Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Summary of AID women in development...
 Rationale for women in development...
 Women in development policy...
 Implementation of the women in...
 AID policy papers and policy...

Group Title: A.I.D. policy paper
Title: Women in development
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00078690/00001
 Material Information
Title: Women in development
Physical Description: 12 p. : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: United States -- Agency for International Development. -- Bureau for Program and Policy Coordination
Publisher: Bureau for Program and Policy Coordination, U.S. Agency for International Development
Place of Publication: Washington D.C
Publication Date: [1982]
Subject: Women in rural development -- Developing countries   ( lcsh )
Women -- Developing countries   ( lcsh )
Genre: federal government publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
General Note: "October 1982."
General Note: "A.I.D. policy paper".
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00078690
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001824813
oclc - 13343681
notis - AJP8848

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Title Page
        Title Page
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents
    Summary of AID women in development policy
        Page 1
    Rationale for women in development policy
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Women in development policy issues
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Implementation of the women in development policy
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
    AID policy papers and policy determinations
        Page 12
Full Text

A.I.D. Policy Paper


U.S. Agency for International Development
Washington, D.C. 20523
October 1982

A.I.D. Policy Paper

Women in Development

Bureau for Program and Policy Coordination
U.S. Agency for International Development
Washington, D.C. 20523

October 1982



I. Summary of AID Women in Development Policy ... 1

II. Introduction .................................. 2

III. Rationale for Women in Development Policy....... 2

A. Access to and Control Over Resources:
Gender Differences ......................... 3
B. Stakes and Incentives Related to Productivity:
Gender Differences ......................... 3

IV. Women in Development Policy Issues ............. 4

A. Agricultural Development ................... 4
B. Employment and Income Generation .......... 5
C. Human Resource and Institutional Development 6
D. Energy and Natural Resource Conservation..... 8
E. Water andHealth.......................... 9

V. Implementation of Women in Development Policy .. 9

This policy paper demonstrates how LDC
women's concerns are to be integrated into AID's
program. Other policy papers recognize various
roles LDC women play. For example, the Food
and Agriculture paper highlights women as
agricultural producers, farm laborers and family
food providers, and recommends an expansion of
their opportunities in the food-related and
agriculture fields. The Water and Sanitation paper
recognizes women's stake in the provision of clean
water and sanitation for the community. The
Nutrition paper points out that since women's
income is most likely to go toward food for her
family, improving nutrition through increased in-
come generation should focus on women. The
Private Enterprise paper establishes four priorities
for AID's investment (agriculture, agribusiness,
small scale industries and private sector service
enterprises), all of which are important areas for
women's involvement. But, unlike most of AID's
policy statements, the Women in Development
Policy is cross-sectoral; it is meant to provide the
policy framework and overall practical guidance
for each sector and for the Agency as a whole in its
efforts to incorporate women into the total
development process.

I. Summary of AID Women in
Development Policy
(1) AID will take into account the actual and
potential roles of LDC women in carrying out its
development assistance program. This will be
done in all AID's country strategies and projects in
order to ensure achievement of development
goals, through:
a. overall country programs and individual pro-
ject designs which reflect the distinct roles and
functions of LDC women as they relate to project
b. strategies for explicitly benefiting women and
girls in all sectors within countries, and in all pro-
jects within sectors which are developed and im-
plemented as an integral part of AID's work;
c. sex-disaggregated data collection, gender-
specific social-soundness analysis and economic
analysis, monitoring and evaluation.
(2) AID will also, under appropriate conditions,
support LDC women's institutions and programs
where special efforts are required to reach women
because of cultural conditions, where separate
programs and facilities are deemed necessary, or
where women's groups provide a particularly ad-
vantageous vehicle for addressing women's needs.
(3) AID recognizes that the productivity of
women is important to personal, family and na-
tional well-being. Women's increased productivity
depends on their improved access to resources,

e.g. land, improved farming techniques, informa-
tion, employment; therefore,
a. where lack of education and training constrain
women's effective access to more productive
work, AID will seek to increase relevant
knowledge and skills among women and girls;
b. where inefficient technologies reduce women's
overall productivity, AID will support the
development of labor-saving and time-saving
technologies which are acceptable and accessible
to women;
c. where systematic bias exists against females in
the labor force, or in certain segments of the labor
force, AID will support efforts to alleviate the
bias, through policy reform and/or experimental
programs which demonstrate ways in which
women c4n enter non-traditional types of work.
(4) AID acknowledges that largely because of
their traditional responsibilities for child care and
family welfare, women in developing countries
have special needs for adequate human resource
development programs in the areas of health care,
family planning, potable water, nutrition and
education. AID will support investments in
human resource development which have
particular implications for females in society.
Effective strategies to secure women's inclusion in
such programs will ultimately result in the critical
national benefit of a healthy, well-trained.
productive workforce.
(5) AID will support the development of institu-
tions and transfer of technology which ensure: (a)
the appropriateness and access of improved
technology to women (as well as men); and (b) the
existence of institutions which include women and
effectively reach women (as well as men) and
which permit the dissemination of benefits and
information to both sexes.
(6) AID acknowledges that there is still much to
know about the implications for development of
gender differences among target populations.
Such knowledge gaps severely reduce the effec-
tiveness of development program planning.
Therefore AID will support research in areas
where adequate knowledge of gender-roles in rela-
tion to development planning is lacking. Such
research will include (but not be limited) to:
a. studies of intra-household dynamics regarding
division of labor, distribution of resources and
b. income needs and income sources for males
and females;
c. women's contribution to agriculture;
d. fuel and water needs and sources;
e. incidence of households which are actually or
de-facto female-headed.
(7) AID recognizes that most LDC's have endors-
ed the goal of further integrating women and girls

