Gender and Development

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Nov 12, 2013 (3 years and 5 months ago)


Samenvatting Gender@development (volgens Bas)

Gender and Development

Chapter 1: Introduction: Gender is a development issue

→ the development process affects women and men in different ways

the socially acquired notions of masculinity and
femininity by which
women and men are identified

Gender relations:
the socially constructed form of relations between women and men

→ everywhere gender is crosscut by differences in
race, class, ethnicity

→ improvements in communication and incre
asing globalization make us aware that
economic development is not always unidirectional and benefits are not equally available

UN conferences in

Mexico City, Copenhagen, Nairobi
Beijing (
1985 decade for
) →
putting gender issues on the age

Brief history:


After the second world war two
third of the world was underdeveloped


Cold war competition between the
and the
to influence the
Third World


After 1989, the
model of neoliberalism

and capitalism became dominant;
poverty seen as contributing to the
war on terrorism

Gender equality →
equality of opportunity and a society in which women and men are able
to lead equally fulfilling lives

1946 →
United Nations Commission on the St
atus of Women

Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination of Women → 1979

Prior to 1970 and
Ester Boserup
→ productivity was equated with the cash economy and so
most of women’s work was ignored

Early 1970’s approach of
→ the belief that women could be brought into existing
modes of benevolent development without a major restructuring of the process of
development → has been the object of much feminist critique

1995 → fourth world conference on Women →
transformed part
nership based on equality
between women and men is a condition for people
centered sustainable development

the development focus is now on alleviating world poverty →
empowerment of women
and gender equality
one of the eight
Millennium Goals

→ as
began to play an increasingly important role in grassroots delivery of aid, their
gender policies began to influence local action

Chronology of Approaches:


The Welfare Approach (
until the early ‘70s

→ women as wives and mothers → it was believed that economic growth would
trickle down to the poor, and that poor women would benefit as the economic
position of their husbands improved

Boserup (
→ criticized these assumptions


The WID Approach
(early 1970s)

evelopment policies →
integrating women into economic development by
focusing on income generation projects for women →
only marginally successful


The Gender and Development (GAD) Approach (mid 1970s)

→ based on feminist politi
cal activism → they see women as agents of change

Practical gender interests (
items that would improve women’s lives within their existing
) ↔ strategic gender interests (
help to increase women’s ability to take on new roles
and to empower them

→ Gen
der Mainstreaming
important ( demanding changes in structures of power in national
and international agencies)


The Women and Development (WAD) Approach (1975)

→ overcoming poverty and the effects of colonialism more important than equality →
network →

aimed to make the view of developing countries more widely known and


The Efficiency Approach (late 1970s)

SAPs → understanding men’s and women’s roles and responsibilities as part of the planning
of development interventions improved project

→ focused more on what women could do for development, than what
development could do for women


The Empowerment Approach (1980s)


Empowerment as a means for enhancing efficiency and productivity without
changing the status quo


Empowerment as a method of social transformation and achieving gender equality


Jo Rowlands (
) →
sees empowerment as a broad development process that
enables people to gain self
confidence and self
esteem, so allowing both men and
women to actively par
ticipate in development decision


Working with women at the community level building organizational skills


Gender and the Environment (GED) Approach (late 1980s)

→ encouraged environmental programs to focus on women


Mainstreaming Gender Equality (m
id 1990s)

→ Gender mainstreaming to overcome the common problem of
policy evaporation (
implementation and impact of development projects

to reflect policy commitments

fundamental themes:


The realization that all societies have established a clear
cut division of labour by sex,
although what is considered a female or male task varies cross
culturally, implying
that there is no natural and fixed gender division of labour


In or
der to comprehe
nd gender roles in production, we also need to understand
gender roles within the household


Economic development has been shown to have a differential impact on men and
women, and for women it is often negative

Women have three roles in most parts of the w






Community Management

→ participatory and community development models are often
and may just
reinforce local patriarchal and elite control → they often also assume a homogeneity of
gender interests at the communit
y level

may be derived from the interaction of material culture with the biological
differences between the sexes → its meaning will vary from society to society and will
change over time →
universal female subordination

Gender and Developmen

Chapter 2: The Sex Ratio

→ The
Sex Ratio

is often the first indication of gender inequality

More males than females are conceived ↔ women tend to live longer than men for
hormonal reasons

→ Sex
specific migration or warfare may distort the normal demogra
phic pattern

Life Expectancy at Birth
is the most useful single indicator of general well
being in poor

