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Gender, Discrimination, and Capability: Insights from Amartya Sen

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This essay critically examines economist and philosopher Amartya Sen’s writings as a potential resource in religious ethicists’ efforts to analyze discrimination against girls and women and to address their well-being and agency. Delineating how Sen’s discussions of “missing women” and “gender and cooperative conflict” fit within his “capability approach” to economic and human development, the article explores how Sen’s methodology employs empirical analysis toward normative ends. Those ends expand the capability of girls and women to function in all aspects of their society. It concludes with a discussion of ways to engage Sen’s work within religious ethics.
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Keywords: Sen; capability; development; discrimination; gender; inequality; missing women; poverty

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2002

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