into the development process through support of
international efforts such as those undertaken by
the various UN entities (e.g., UN Decade for
Women, FAO's WCAARD Plan of Action), and
that most countries have established their own
programs and plans to address the concern of
women in development. Therefore, AID will sup-
port reforms which are consistent with these na-
tional positions.
(8) AID seeks to increase the knowledge and skills
of its staff in planning projects which effectively
engage women in the development process and its
benefits. The Office of Women in Development
and the women in development officers will
continue to support the Agency's personnel in
their efforts to implement the women-in-
development policy. However, the overallrespon-
sibility for implementation of this policy rests with
all of AID's offices and bureaus, in all AID pro-
grams and projects.

II. Introduction
Nearly a decade has passed since Congress first in-
troduced the subject of women in development
into AID's program. The 1973 "Percy Amend-
ment" to the Foreign Assistance Act required that
the U.S. bilateral assistance programs:
"be administered so as to give particular attention
to those programs, projects and activities which
tend to integrate women into the national
economies of foreign countries, thus improving
their status and assisting the total development
effort." (emphasis added)
This legislative mandate and the extensive women
in development literature make two basic points.
The first point (". .. thus improving their
status .") raises the social or equity issues
which derive from women's status relative to men
in many countries. It stresses the need for develop-
ment planners to be sensitive to the ways in which
modernization may negatively affect females in
society. This approach casts females as
beneficiaries of development, and focuses on the
need for planners to guard against negative effects
of their projects on women.
The second point (". and assisting the total
development effort"), the economic or efficiency
issue, focuses on women as active contributors to
and agents of economic development, and actively
seeks to enhance women's participation in the pro-
cess. This approach emphasizes women's
economic roles. It stresses the need to enhance
their productivity, raise their incomes and pro-
mote their access to economically productive
resources as a means to achieving overall national
economic growth. While both arguments are im-
portant and both serve to guide AID's interpreta-
tion of the women in development policy, AID's
primary concern is to fully comprehend that the

pace of development and the quality ofits out-
come is greatly dependent on the degree to which
women and girls fulfill their potential contribution
and share in society's gains.
Of course the primary responsibility for ensuring
the participation of both women and men in
development rests with LDC governments and the
people themselves. But it is dear that foreign
donors such as AID can play a part in the process.
AID must now move beyond its initial activities,
and provide leadership in ensuring that women
have access to the opportunities and benefits of
economic development.
The major challenge for economic development is
the need to make more efficient use of scarce
resources. Women and girls are resources for
development whose contribution to development
is already substantial. Yet their contribution
would be dramatically enhanced if they were bet-
ter educated, in better health, and had better ac-
cess to training, services and jobs. Therefore, to
pursue a development planning strategy without a
women in development focus would be wasteful
and self-defeating-wasteful, because of the
potential loss of the contribution of vital human
resources and self-defeating because development
which does not bring its benefits to the whole
society has failed. The underlying premise of this
paper is that, for AID to undertake an effective
strategy that promotes balanced economic
development, a focus on the economic participa-
tion of women in development is essential.

III. Rationale for Women in
Development Policy
One of the premises of AID's women in develop-
ment policy is that gender-roles constitute a key
variable in the socio-economic condition of any
country-one that can be decisive in the success or
failure of development plans. Research from the
last decade portrays a fairly consistent pattern of
findings that in most developing countries,
females differ from men in their:
* access to and control over productive resources;
* stakes in development outcomes;
* responses to incentives introduced to encourage
Briefly stated, the constraints which women
face in the task of self- and therefore national-
development are often different constraints than
those men face. The particular ways in which
females are constrained function as limitations to
the overall development process itself. Some con-
straints relate to cultural norms of physical
mobility, while others derive from the predomi-
nant sexual division of labor and the consequent
segregation of women in the economy. Time can
also act as a constraint when women must fulfill

child care, home production, and market
The implications of these differences for develop-
ment planners are substantial. The experience of
the past ten years tells us that the key issue
underlying the women in development concept is
ultimately an economic one: misunderstanding of
gender differences, leading to inadequate planning
and designing ofprojects, results in diminished
returns on investment. Gender, therefore, is a
critical category of analysis in AID's work, one
which has not received sufficient attention to date.
A. Access to and Control Over Resources:
Gender Differences
Although there are regional variations, in most
countries and within most ethnic groups it is much
more difficult for women to: own land; obtain
credit; receive training and information; and ob-
tain new technologies. If these constraints are not
overcome women's productivity will decrease and
their economic independence will decline.
Attempts to raise overall output and to achieve
national self-sufficiency will be thwarted.
For example, even though there is now sufficient
evidence to prove women's substantial contribu-
tion to agriculture in many of the countries of the
world, there is equal proof that these women are
often farming without benefit of the improved in-
puts and services required for a more productive
and renumerative agriculture. The paradox is
most obvious in the African setting, where it is
estimated females do 60-80 percent of all agri-
cultural work. Yet these same females are rarely
systematically targeted for: training, extension,
research, technology, or improved inputs. It is
predictable, then, that efforts to improve access to
resources and thereby to increase productivity in
the agriculture sector will need to be better
directed to the female population, if goals for
growth are to be achieved.
B. Stakes and Incentives Related to Productivity:
Gender Differences
There are also important gender-role differences
affecting the way members of the society respond
to incentives introduced to encourage develop-
ment and the degree to which they perceive a stake
in the outcome of a development intervention.
SGender-roles are strongly associated in most
regions with such tasks for daily survival as water-
Sbearing and fuel provision. For example,
in the numerous areas where water-carrying is
traditionally women's work, it is crucial to
understand the greater stake women may have in
a project designed to improve water availability;
certain types of environmental degradation
(deforestation, soil erosion) also may bear more
heavily on the lives of women and girls if, for ex-
Sample, their traditional responsibilities for pro-