→ Even poor countries can improve the general well
being of their women citizens by
adopting a basic needs approach and ensuring that food,
health care and education are
accessible to all

Between 1970 and 2000:
Women’s life expectancy increased by 20 percent

Explanatory factors:


Greater access to family planning


Reproductive health care


Improved nutrition


Reduction in infectious and parasitic
diseases through widespread delivery of
childhood vaccinations and safe drinking water

Rising female education and access to employment opportunities are associated with
declines in female mortality, but this has been counterbalanced by the increased use

of sex
selective induced abortion, especially in

resulting in a higher sex ratio with
an excess of boys at birth

Spatial contrasts:
Fewer girls born in urban areas ( related to the availability of methods of
detecting the sex of the foetu
s and aborting those that are female )

→ in patrilineal systems mothers lack the decision
making power, and infant mortality may
be high

→ if they fall ill, men are more likely than women to receive medical assistance

→ Urban employment opportunities for w
omen in industry, trade and commerce are
contracting and in rural areas technological change is reducing their role in agriculture,
especially in the processing of crops →
increased discrimination against them

India →
sex ratio varies with caste and cultur
e; most women have little autonomy or access
to power or authority → they are faced with
→ these social
constraints owe their origin to the need to protect the family lineage through the male line
by controlling the supply of w

→ Sex
Specific migration also affects sex ratios:
is a phenomenon associated with
spatial differences in employment opportunities

→ the
reasons for migration, the type of destination
the length of time spent at the
destination are often

Men (
to gain educational qualifications
) ↔ Women (
to marry or to rejoin a migrant spouse

→ Migrant women
may also be flouting traditional patriarchal restrictions and norms; they
may be avoiding arranged marriages, leaving a marriage that
is unhappy or has not produced
children, or escaping from low economic and social status

urban migration →
three factors affect female rural to urban mobility:


Female participation in agriculture


Availability of economic opportunities for women
in the cities


cultural restrictions on the independent mobility of women

→ today rural poverty and backbreaking farm work is driving women to the cities, where
they can find opportunities for education and economic independence

transnational migran
actively maintain simultaneous social and economic relations
linking their place of origin and destination

new independence →
women becoming more independent and resistant to patriarchal
pressures → makes women less likely than men to return to the
ir natal countries

→ men tend to migrate over longer distances and to participate in international migration
more than women

often most
exploited workers ( women often as

→ when men migrate, leaving their wives and families behind in

rural areas, the rural
economy is affected, because men have the decision
making authority ↔ their remittances
enable many of these families to survive the hard times

Nelson (
) →
when African women migrate independently to urban areas they are
g the patriarchal controls and failing in the heav
y productive and reproductive duties
they have to cope with in rural areas → those behaviors often result in

→ extension of the concept of household:
transnational households

are not so much a
residential unit as a group of people engaged in the pooling of goods and services →
The use
of electronic communication
reinforces this extension

→ female
headed households will develop where women have independent access to

opportunities through work, inheritance, or state
provided welfare and are
permitted to control property and have a separate residence

→ these households are often among the poorest as they contain fewer working adults than
headed households and wome
n earn lower wages than men → constituting a
children may have to leave school earlier to seek employment and take over household
chores to allow the mother to work outside the home

it has also been shown that single mothers are more l
ikely to sends their daughters
as well as their sons to school and to invest in their children

Gender and Development

Chapter 3: Reproduction

Reproduction →
not only refers to biological reproduction, but also includes the social
reproduction of the family

Biological reproduction →
encompasses childbearing and early nurturing of infants, which
only women are physiologically capable of performing

Social reproduction →
the care and maintenance of the household → also includes
maintaining kinship lineages, developing neighborhood networks and carrying
out religious, ceremonial and social obligations

Reproduction (
value and furnishes family subsistence needs
) ↔ Production (
value, usually cash income
) = th
e law of Value

The task of reproduction
is a major determinant for:


Women’s position in the labor market


The gender division of labor


The subordination of women

Friedrich Engels →
reproduction as the key to the origin of women’s subordination by men

ciated with the
introduction of private property

woman’s participation in
productive activities, as a result of the spread of industrialization, was a necessary
precondition for her

→ Development has not always brought greater freedom for
women and in many cases,
women are now expected to carry the double burden of both reproductive and productive

