The Impact of Community Currency Systems on Gender Relations in Rural Northeast Thailand: A Hybrid Social Audit-Gender Analysis Approach

This paper is an initial response to calls for an investigation of the impact of Community Currency Systems (CCSs) on gender relations in a developing country context. It thereby proposes the question of whether or not CCSs support existing gender relations or transform them. The proposition is that the unique characteristics of a localised currency may influence a variety of economic and social characteristics in rural communities to the point where they affect the wellbeing of men and women differently. In conclusion, the research offers three learning points; firstly, the use of Seyfang’s (1997) Social Audit Approach together with gender analysis frameworks do offer a viable means of generating primary information; secondly, the two study areas show that the most obvious effect of the CCS on gender relations regards the strengthening of women’s social capital; thirdly, that the implementation of a CCS can positively influence gender relations in other areas and should be more fully investigated.

David Walker Volume 13(2009) A36-60

IJCCRvol13(2009)pp36-60Walker

To cite this article: Walker, D. (2009) ‘The Impact of Community Currency Systems on Gender Relations in Rural Northeast Thailand: A Hybrid Social Audit-Gender Analysis Approach’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 13 36-60 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2009.005

Examining Local Currency Systems: a social audit approach

The Local Exchange Trading System (LETS) is a form of local currency which is non-tangible, interest-free, freely created, and restricted to the local community. It is advocated by ‘green’ economists as a tool for enabling more sustainable economic development; that is, it is claimed to promote self-reliant communities, overcome cash scarcity (which inhibits economic activity), and incorporate environmental and socially equitable ethics. To test whether this is indeed the case, a social audit of one LETS is conducted. The case study is found to be a small, low-trading rural system with no local import-substitution and limited opportunities for the creation of new economic opportunities. However, there were large social and community benefits and a ‘warm glow’ effect associated with participation; most members were involved for these political and ethical reasons. This characteristic seems to be broadly similar to other LETS.

Gill Seyfang Volume 1(1997) 1

IJCCR vol 1 (1997) 1 Seyfang

To cite this article: Seyfang, G. (1997) ‘Examining Local Currency Systems: a social audit approach’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 1 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.1997.004