viding fuelwood are affected. Where females sup-
ply the household with fuel women, not men, may
be largely contributory to the fuelwood/
deforestation crisis-and at the same time women
and girls may have the greatest stake in finding a
solution to the problem.
Knowledge of these gender-role patterns will assist
project planners to maximize the chance of project
success. Introducing incentives for change which
are specifically adapted to gender-roles, and are
therefore based on a proper assessment of the
stake the population feels in the outcome of pro-
ject, are critical to success.
For this reason, the accuracy and utility of
descriptive terms which AID uses to describe
target populations are questionable without
gender distinctions. Employing aggregated ter-
minology such as "family labor," "hired labor,"
"farmers," "youth," "children," and others, may
mask key sex-linked aspects or social and
economic behavior and may contribute to incor-
rect assumptions about the population in the con-
ceptualization and implementation of projects.
Reliance on the family as the level of analysis in
social data collection for instance, also contains
inherent risks of misinformation. Often
intra-family dynamics related to distribution of
resources and division of labor by sex and age will

be overlooked; these intra-household dynamics
have critical implications for the successful im-
plementation of projects.
An example is useful here. There is a predominant
misperception about disposition of income within
poor families which has persisted and given rise to
critical miscalculations in project planning. This is
the assumption that household incomes are:
dominated by the contribution of a male
pooled with other supplementary income
earners (women and children), and
redistributed within the family according to
This has led project planners to establish such ob-
jectives as to "raise family incomes," "improve
family living standards," and "increase family
However research findings for Sub-Saharan
Africa, the Caribbean and South and Southeast
Asia, indicate that the prevailing pattern of
household economics is quite different. In fact
there is a pattern of separate and distinct income
streams and expenditures, where males and
females meet financial responsibilities to the
family individually with little or no access to each
other's cash or other resources. Furthermore,
studies indicate that it is often from women's in-
come, not men's, that the basic survival needs of
the family (food, health care, education,

maintenance of property) are met.
In some cases this type of family dynamic is a
carry-over from tradition, one which has been
misperceived and misunderstood by generations
of outsiders. In others it is a relatively new pattern
resulting from socially dislocating factors like
migration, leaving women for at least part of the
year as heads of households. In either event, in-
come needs and income sources within the family
require analysis which goes beyond preconceived
and often erroneous assumptions about household
behavior. A thorough understanding of the
gender-related dynamics of: decision-making,
resource allocation, and financial responsibility
within the household is imperative if a Women in
Development Policy is truly to be implemented by
AID. Miscalculations derived from ethnocentric
assumptions about women and imprecise social
analysis will have negative consequences for pro-
ject design and implementation.

IV. Women in Development Policy Issues
A. Agricultural Development
Women are the majority of the Third World's
rural population. The small farmer producing
food in Third World countries is, increasingly, a
woman. The worldwide demographic and social
changes which have occurred in tandem with
Third World development have worked to push
women into the agricultural sector, rather than
out of it as was the case historically in many of the
developed countries.
In the Andean region, women engage in
agricultural field work, especially planting and
weeding, processing of agricultural products,
feeding, grazing, milking and shearing of animals
and to a great degree in marketing (Deere & Leon
de Leal, Bourque & Warren).
In Cameroon, the existence of women's farming
systems, separate and distinct from those of their
husbands' and fathers', and women's crops, has
been described and analyzed (Guyer; Jones).
In Kenya, the productivity of women farmers
compares favorably to that of men who receive
equivalent farm services (Staudt).
In India, the participation of women in reforesta-
tion programs and in milk production schemes has
been shown to be an important source of
household income, particularly for those with
limited resources (Dixon; Jain).
Therefore, steps must be taken to ensure that the
new technologies and resources which are part of
development assistance in the agriculture sector
actually reach women. There has been little
evidence in the past decade of "trickle-across;" in
fact resources allocated to "the farm household"
typically reach men rather than women. Male
agricultural extension agents provide information
to groups of male farmers; women farmers get the

