Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Political Science

Content Description

1 online resource (vi, 249 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Matthew Ingram

Committee Members

Patricia Strach, Timothy Weaver, Gabriel Hetland


Economic Policy, Education, Equality, Gender Equality, Latin America, Neoliberalism, Women, Sexual division of labor, Sex discrimination against women

Subject Categories

Economic Theory | Latin American Studies | Political Science


Neoliberalism has been a persistent concern for policymakers, scholars, and the general public in Latin America due to its negative effects on women. This paper examines the relationship between neoliberal economic policies and gender equality from the 1970s to 2003 in the region. I use a mixed-methods approach to test the two major competing theories from the literature that discuss women’s status under neoliberal reform. I find that neoliberal economic policies did not improve the status of women but reduced gender disparity. Neoliberalism led to the worsening of men’s status, which caused the status of women to seem better. Overall, education was more beneficial to enhancing the status of women than neoliberalism.