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

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Development at the Conjuncture of Feminism and Associationalism

This article looks at whether or not Community Currency Systems form part of an alternative development agenda when analyzed through the lenses of feminism and associationalism. It begins by differentiating Alternative Development, as a static concept, from alternative development which is only comprehensible in its current context and form. The latter, according to the author, must involve a process of self-empowerment, a deepening of democracy and embody strong sustainability. A case study is provided of Thailand’s first CCS, Bia Kud Chum, and its encounter with state authorities. Using this example, it is shown that CCS and feminism share a recognition of the shortcomings of economic dualism and the desire to re-structure market values. Risks from this vantage point include the creation of new gender-biased institutions and an increase in women’s double burden. The associationalist analysis of CCS highlights the system’s capacity to serve as a vehicle for decentralization and potential in building networks central to economic success. However CCS proponents must be wary of co-optation into a programme which threatens the redistributive role of the state in the South. In the conclusion, it is argued that the Bia Kud Chum system was able to initiate a process of self-empowerment and encourage a deepening of democracy, and should, therefore, be considered part of an alternative development agenda.

Jeff Powell Volume 6(2002) 1

IJCCR Vol 6 (2002) 1 Powell

To cite this article: Powell, J. (2002) ‘Development at the Conjuncture of Feminism and Associationalism’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 6 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2002.004