knowledge of improved technologies second-
hand, if at all. Credit is given to those who own
land; women in most countries, however, till land
which is owned by their husbands, fathers, and
brothers. Furthermore, steps must be taken to en-
sure that control which women may have over
resources is not threatened or eliminated by
reallocation of such resources to others. Finally,
women's participation in agriculture must not be
defined solely in terms of their labor; the benefits
of that labor should also flow to women.
It is especially important, in the transition from
subsistence to commercial agricultural systems,
that the traditional concept of reward for labor be
retained. In Cameroon, for example, men were
allocated the resources (land, water, seeds, in-
formation) to enable them to produce rice for sale.
Women were expected to carry out the tasks of
transplanting and harvesting this rice and, at the
same time, to continue their traditional cultivation
of sorghum for their family's subsistence.
Unavailability of women's labor became an unan-
ticipated constraint to the expansion of commer-
cial rice production and therefore to the desired
improvement in standards of living in the area
(Jones). Better pre-project analysis as well as im-
plementation monitoring systems which enable
women to communicate directly to project
management, can help to prevent repetition of
such cases. Farming systems approaches to
agricultural research-where researchers get
directly in touch with rural women-offer another
avenue for seeking women's inputs into the defini-
tion of agricultural problems and possibilities. It
should be noted however that experience has
shown that this access to women farmers often re-
quires special efforts; these must be planned for in
the research design.
Other areas of agricultural and rural development
activity which primarily involve women are those
of food storage, processing and, often, trade.
Women perform storage and processing tasks as
part of their household maintenance duties as well
as for cash incomes. Women engage in the trade of
both processed and unprocessed agricultural com-
modities (both food and fiber) for profit. For ex-
ample, Caribbean women higglers and hucksters
are the mainstay of inter- and intra-island food
In efforts to reduce postharvest food losses and to
increase the amount of private sector activity in
the rural areas, it is important to keep the role of
women in these activities in mind. Addressing the
problem of information transfer in methods of im-
proved storage and processing technology will be
part of the solution; training of women extension
agents will help in this process. And developing
techniques and technologies of postharvest food
preservation and storage which are accessible to

women, and which can be maintained by them are
equally important.
As efforts get underway in many developing coun-
tries to reduce the role of public agencies in food
marketing, it is essential that women be given op-
portunities for greater roles in these markets.
Their participation should be especially encour-
aged where they can provide marketing services
efficiently and effectively at low capital costs.
To summarize, the key elements of AID's policy
concerning women in agricultural development
are that:
1. The sex- and age-linked division of labor by
crop and ethnic group must be fully comprehend-
ed as a basis for all project planning.
2. Male and female differentials in access to and
control over key productive resources must be
understood and planned for in projects. These
resources include:
land capital labor credit information
seeds tools fertilizers water fuel
3. The specific farming responsibilities which are
uniquely and particularly assigned to female
members of the household/society must receive an
appropriate share of attention in project iden-
tification, design and implementation. These may
"women's animals" "women's crops" *
weeding transporting marketing
preserving processing storage

4. Explicit strategies to address gender-role
aspects of farming must.be built into all projects
where outreach to farmers is attempted (exten-
sion, training, research, etc.). In particular, in-
tegrated services to address females' multiple
responsibilities in farm households are required.
These would include:
human nutrition/health animal nutrition/
health farm management family resource
management time/labor saving technologies
B. Employment and Income Generation
In the past decade, development activities that
have targeted women as beneficiaries have been
primarily focused on women's reproductive,
health and nurturing roles. Projects aimed at
directly increasing women's income have typically
been small in scale with little attention paid to ef-
fective marketing or long-term viability. Such
small-scale income generation programs, which
effectively stand outside the mainstream of
development planning, do little to address the
long-term economic needs of low-income women.
Furthermore, large-scale development programs
often have not accounted for the actual economic
roles women play or attempted to enhance these
roles. The consequences have been to keep women
in the unproductive sectors of the economy,

underutilizing their capacity, and contributing to
the failure of programs.
Poor women in developing countries bear major
economic responsibilities, yet they are generally
less well educated than men and have less access
than men to modern productive resources. Thus
they often fill jobs which require little skilled work
and are among the lowest paying. General trends
in Third World countries show that the percentage
of women, although low in the formal labor force
as a whole, is disproportionately high when one
looks at the service sector. In all regions except
Africa, where women tend to concentrate in
agriculture, more than a third of working women
are confined to service occupations. The data
from Latin America show quite dramatically how
the ranks of women in the labor force are swollen
by their entry into service sector, where they fill
the menial jobs, primarily as domestics.
Informal labor markets have always existed in
developing countries but the increased population
and the inability of the formal sector to ac-
comodate the expanding labor force has pushed
more people, especially women, into seeking
employment in the informal sector. The size of the
informal sectors in cities such as Bombay, Djakar-
ta, and Lima varies from 53 percent to 69 percent
of the working population of those cities. Female
workers are disproportionately represented. In
India, between 41 percent and 49 percent of the
female labor force participates in the informal sec-
tor, while only 15 percent to 17 percent of the
male labor force does so. (Mazumdar 1976, ICSSR
Therefore, in the formal sector, AID must en-
courage attempts to break the pattern of women's
relegation to low-productivity occupations with
no growth potential. AID can accomplish this by
designing into projects the expansion of employ-
ment opportunities in sectors where women have
not traditionally worked, and in those relatively
new sectors of the economy where gender-specific
work roles are not yet entrenched. In addition,
AID can support and fund occupational training
programs for women at two basic levels:
* Technical and industrial skills programs should
be used to prepare younger women for entry into
profitable employment sectors where there are
shortages of skilled workers.
* Management skills programs should be used to
prepare women for entry into white collar occupa-
tions which require knowledge of basic account-
ing, and administrative skills.
For the informal sector, a variety of programs for
small entrepreneurs and micro-enterprises have
been successful, and AID can adapt them for
women. AID's decision to focus on technical
assistance and/or provision of credit through
financial intermediaries must depend on the par-