Fertility →
the total number of children born to each woman during her reproductive years
→ physiological stress of reproductive activities

of women has a great effect on her
household tasks and this needs to be considered in development planning

→ countries with
high fertility rates
: large number of illiterate women, often associated with
a high proportion of rural, indigenous people

→ as wo
men move to cities, they become better educated and find new opportunities for
work and self
development outside the home, and t he birth rate will fall

children less useful for supplemental labour and costly to maintain

Demographic change both a
ffects and is affected by
the situation of women

child quality
↔ child quantity

→ the influence of the family system and of increased education for women are now widely
seen as the key to
fertility decline

Presser (
) →
reliable and available contrace
ption gives women a sense of empowerment
→ Thus
state intervention
in women’s bodily functions has been increasing (
China, Romania
page 53

educational levels
of men and women affect many life options → many poor parents
actively seek education for their children as the best means of improving their income
earning options, but overburdened mothers may be forced to take daughters out of school
to assist with childcare and household chores

→ women achieve lower levels of edu
cation than men in the majority of developing
countries ( distance between home and school + lack of transport )

→ the costs of school in terms of
the loss of the child’s labor at home
and the financial
burden of

paying for
school supplies
such as suitabl
e clothing, school fees and bribes to
also means that parents may decide not to educate their daughters

especially in
marriage systems, where the bride is placed in the hands of the husband’s family

girls also vulnerable for
sexual harassmen
in school

access to higher education also strongly dependent on
class, location
social work

→ in Educational systems, women tend to be channeled into certain
subject ghetto’s,
nursing, education
social work

→ activities carried out to m
aintain and care for family members are generally ignored in
national accounts, but they are
essential economic functions
which ensure the development
and preservation of human capital for the household and for the nation


Education of young children


and water collection


Care of children, the sick and the elderly


Washing clothes


Processing, preparing and cooking food

Providing care =
source of fulfillment ↔ terrible burden
for women and girls, forming an
obstacle to
gender equality

→ women perform the
great bulk of domestic tasks in all societies → in
subsistence societies,
production ↔ reproduction
division is
artificial (

symbolized by the women with her
child on her back working in the fields

→ Today,
there are growing care crises throughout
the world:

Women are increasingly unwilling to undertake unpaid care work (
move into the labor
force and girls go to school
) ↔ Demand for care work expanding (

aging population and
the AIDS/HIV epidemic

gendering of care work
has become a core
velopment issue

Time use data:
only available for a few countries; rarely disaggregated by both
urban/rural residence
; methods of measurement vary from survey to survey →
it appears that women work more hours than men

→ Families with
several small children absorb much of women’s time in childcare unless
there are
older siblings
who can assist the mother, although she may not wish them to do so
if it means giving up their opportunity to attend school

→ the nutritional level of children is often
related to the distance mothers have
to walk to collect water

Housing conditions
have an effect on the time and effort consumed in housework and on
the health and well
being of residents →
lack of s
is still a major problem in rural

→ the size and make
up of the household determines to a large degree the burden of work
on women (
nuclear families (
the full burden of social reproduction falls on the wife and

↔ extended and female
headed families (
mother has more autonomy

Gender and Development

Chapter 4: Gender, Health and Violence

Spatial differences
in gendered health problems have rarely been considered but are
becoming increasingly complex as international
flows of population increase

epidemiological transition:
the shift from a predominance of infectious and parasitic
diseases to one of chronic and degenerative diseases

→ needs for medicines is
As women’s experience of illness differs from that

men, and women generally have to care for other sick members of the family

→ in the
transition countries
collapse of state health services, and the need to pay for
medical care and to be proactive in seeking care have led to generally declining health
the emergence of resistant strains of diseases, such as

improvement in women’s general life expectancy during last three decades,

Men (

live shorter, but healthier lives
) ↔ Women (

experience more chronic, debilitating
s than men

in developing countries, women are responsible for 70 to 80 % of all the health care
provided in developing countries (
1987) → improving their own health and
educating them to detect and prevent infectious diseases and to practice pr
oper hygiene
and nutrition is a cost
effective way to improve family health

→ Poor nutrition makes people more susceptible to disease

→ seasonal fluctuations in food supply also affect rural nutrition:

there is an increased demand for labor
↔ food supplies from previous
seasons are depleted and mosquito
borne diseases are prevalent

are often exposed to sexual abuse → like
child marriage
genital mutilation
World Health Organization

Female Genital Mutilation
→ justified on the basis of a belief that by reducing women’s
physical ability to enjoy sex they will be less likely to be unfaithful to their partner

