Devaki Jain (born 1933) is an Indian economist and writer, who has worked mainly in the field of feminist economics. In 2006 she was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award from Government of India, for her contribution to social justice and the empowerment of women.
Through working on her book, Women in India, she involved herself in feminist issues. She took an active part in writing, lecturing, networking, building, leading, and supporting women.
Jain was founder of the Institute of Social Studies Trust (ISST) in New Delhi and served as director until 1994. She has also worked in the field of women's employment and edited the book Indian Women for India's International Women's Year.
Gandhian philosophy has influenced Jain's work and life. In line with this philosophy, her academic research has focused on issues of equity, democratic decentralization, people-centered development, and women's rights. She has worked for local, national, and international women's movements. She currently lives in Bangalore, India.
Jain has traveled extensively as a participant in many networks and forums. As Chair of the Advisory Committee on Gender for the United Nations Centre in Asia-Pacific, she has visited numerous countries, including most Pacific and Caribbean Island. In Africa, she has visited Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Benin and Senegal, Liberia, Cote D’Ivoir, South Africa and Botswana. Along with Julius Nyerere, she had the privilege of meeting with and discussing the visions and concerns of African leaders. She is also a member of the erstwhile South Commission founded by Nyerere.
She was a member of the Advisory Panel set up by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to advise on the preparation of the 1997 Human Development Report on Poverty and for the 2002 Report on Governance. She was a member of the Eminent Persons Group of the Graça Machel Study Group appointed by the UN to study the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children.
In Women, Development, and the UN—A Sixty-Year Quest for Equality and Justice she shows how women's contributions have changed and shaped developments and practices at the UN. She introduces the term "feminization of poverty" from the feminist economist point of view. "‘Feminization of poverty,’" Jain explains, "was used to describe three distinct elements: that women have a higher incidence of poverty than men, that women’s poverty is more severe than that of men, that a trend toward greater poverty among women is associated with rising rates of female-headed households."(Jain 2005) According to her, "feminization of work" connotes low-quality, lowly-paid work. Jain argues that "feminization" devalues the increased presence of women.
Jain, Devaki; Banerjee, Nirmala (1985). Tyranny of the household: investigative essays on women's work. Sahibabad, District. Ghaziabad, Delhi, India: Vikas Publishing. ISBN9780706927856.
Jain, Devaki; Eck, Diana L. (1986). Speaking of faith: cross-cultural perspectives on women, religion, and social change. London: Women's Press. ISBN9780704340169.
Jain, Devaki (October 1997). For women to lead - ideas and experiences from Asia: a study on the legal and political impediments to gender equality in governance. New Delhi, India: National Commission for Women (India). OCLC42716773.
Jain, Devaki (2000). The vocabulary of women's politics. New Delhi: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. ISBN9788174400536.
Jain, Devaki; Rajput, Pam (2003). Narratives from the women's studies family: recreating knowledge. New Delhi Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications. ISBN9780761996958.
Jain, Devaki (2005). Women, development, and the UN a sixty-year quest for equality and justice. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. ISBN9780253218193.
Jain, Devaki (September 2018). Close Encounters of Another Kind . Women and Development Economics. SAGE Publisher India. ISBN9789352807727
Jain, Devaki (19 March 2018). The Journey of a Southern Feminist. SAGE Publisher India. ISBN9789352806232
Jain, Devaki (1979). "Measuring women's work: some methodological issues". In Jahan, Rounaq; Papanek, Hanna; Bangladesh Institute of Law and International Affairs (eds.). Women and development: perspectives from South and South East Asia. Columbia USA: South Asia Books. ISBN9780836405965.
Jain, Devaki (1989). "The culture of the poor". In Peeradina, Saleem; Braganza, Karuna M. (eds.). Cultural forces shaping India. New Delhi, India: All India Association for Christian Higher Education: S.G. Wasani for Macmillan India. ISBN9780333909720.
Jain, Devaki (1995). "Healing the wounds of development". In Conway, Jill K.; Bourque, Susan C. (eds.). The Politics of women's education: perspectives from Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. pp. 45–58. ISBN9780472083282.
Jain, Devaki (2001). "Democratising culture". In Vohra, N. N. (ed.). Culture, democracy, and development in South Asia. New Delhi: Shipra Publications. ISBN9788175410701.
Jain, Devaki (2004). "Feminist networks, peoples movements, and alliances: learning from the ground". In Ricciutelli, Luciana; Miles, Angela; McFadden, Margaret H. (eds.). Feminist politics, activism and vision: local and global challenges. Toronto London New York New York: Inanna Publications and Education Zed Distributed in the USA by Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN9781842773505.
Jain, Devaki (2005). "Introduction: feminist theory and practice". In Ganesh, Kamala; Thakkar, Usha (eds.). Culture and the making of identity in contemporary India. New Delhi Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications. pp. 184–201. ISBN9780761933076.
Jain, Devaki (7 July 1990). "Development theory and practice: insights emerging from women's experience". Economic and Political Weekly. Economic and Political Weekly via JSTOR. 25 (27): 1454–1455. JSTOR4396465.
Jain, Devaki; Desai, Sonalde (March 1994). "Maternal employment and changes in family dynamics: the social context of women's work in rural South India". Population and Development Review. 20 (1): 115–136. doi:10.2307/2137632. JSTOR2137632.
Jain, Devaki (26 October 1996). "Valuing work: time as a measure". Economic and Political Weekly. Economic and Political Weekly via JSTOR. 31 (43): WS46–WS57. JSTOR4404708.
Jain, Devaki (24 February – 2 March 2007). "To be or not to be: problems in locating women in public policy". Economic and Political Weekly. Economic and Political Weekly via JSTOR. 42 (8): 691–696. JSTOR4419285.
Jain, Devaki (1995). Women and trade liberalization - South Asia's opportunities, workshop on global trading practices and poverty alienation in South Asia. New Delhi, India: UNIFEM-SIDA (Swedish International Development Authority) Conference. Cited here: page 133, ref. 29.
Jain, Devaki; Abzug, Bella (August 1996). Women's leadership and the ethics of development (Gender in Development Monograph Series #4). New York: UNDP United Nations Development Programme. Link.
Jain, Devaki (September 1996). Panchayat Raj: women changing governance (Gender in Development Monograph Series #5). New York: UNDP United Nations Development Programme. Link.
Nuancing globalisation or Mainstreaming the downstream or Reforming Reform – Nita Barrow Memorial Lecture, University of West Indies, Barbados, November 1999
Development as if Women Mattered - Can Women Build a new Paradigm? OECD, Paris, 1983
Gender-apartheid as a hindrance to development: Women and the Global Economy, A public conference convened by Alliance Sud and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) 15 November 2005, Berne (Switzerland)
Women’s Rights between the UN Human Rights Regime and Free Trade Agreements, Globalising Women's Rights: Confronting unequal development between the, UN rights framework and WTO-trade agreements, Bonn, 19–22 May 2004
Are We Knowledge Proof? Development as Waste speech delivered at Lovraj Kumar Memorial Lecture, 26 September, New Delhi (Reprinted in Wastelands News, Vol. 19(1), August–October 2003, "Society for Promotion of Wastelands Development", New Delhi, pp. 19–30
Through the looking glass of poverty, Paper presented at New Hall Cambridge, United kingdom, 19 October 2001.
Valuing Women- Signals From The Ground (Broad Theme: Cultural Diversity And Universal Norms) Opening Session: 1 June 2001, For The University Of Maryland, USA
The Torture of Women: Some Dimensions, paper presented at VII International Symposium on Torture, September 1999, New