ticular situation. However, in many countries
there are substantial numbers of self-employed
women, particularly in micro and small in-
dustries, who will gain from enhanced
managerial, administrative and financial skills, as
well as from the formation of cooperative institu-
Other factors which are relevant to AID's ap-
proach to women's employment and income
generation are:
1. Measurement of Women's Economic Activities
Current information on women's productive ac-
tivities in their national economies not only masks
the contribution women make, it also masks the
division of labor and the roles women play. These
data collection practices are disadvantageous to
women because:
* they exclude activities connected with
household production of goods and services which
are not actually sold on the market, and
* because women are more likely to be
misclassified as economically inactive since the
reference period or time frame in which women
perform work often does not conform to the stan-
dard reference period used in data collection;
women's work is more often than men's, home
based, seasonal, and therefore elusive to
* for status reasons both men and women often
deny that women "work".
AID's reliance on standard statistical measures of
female economic activity must be teinpered with
knowledge of the substantial limitations of these
data. Wherever possible, efforts to supplement
national census data with more recent and
microlevel surveys and other research data should
be undertaken.
2. Migration
For several decades increasing population
pressure, rural poverty and, more recently, the
high wages offered in countries with labor short-
ages have caused men to emigrate from rural areas
in search of wage labor in the city or in another
country. As a result, women's roles are changing
rapidly in rural areas. Rural women are being
called upon to increase their work loads, to take
over important decision-making roles, to organize
cultivation, and to ensure that the decisions they
make in economic matters are implemented. AID's
investments in rural areas must be made with full
knowledge of these effects of migration and the
concomitamt increase in number of households
which are female-headed.
Though men still predominate among migrants to
urban areas, the number of women migrating is
increasing, especially in Latin America and a few
African and Asian countries. As compared to the
men, the women immigrants have a lower educa-

tional level and face a very limited labor market.
In Latin America they usually become street ven-
dors or domestics. Whereas long-term male
migrants are more likely to achieve upward
mobility, the female either remains at the same
level or her situation worsens. Special programs of
non-formal education and vocational training
must be provided to help these women develop
skills for employment in the formal sector and in-
creased income earning opportunities in the in-
formal sector.
3. Displacement of Female Workers by
The introduction of labor-saving technologies in
many developing countries has resulted in the
displacement of large numbers of unskilled rural
and urban female laborers (e.g., rice milling, grain
grinding, food processing, and the mass produc-
tion of handmade items). In cases where
mechanization has resulted in a decline in tradi-
tional sources of income for females or in reduc-
tions in female employment, mechanization can
provide new employment for women only when
they are trained and encouraged to enter the in-
dustry. The choice of mechanization in the
agriculture sector, for example, should be made
selectively, where economically justified and
where the selected technologies are appropriate to
the setting.
4. Women's Organizations
Typically, organizations selected to undertake in-
come generating activities for women have had lit-
tle technical expertise and yet have been selected
because they are organizations exclusively of
women. The objectives of these programs tend to
be welfare-oriented and ill-defined; their activities
often fail to provide women with real op-
portunities for generating income over the long-
term. AID should support the upgrading and
development of implementing institutions based
on their technical capability or potential technical
expertise. AID will support the funding of women-
specific organizations only to the extent that they
meet this criterion.

C. Human Resource and Institutional Develop-
1. Education
The education of women and girls has been called
by the World Bank "one of the best investments a
country can make in its future growth and
welfare" for the following reasons:
* The better educated the mother, the less likely
the child is to die in infancy. The children of
educated mothers are better nourished and
* The children of educated mothers are more like-
ly to succeed in school, more so than if only the
father is educated. Their daughters are more likely

to attend school, do well and graduate.
* Educated women are more receptive to family
planning and tend to have later marriages and
fewer children.
* Primary education opens the way to further
education or vocational training in agriculture,
health services, etc. and, thereby, increases the
opportunities to find remunerated employment.
All these facts are increasingly recognized, yet the
number of female illiterates grows at a pace faster
than males. Two out of three of the world's il-
literates today are women. The following table
presents literacy rates for selected countries in
which AID works; only in Latin America is the
skew less severe.

Number of Literates in the Population Over 15
Years (by Percent)*

Country Year Male Female Total




Near East













1974 53.6 22.4 38.2

*Source: UNESCO Statistical Handbook 1981.

Third World countries increasingly accept the im-
portance of education for their populations. Yet
girls are still impeded in their access to education
* competing household and child care tasks and
responsibilities. In poor families both boys and
girls must work, but girls have the added respon-
sibility of caring for younger siblings.
* parents' negative attitudes toward educating
daughters. There is the fear that education will
make girls less compliant and, therefore, less mar-
riageable. Educating daughters often is considered
a poor investment by the family.
* shortage of schools. In countries where schools

are segregated by sex, there are disproportionately
fewer girls' schools.
* distance from schools, especially upper-primary
schools. Many village schools are incomplete, of-
fering only the first three or four grades.
* shortage of female teachers who can encourage
girl students and provide role models. Housing for
female teacher-trainees and teachers is often in-
adequate in rural areas.
* earlier marriage age for girls keeps them out of
school or forces them to leave school at a younger
* lack of provision for girls to re-enter school
once they have dropped out.

