Abstract: This study takes into account global debates surrounding women’s role in development and how access to resources impacts the structures that perpetuate gender inequalities. For example, scholars have argued that women’s ownership of and control over resources are linked to gender-based violence. This paper provides a theoretical framework for, and an examination of, the role of land ownership in women’s empowerment and receipt of domestic violence that has been posed in the literature but never empirically tested. Household surveys conducted in rural Nicaragua reveal that land ownership is directly related to women’s status and power within the marital relationship and to their empowerment and psychological well-being, each of which explained why and how owning land contributed to lower levels of domestic violence. The findings have important implications for the discussion of gender-based violence in the context of development involving land resources, as well as for initiatives that can improve women’s well-being and lead to more equitable policies for women.
Abstract: Western discourse on the status of women and their positions in society, the inequity in their employment experiences, and their limited participation in leadership dominates intellectual theorizing on African women. This article employs African data to de-marginalize and dehegemonize African women by explicating how women from Kenya articulate servant-leadership as motherhood in the public domain. Motherhood in Africa is a site of contestation, as it is both a highly regarded status to which women aspire and a site for the marginalization of those women who, either through infertility or otherwise, find themselves unable to be biological parents. In this article, I look at motherhood specifically as it relates to women’s leadership in grassroots, national, Pan-African, and global settings, based on qualitative research with sixteen leaders. The article illustrates three ways that motherhood and leadership are connected: motherhood gives the women social status and credibility for leadership in their communities; the responsibility inherent in motherhood generates leadership; and, through their own mothers and grandmothers, the women leaders learn a brand of leadership that is based on service. I will use quotes from interviews with the women leaders to demonstrate these three broad themes. This article illustrates how these women articulate motherhood in the public domain, making use of the positive regard that motherhood bestows upon them socially to gain credibility with their constituents. Those who were not biological mothers illustrate the social stigma associated with childlessness and their struggles to gain credibility as leaders.
Abstract: This article analyzes some of the ideological effects and practices implicated in the current construction of “sexual panic” surrounding young women and “trans” persons as a form of sexual and gendered violence by specific public institutions involved in the assistance of adolescents experiencing homelessness, poverty, and prostitution in the City of Buenos Aires. In order to do so, it provides historical frameworks of experiences and struggles of gender and sexual social movements in Argentina from the point of view of gender and sexual rights in developing countries. All data and arguments submitted throughout the text are based on extensive ethnographic research that I have been developing since 2002 concerning gender and sexual violence, class, and discrimination in the context of increasing poverty and social exclusion in Argentina and Latin America.
Abstract: This paper examines the gender narratives of conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs in Argentina and their implications for women’s livelihoods and agency. Donors and international institutions promote CCTs to women as the latest development trend in tackling extreme poverty. This paper contributes to feminist debates on the role CCTs
ascribe to women, by offering a context-specific analysis of two CCT initiatives that illustrate distinct narratives about womanhood and social inclusion.
Findings indicate that the altruistic maternalism fostered by Plan Jefas y Jefes re-enacts Peronist rhetorics of “dignified” workers while reproducing unequal gender norms by obscuring women’s triple burden and their unpaid reproductive work. Whereas, Plan Familias with its moral narratives of “good mothering” recognizes women’s care responsibilities, while essentializing sexual differences and discouraging women’s links with labor and community activism.
The paper concludes by arguing that contextual analysis of maternalism serves as a way to disrupt trans-historical and essentialized visions of women present in development policies.
Abstract: New forms of religiosity in Indonesia are related to the spread of neoliberal governance but also appear to be producing new opportunities for agency. This article examines how Islamic piety can be a resource for Muslim women’s political mobilization. Based on ethnographic research in Jakarta, Indonesia, I argue that the institutional aspects of Islamic piety, as well as the redefinition of Islamic piety as public practice, help to promote women’s participation in the Indonesian political sphere. While some activists use Islamic discourses to contest gender inequality, others seek to contribute to the Islamization of Indonesia. Yet both visions are profoundly influenced by the conviction that piety is a public matter. The new public piety influenced by the global Islamic revival has empowered many women activists, but the political reforms they seek to achieve are diverse.
Abstract: In this paper I outline a framework to examine women’s lives in eastern Guatemala, how multiple forms of violence coalesce in their everyday lives, and how these become internalized and normalized so as to become invisible and "natural." Women in western Guatemala, mostly indigenous, have received the attention of scholars (and with good reason) who are interested in unearthing the brutality of state terror and its gendered expressions in Guatemala. This discussion builds on previous research conducted among indigenous groups in Guatemala and renders a depiction of the broad reach of violence, including those forms of violence that are so commonplace as to become invisible. I argue that an examination of multiple forms of violence in the lives of women in eastern Guatemala, mostly non-indigenous, exposes the deep and broad manifestations of living in a society engulfed in violence, depicting the "long arm of violence."
Abstract: This study examines the effects of economic globalization on gender wage inequality. A theory of global economic restructuring and its impact on the quality of women’s work suggests that national integration into the world economy through trade liberalization significantly expands women’s access to income but does not necessarily remove barriers to women’s advancement or ameliorate the predominance of low-paying, menial jobs held by women. A measure of gender wage inequality is employed as the dependent variable in cross-sectional and panel OLS regression analyses of fifty-five nations using data from 1975–1998. In addition to national socio-economic forces, trade openness is found to have increased the female share of earned income from 1990–1998 in selected models. Furthermore, trade risk and transnational corporate penetration are found to be significantly related (both positively and negatively) to gender wage differentials. However, these effects are determined by a country’s world system position and region. The analyses illustrate that global economic restructuring is a gendered process that transforms and builds upon existing gender inequalities and national economic status. Therefore, the inclusion of global structural characteristics into comparative research on gender inequality is essential.
DEVELOPMENT, DEMOCRACY, AND WOMEN'S LEGISLATIVE REPRESENTATION: RE-VISITING EXISTING EXPLANATIONS OF GENDER VARIATION IN THE WORLD'S PARLIAMENTS
by Jocelyn Viterna et al.
Working Paper 288, April 2007
Abstract: Previous studies have found that the substantial cross-national variation in women's legislative representation is not explained by cross-national differences in socioeconomic development. We re-visit an existing study and demonstrate that economic development does matter. Accepted explanations fit rich nations much better than poor nations and obscure the effects of democracy on women's representation in the developing world. We call for new theoretical models that better explain women's political representation within developing nations, and we suggest that democracy should be central to future models.
Abstract: This paper examines global debates over water reform and evaluates how reforms may impact women. Water management is perceived as a critical aspect of economic development and human well-being by development organizations and the donor community. As a result, donors and policy makers are active in shaping how water reforms should be conceptualized and implemented. Zimbabwe and several other countries in Southern Africa are in the process of reforming how water is managed. The impetus for reform derives from highly variable rainfall patterns in the region, a historical legacy of inequality in access to land and water resources and the influence of development organizations involved in shaping countries' economies. However, when compared to the 1980s, women are no longer seen as critical to water management by donor agencies. This paper will critically examine contemporary water policy documents and guiding papers to understand how women as water users are being portrayed by development organizations involved in water reform initiatives, what affects policy proposals may have on women's access to and use of water resources, and whether or not these documents adequately allow for women's participation and decision-making in the formation of water policy and water reform.
Abstract: Based on findings from two qualitative studies, this paper describes changes in gender norms in Bangladesh from the perspectives of men and women in rural communities and examines their ideas about the factors driving these changes. Data from in-depth interviews and group discussions on a variety of topics reveal a widespread perception that women are changing, that they are better educated, better informed, more daring, and more resourceful than they used to be. Study participants explained this phenomenon both in terms of adaptation to intensifying problems, such as poverty and population growth, and as a response to new opportunities. They also portrayed policies in the population and health sector as catalysts for changes in gender norms. The authors argue that policy makers should take into consideration the dynamic nature of culture and that they should go further in making gender equity an explicit goal in health and population policy.