Adolescent girls
are generally healthy →
early marriage leads to childbear
ing before
their bodies are mature, which causes long
term negative health effects

→ there has been little change in
maternal mortality rates
in countries of the South →
reasons for maternal mortality:




The early age at which women begin


Inadequate spacing between births


Total number of lifetime pregnancies


The lack of medical care for high
risk pregnancies

→ years of malnutrition mean that older women suffer from chronic health problems, and
more die of respiratory disease an
d TB than in any other age group

→ in many cultures the elderly are respected and can depend on care from their children,
but this is
with the growth of nuclear families and migration

→ women often marry older men, so they are likely to be left al
one as widow and may be
abandoned and become

→ elderly women wield
great influence
on maternity and child feeding practices → so,
empowering older women has been found to have a major effect on community health

→ women are

more susceptible to infection and some empirical evidence shows
the rate of transmission from male to female to be two to five times higher than from
female to male → women can pass the disease on to their children in childbirth

The focus in the campaign
against HIV/AIDS is based on
it is felt that such attitudes associated with HIV and AIDS are the greatest barriers to
preventing further infections, to providing adequate care, support and treatment and to
alleviating imp
act (
Aggleton and Parker

→ in
many HIV
infected women are choosing to
pregnancies, because they
know their child would be rejected by society because of the
of the disease

Rural communities

also bear a higher burden of the
cost of HIV/AIDS because many
urban dwellers and migrant laborers return to their villages when sick, further spreading the

is having a destabilizing effect on society through the creation of millions of orphans
and the loss of the best
ated people of working age
they are mobile , and often have
more sexual partners

specific work
exposes men and women to different environmental risks and thus
to different causes of morbidity and mortality

→ more information about how to use a
nd store chemicals important for health within the
household → Farm chemicals are often stored in the home, putting all member of the
household at risk, while empty chemical containers may be used for storing food or water

→ many women are taking up work i
processing (
picking and post
preparation of flowers or bananas
electronics) manufacturing →
putting them also in
danger of chemicals

→ companies are competing for contracts and so constantly increase the pressure on
workers to be
more productive, making for high stress levels

health problem →
protection against violence:
human right → in practice, the
dividing lines between various types of violence are not always clear

→ Societies with high levels of inequality and exp
eriencing rapid social change often have a
increasing level of interpersonal violence

→ violence against
women and girls
occurs in many cases within the home, where violence is
often tolerated → the fact that women are often emotionally involved with and
conomically dependent on those who victimize them has
major implications

Three types of violence against women have been recognized:


Violence and socio
cultural links

→ the honor of the family depends in many societies on protecting the virginity of
their daughters and preventing women and girls from bringing shame on the family
through their public behavior

→ women who are abused are more likely to suffer from depres
sion, attempt
suicide, to earn less than other women and to experience a pregnancy loss and the
death of children in infancy or early childhood (
et al.


Violence linked to economics

→ dowries: demands of the husband families for gold, cash and

consumer goods that come
as part of the marriage arrangement between families →
dowry harassment
in some
societies quite common

→ also in the violence against women factory workers: factory foremen allowing themselves
to justify sexual harassment of the
female workers →
for instance:
because they transgress
social norms or because they earn more than local men, thereby undermining patriarchal
household relations

Trafficking women →
purpose is generally
commercial sex work,
but also for
service, o
ther bonds of bonded labor


Political violence

women may be active participants in war or they may be victims

→ women as fighters learn new skills and are empowered but are usually pushed back into
subordinate positions when peace comes

→ rap
e as a weapon of ethnic cleansing → recognized by the
United Nations
as a
against humanity

→ women forced into refugee camps

Changing attitude →
educating men in their role in women and children’s health has
apparently been remarkably successful in c
hanging social attitudes and gender roles in
countries as different as
Costa Rica

Gender and Development

Chapter 8: Globalization and changing patterns of economic activity

globalization processes
involve not merely the geographical extension of economic
activity across national boundaries but also

and more importantly

the functional
integration of such internationally dispersed activities (
1998 )

→ these processes are
unevenly distribu
ted, complex

→ changes in transportation and communications technologies have enabled a new
flexibility in the geographical location of the production → much manufacturing has become
footloose →
moving from country to country in search of the
cheapest labor

local (
people in for instance poor African countries can’t afford a bike
) ↔ global (
tourists can fly everywhere they want; long
haul holidays grows faster and faster