A variety of direct and indirect programs have
been established in some countries to overcome
obstacles, such as programs to improve attitudes
towards female education. Financial rewards and
other incentives can be provided to schools and
teachers with high female enrollment in their
classes. Women must be recruited for teacher
training programs and encouraged to teach in
rural areas. Alternate child care arrangements will
release young girls so they can attend school.
However, no significant progress in either raising
the levels of education in society as a whole or in
increasing upward mobility for women is possible
without a major increase in the number of girls
successfully completing primary and entering
academic secondary schools.

2. Population, Health and Nutrition
Among the most important goals of development
are better health, improved nutrition and reduced
fertility. In their multiple roles, women play a cen-
tral part in strategies to improve health, raise
nutritional levels and reduce population growth.
Investments in these areas and in education are the
basis for the development of human capital.
It is not possible to achieve the necessary changes
in nutrition, health and population growth
without understanding and addressing the roles of
women. In places where the norms prescribe for a
woman the role of child bearer as the primary
means of attaining status, where female children
find their educational prospects limited, where
early marriage is the rule rather than the excep-
tion, daughters are typically condemned to the
same conditions which circumscribed their
mothers' lives. If fertility is to be reduced through
the use of voluntary family planning services, it is
necessary to address, through other development
efforts, those factors which may militate against
women's understanding of and ability to utilize
family planning. Of the factors bearing on
women's reproductive behavior, their education
and their access to and control over resources and
income are particularly significant.

3. Institutions
Viable self-sustaining institutions at the local,
regional and national levels (both public and
private) are critical elements in development.
Unions, cooperatives, credit and lending associa-
tions, and markets are examples of institutions
that greatly benefit from women's active par-
ticipation, while at the same time benefitting
women. To the degree all LDC institutions include
and represent women as well as men they will suc-
ceed in providing access to key resources and en-
suring the full development of human capital.
Women who combine the skills provided by
modem education with an understanding of the
traditional values and local realities affecting
women contribute a great deal to successful
development programming. Thus AID must take
measures to provide access for women to training
programs and higher education, especially in the
management and administration of the sectors, to
prepare them for positions from which they can
influence policy formation.
Additionally, since most countries today have
governmental agencies assigned to address the
needs of women, AID should regard these entities
as channels for both obtaining and disseminating
information about women as well as potential
vehicles for carrying out projects to enhance
women's economicproductivity. In countries
where, women's issues can only be addressed in a
segregated context, these women's bureaus can
also provide an appropriate institutional contact
to inform and advise AID in its women in
development efforts. AID recognizes, however,
that in most countries it is the functional ministries
that bear primary responsibility for integrating
women into their programs-and for ensuring the
relevance of their programs to the particular needs
of women and girls-in order to ensure the success
of their overall activities.
D. Energy and Natural Resource Conservation
In the villages of the Third World, women are im-
portant providers and consumers of energy.
Traditionally, animal and human energy have
been used to plant, harvest and prepare food, and
to obtain fuel for warmth and cooking. It is usual-
ly women and girls who collect the wood, dung
and crop residue used for these purposes. In effect
these women are caught in a kind of vicious circle.
In order to obtain fuel for the household they must
expend their own energy. As fuelwood shortages
increase their situation is aggravated. More and
more human energy is required to travel greater
distances to collect fuel or to generate cash income
to pay for fuel. In effect, human energy is
substituted for another form: woman's labor must
increase in proportion to the ever-decreasing sup-
plies of fuel while women's available energy for
labor is increasingly being taxed.

If women are to participate effectively in the
development process, the energy they expend for
such activities as obtaining fuel must be reduced
by access to more convenient fuel sources; this
frees energy for other productive activities. Any
development project which proposes to add to
women's workload without commensurate energy
savings can be expected to fail.
Women, therefore, have a large stake in the suc-
cess of AID's reforestation projects which can pro-
vide not only fuel, but food, fodder and
medicines, as well as a cash return. Rural women
have been shown to be very knowledgeable about
the attributes of both familiar forest products and
new rapid-growing trees for forest plantations.
Women, however, cannot be expected to care for
the seedlings and young trees if the primary
benefits will accrue to others. Only if women
share the control of forest product distribution
will they have the incentive to participate in
Several other cautions are in order. The adapta-
tion of fuel conserving stoves and other energy-
and labor-saving technologies to village life has
proven to be extremely complex.
* Fuel conserving stoves have been slow to be
adopted for a variety of reasons. For example,
though the smoke of the old stoves is considered
deleterious to the family's and particularly the
women's health, it also keeps the insects away.
* Solar cookers are of use only in the heat of the
day when many women may prefer not to cook or
need to be working away from the house.
* Biogas digesters have proven adaptive for pig-
raising since pigs can be penned and fed fairly easi-
ly. In a cattle-raising society, however, either fod-
der for the cattle must be collected or the dung
must be collected if they graze. Either activity
adds time to a woman's already long day.
* Labor saving technologies have displaced poor
women from some of their traditional means of
livelihood. The spread of mechanized rice mills in
most of Asia, though a boon to the overworked
women on the medium and large farms, has left
many poor women destitute. Traditionally these
poor women derived some income from hand pro-
cessing rice, but it is now predominately men who
own and work the mills.
In one Asian country, Bangladesh, a few rice mills
have been set up under the management of
women's cooperatives with cooperative members
employed to run the mills. And in Egypt, some
women in one village have organized to bake
bread for the rest of the community using solar
ovens which, though very economic in terms of
fuel costs, are too time-consuming for individual
households. Therefore these new technologies can
provide the basis for small-scale enterprises with