Abstract: Caldwell hypothesized that: 1) Indian daughters-in-law have less autonomy if they live with their mothers-in-law; but 2) even then, they can gain situational advantage over her if they are educationally superior to her. We tested these two hypotheses with data from the National Family Health Survey II (1998-1999) in the Republic of India. We measured women's autonomy along three dimensions: a wife's freedom to 1) go to market without permission, 2) set aside money for her own usage, and 3) have voice in the decision to obtain health care for herself. The first hypothesis was supported on all three dimensions. The second hypothesis was rejected on the first dimension of women's autonomy but supported on the other two dimensions. The contextual effects of region, religion, urbanism, employment for cash, and level of a woman's education are discussed, along with the implications for public policy and future research.
Abstract: Historically, sexual and reproductive health programs in Mexico and the U.S. all but ignored male partners. The past decade's significant shift to accord greater attention to men, however, may paradoxically subordinate women's interests, goals, and needs. We illustrate this observation with data from a study of 156 women of Mexican background and their mail partners in a California program offering prenatal genetic testing and abortion for birth anomalies in "high risk" pregnancies. When genetic counselors sensed ambivalence from women, they clearly allied themselves with the male partners to gain consent for procedures. The resultant male empowerment, coupled with problematical fetal diagnoses, could ignite or exacerbate domestic conflict.
Abstract: Based on ethnographic fieldwork in a low-income urban community in Brazil, the author examines the impact of recent changes in Brazilian society for poor women's gender identity. Poverty in the context of a consumer society, male unemployment, and unstable marital relationships are all aspects of "modern life" that have provoked tensions between men and women and have made the ideals and requirements of traditional motherhood ever more difficult to achieve. The ways Brazilian women find themselves between being "modern women" and "traditional mothers" illustrates the limits of this dichotomy. Using women's discussions of family planning and child rearing, their participation in the paid labor force, and their volunteer work in community associations, the author argues that some poor women, while not entirely resisting or escaping from traditional definitions of female gender roles, have refigured dominant gender ideologies in ways that destabilize those roles.
Abstract: The paper first discusses the traditional theories of suicide and then reports the findings of an exploratory study of suicides and attempted suicides in Batman, Turkey. In the year 2000, many more women than men killed themselves in Batman. Of the thirty-one suicides, twenty-two (71%) were women, as were eighty-five (86%) of the ninety-nine attempted suicides. Effects of Batman's anomic urbanization, ensuing poverty, and patriarchal social conditions are discussed. It is concluded that the traditional theories of suicide are not capable of accounting for high rates of female suicides, and the feminist literature on patriarchy has a lot to offer for understanding and suggesting changes to remedy self-destruction proclivities of girls/women.
Abstract: Since the implementation of export-oriented industrialization strategies in the early 1980s, small-scale firms have become increasingly important to Turkey's economy. In an era of flexible production and subcontracting, small-scale firms have been able to enter the global marketplace by cheaply producing and exporting labor-intensive commodities, such as textiles, food, garments, and leather goods. This paper investigates the changing nature of Turkey's manufacturing sector by investigating one increasingly prominent type of small-scale firm: garment ateliers (atölye) in Istanbul. As family-owned businesses, ateliers draw on inexpensive (and often unpaid), flexible, and loyal immediate and extended kin to provide labor. Garment ateliers operate informally on the outskirts of big cities, such as Istanbul, where rural migrant families comprise a cheap labor pool for enterprising migrant business owners. These small-scale firms then depend on unpaid and underpaid labor, encouraged by large-scale manufacturing factories seeking cheap subcontracting linkages to take over the labor-intensive parts of industrial production. This paper-through two case-studies-focuses on family labor and extended kin social networks to analyze the role of women's unpaid and underpaid labor in these small-scale garment ateliers.
Abstract: Women in Sub-Saharan Africa suffer ill effects from a range of gendered practices, despite purported efforts by some governments to institute gender equality. Moving beyond the cultural relativity versus universal human rights debate, the paper examines how certain practices-including food traditions, marriage and sexual customs, initiation rites, legal discrimination, and economic marginalization-impact women's health in Sub-Saharan Africa. The article argues that as women's health is assaulted, particularly by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, entire communities risk destruction. The paper asks readers to note how gendered conventions in their own and others' societies compromise women's health, and it challenges "insiders" and "outsiders" alike to work together to make women's lives healthier in all societies.
Abstract: This paper explores the possibility of holding states or individual decision-makers (criminally) responsible for human rights violations that arise as consequences of aid and trade conditionalities. It identifies the vacuums and possibilities of current international human rights law and points out some of the strategies that have been used to overcome the prevailing impunity in this area. The paper shows that there currently is a glaring gap between the stated intentions of international cooperation and the mechanisms in place to implement these intentions, and that this gap is biggest when it comes to cases concerning the rights of traditionally marginalized groups, for example women and the poor. Looking at the Global Gag Rule in this light, the paper shows how the reinstatement of this policy in the particular context of Peru has had-or is likely to have in the near future-an exacerbating effect on an already serious public health situation.
Abstract: Prostitution is increasingly a form of employment for women with limited formal education and schooling (United Nations 1995), and is on the rise in contemporary Mexico as a response to changing economic conditions (Chant 1997). Mexican prostitutes are widely viewed as "lazy" women who "enjoy working on their backs." Yet an alternate view is that this job provides higher remuneration than other informal sector jobs. Using ethnographic data collected among ambulantes (literally, streetwalkers) in the non-industrialized Mexican provincial capital of Oaxaca City, this article explores women's motives for prostituting, work conditions, nature of the local labor market, issues of violence and disease, and the stigma associated with prostitution. The findings from this study indicate that, although ambulantes are aware of the health risks, violence, and social stigma associated with this job and lifestyle, they consider prostitution an undesirable yet viable way to support themselves and to fulfill their roles as mothers.
Abstract: In her 1992 book, A Thrice Told Tale: Feminism, Postmodernism & Ethnographic Responsibility, Margery Wolf tells us that one never finishes the job of fieldwork. As she writes, "[we] leave the field site because we must, not because we feel we have finished the work." The same must be said for teachingeventually, one retires from teaching, not because one has finished the job, but because one must. In May 2001, Wolf retired from academia (but fortunately, not from anthropology). This collection of papers illustrates the broad spectrum of influence that Wolf has had on her students at the University of Iowa. Reflecting on students' experiences and their discussions of anthropology, feminism, and ethnography with Wolf, these papers pay tribute to Margery Wolf as a teacher and mentor. They explore her contributions to anthropology, and the effects those contributions have had on her students' own approach to writing ethnography.
Abstract: This paper looks at the effects of Islamization and colonialism on women in Hausaland. Beginning with the jihad and subsequent Islamic government of dan Fodio, I examine the changes impacting Hausa women in and outside of the Caliphate he established. Women inside of the Caliphate were increasingly pushed out of public life and relegated to the domestic space. Islamic law was widely established, and large-scale slave production became key to the economy of the Caliphate. In contrast, Hausa women outside of the Caliphate were better able to maintain historical positions of authority in political and religious realms. As the French and British colonized Hausaland, the partition they made corresponded roughly with those Hausas inside and outside of the Caliphate. The British colonized the Caliphate through a system of indirect rule, which reinforced many of the Caliphate's ways of governance. The British did, however, abolish slavery and impose a new legal system, both of which had significant effects on Hausa women in Nigeria. The French colonized the northern Hausa kingdoms, which had resisted the Caliphate's rule. Through patriarchal French colonial policies, Hausa women in Niger found they could no longer exercise the political and religious authority that they historically had held. The literature on Hausa women in Niger is considerably less well developed than it is for Hausa women in Nigeria. This paper serves as an inquiry into the types of questions that need to be explored in future research on gender issues in Nigerien Hausaland.
Abstract: In the male-dominated theatrical world, actresses strategically relied on personal connections to survive. As "public" women and agents of mass media, they were utilized by men for different purposes. Theatrical managers and male audiences were intent to turn actresses into sexual objects in licentious plays, whereas nationalist reformers recruited actresses for mass mobilization. Actresses participated in the nation-building cause through presenting diverse human roles whose stories conveyed either new ideologies or historical values. The fictional plots of women's emancipation, however, provided a learning process in which actresses could adopt the concepts of personal rights, self-determined marriage, and economic autonomy. The Chinese state, despite minor variations, always sustained the ideals of gender distinctions and opposed or restrained women's public roles. The stories of actresses' survival and prosperity nonetheless demonstrated the tremendous endurance, flexibility, intelligence, and strength of Chinese women.
