Calls for educating girls in the Third World: futurity, girls and the ‘Third World Woman’

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    24 Citations (Scopus)


    In this article I examine three calls for Western support for girls' education in the ‘developing world’. Using transnational feminist theory and discourse analysis I look at three examples of these calls; Three Cups of Tea, ‘Because I Am a Girl’ and the United National Girls Education Initiative. I suggest that what Mohanty (1988) terms the ‘Third World Woman’ – a homogeneous, static image of women in the third world – is the spectre used to motivate Western support. Through representations of girls, Western viewers/readers are hailed to invest in order to save the girl-child from the haunting ‘Third World Woman’. The girl-child, through her particularity as a girl, her future womanhood as motherhood and her neoliberal potential, becomes presented as emblems of a better future with the investment of Westerners.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-17
    Number of pages17
    JournalGender, Place and Culture
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan. 2016


    • Futurity
    • Girls' education
    • International development
    • Representation
    • Third World Woman
    • Transnational feminism


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