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Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1983 Jan. 140 p. (World Bank Staff Working Papers No. 526)The relationship between women's economic participation and their input into household decision making was investigated in 7 village studies in Nepal. 2 distinct cultural traditions were represented in the sample: Indo-Aryan/Hindu and Tibeto-Burman/Buddhist-Animist. The village economy is conceptualized in 4 concentric spheres: 1) household domestic work, 2) household agricultural production activity, 3) work in the local market economy, and 4) employment in the wider economy beyond the village. Aggregate data revealed that women are responsible for 86%, 57%, 38%, and 25% of the input into these 4 spheres, respectively. It was hypothesized that women's participation in the market economy increases their status (defined in terms of household decision making), while confinement to nonmarket subsistence production and domestic work reduces women's status. This hypothesis was confirmed. Women in the more orthodox Hindu communities, who are largely confined to domestic and subsistence production, were found to play a less significant role in major household economic decisions than women in Tibeto-Burman communities where women participate more actively in the market sector. Money earned in the market sector allows women to make a measurable contribution to household income, and thus appears to enhance the perception of women as equal partners. In addition, women's decision making input was found to be inversely related to the income status of the household. These results indicate that integrating women into the market economy is not only an efficient use of local resources, but also improves women's status and economic security. The time allocation and decision making data reveal that women play the major role in agricultural production, both as laborers and managers. This suggests the need to train female agricultural extension agents and to make male workers aware of the need to reach female farmers. The results further indicate that involvement of women in the development process leads to lowered fertility and more positive attitudes toward educating female children. Tibeto-Burman women have lower birthrates than Hindu women, perhaps due to their greater economic security and availability of alternate female role models. An extensive methodological annex, including survey instruments, is included.
[Unpublished] 1977. 99 p.This report was prepared in response to a request from the Asian Bureau of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) that all USAID missions in Asia develop national profiles on the status of women in their countries. The 1st section of the report, "Women's Legal and Social Status," is based on the 1974 Bangladesh Population Census and presents information on the laws and customs related to women's property and inheritance rights, marriage, and divorce. The 2nd section, "The Rural Woman," provides information on the role of women in rural society. Although 90% of the 76.2 women in Bangladesh are rural, data in this area are limited. Statistics on Bangladeshi women are presented in an Appendix. These data reveal the subordinate position of women in Bangladesh society. Females account for only 0.9 million of the 20.5 million population in the labor force. Of the 7.8 million primary school graduates, 2.7 million are female; of the 4.0 million secondary school graduates, 0.7 million are female. Women constitute 0.07 million of the 0.7 million college graduates. An average number of 6 children/family is reported, and 0.8 million (4.7% of eligible couples) females practice family planning. Recognition of the contributions being made by women to Bangladesh society and development of these activities through additional training and support is urged. Greater participation of women in agriculture and other development activities should be encouraged. Recent indicators of the changing status of women in Bangladesh include the creation of a Women's Affairs Division within the President's Secretariat. In addition, 10% of public sector jobs are being reserved for women.