long-term viability and economic return for
village women when appropriately conceived and
E. Water and Health
AID recognizes that success of water and sanita-
tion programs depends in large measure on the
ability and commitment of people to use, operate
and maintain the systems properly. What is not
nearly understood by project planners is that the
relation between water and health is primarily a
women's concern.
As mothers, women are the traditional family
health guardians and teachers of hygiene, disease
prevention and sanitation. And as mothers they
are largely responsible for the care and raising of
children. Thus the high prevalence of waterborne
and parasitic diseases, health problems due to con-
taminated water, and consequent high infant mor-
tality rates are critical concerns to women.
Women, therefore, have a strong stake in the
establishment of water and sanitation systems and
an equally strong incentive to make sure the
systems are adequately and continuously main-
1. Water Use
Women as primary users and haulers of water can
and should play a significant role in promoting
community acceptance of improved water supply
and sanitation programs. As primary water users
the question of access is usually of more im-
portance to women than to men. Will the location
of the water source mean an increase or decrease
in the time spent fetching and hauling it? Further-
more, numerous social and religious restrictions
exist in many regions which may dictate restric-
tions (as in the case of installation of latrines)
which will virtually prohibit men and women, or
men and children from using the same facilities.
Or the facilities may be situated too far from the
home so that women will not or cannot use them.
A lack of awareness of these sorts of traditional at-
titudes can lead to the failure of water and sanita-
tion projects.
2. Water Management
Once a water supply system is brought to a
village, a number of questions arise regarding its
use. Will it be used primarily for agricultural and
irrigation purposes? The need for sufficient
available water for domestic use and for women's
use in their small home gardens, where much of
family's food needs are met, should not be
overlooked. Women and men must not be put into
competition with each other over limited available
water. Involving local women in early manage-
ment and water-use decisions, in regard to both
domestic and agricultural uses, is critical and
ultimately will be beneficial to the entire com-
munity. Wherever feasible water and sanitation

projects should include a plan to train community
workers-women as well as men-in the actual
construction, operation and long-term
maintenance of systems. Teaching women to
maintain the water source can lead to long term
cost savings.
3. Time Allocation
The time saved from water collection is especially
important to women and to the community. Fre-
quently women use this saved time in expanding
or initiating more economically productive ac-
tivities-like income-generation. AID Impact
Evaluation Report Number 32 states that with the
installation of piped water systems women in one
village in Panama actually doubled their monthly
ouptut of small home-produced goods.

V. Implementation of the Women in
Development Policy
The responsibility for implementing AID's
Women in Development Policy rests with all of
AID's offices and programs, at all levels of
decision-making. Implementation of this policy
must be understood to be an important qualitative
aspect of AID's overall program, one which is
crucial to the achievement of the Agency's goals.
It is not a concern which can adequately be ad-
dressed in any one sector alone, or by any single
office or officer.
Several factors may constrain AID's implementa-
tion of the Women in Development Policy. These
* inadequate data on women's actual economic
roles and a lack of experience in targeting women
for other than welfare-type assistance;
* imputed or real sensitivities on the part of some
host governments to interventions which explicit-
ly address gender differences in the population;
* the cross-cutting nature of the Agency's women
in development policy which precludes convenient
compartmentalization of the issue.
In light of these contstraints, AID's Women in
Development Policy should be implemented
through the following approaches:
1. Women in Development Activities in AID's
Effective implementation of AID's Women in
Development Policy depends on the policy being
reflected throughout AID's portfolio. This shall be
done by:
a. introducing gender distinctions in the ter-
minology employed in all of AID's program and
project documents in order to define more precise-
ly the social context and impact of AID's work.
b. disaggregating by sex data collected for AID's
country strategy formulation, project identifica-
tion, project design and throughout the life of pro-
jects. This prepares the way for soundness of pro-