Abstract: This paper is a re-assessment of the role of women in the Eritrean national liberation struggle. As such, it challenges the existing literature surrounding the topic and interrogates the emphasis placed upon women who fought physically in the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF). The bulk of this research attempts to give voice to women who participated predominantly through non-military means in the predecessor to the EPLF, the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF). Central to this research is the issue of why the role of female EPLF combatants is prioritized over female ELF non-combatants in existing literature and the growing nationalist mythologies of struggle, sacrifice and national and gender liberation. This paper concludes that the answers to such questions lie in the creation and re-creation of national narratives that exclude dissenting voices in order to preserve an artificial unity. As a result, it is both a denial of variegated female experience as well as an example of the totalitarian tendencies of national liberation ideology.
Abstract: Historically, issues of gender, race and the environment have received little attention in mainstream International Relations (IR) scholarship. Great strides have been made, however, in interrogating the inadequacies of the field in these areas, and similarly, in demonstrating the necessity of expanded definitions of security and violence in IR. Despite these strides, mainstream environmental security discourse mimics traditional IR security discourse. In both, gender, class, nation and race are crucial to the political mobilization of identity and the enemy-creation process characteristic of IR; raced, classed and gendered "others" are represented as threats to national security. For mainstream environmental security discourse, "overpopulation" in non-Western countries captures a lion's share of attention and, like traditional security discourse, the bodies of women act as an important site for its construction. With particular attention population growth, I examine mainstream environmental security discourse as well as mainstream media discourse in the US to expose the manner by which race, class and gender are utilized in the construction of environmental security concerns.
Abstract: This article attempts to investigate how Chinese women writers themselves understand binary genders. Being named as the "other," feminists in the west can speak from a politically "different" position against centered patriarchal ideology. By contrast, Chinese women in the 1980s find their female gender completely inscribed within the state feminism, which emphasizes "asexuality" rather than "differentiation." Therefore, this article focuses on the female double image, the masculine/feminine double, created by Chinese women writers in the early 1980s. This reveals Chinese women writers' struggle to find a way for women not only to reject the social roles that men have imposed on them and women have too often accepted but also to actively participate in deconstructing and reconstructing definitions of femininity, and to get beyond gender divisions.
Abstract: In the last two decades, spaces for feminist interventions and actions have proliferated across the state, international development arenas, and global policy networks. This expansion of locales for feminist politics along with growing recognition of the achievements of women's movements has fostered the ability of some groups to secure formal institutional and financial support. While such support has broadened possibilities for cultural and political influence, pressures towards institutionalization and professionalization have precipitated numerous tensions for these evolving organizations. New power relations have emerged between activists affiliated with the state, non-profit organizations, and the 'Aid Industry' and those activists located within local grassroots organizations. Particularly common in this process is the divergence of priorities and the creation of hierarchies between professionally credentialed staff and grassroots membership. Accommodation of donor mandates and demands for accountability further complicate the design and implementation of programs and strategies. We explore these tensions, focusing on shifting organizational practices, among women's groups in Latin America and the United States.
Abstract: Natural resource degradation in Mexico has taken many forms and levels of intensity. The country's rural areas have been among the most affected by this degradation. In this paper, I examine the causes and the impact of natural resource degradation upon rural communities in northwestern Mexico. I discuss the manner in which rural households and women are coping with these problems and the various survival strategies developed. I use a political ecology approach to understand the manner in which environmental degradation, poverty and survival strategies are interrelated.
Abstract: This paper analyzes the relations between gender and gold mining among the Ndjuka Maroons, forest peoples in Suriname, South America. Today, gold mining has become the primary source of subsistence for many Ndjuka families. Yet in contrast to other parts of the world, few Ndjuka women participate in mining. The researcher examines how the gender system in Ndjuka society accounts for the male domination of gold mining, and how some women have negotiated traditional gender roles. Quantitative and qualitative data support the conclusion that the limited participation of Ndjuka women in gold mining is a product of their limited access to critical resources and mobility. The internalization of gender ideology, and the dependence of women on men, prevents women from challenging existing gender roles and power structures in society. The women who engage in mining are typically poor single mothers who have adopted urban gender beliefs. Poverty and prior market experience inform their choice to become gold miners. On a theoretical level, it is argued that gender systems are changing continuously, under the influences of time, space, political process, and economic development. It appears that when the economic contribution of women becomes indispensable to household survival, cultural restrictions to the mobility and economic power of women necessarily weaken. The researcher emphasizes that the heterogeneity among women differentiates the options and constraints of individual women who make livelihood decisions. The conclusion is drawn that development efforts will only be effective when such efforts fully recognize the dynamism of gender systems and the heterogeneity among women.
Abstract: Researchers from diverse fields continue to search for clues underlying the disparity between interest and achievement of men and women in mathematics. In Western countries, psychologists have focused on such factors as attitudes and motives when studying women's mathematics achievement. Relatively little attention has been placed on women in sub-Saharan countries. For this study, 140 female students in Cote d'Ivoire have completed an inventory of mathematics attitudes (the Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Attitudes Scale, 1976), and a background questionnaire. High-achieving female students report less anxious attitudes, more positive attitudes towards problem solving (effectance motivation), and more positive attitudes towards the usefulness of mathematics than do low-achieving students. In conclusion, this study discusses future research and intervention strategies to positively affect mathematics attitudes and achievement for female Ivorian students.
Abstract: This paper focuses on the changing roles and relative decision-making power of the women farmers of Thieudeme, Senegal. Through interviews with three generations of women supplemented by document research and interviews with men and researchers sociological notions of change and power are combined with women's notions to tease out the details of role change from part-time subsistence farming of hardy staples to full-time farming and marketing of vegetables and evaluate women's decision making. This technique also is used to compare women's perceptions of change factors drought, economic crisis, and a "curse" with those identified through historical and policy research, including pressures on customary rights, land tenure, and markets. We conclude that women's traditional arenas of decision-making power have expanded along with responsibilities for farming and marketing. As a result, increased work burdens also improved their status in the community and households and were factors in organizing and greater autonomy. Nonetheless, women are more likely to point to stress from increased burdens and conflicts than to conclude that change has brought any benefits.
Abstract: When talking about human rights, anthropologists often find it difficult to reconcile an apparent conflict between individual and collective rights, and cultural relativity and universalism. The argument in this paper mediates these dichotomies, especially with respect to women's rights. It concludes that the concept of cultural relativity, developed by anthropologists to induce respect for difference, is appropriated, simplified, and deployed by despotic states, politicians, patriarchs, and sometimes by well-meaning scholars to rationalize and excuse human rights abuses against women, and suggests that anthropologists take the lead in making cultural relativity a liberating rather than a constraining concept.
Abstract: The Zapatista uprising and the radical movement for democracy which it inspired have profoundly affected indigenous women and their families in Chiapas. In this paper I focus on the meanings of this movement for women by contrasting the experiences of two indigenous women from the same township who have different relationships to the Zapatista movement as well as different strategies of obtaining social justice for themselves and their children. Focusing on the two women's experiences with marriage and education I compare ways in which they are dealing with changes in these arenas. I also discuss women's participation in three social movements Liberation Theology, weaving cooperatives and bases of support for the Zapatistas. I describe how through their personal choices and group projects women are creating the foundations for greater gender equality while preserving their culture's traditional emphases on social responsibility, economic interdependence between spouses and generations, and spiritual strength as a collective rather than an individual achievement.
Abstract: Rural women did not fare very well in the land reforms carried out during the Latin American "reformist period" of the 1960s and 1970s, with women being under-represented among the beneficiaries. This paper investigates the extent to which women have gained or lost access to land during the "counter-reforms" of the 1980s and 1990s. Under the neo-liberal agenda, production cooperatives as well as communal access to land have largely been undermined in favor of privatization and the individual parcelization of collectives. Significant land titling efforts are also being carried out throughout the region to promote the development of a vigorous land market.
Nonetheless, this latter period has also been characterized by the growth of the feminist movement throughout Latin America and a growing commitment by states to gender equity. This paper reviews the extent to which rural women's access to land has potentially been enhanced by recent changes in agrarian and legal codes. Colombia and Costa Rica are found to be the leaders in gender-equitable legislation. The Mexican neo-liberal counter-reform is found to be the retrograde in the region. The case studies include Chile, Peru, Mexico, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Colombia.