Chang and Ling
2000 → Globalization is gendered into 2 worlds:


A str
ucturally, integrated world of global finance and postmodern individuality,
largely associated with Western capitalist masculinity


Explicitly sexualized and racialized and based on low
waged, low
skilled jobs often
done by female migrants for the high
ried cosmopolitans of the first globalized

→ this underside of global restructuring is reinforced by the
patriarchal forces of state,
religion, culture

New International Division of Labor (NIDL) →
a search for cheap labor; is reinforced by

national and international trade agreements and policies

strongly gendered and closely linked with
urban areas →
the rural
are also becoming more closely integrated with the outside world through
improved communi
cations and the growth of multinational agro
industries and mining

→ these changes undermine the
patriarchal gender contract,
under which families are
supported by a male breadwinner, as more women move into the labor force in response to
employment opportunities and increasing poverty

communist countries:
decline in the proportion of women and men in paid jobs, during
the 1990s

Development ↔ female employment = U
shaped curve →
economic activity of women
being highest in both least d
eveloped and post
industrial societies, while it is lowest in those
countries at a middle level of development as women move out of agriculture → but, at
intermediate points,
cultural, political
factors intervene to reduce the
of this model

also affects the gender division of labor → in most societies male control of women’s
use of space is greatest during their reproductive years

→ in most parts of the developing world women reach their maximum level of economic
in their early twenties, while the maximum for men occurs a little later → but
women get fired when they
become pregnant

early retirement
from paid employment for women may occur because they no longer
need the income as their children are grown
up and can support their parents

Recent years:
the expansion of educational opportunities for women → the greater financial
independence of young women enables them to be less dependent on men and also less
likely to see having children predominantly in t
erms of ensuring a future financial resource

→ the influence of the international economy, as articulated by
manufacturing companies,
has created a new market for
female labor
→ industrialization in
the postwar period has been as much
for developing countries

→ parent
child relationships change as young women become the major earners in the
family, and working in factories for transnational companies while living in urban dormitories
with other young workers i
ntroduces rural women to new ideas (


Women workers (
concentrated in light industries producing consumer goods
) ↔ Men
workers (
being employed in manufacturing, especially in supervisory positions

women are employed to do simple, unskilled,

intensive tasks of assembly or
finishing, requiring minimum use of capital or production tools →
this work offers
but may be the only or best option for women trapped in the home with young

→ women also work a petty commodity p
roducers in both

areas → flexible
work and can be combined with domestic chores → in
traditional societies,
this may be
more acceptable for women than working for someone else outside the home

→ self
employment builds on women’s traditiona
l skills and has been expanding recently as
aid organizations offer assistance in the form of
credit, training, design

→ Provision of microcredit → Grameen Bank Bangladesh

at first: system seen as a
very positive contribution to development, especially for poor rural women →
rarely sufficient to pay the increased costs of basic consumption goods and services →
the women’s loans being used by husbands

and the feminization of indebtedness

→ having loan thus doesn’t mean
empowering women
or giving them
→ loans are most successful when they include

Microfinance →
should be seen as a component of but not a subs
titute for a coherent
agenda for poverty elimination

→ Service sector:
in general women work in health, education, catering, tourism and
commerce at the lowest and worst
paid levels, while men are more likely to be working in
professional and transport ser

→ providing services in the
informal sector
involves many women ( traders, servant of
prostitutes )

Working in private households in another country:


Maids are unlikely to be protected by employment legislation


May be expected to work very long hour


May also be exposed to the sexual advances of the male members of the household

→ if they become pregnant, they’ll lose their job → they are forced to return to their own
countries or work illegally

Tourism →
a gendered social catalyst →
which may induce changes
in perceptions and behaviors of individuals → especially in
rural tourism

the more different the host and guest communities, the longer the stay, and the more
rapid the growth of tourism, the greater the impact in gener
al →
increased social capital,
terms of wider networks external to family and community, may be a major benefit to
women as they gain at least some economic independence through employment in tourism

face interaction →
thus wo
men’s employment in tourism is not
just the result of the willingness of women to work in low
paying jobs which utilize their
housekeeping skills, but also of their ability to provide friendly care and
assistance to guests

sexual objec
of women is found in many aspects of the industry (
like dress
codes, and flirting with guests
) → this sexuality can constitute an element of gendered
economic relations

Gender and Development

Chapter 9: How far have we come?

