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Translating feminism in the neoliberal era: Comparing differing Context

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Conference paper

Publication date2015
Original languageEnglish
EventECPG Conference - Uppsala Universitet, Uppsala, Sweden
Duration: 11/06/201513/06/2015


ConferenceECPG Conference
Internet address


Neoliberal political ideas, management methods and ‘entrepreneurialism’ spread globally but are translated differently and have different implications due to contextual variations. This paper sets out to explore contextual variations in implications for women and their entrepreneurship from a feminist perspective. We compare the highly differing contexts of Sweden, known for consistently high rankings on gender equality indices much due to a family- and women friendly welfares state system, and the patriarchal context of East Africa. A mixed methods approach is used including theoretical and policy studies as well as ethnographic and interactive research. The local translations of feminism and entrepreneurialism in the respective contexts are discussed, as well as the relation between feminism and entrepreneurialism. In a stepwise analysis we draw three main conclusions. First, we argue that cut-backs in public spending in the public sector in Sweden have implied a set-back for feminism. Second, we find that entrepreneurialism more clearly empowers women in the studied East African countries, than in Sweden. Our third argument is that the differing outcomes can be traced back to the existence or non-existence of a benevolent, non-corrupt and ‘women-friendly’ state.