Abstract: This study examines women's perceptions of polygyny among the Kaguru of Tanzania. Using data from ethnographic interviews, the results show a widespread rejection of polygynous unions among Kaguru women. Rather than passively accept a co-wife, a Kaguru women can threaten and sometimes leave her husband when he takes a second wife. In evaluating polygyny, Kaguru women are mainly concerned with the impact that a diversion of resources from the husband to the CO-wife may have on their own welfare and that of their children. Despite the fact that Kaguru women have a substantially heavier workload than men, there are no indications that women perceive polygyny as a means to reduce that workload by sharing it with a CO-wife
Abstract: It is now an accepted fact, in gender and development writing at least, that women in many Third World societies play a vital role in the management of natural resources. Because their activities are often supported by a deep knowledge of resource management issues, women should play an integral role in every environmental project. Nevertheless, many environmental projects have emerged such as the Solomon Western Islands Fair Trade (SWIFT) eco-timber initiative in which women play no more than a sideline role in project management or operations. In support of the views expressed by women, as well as some men in the study area, this paper advocates an engendered approach to environmental projects in general, and eco-timber production in particular. In order to attune the eco-timber project to include the interests of women, a number of practical recommendations are presented.
Abstract: While the literature on women's participation in the informal economy as marketers is vast, much of it focuses on the larger forces that drive women to adopt this economic strategy. Because such women become familiar with the market and understand its cycles, I further suggest that women in the informal economy learn to adapt their products, attendance, and pricing accordingly. Based on data collected during four field seasons in stationary artesania (crafts) market in highland Chiapas, Mexico, I show how Tzotzil Maya vendedoras (market women) adapt to seasonal fluctuations in the market. Population counts, price and commodity surveys, and informal interviews are used to illustrate that women are sensitive to the volatility of the tourist market and adapt their own economic strategies accordingly. I further note how participation in the market has contributed to changing patterns in indigenous gender relations.
Abstract: The people of Szeged, Hungary, see their nation as a nation under siege; they feel that the forces that guarded their security until the end of the socialist era in 1990 have been overpowered by a deluge of foreign crime and criminals accompanying the new economic and political systems of the post-socialist era. One of the most common ways that Hungarians in Szeged speak about these criminal threats is with the idea that the body of the nation is being attacked through the bodies of its women. While all members of the Szeged community feel besieged and use security as a primary discursive feature in their personal narratives, because it is their bodies that are used in metonymic reference to the nation, it is the women of Szeged who have been left feeling as if their right to personal security has been stripped from them. This paper argues that these different gendered experiences at the personal and local levels create different kinds of members of the nation.
Abstract: The global population control policies and programs that have been promoted and orchestrated in the "Underdeveloped World" by the US-led "population establishment" emerge directly from the last 500 years of colonial invasion, land dispossession, capitalist exploitation, and cultural genocide. Reproductive imperialism, the intricate connection between current population control efforts and the need for cheap labor by transnational corporations, has resulted in a type of foreign invasion in which Underdeveloped World women's wombs become the "final frontier" of colonization. Consequently, the struggle for reproductive liberation is fundamentally an anti-colonial, anti-capitalist, and anti-imperialist process.
Abstract: The major improvements in health status, as well as in the status of women, since the founding of the People's Republic of China have been widely recognized. Nevertheless, major differences in health status remain between women living in urban and rural areas and those in economically developed and underdeveloped provinces. Analyses of statistics compiled by the Ministry of Public Health, based on five geographical groups of urban and rural areas, show interesting patterns of health status differentials for women. Cause-specific and age-specific analyses suggest that access to and quality of medical care remain a significant problem in rural China. In addition, services for preventable cancer (i.e. cervical and breast) should be receiving greater attention. Of most significant concern are (1) the prominence of suicide as the major cause of death among women aged 15 to 44, and (2) the high rate of death due to drowning, suffocation, and homicide among girls below the age of one year. These two patterns suggest that the status of women in society remains problematic, especially in rural areas, and that women's health needs to be analyzed and addressed within the social and economic context of their lives.
Abstract: Many people believe that electricity development has been and continues to be beneficial to women. Early proponents of electrification of the United States, who included feminist visionaries, home economists, utility and transportation companies, and politicians, claimed that electrification would positively change the lives of women. While the vast majority of the United States is already electrified, many of the less developed countries (referred to collectively as the South in this paper) are not. Proponents of electrification of the South often use the same arguments that were used during the electrification of the United States. This paper shows that women in the United States have not significantly benefited from electrification. The arguments are then extended to women in the South, where the negative impacts of electrification are often more severe. It is argued that women in the South are far less likely than women in the United States to realize benefits from electrification, and that, since they often rely directly on the local environment for their family's subsistence, they will suffer from the negative effects of electrification far more severely and directly than have women in the United States.
Abstract: This paper introduces into the debate on the character of South African civil society a section of gender themes. Its purpose is to suggest how issues of relevance to women's participation and perceptions, and concepts central to understanding gender dynamics may alter and enrich analysis and characterization of civil society. The paper argues that women have developed different organizational and managerial talents from men, and therefore have the capacity to make a distinct and positive contribution to civil society. Then, since the most urgent of the concerns raised by the women interviewed related to violence, and particularly violence against women, the notion of a "crisis in masculinity" will be investigated. Two conceptual distinctions, namely that between the private and public domains and that between practical and strategic interests, are discussed. Finally, in drawing together some key themes of a gendered approach, the paper will indicate how these sorts of concerns have the potential to enhance our understanding of the complexity of civil society in a manner that goes well beyond gender.
Abstract: This paper, based on fieldwork in two African cities, shows that gender in combination with position in the life cycle brings about major differences for women and men in familial obligations. While in school or other training, males and females alike are supported by networks of relatives that span urban and rural areas and, with financial independence, the young professionals start to reciprocate. For the advancing professionals, however, marriage entails changes which are highly influenced by gender. Men are expected to continue or even increase the support of their natal family and also to invest in their home community, thus earning status and possible formal titles. In contrast, women become members of their husbands' families which they now have to support in addition to their own natal family. Because this does not lead to status increase or title holdership for women, they remain more oriented toward town; their urban-rural connection is more person-oriented and may even end when personal rural contacts cease to exist.
Abstract: The relationship between women's access to the benefits of development, the existence of patriarchal structures and ideology, and the emancipation or subordination of women is particularly difficult to assess in Africa. Continent-wide generalizations are clearly impossible, so this paper will examine these questions in the Zimbabwean case. It investigates the economic changes in Zimbabwe since independence in 1980, their impact on women's employment and educational opportunities, and the degree to which patriarchal structures and ideas/discourse have continued (or failed) to restrict women's opportunities in economic and political spheres. Case studies on inheritance are used as a prism to examine the benefits of economic development to challenge patriarchal authority and control.
Abstract: Our inquiry places the ethnographic quest to study an indigenous rainforest-dwelling people of the Amazon within the context of the Western culture of male adventures and violence. The Yanomami appear prominently as "The Fierce People" in academic texts and filmography. These narratives, incorporated into popular media, describe the Yanomami as an original society premised on the abuse of women and female infanticide in the service of male reproductive fitness. Tales of primal male violence among the Yanomami reflect and reinforce male power in gender relations in post industrial society. These imposed images from a Western culture of violence further burden the Yanomami, who currently struggle to survive the catastrophic destruction of their homeland and lifeways.
Abstract: This paper is a comparison of two rural women's organizations in Brazil and Mexico. They are the Rural Women Workers' Movement (MMTR) of Brazil and the Women's Council of the Lázaro Cárdenas Ejido Union (UELC) in Mexico. While both organizations grew out of mobilizations that involved both men and women, their differing contexts and histories have resulted in significantly different organizational characteristics, goals, and strategies. The purpose of comparing these two organizations is to understand why women in the MMTR have chosen a strategy that challenges traditional gender roles and why participants in the Women's Council of the UELC have chosen to work within traditional gender roles the ways in which women in these organizations emerged, and the multiple orientations (class, gender, religion, and ethnicity) each woman has as a political actor. This paper will look most closely at the influence of organizational history and political context.
