Back to overview

The poverty of neoliberalized feminism: gender equality in a ‘best practice’ large-scale land investment in Ghana

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Lanz Kristina, Prügl Elisabeth, Gerber Jean-David,
Project Land Commercialisation, Gendered Agrarian Transformation, and the Right to Food-- Prolongation
Show all

Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal The Journal of Peasant Studies
Page(s) 1 - 19
Title of proceedings The Journal of Peasant Studies
DOI 10.1080/03066150.2019.1602525

Open Access

Type of Open Access Green OA Embargo (Freely available via Repository after an embargo)


The article examines the adoption of feminist ideas by neoliberal agricultural actors working through public-private partnerships and in agribusiness. Rhetorically committed to gender equality, these new development actors have reduced equality to a matter of numbers, seeking to include women in their projects while disregarding the intersectionally gendered power relations that suffuse any development context. The article illustrates how such power relations inhabit business-led development projects. Based on ethnographic research of a ‘best practice’ large-scale land investment in Ghana’s Volta Region, the authors argue that a narrow focus on including women and superficial Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) promises fail to address intersectional inequalities because they pay inadequate attention to local institutions for resource management and the power relations they embed. Focusing on gender equality without regard to local institutions at best serves to empower a few well-connected women and at worst acts as a cover-up of highly exploitative practices.