the problems, which they have neither created nor are able to change, his examples on how to improve their situation are very well meaning but do not seem to have the impact needed to actively promote change. The underlying principle in Sen"s book is not necessarily new, but effective, namely that freedom goes hand in hand with education

Topics: Gesellschaftsphilosophie, politische Philosophie, Rechtsphilosophi, Geschlechterforschung, Ethik und Sozialphilosophie, Rechtsphilosophie
Year: 2003
OAI identifier: oai:sammelpunkt.philo.at:1083

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