ject implementation and provides a basis for
measuring success/failure in gender-related terms.
c. relying on sex-disaggregated social soundness
analysis to inform (not merely justify) the project
development process.
d. requiring AID's country strategy, project iden-
tification and planning documents (CDSS's,
PID's, PP's) to explicitly describe strategies to in-
volve women, benefits and impediments to
women and benchmarks to measure women's par-
ticipation; providing substantive analysis of these
statements during the process of their review.
e. requiring AID's consultants to address women
in development issues by introducing this require-
ment in their scopes of work.
f. increasing the number of LDC women involved
in AID's participant training programs.
g. evaluating and assessing the impact of AID's
programs and projects according to gender dif-
ferentials-both in relative and absolute
terms-with regard to improvements in access to
and control over resources and predicted benefits
and returns.
WID projects and WID components of projects
will continue to constitute a mechanism for the
Agency to reach women, in circumstances where:
a. access to females in an integrated setting is con-
strained by cultural conditions;
b. where segregated institutions or facilities are
the norm;
c. where experimental or model activities are be-
ing introduced and a controlled sex-specific en-
vironment offers the best hope of success.
For definitional purposes in AID, separate
"women-only" projects or components of projects
which are exclusively designed to directly benefit
women economically-are differentiated from
projects which provide services to women such as
maternal-child-health, family planning services,
etc. The former meet the criteria for a "WID pro-
ject" in reporting Agency funding levels in women
in development. The latter, services to women, do
2. AID's Women in Development Office and
Women in Development Officers
AID's Office of Women in Development, in the
Bureau for Program and Policy Coordination, will
continue to serve as the Agency's focal point for
disseminating relevant information, providing
technical advice on specific women in develop-
ment issues, granting supplementary funds to mis-
sions and outside groups to support women in
development projects, components of projects,
and data collection and analysis.
a. The Office will offer technical support to AID
missiofis and bureaus to enhance their capacity to
implement the Agency's women in development

policy by participating in CDSS, PID and PP
reviews; by consulting with mission and project
staff during TDY's, and by contributing a women
in development perspective to the Agency's
overall policy development and evaluation ef-
b. The Office will grant additional funds to AID'S
missions and outside groups primarily to support
field projects where women in development con-
cerns are addressed. Additionally, these funds will
be used to support new and/or experimental in-
itiatives where direct economic benefit will be
c. The Office will, together with other PPC of-
fices, fulfill the coordinating function for AID
with the other donors, UN agencies and non-
governmental organizations which are implemen-
ting their own women in development programs.
d. The Office will commission, compile and
disseminate written resources on subjects related
to women's economic and productive roles in
LDC's, to inform and advise the Agency on
scholarly findings and practical results from
worldwide women in development activities.
e. The Office will seek to systematically collect,
bank, assess and exchange experiences in im-
plementing AID's women in development policy
in projects and programs.
f. The Office will continue to work in cooperation
with Title XII and other universities, the Bureau of
the Census, the Department of Agriculture and
other public and private institutions to engage
their expertise in implementing AID's policy on
women in development through activities which
provide information exchange, research, training
and technical assistance to missions and private
groups involved in development.
AID's women in development officers in bureaus
and missions will inform and advise Agency staff
and others on effective ways to implement the
Agency's policy.
a. WID officers will be selected based on their
knowledge of the subject of women in develop-
ment in the setting to which they are assigned,
their knowledge of the Agency's women in
development policy, and their ability to act as
resources to other staff and contractors in effec-
tively translating the policy into operational
b. WID officers will function as resources for the
planning and implementation of work AID is
undertaking in every sector. They should not be
restricted to a single sector such as health, family
planning or working with PVOs.
c. WID officers should seek out and make contact
with groups and individuals who are actively
engaged in women in development ac-
tivities-including host country government of-

ficials and leaders, women leaders in the public
and private sectors, scholars and researchers, pro-
ject personnel and community members who have
knowledge of women in development issues.
3. AID's Support for Other Donor and Host
Government Women in Development Activities
The United Nations Decade for Women (1976-
1985) has been instrumental in focusing interna-
tional attention on women's issues as well as en-
couraging specific national measures for women in
many countries. The sub-themes of the UN
Decade for Women-employment, health and
education-have important development implica-
tions and serve to guide many national govern-
ments in establishing priorities for action in
Women's programs.
SMany LDCs now have women's bureaus within
their government structures. These national

machineries for the advancement of women-as
they are termed by the United Nations-are im-
portant to AID in carrying out its Women in
Development Policy. Whenever appropriate,
women's bureaus will be encouraged to undertake
activities such as collecting information on women
to supplement existing macro-data sources, carry
out action projects which increase women's
economic self-sufficiency and encourage leader-
ship by women leaders and scholars. AID will ac-
tively support LDC efforts to strengthen women's
organizations and bureaus by granting funds and
providing technical assistance as needed.
AID through its missions will support and en-
courage the work of regional UN organizations
such as UNECA, UNESCAP and the U.N. agen-
cies such as FAO, ILO, UNESCO in their efforts to
implement their plans of action relating to the
goals of the Decade for Women.

A.I.D. Policy Papers and Policy Determinations

The following reports have been issued in a series. These documents with
an identification code (e.g. PN-AAM-323) may be ordered in microfiche or
paper copy. Please direct inquiries regarding orders to:

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Title-Policy Paper

Bureau for Private Enterprise
Domestic Water and Sanitation
Food and Agricultural Development
Private Enterprise Development
Recurrent Costs
Population Assistance
Private and Voluntary Organizations
Women in Development
Pricing, Subsidies, and Related Policies
in Food and Agriculture
Approaches to the Policy Dialogue
Basic Education and Technical Training
Health Assistance
Institutional Development

Title-Policy Determination

PD #1-Narcotics
PD #2-Mixed Credits
PD #3-Voluntary Sterilization
PD #4-Title XII
PD #5-Programming PL 480 Local
Currency Generations
PD #6-Environmental and Natural Resources
Aspects of Development Assistance
PD #7-Forestry Policy and Programs
PD #8-Participant Training
PD #9-Loan Terms Under PL 480 Title I
PD #10-Development Communications


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