The limitations of transnational business feminism: the case of gender lens investing

Spring 2016

This article outlines the emerging field of gender lens investing (GLI), linking it to a broader shift toward the ‘business case’ for gender equality. The first part of the article explains what GLI is, who is promoting it, and what some of these initiatives aim to do though this form of ‘impact investing’. The second part applies a critical eye to some of the discourses associated with this movement, arguing that they serve to reproduce particular assumptions about gender, about finance, and about the mutual compatibility of gender equality and the deepening of neoliberal capitalism. Three key assumptions that are made by GLI advocates are outlined, and the ways in which these assumptions support rather than challenge neoliberal common sense is noted.

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