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    268505

    Fording the stream.

    Otero M

    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.
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