Abstract: In this paper the uses of indigenous plants for nutritive and medicinal care of neonates and pregnant and post-partum Mahafaly women in Southwest Madagascar are described and discussed. Following a global comparison of cultural practices associated with their use, I contend that ethnographers have missed many uses of plants because they have focused on illness and healing, thus overlooking routine and nutritive care. Moreover, botanists who exclusively survey plants used by healers may also miss relevant information on their knowledge and use by the lay population. Consequently, ethnographers who focus specifically on pregnancy and child care and investigate the use of non-cultivated plants by local residents may discover valuable uses of indigenous plants. I conclude that the pharmacological properties of many of these plants are not yet known; further research on plant species, particularly in Southern Madagascar, is therefore suggested.
Abstract: The authors of the National Policy on Education 1986, like farmers of past policy, have given women's education a distinct place in their program of action. No sensible man in India denies the importance of women's complementary role in accelerating the country's progress and improving the sociocultural life of Indian citizens. Nevertheless, there is a disparity between India's policy and its practices dealing with women's education, a relic of the socioculturally unjust attitudes held by the British rulers about women's education. The present study highlights certain aspects of this discrepancy between policy and practices by scrutinizing published documents. The objectives of the paper are to present the recorded reality, in order to stimulate thinking about remedial measures necessary for the betterment of Indian women.
Abstract: This paper discusses the broad impacts of AIDS on women in Uganda. An extensive literature review and analysis demonstrate that not only is the risk of HIV-infection and AIDS higher for women than for men in Uganda, individual and social impacts of the disease on Ugandan society disproportionately affect women. Both afflicted and non-afflicted women are greatly affected by the AIDS scourge through their multiple roles as individuals, caregivers, and mothers. Research demonstrates that AIDS in Uganda presents severe socioeconomic implications for women as well as a higher risk for infection due to cultural expectations, subordinate status, and patriarchy in the society.
Abstract: This study investigates perceptions of "who" (husband/wife/both) make reproductive and contraceptive decisions. Findings reveal that men and women have different perspectives; the majority of the women perceived most decisions as being made jointly, while most men perceived them as being made either by themselves, their wives, jointly, or by no one. Disagreement in naming the decision-making among couples indicates that spouses lack communication regarding reproduction and contraception matters. Predictions resulting from a quantitative analysis of the data indicate that among users and nonusers, women perceive that men are more likely to make the decision to have another child, but neither men nor women perceive that a women might make that decision. Data concerning the use of contraceptive methods show that more couples practice male-controlled methods than female-controlled methods.
Recommendations are made to include husbands independently of their wives in educational workshops about contraception in order to open the channels of communication among couples; for those couples who can agree on a contraceptive method, it is suggested that husbands could be involved in supporting their wives' use and continuation of a method.
Abstract: There is little doubt that the transformations currently taking place in former centrally-planned economies (CPEs) will be accompanied by rising inequality. Although much of the critical discussion of this issue has focused on the class basis of this increase, a growing body of feminist work emphasizes the ways in which rising class inequality is likely to be accompanied by increased gender inequality. In this paper, I use survey and interview data gathered in Bulgaria to examine the impact of the agricultural decollectivization on women.
The analysis is used to shed light on the relationship between state policy (before and after the transition) and gender inequality, and on the likely impact of the privatization of agricultural production on persisting inequality. I find that current conditions encourage a class-gender alliance, between rural women as a group and those households which will soon make up the rural poor. I conclude by outlining a set of measures which such a class-gender alliance could encourage the state to undertake to reduce the negative impact of decollectivization on women agricultural workers.
Abstract: This paper examines communal kitchens in Lima, Peru, to illustrate how such self-help organizations transcend the collective preparation and consumption of meals. Participation in communal kitchens empowers some women by giving them increased self-confidence and enabling them to become politically active and to participate in decision-making processes. The study concludes that the higher women's level of participation in the kitchens, the greater their empowerment.
The author suggests that communal kitchens open a political space for collectivity that has historically been denied this space by virtue of its gender, class, and ethnicity. Through their efforts to centralize and maintain their autonomy from the state, women in communal kitchens challenge their position in society, and envision new and less hierarchical social relations.
Abstract: Collective organizing has been identified in many settings as a mechanism for empowering women. Although the impetus to organize may come through women's efforts to meet survival (practical) needs, the act of organizing provides opportunities to become more aware of strategic needs (those related to power and choice). However, the potential for meeting strategic needs through women's organizations may not be straightforward and may be conditioned by other factors such as the links between women's organizations and features of local culture. This paper assesses the extent to which a millet pounders' collective in Dakar does or does not link survival strategies to empowerment for the rural migrants who are its members.
Abstract: In 1984 the Reagan Administration instituted by executive order a ban on all United States government population assistance to foreign Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) involved in abortion-related activities. This funding restriction was announced by the United States delegation at the second United Nations sponsored International Conference on Population in Mexico City. In light of the fact that the United States contributes more than 50 percent of the $500 million Western population assistance to more than 120 developing countries, the impact of this policy on family planning and women's health worldwide can be expected to be far reaching.
This paper examines the domestic political origins of the Mexico City Policy (MCP), and its impact on developing country family planning programs, reproductive health care, and women's lives. The paper concludes with a review of challenges to the policy and argues for a concerted international effort to (1) counter the ideological obfuscation of reproductive issues, and (2) address the "invisible plague" of maternal mortality and morbidity from a gender-sensitive, reproductive choice and users perspective rather than the prevailing target-driven, fertility reduction approach.
In a postscript the paper notes the January 1993 rescission of the policy by President Bill Clinton.
Abstract: Patriarchy in India is structured within the joint-family where land is inherited only by sons. Women are given dowry upon marriage but it represents little material wealth to them because much of it is given to the joint-family. In the past, the meaning of dowry was largely religious and symbolic. With the introduction to a cash economy in India and the economic crisis of the 1970s, dowry and dowry-murders have increased, becoming a form of ready cash to be used by the groom and his family. Dowry-murder is an outgrowth of the commercialization and desacralization of dowry and the resulting decrease in women's status. This paper argues that the position of Indian women in the patriarchal family and the impact of current socioeconomic forces on marriage and dowry have led to the dowry-murder phenomenon.
Abstract: Today in many countries around the world there are growing linkages among poverty, resource decline, and ecological degradation. The burdens to which these linkages give rise are likely to fall most heavily on women in poor households. Moreover, the numbers of poor women-managed households are actually increasing.
The gender variable is central to positioning both men and women vis-à-vis institutions that determine access to land, to other resources, and to the wider economy. Analysts must conceptualize gender for the purpose of desegregating and interpreting information about the functioning of individuals, households, and community organizations in managing their natural resources.
This paper states such analysis in the literature from political and cultural ecology and from institutional and community organization. It identifies issues and themes relevant to understanding the role of gender in managing natural resources and argues that a new integrative approach must emerge to conceptualize the ecological and organizational complexity. It also argues that attention to gender is central to increasing the equity and effectiveness of local-level management of natural resources.
Abstract: Practical, problem-solving analysis of gender and other socioeconomic variables for use in Ag&NRM (agriculture and natural resource management) development has been hobbled by biological and sociological reductionisms and by analytic disjunctions between human and biophysical ecologies. As an alternative, this article introduces a framework for the problem-centered analysis of biosocially defined groups and their roles in Ag&NRM within producer communities or socionatural regions. The framework goes beyond simple gendered divisions of labor to also examine intra-household, household, and inter- and supra-household groups and their access to the natural resources upon which cropping and stockraising depend; control of the necessary techno-ecological knowledge in the five major domains of Ag&NRM activity (resource management, production/extraction, transformation, distribution, and consumption/nutrition); responsibilities for supervising or administering Ag&NRM tasks in these domains; and decision-making power in all these realms. Examples from Africa and an extended case from stockraising in the Andes illustrate the utility of such a framework for the successful design, implementation, and evaluation of equitable and environmentally sound and sustainable Ag&NRM development initiatives. The framework's utility for training in gender analysis is also noted.
Abstract: A shorter version of this paper was presented at the 1991 African Literature Association Conference in New Orleans. The paper attempts to explore black South African women's representation of their experience, apartheid, and gender marginalization. The author acknowledges that while there are other anthologies of stories, the current collection is unique because, as the publishers indicate, it represents the work of women "who though knowing that they had the skill to write, had never dreamed that they would actually put it all in print" (Seriti Sechaba Publishers 1988:5). Moreover, the work gives these women an occasion to present the other side of the anti-apartheid liberation story, different from that often articulated by male writers.
