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The Masculinization of Ereba Production: Converting Women's Work into Men's Capabilities

Kia M. Q. Hall


This article calls for the expansion of the capabilities approach to development, which focuses exclusively on individual opportunities. The call for the inclusion of collective capabilities, or opportunities of groups, is based upon seven months of ethnographic fieldwork in the Afro-indigenous Garifuna community of Honduras, working with the makers of cassava bread, or ereba. Employing a Black feminist epistemology, the paper focuses on the women who bake and sell ereba. It demonstrates that an individual-focused capabilities approach fails both to identify the historical importance of groups of women in ereba production and to capture the recent transfer of capabilities from groups of women to individual men with the mechanization of cassava grinding and straining. Engaging in feminist analysis, the paper concludes that by not acknowledging the initial capabilities of groups, the capabilities approach risks misinterpreting the transfer of capabilities away from groups of women as simply the creation of capabilities for men.


Women; Garifuna; Feminism; Black feminism

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JENdA: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies. ISSN: 1530-5686 (online).
Editors: Nkiru Nzegwu; Book Editor: Mary Dillard.

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