Structural Adjustment and African Women Farmers

By Christina H. Gladwin; Center for African Studies University of Florida | Go to book overview

islation and programs." A fourth strategy focuses on external and internal funding mechanisms to target and increase support for women during adjustment programs. A fifth strategy encourages (1) the provision of 11 accurate, regular and prompt gender disaggregated data on critical social and economic indicators, including access to land and credit, rates of employment and earnings, levels of education, morbidity, mortality and nutrition ..."; (2) the monitoring of the impact of structural adjustment programs; and (3) the carrying out of case studies and surveys. Finally, the Commonwealth Group wishes to initiate an international meeting with appropriate United Nations organizations "to seek consensus on policy goals ... that reflect women's interests" (Commonwealth Secretariat 1989: 10).

Is the Commonwealth Secretariat's list of recommendations a wish list? Are their strategies feasible to follow, or even already in place in some donor agencies? Spring and Wilde of FAO's Women in Agricultural Production and Rural Development Service provide a partial answer by describing FAO programs which link perspectives on structural adjustment with action programs for women farmers. FAO activities include three types: collaboration with multilateral and bilateral agencies including the Social Dimensions of Adjustment (SDA) Project in Africa, advice and assistance to member governments including policy and action projects, and studies that review the adjustment process and disaggregate its impacts. FAO's Plan of Action for the Integration of Women in Development is also discussed, as are FAO staff training programs which are long- term solutions to the problem of gender-blindness in the design of development projects.


REFERENCES

Bates Robert
1981 Markets and States in Tropical Africa. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Boserup Ester
1970 Women's Role in Economic Development. New York: St. Martin's Press.

Cohen Ronald
1989 "The Unimodal Model: Solution or Cul de Sac for Rural Development". Food and Farm: Current Debates and Policies, C. Gladwin and K. Truman, eds. Monographs in Economic Anthropology, No. 7. Lantham, MD: University Press of America.

Commonwealth Secretariat
1989 Engendering Adjustment for the 1990s. Report of a Commonwealth Expert Group on Women and Structural Adjustment. London: Commonwealth Secretariat.

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