Abstract: Although Liberia bears the distinction of being Africa's first republic, relatively few efforts have been made to document the experiences of Liberian women. This partially annotated bibliography is a guide to a small and elusive body of works on gender issues in Liberia. The over 100 entries which comprise this bibliography are divided into nine sections: 1) general works on gender and development with emphasis on Africa; 2) general works on the political economy of Liberia including general bibliographies; 3) history; 4) gender and culture: the social construction of gender; 5) household, marriage, and the family; 6) population issues: health, fertility and nutrition; 7) agriculture and rural development; 8) economic participation and migration; 8) law and politics; and 9) education.
Abstract: The Cuban Women's Federation provides an ideal setting for the study of the changing role women can play in developing countries. Exclusive interviews with officials of the Federation at its headquarters in Havana provide an understanding of the historical factors that have led to the emancipation of women there: vocational training, creation of daycare centers, the battle for adult literacy, enhanced health care, continuing education, and the eradication of prostitution. Interviewees also offered statistical information that helps describe the current status of women in Cuba. Analyzing these descriptive data and the in-depth personal interviews results in implications for the continuing development of Cuban and other Third World women as scholars, workers, political figures, diplomats, artisans, wives, and mothers. Although women in Cuba have not achieved equality with men especially in the political arena the country's ideology as well as its laws are supportive of and conducive to the future attainment of parity for both genders.
Abstract: Domestic relations in much of Africa are governed by a dual legal system of customary (traditional) law and civil law, largely inherited from European colonial powers. The interplay between these two systems has resulted in a decline in many women's legal, economic, and social status within the family. Questions of family size, reproductive choice, and use of family planning are intimately connected to women's status in the home. Because access to family planning is a necessary prerequisite to women's full and equal participation in development, their status within the family must be enhanced. Interventions to achieve this goal are suggested.
Abstract: This article describes the impact of industrial restructuring on women's labor force participation in Colombia, South America. The essay begins with a discussion of methodology and review of a theoretical framework placing women's work in a global perspective. In the section that follows, working conditions in export factories are described and the relationship between the organization of production and the nature of worker contracts is analyzed. The conclusion emphasizes the contradictory implications of international industrial development for workers in Colombia.
Abstract: This paper explores the role of women in Chilean politics between 1900 and 1990. My emphasis is women's experiences during the socialist government of Salvador Allende and the Pinochet dictatorship, and the legacy of this authoritarian regime. In the concluding section, I reflect upon the nature of women's political imagination and participation during times of social and political crisis and argue that women's ways of being political changed dramatically during the years of authoritarian rule.
Abstract: This paper evaluates the applicability of the Rapid Assessment Procedures Guidelines to fieldwork done in a low-income area of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It also presents a preliminary analysis of results from that research, focusing on the health-seeking behavior of women and the relationship between indigenous and "official" health care providers and users.
It was found that over a relatively short period of time Rapid Assessment Procedures (RAP) can be useful for efficient qualitative evaluations that provide reliable data on questions concerning health-seeking behavior and institutionalized health service.
Researchers should be well-trained in both methods and theory, however, so that they not only chart the visible social relations and behaviors but include the underlying and more complex social structure as well.
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to draw attention to the disadvantaged demographic status of girls from the ages of 0 to 19, compared with 1) boys in the same age groups, and 2) women. The paper emphasizes the universality of the demographic disability of girls and calls for greater understanding of the demography of females as girls (rather than as women) as the major focus of inquiry. A related objective is to examine the validity of some current beliefs regarding the "advantaged" demographic status of the female in developed countries.
Abstract: The 1984-85 Pakistan Contraceptive Prevalence Survey showed that urban women were more than twice as likely to be literate than rural women. In urban areas, literate women were more likely than illiterate women to have reached or exceeded the number of children they desired. Women whose fertility was sufficient or excessive were more likely to use contraception presumably to avert future pregnancies. Therefore, greater literacy among urban women explained an important part of the higher contraceptive prevalence among urbanites for averting future unwanted conceptions.
There is no rural-urban gap in contraception for spacing purposes by literate women. Thus, the rural-urban gap in contraceptive prevalence would vanish more quickly if the national family-planning program emphasized contraceptive methods suitable to spacing births. This emphasis would seem particularly important, as most rural and urban women in our study had not yet reached their desired number of children. This report details the Pakistan Contraceptive Prevalence and makes recommendations for family-planning policies.
Abstract: Studies on the position of women in society disagree concerning the type of social system most conducive to the emancipation of women. The socialist system of north Korea and the capitalist system of South Korea are ideal laboratories in which to examine the Western liberal modernization perspective and the Marxist perspective in an empirical context. This paper analyzes how different patterns of social change have affected Korean women's position by comparing the status of women in North and South Korea.
Neither the socialist revolution in North Korea nor the rapid modernization in South Korea by themselves served to liberate women, although state interference in North Korea in favor of women, especially, in the economic arena, greatly contributed to enhancing women's position in that society. Both North and South Korean women occupy inferior social positions in patriarchal social systems and are subject to many discriminatory measures in the economic arena. They are also excluded from the policy-making process. Major hurdles to overcome are ideological in North Korea and institutional and structural in South Korea.
Abstract: This paper explores the constraints on women's emancipation in China. It also addresses women's status in the pre-revolutionary society, women's roles in, and their contribution to, the revolution, and the relationship between the socialist revolution and women's status in the post-revolutionary society.
Women's emancipation in China has been continuously constrained by ideological, historical, and developmental factors. The political ideology of China views women's problems as peripheral to the proletarian struggle, and views feminism, which places women's concerns first, as evil and counter-revolutionary. The strategy of the Chinese communist revolution based on the peasantry rather than on the urban proletariat constitutes the historical constraint on women's emancipation. The liberation of women is also bound to the process of development: women's issues have been subordinated to the goals of development and their relative importance has changed over the years to accommodate development interests. As China progresses toward a more industrialized society, some of these constraints are likely to be alleviated. When these ideological, historical, and developmental legacies are overcome, the movement for women's emancipation will be more meaningful and the effect more salient.
Abstract: This paper explores and assesses the gains made by women in the paid labor force in the three decades since industrialization and state expansion "took off" in the Middle East and North Africa, fueled largely by oil revenues. The focus is on pattern of women's employment in the formal sector, an important indicator of women's status, access to economic resources, and equity.
The structural determinants of women's employment are: (a) state policy and national development strategy, (b) class location, and (c) gender arrangements and cultural understandings. While women's overall labor force participation rate remains low in comparison to other regions attributable to the type of development pursued in the region and to the specificities of the sex/gender system in Arab-Islamic countries there has been a steady increase in modern sector employment, particularly in government services. Intra-regional differentiation of women's employment is explained by state legal and economic policy (for example, export-oriented manufacturing versus capital-intensive oil-centered growth). It is argued that one must look at economic and political factors, and not just cultural, in the specification of women's roles and status, especially including access to employment.
Sources of data are census and statistical reports from various countries, United Nations data, other secondary sources, and the author's research travels and interviews.
Abstract: This paper examines the evaluation of egalitarianism in Papua New Guinea, and argues that in both precolonial and independent New Guinea the focus has been on male relationships as the indicator of equality. It argues that studies of growing stratification in Papua New Guinea have ignored or dismissed gender as a source of inequality, and have failed to deal with the growing disparities between men and women. The paper focuses on educational opportunity as the key to wealth and political power and shows that rural women are decidedly disadvantaged educationally. Data from national censuses and the author's field work, as well as literature concerning stratification, are used to support the argument.
Abstract: Leadership in Colombian Pentecostal congregations is normally the responsibility of the pastoral couple. A single man or woman has little hope for success in this position; in fact, most denominations require their leaders to be married. The couple symbolizes the high valuation on conjugality in Pentecostalism and serve as powerful role models for a new kind of male-female relationship not based on machismo/marianismo standards. This paper examines (1) how Pentecostal leaders in Colombia derive legitimacy from traditional sex roles while at the same time they radically transform them; and (2) how the rapid rise in membership in Pentecostal churches in Colombia is tied to their non-hierarchical structure, which both reflects and shapes a doctrine of sexual complementarity. Examination of this face of Colombian evangelicalism illuminates how missionization can address essential contradictions within societies.
