The Impact of Structural Adjustment Programs on Rural Women in Tanzania
From the mid- 1970s, Tanzania started to experience economic decline and stagnation. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stagnated at a rate of 1.5 percent per annum while the real per capita income declined at about 2 percent per annum ( Havenvik Kjaerby et al. 1988) In fact, the 1985 GDP was 10 percent below the 1978 level. Taking population increases into consideration, the real GDP declined at a rate of 12 percent from 1979-85. The rate of inflation has also been increasing. Before 1972 the inflation rate was below 5 percent, but by 1974 it had increased to 10 percent, reaching a peak of 26 percent in 1978. Because of the coffee boom in 1976/77 it decreased to 13 percent, only to increase during the 1980s to range between 20-40 percent.
The crisis has been caused by an accumulation of factors. These include: a deterioration of terms of trade, stagnation of agriculture, the war between Tanzania and Uganda, and fiscal policies which perpetuated the crisis. Between 1977-81, the terms of trade index fell from 133 to 85, or 15 percent below the 1972 level. Agriculture also declined during the 1970s because of drought and declining world prices. The situation worsened when the Tanzanian-Ugandan war forced the government to spend about $500 million or 10 percent of annual GDP.
In responding to the crisis, the Tanzanian government was forced into drawing over its gold reserves at the same time as it requested additional credit from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to temporarily solve its balance of payment problems. The government of Tanzania was allowed to draw on the low conditional oil facility and received compen-
Ruth Meena is Senior Lecturer and Ph.D. candidate, Department of Political
Science and Public Administration, University of Dar es Salaam. She is also a mem-
ber of the Women's Research and Documentation Projects (WRDP). She has been
awarded a Fulbright Senior Fellowship in 1984 and has won the IDRC/Ford
Foundation Social Science Research Competitions for Eastern Africa in 1984 and