Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

Degree Name



Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Hashim Gibrill

Second Advisor

Dr. Patrice McDermott

Third Advisor

Dr. William Boone


This inquiry considers how class and gender concerns affect the emergence of women in developing countries as political leaders and how they fare in power. In the contemporary era, the Marxist and the Classical approaches have been used in explicating the state. While Marxism focuses on class conflict, its classical variant perceives the state as a neutral arbiter acting in protection of its national interest.

The theoretical inadequacies in the above assumptions stem from the fact that gender is not central to the state-centered models. Women as a group compose a vital segment of the global population and should not be merely described as interests and classes.

My attempt is to establish a woman-centered framework in evaluating the state, while focusing on women in the contemporary era who have governed their countries.

This research centers on the Philippines, India, Pakistan and Nicaragua and involves an in-depth assessment of gender/class issues. The research postulates that the mutual alliance between gender and class had a direct bearing on the emergence and decline of women as policy makers in developing countries. The research question is: How did patriarchy reinforce capitalism so as to pave the way for women to rise and fall from power?

From the standpoint of methodology, the image of gender-biased state is the feminist starting point for developing hypotheses and theories about the differentiated inclusion of women and men into the state system. The case study approach was used in testing this hypothesis. The preliminary findings are that women's class affiliations affect their political advancement. While they are in office, the class and gender factors impact their performance leading to their subsequent downfall. Women, therefore, are not positioned equally with men in the state system. The state is patriarchal no matter who governs.

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