Since the 1990s →
a an unprecedented series of conferences, some directly concerned with
women and others on environment and social issues in which women’s voices played a
major role in the decision making

at the national level, the decision
ing position of women deteriorated

→ the State, as a collection of institutions, partly reflects and partly helps to create particular
forms of gender relations and gender inequality →
State practices construct and legitimate
gender divisions, and gender
identities are in part the result of legal restrictions and
opportunities emanating from the State
1996 )

State policies,
established by generally patriarchal institutions, are gendered according to
their subject matters →
three types
can be def


Those policies directed towards women ( like
reproductive rights


Those dealing with the balance of power in gender relations ( like
property rights


Those ostensibly gender
neutral politics, which, however, affect men and women
ently ( like
resource extraction
social reproduction

→ women are
to development → women’s work is generally
→ they
control most of the non
money economy and make an important contribution to the money
making economy

→ Gender Gap I
combines gender
related measures of health and survival, educational
attainment, economic opportunity and participation, and political empowerment to arrive at
a country
country evaluation of the gender gap in achievement

perspective on develo
pment → calls for the adoption of gender relations as the basic
tenet of analysis, an opening was provided for the inclusion of the
that is of

in order to make
visible in the development process it is necessary to
how its definition varies across cultures and between places
→ each nation
constructs a model of masculinity
in relation to various subordinated masculinities as well as
in relation to women

a strongly masculine process, disrupts and reconfigures local and
hegemonic masculinities thus transforming both public and private patriarchies

→ mainstreaming gender in all spheres of society has become a priority since the
rm for Action
in 1995

Essentialist nature of gender:
makes it difficult to work operationally with cross
alliances, and ambiguous gender identities

since 1980s
: many poor countries have found themselves with an increasing debt burden

IMF: Assista
nce (
financial assistance
) ↔ Structural Adjustment (
an increase in
production for export combined with demand
reducing policies, like removal of subsidies on
basic foodstuffs, reduction in welfare services, higher charges for basic services, price rises,
age cuts and job losses

in response to
structural adjustment,
women have developed
new survival strategies

adjustment (
women make adjustment policies socially possible by increasing their
own economic activity, by working harder and by self

→ since 1990s:
the collapse of the
Soviet Union
and the rapid global spread of capitalism led
to further economic crises, especially in the former centrally planned economies

formal employment
grew again in the 1990s, particularly in the
ice industries
although women’s jobs tend to enjoy less social protection and employment rights than do
men’s jobs

recent increases in food prices + rising energy costs →
global poverty and hunger is
increasing despite promises of more development aid m
uch of which has yet to materialize
→ affects especially

development policies are aimed at
sustainable pro
poor growth →
Millennium Development Goals

increased economic hardship and growing male unemployment is pushin
g poor
women to work outside the home in greater numbers, but this does not automatically give
them greater status or security in the home; women feel overburdened by work and men feel
humiliated by being unable to maintain their status as the main breadwi

Women (
increase their productive work by seeking alternative sources of income to
compensate for declines in household income, while also spending longer searching for and
preparing cheaper types of food
) ↔ Men (
feel themselves marginalized and often

males respond by increasing their alcohol consumption and their level of violence to women,
while teenage sons turn to dependence on drugs

→ So:
the feminization of labor and the growth of the informal economy reflect a weakened
position for men rather than greater economic opportunities for women → income earning
by women does not necessarily lead to
social empowerment

gender equality

→ women o
ften take the lead in demanding improvements in urban services → they may
also work together to
change social attitudes

Women’s survival strategies:
often depend
on building up networks of women within the community → the connection
of women
for household welfare ↔ consequent political action
has not been analyzed by
most development workers

→ as governments are forced to cut back on public sector spending, the burden of providing
basic needs services to poor communities is falling increasingl
y on women

Projects aimed at women (
like microfinance
are often based on groups, but these
artificial groups may undermine other groupings already in existence and so reduce the role
of women in the local economy →
on the other hand:
when general
development projects
are planned women may find themselves excluded because of restrictive entry conditions

the new economy
is characterized by
and the
increasing use of computing
and information technologies,
but also by
deregulation, inco
me polarization and
feminization of employment,
with new more flexible patterns and hours of work

→ the markets in the present economy are creating new opportunities but are distributing
them unevenly; illiterate poor women in isolated rural areas remain u
ntouched by these
changes → this growing gender gap of opportunity results in a
new feminization of poverty