Abstract: The complex stratification systems in India give rise to a multiplicity of social categories which often obscure the segments of the population. This study examines the situation of women in scheduled castes and tribes groups referred to as "weaker sections of people" who are granted special safeguards and concessions under the Indian constitution. Women in these underprivileged groups are doubly disadvantaged by their minority group status and India's patriarchal culture which interact to produce deplorable living conditions. This study uses ethnographic and statistical sources to document the extreme degrees of gender inequality among the scheduled groups, and to show how women in these groups have far more limited access to both educational and employment resources relative to men. The research also suggests that socioeconomic development does not substantially reduce the problems of minority women and that minority men may disproportionately reap the fruits of development.
Abstract: Twenty years ago in The Biological Time Bomb, Gordon R. Taylor asked, "Where are the biologists taking us and are we morally/ethically ready for the journey?" This paper is concerned with the sociological and policy implications of one of the new biotechnologies: fetal sex determination. I maintain that sex selection renders conventional definitions of social status obsolete, and propose that such technology is likely to be used against females, not just among a small minority of urban elite, as is usually predicted, but to a much greater degree against rural and urban poor in the Third World. I conclude that under some circumstances governments may justify or even require sex-selective abortion of females under the guise of scientifically-based eugenics. My thesis in this paper is developed through a case study of China.
Abstract: This study explores a conceptual framework which allows pre-project marketing analyses to consider the impact of family consumption of a new processed food on rural African women. General theoretical principles are synthesized from the case studies in Technology and Rural Women: Conceptual and Empirical Issues and applied to hypotheses concerning the proposed introduction of extruded corn-soya products to Njombe families. Embodying time-saving technological change, extruded products will alter Njombe women's use of time and in turn their work burden, income, and leisure. The actual reallocation of their time will depend on such locally-specific conditions as available income-earning opportunities, women's preference, women's control over their own time, and society's valuation of different tasks. This study identifies questions which should be addressed by marketing analysts when assessing the feasibility of introducing any new food product to rural developing areas in Africa.
Abstract: Few revolutions have mobilized women as a separate revolutionary class. Vietnamese revolutionary leaders did appeal to women because of their structural importance to the struggle throughout the country and because the oppression of women was interpreted as one of a set of similar oppressions all of which revolution would end. Female autonomy increased during the revolution itself, though not without resistance, and women were recognized both as heroes and as fighters. Afterwards, legal and institutional changes raised the status of women considerably. However, political compromises resurrected traditional social structures whose power and influence attenuated, though far from destroyed, the commitment of those post-revolutionary regime to women's liberation. The willingness of revolutionaries to tolerate traditional social structures which do not present themselves as imminent threats to their personal political positions that is, structures which oppress women leaves in place significant remnants of the old order which gradually undermine revolutionary transformation as it affects the whole population.
Abstract: In this paper we explore the question: Why do women tend to be especially vulnerable workers in the urban labor process? We examine the concept of vulnerability in terms of data collected in Bombay on five groups of informal sector workers: private building sweepers, domestic workers, subcontract workers, fisherwomen, and khanawalis (women who cook for male factory workers who have come to Bombay alone). In the first section we take a micro view of the five occupations and look at variation in vulnerabilities among the 200 women workers surveyed. The focus of this section is on how occupation, age, marital status, and household earning strategies affect different degrees of women's vulnerability to economic hardship, child mortality, overwork, health, and social problems. In the second section, we take a macro view and examine the current patterns of gender segmentation and the historical processes that have led to these patterns. The focus of this section is on how the economic vulnerabilities of male and female workers in selected occupations have varied. In the final section we evaluate policy recommendations of Shram Shakti, the 1988 Report of the National Commission on Self Employed Women and Women in the Informal Sector, and the National Perspective Plan for Women, 1988-2000 based on what we have learned about the vulnerabilities of informal sector women from these micro and macro views.
Abstract: The political marginalization of women in the Habe States of northern Nigeria began with the introduction of Islam in the 11th century and was virtually completed by the Fulani conquest of the Habe States in the 19th century (Calloway 1987:11-18). Formal British rule, imposed early in the 20th century, reinforced this trend in southern Nigeria by excluding women from many of their diverse and substantial political roles. Post-independence Nigerian governments have attempted to reverse this situation by including a limited number of women in government. But this tokenism has neither met the need for sexual equality of representation in government nor ensured stability through a diversified distribution of power. Progressive but limited action is being taken, as more serious thought is given to the problem of eliminating the gender biases of the Nigerian political system.
Abstract: This paper examines underlying economic determinants of demand for continuing high fertility or increasing natural fertility among women exposed to socioeconomic change at an early stage of development in populations with early and universal marriage patterns. A related methodological issue, the macro versus micro fallacy in demographic analysis, is also addressed.
It is argued that in traditional households children are primarily productive agents, that is, net contributors to income and the most attractive form of investment. However, more children, as a result of demand for more labor, may adversely affect the standard of living, particularly of the children, due to intra-household inequality in consumption distribution. This is consistent with negative net benefits from additional children at the aggregate macro level. The argument is that under the circumstances, a divergence between the private and social costs of children occurs due to presence of externalities, leading self-interested individual behavior to depart from that which is socially optimal.
Abstract: As the field of Women in Development (WID) has grown within the international development institutions, so has the wariness of many of the professionals involved. Feminists in both the Third and First Worlds, from quite different viewpoints and with particular intentions, raise questions about the power of the massive development institution which distorts the goals and purposes of the women's movement. This paper examines some of the contradictions which arise in the work of development professionals. Its purpose is to contribute a certain reflexivity to discussions by First World feminists about the political and economic setting of their work. The paper proposes that more is needed in WID than just providing new knowledge about the situations of women marginalized in Third World countries. It argues that those feminists who are most directly and closely connected to the power centers of the capitalist world order have routine procedures of the ruling apparatus. Feminists must have a solid grasp of the multiplicity of sites and forms of imperialist power if their work is to contribute to the liberation of women women in the Third World and the First World.
Abstract: This study addresses the portrayal of women in a political cross section of current Ecuadorian newspapers. An analysis of these news stories shows that political ideology is a major determinant of the journalistic treatment of women. Information about women, however, is mostly absent from media reports. Ideology has to be considered in media gender research to understand why women are not well represented. If news continues to focus on public power, women will have to gain public power to be included in the news.
Abstract: Women play a prominent role as traders in the central market of the regional capital of Kaolack, a multi-ethnic, predominantly Wolof city of Senegal. This article examines gender and class in relation to the social uses of space that reproduce social hierarchy, while facilitating challenges to the dominant social order. Challenges take the form of activities such as smuggling, seen as an assertion of regional autonomy. The terms "center" and "periphery," along with the concept of hegemony, are used to explore tensions between structures of domination and assertions of autonomy at both the macro and the micro levels. Wolof cultural values linking hierarchy to physical activity are important to this dynamic.
Abstract: To underscore the complexity of rural women's political participation, this paper uses data from an indigenous Mexican community engaged in commercial textile production for export. The case material suggests that when women in peasant communities are denied political power through formal channels, they find alternate routes to political participation routes that are connected to their roles in social reproduction. These strategies of participation broaden the boundaries of community politics and can politicize networks and institutions usually not seen as part of the political process. Those women most likely to use informal roads to power are those who are older, from poorer households, and in an inferior position in emerging class relations. The economic class status and age of women differentiates them with regard to their political strategies and attitudes toward their ability to participate in community politics.
Abstract: Among the Nuer pastoralists of southern Sudan, women's work in subsistence production has been substantial. The paper explores the way in which women's work had changed by the 1970s in response to increased male labor migration and to local income-earning opportunities. Women's work is analyzed in relation to the role of rural production in the social reproduction of the national labor force. Special attention is given to the impact of health conditions and the consequent effects on reproduction, including the reproductive histories of 89 women in the central Nuer area.
Abstract: This bibliography is divided into three sections: (1) female transnational employees in the Third World; (2) transnational corporations; and (3) women and work. The approximately 600 documents included span the years 1967-1989 and the regions of Southeast and East Asia, Latin America, and Mexico.
Abstract: This paper illustrates the salience of gender in social stratification systems. Socio-demographic indicators pertaining to women are examined to investigate the extent of female disadvantage in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Following a review of the data, it is argued that remedial policy is seriously required if Iran is to pursue socio-economic development and redistributive justice.
