Engaging Women In Rural Development: A Case Study of South Korea’s Saemaul Undong and Malaysia’s Felda Programs

Nurliana Kamaruddin, Jan Vincent Galas


State led rural development programs have been major contributors to the economic development of East Asian countries. However, the study and practise of development have revealed that men and women are differently affected through the process of national economic development. In the case of rural development, it has been found that gender blind social and economic development efforts do not take into account the discrepancies in power, opportunities and roles that women experience. This research looks at two exemplary state led rural development programs from Northeast and Southeast Asia to provide a gendered look at the outcome of the Saemaul Undong and FELDA programs. It discusses the theoretical evolution on the importance of taking a gendered perspective in rural development. Then it provides an overview of the policies directed at women in Saemaul Undong and FELDA followed by a discussion of the outcome. It finds that these programs were progressive especially in the explicit inclusion of women and youth into its administrative structure at a time when this was not common in South Korea and Malaysia. This contributed to changing how these societies fundamentally views what women are capable of especially in the case of capital production.

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JEBAT : Malaysian Journal of History, Politics & Strategic Studies, 
Center for Research in History, Politics and International Affairs,
Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, 
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 UKM, Bangi Selangor, Malaysia.

eISSN: 2180-02551

ISSN: 012-5644