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Home > English > NEWS AND ANALYSIS > Women’s Worlds 2011 interview: Devaki Jain

Women’s Worlds 2011 interview: Devaki Jain

Tuesday 28 June 2011, by Meg Borthwick

Feminist economist Devaki Jain quoted Gandhi in a paper she delivered in Bonn in 2004 to illustrate a simple framework for tackling and addressing the very complex issues and fragmentation around poverty and social justice in the South. It is, no doubt, this simple philosophy that has made Jain unique in her ability to cut through the intricate web of political and economic interests to present a starkly truthful analysis of economic development, women’s poverty, and its impact on the rights of women and their children.

Born the daughter of a high-ranking civil servant in Mysore in 1933 — 14 years before the Partition and Independence of India — Jain showed early promise as an academic in the male-dominated field of economics. Following a degree in Mathematics and Economics from Mysore University in 1953, she completed a Masters degree in Economics at Oxford University in 1962, and went on to teach Economics at Delhi University for several years.
While editing and publishing her book Women in India (1975), Jain began to apply feminist theory and principles to her research into issues of poverty, economic development, South-to-South economic cooperation, and the rights of women.



Photo: adria.richards (flickr)