Abstract: This paper uses the context of sub-Saharan Africa to review literature related to women and development communication, including (1) research on women and mass media, (2) case studies of development communication (often mixed media) projects, and (3) research on women and extension. It appears that mass media studies seldom indicate implications for rural development. Case studies of development communication projects indicate little attention to women except in health-related campaigns. Research on women and extension has yielded important findings but rarely cites communication theory beyond diffusion or considers strategies other than interpersonal and group communication. Across all categories, the emphasis is on information transmitted to women, with less that women's empowerment via development communication may be enhanced by a combination of strategies and by more integrated critique and analyses.
Abstract: This paper examines the differences and similarities that exist among Indonesian spouses about family size objectives. The data utilized were obtained from a 1985 survey of households in rural Central Java. On the average, family size preferences between spouses in Java are found to be quite similar. Within marital unions, however, different reproductive targets are frequently reported. It is found that higher parities and wide age differences between spouses are clearly associated with greater discrepancies in family size objectives among couples in this sample. Also of importance is the level of communication that takes place between women and their husbands. Where discussion is more common, agreement on goals is more common. When spouses fail to communicate, either one may be more pronatalist than the other. Indicators of "modernity" fail to predict the extent of disagreement between spouses.
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relations between development, women's relative access to valued resources, and fertility levels across communities in Iran. Theoretical considerations of the research are built on the women and development literature and the recent work on sex stratification. The empirical analysis is based on aggregate data from 162 districts (shahrestans) in Iran in 1976. The status of women, as measured by relative access to valued resources in the community, is analyzed and related to the level of development of the community. Furthermore, the impact of the relative status of women on fertility variation across communities is examined. It is hypothesized that to the extent that development and modernization decrease gender inequality and create a less rigid gender system in a society, the level of fertility declines. The results suggest that development improves the relative access of women to education and health resources. But there was no significant improvement in the relative access of women to income-generating activities. Fertility decline is associated with improvement in the relative status of women in accessing the valued resources, and improvement in the position of women is an important path through which development can reduce fertility. It is concluded that development policies that exclude women and benefit men do not have declining affect on fertility levels and ideals.
Abstract: Published in 1898, Sundari is the first novel of the Punjabi language. The story, however, was conceived when its author Bhai Vir Singh (1872-1957) was still in high school and a part of it was written then as well. It is a heroic portrait of a women named Surasti who, born in a Hindu family, later embraces the Sikh faith under the influence of her brother, Balvant Singh, and receives the new name Sunder Kuar (Sundari for short). She then leads a daring life in the jungles with a band of Sikh warriors. My paper focuses on how a) the elements that forge Sikh moral ethos langar, seva, kirat karni, van chhakna, te nam japna permeate Sundari; b) the vision of the Ultimate Reality is realized in the heroine's person in her socio-political activity; c) Bhai Vir Singh (and the Sikh community) acknowledge Sundari as the paradigm of Sikh insight into the Transcendent One.
Abstract: The paper presents a brief review of the role of women in African agricultural production in general and Tanzania in particular. The common feature is that African women produce food using labor-demanding production tools such as the hand-hoe. A survey of the use of appropriate technology devices in one locality in Tanzania revealed that rural women were either generally not aware of the possibilities that existed or they considered the available technologies too expensive or inappropriate to their needs. To remedy the situation the paper suggests the setting up of Rural Women Training Centres and increasing the involvement of women professionals in the design and dissemination of appropriate technologies for women, and asserts that these improvements would make significant progress in the productivity of rural women in Tanzania through the use of improved agricultural production and crop processing implements and devices.
Abstract: Kerala State, India has carried out a major land reform. Data collected during eight months of field research in 1986-87 in a Kerala village show how employment opportunities have changed for women in different castes as a result of the land reform. The effects of other reforms on women's occupational choices are also discussed.
Abstract: Women in Mozambique are represented in their government and within the ruling party, Frelimo, by an official women's organization, the Organizaçao da Mulher Moçambicana (OMM). In this paper OMM's history, policies, and activities are discussed in order to gain some understanding of the possibilities and problems concerning female and feminist organizing for power.
Despite important improvements in women's lives initiated by the socialist government of Mozambique, basic issues of gender inequality are not addressed. Women's issues are sometimes relegated to the "women's organization ghetto" rather than being integrated into central policy-making. In addition, the ongoing brutal war by South-African backed Renamo forces has made social efforts of all kinds difficult if not impossible.
By critically assessing the advances made thus far, we can learn from the approaches and efforts of Mozambican women in the women's organization. Despite the limitations, there are examples of women's empowerment in Mozambique.
Abstract: This paper focuses on the entrepreneurial characteristics of market women in Techiman, Ghana. It deals with the organization, socio-cultural, and psychological variables that may influence the choices of many women. The paper suggests an important conceptual link between rural food production, marketing and the growth of towns. It also argues for the contribution this kind of research can make to rural development.
Abstract: This paper looks at the present stage of progress in women's development in Africa, taking a special interest in the impact and aftermath of the Women's Decade, and looking especially at the main directions and imperatives for improved NGO coordination at both the national and regional levels. However, the main thrust of the paper is that progress cannot be adequately assessed without a critical analysis of the quality of work toward women's development in terms of what is demanded in the UN and Africa Forward Looking Strategies, in terms of the purpose of development programs, and in terms of the type of resistance to these programs.
Abstract: Public policy concern with the development of health care services in the Third World has changed dramatically since the 1978 Alma Ata conference and its focus on primary health care. In Bangladesh the primary health care emphasis shares the stage with an expressed concern to provide for basic health needs and to change family planning implementation schemes. Drawing on data collected between 1980 and 1983, this paper examines the gendered political economy of health policy in Bangladesh as it is reflected in the type and implementation of health services available to women. Particular attention is given to resource allocations within and to the health sector and to the national health priorities of government. Through an examination of specific health sector initiatives, the paper concludes that women's health care needs are narrowly defined within a view of women as child bearers. This view has framed sector planning, delimited the kinds of resources available to provide health care services to women, and resulted in the fragmented delivery of maternal and child health services.
Abstract: The paper questions the propriety of the rules governing female intestate succession to land among the patrilineal communities of rural Tanzania against the backdrop of Tanzania's declared egalitarian principles.
While the Tanzanian state prohibits all forms of discrimination, including sexual discrimination, the rules mentioned above condone sexual discrimination, but are, however, still operative because the male-dominated state sees no urgency in removing them from the statute book. As the rules favor men, the position of the male-dominated state is understandable.
The paper, therefore, argues that the successful repeal of the rules can only be attained by an aggressive campaign which must be championed by women themselves. But for the sake of preserving Tanzania's cherished national unity, such a campaign should enlist male cooperation whenever available and appropriate. In a word, although agitation by women should be the driving force of the campaign, no effort should be spared in educating both women and men about the impropriety of the rules.
Abstract: This study evaluates the performance of eight women's cooperatives, in different countries, toward meeting the two-fold goal of higher economic benefits and increased empowerment for its members. The analysis of these case-studies draws generalizations concerning constraints, administrative strategies, and organizational procedures for effective cooperatives. This comparisons between the organizations reveal some factors which are critical to successful outcomes. Creative solutions by individual cooperatives provide insights into strategic management innovations. The study suggests a means to predict the success of cooperatives through an analysis of their organizational structures. Emerging concerns within the framework have been identified as member participation, political linkages, doctrine of the organization, management skills, and resource linkages.
Abstract: This is a study of a collection of nineteenth century Bengali "advice for women" texts whose purpose was the redefinition of women's roles in nineteenth century Bengal and the adaptation of these roles to the changed circumstances of life in British-ruled India. These texts were "how to do it" books, guides to relations within extended families, the rearing of children, and the management of households. Addressed to women, but written by men, they were often constructed in the form of a dialogue between husband and wife in which the husband instructed the wife on proper conduct. The paper surveys the general concerns and considerations of this collection of texts, which represent a wide range of views on women's roles in society. It then turns to an examination of two chapters of one text, Grha Lakshmi (The Lakshmi of the House) by Girijaprasann Raychaudhuri, and discusses the implications for men and women's relationships in nineteenth century Bengal of the contradictory roles defined for women in this text.