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World Education Reports. 1985 Nov; (24):15-7.In the last decade we have come to radically redefine our understanding of how women fit into the socioeconomic fabric of developing countries. At least 2 factors have contributed to this realignment in our thinking. 1st, events around the UN Decade for Women dramatized women's invisibility in development planning, and mobilized human and financial resources around the issue. 2nd, the process of modernization underway in all developing countries has dramatically changed how women live and what they do. In the last decade, more and more women have become the sole providers and caretakers of the household, and have been forced to find ways to earn income to feed and clothe their families. Like many other organizations, USAID, in its current policy, emphasizes the need to integrate women as contributors to and beneficiaries of all projects, rather than to design projects specifically geared to women. Integrating women into income generation projects requires building into every step of a project--its design, implementation and evaluation--mechanisms to assure that women are not left out. The integration of women into all income generating projects is still difficult to implement. 4 reasons are suggested here: 1) resistance on the part of planners and practitioners who are still not convinced that women contribute substantially to a family's income; 2) few professionals have the expertise necessary to address the gender issue; 3) reaching women may require a larger initial investment of project funds; and 4) reaching women may require experimenting with approaches that will fit into their village or urban reality.
The changing roles of women and men in the family and fertility regulation: some labour policy aspects
In: Family and population. Proceedings of the "Scientific Conference on Family and Population," Espoo, Finland, May 25-27, 1984, edited by Hellevi Hatunen. Helsinki, Finland, Vaestoliitto, 1984. 62-83.There is growing evidence that labor policies, such as those advocated by the International Labor Organization (ILO), promote changes in familial roles and that these changes in turn have an impact on fertility. A conceptual model describing these linkages is offered and the degree to which the linkages hypothesized in the model are supported by research findings is indicated. The conceptual model specifies that: 1) as reliance on child labor declines, through the enactment of minimum age labor laws, the economic value of children declines, and parents adopt smaller family size ideals; 2) as security increases for the elderly, through the provision of social security and pension plans, the elderly become less dependent on their children, and the perceived need to produce enough children to ensure security in old age is diminished; and 3) as sexual equality in job training and employment and the availability of flexible work schedules increase, sexual equality in the domestic setting increases, and women begin to exert more control over their own fertility. ILO studies and many other studies provide considerable evidence in support of these hypothesized linkages; however, the direction or causal nature of some of the associations has not been established. Development levels, rural or urban residence, and a number of other factors also appear to influence many of these relationships. Overall, the growing body of evidence accords well with ILO programs and instruments which promote: 1) the enactment of minimum age work laws to reduce reliance on child labor, 2) the establishment of social security systems and pension plans to promote the economic independence of the elderly, 3) the promotion of sexual equality in training programs and employment; 4) the promotion of the idea of sexual equality in the domestic setting; and 5) the establishment of employment policies which do not unfairly discriminate against workers with family responsibilities.