• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Title Page
 Chapter 1: Introduction
 Chapter 2: Sources of data
 Chapter 3: Population distribution...
 Chapter 4: Literacy and educat...
 Chapter 5: Women in economic...
 Chapter 6: Marital status and living...
 Chapter 7: Fertility and morta...
 Chapter 8: Conclusions
 Appendix A: References
 Appendix B: Tables in the women...
 Appendix C: Population by age,...
 Back Cover














Group Title: United States Agency for International Development Office of Women in Development ; WID-1
Title: Women of the world
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00080042/00001
 Material Information
Title: Women of the world Latin America and the Caribbean
Alternate Title: Latin America and the Caribbean
Physical Description: viii, 173 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Chaney, Elsa
United States -- Bureau of the Census
United States -- Agency for International Development. -- Office of Women in Development
Publisher: U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of the Census :
For sale by Supt. of Docs., U.S. G.P.O.
Place of Publication: Washington D.C
Publication Date: [1984]
 Subjects
Subject: Women -- Statistics -- Latin America   ( lcsh )
Women -- Statistics -- Caribbean Area   ( lcsh )
Genre: federal government publication   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
statistics   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Bibliography: p. 149-160.
Statement of Responsibility: by Elsa M. Chaney.
General Note: "Prepared under a Resources Support Services Agreement with the Office of Women in Development, Bureau for Program and Policy Coordination, U.S. Agency for International Development."
General Note: "Issued May 1984."
General Note: "WID-1."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00080042
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001290650
oclc - 11175911
notis - AGE1329
lccn - 84601056

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
    Chapter 1: Introduction
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Chapter 2: Sources of data
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
    Chapter 3: Population distribution and change
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
    Chapter 4: Literacy and education
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
    Chapter 5: Women in economic activity
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
    Chapter 6: Marital status and living arrangements
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
    Chapter 7: Fertility and mortality
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
    Chapter 8: Conclusions
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
    Appendix A: References
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
    Appendix B: Tables in the women in development database
        Page 161
        Page 162
    Appendix C: Population by age, sex, and rural/urban residence
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
    Back Cover
        Page 174
Full Text
WID-1


Latin America
and the
Caribbean


U.S. Department of Commerce
BUREAU OF THE CENSUS


U.S. Agency for International Development
OFFICE OF WOMEN IN DEVELOPMENT 1





WID-1



^ J .. ... = vl -7;1
,, ,, ; .*






Latin

SAmerica

S. and the

Caribbean
by Elsa M. Chaney


This report was prepared under a Resources
Support Services Agreement with the Office of
Women in Development, Bureau for Program
.. and Policy Coordination, U.S. Agency
K, r <
Sf-or International Development.
S^^j. %1 ,..'t '



Issued May 1984
OF C

TrES Of
U.S. Department of Commerce
Malcolm Baldrige, Secretary
Clarence J. Brown, Deputy Secretary
Sidney Jones, Under Secretary for
Economic Affairs
BUREAU OF THE CENSUS
John G. Keane,
Director














BUREAU OF THE CENSUS
John B. Keane, Director
C. L. Kincannon, Deputy Director
Robert O. Bartram, Assistant Director for International Programs

CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH
Samuel Baum, Chief







Acknowledgments


This report on Latin America was prepared under contract with
the U.S. Bureau of the Census. It is one of four regional hand-
books in the Women of the World series prepared under a
Resources Support Services Agreement with the Office of
Women in Development, Bureau for Program and Policy Coor-
dination, U.S. Agency for International Development, Sarah
Tinsley, Director. Thanks are due to present and former staff
members of the Agency for International Development for their
contributions to the various stages of the Census Bureau's
Women In Development project. In particular, Jane Jaquette and
Paula 0. Goddard, formerly of the Office of Women in Develop-
ment, and Lois Godiksen, formerly of the Economic and Social
Data Services, provided useful guidance in establishing the Cen-
sus Bureau's Women In Development Data Base, upon which
these handbooks are based. Jean Ellickson and John Hourihan
of the Office of Women in Development, and Annette
Binnendijk of the Economic and Social Data Services, provided
support at subsequent stages of the project.
Within the Bureau of the Census, Ellen Jamison, Staff
Assistant to the Chief, Center for International Research,
prepared the overall outline for the content and format of the
world handbook series; monitored the contracts; prepared
chapter 2; and served as reviewer and coordinator of the publica-
tion preparation activities. For this report on Latin America,
valuable assistance was provided by other staff members of the
Center for International Research: Kevin G. Kinsella assisted with
countless details to ensure the accuracy of the tables and charts;
Peter O. Way offered useful guidance on the material to be
included, provided supervisory assistance in the verification of


tables, and prepared appendix C; Eduardo E. Arriaga and
Sylvia D. Quick provided useful review comments, especially on
chapters 3 and 7; Joseph R. Cooper and John R. Gibson designed
the graphics; Eleanor M. Matthews and Margaret A.
Squires provided statistical assistance in verifying the tables;
and Donna M. Dove and Janet M. Sales took charge of the
typing, with the assistance of Jacqueline R. Harrison and
Carolyn J. Truss. All demographic analysts in the Center for
International Research were involved in the compilation and
evaluation of statistics for the Women In Development Data Base
upon which this handbook is based. The map was prepared in
the Geography Division under the direction of Betty L. Adamek
in cooperation with Geography Branch, Data Preparation Divi-
sion. Editorial services were provided by Gail R. Farren and art-
work was prepared under the supervision of Nicholas Preftakes,
Publications Services Division.
The author is grateful to Gerda Lorenz and Constance Sutton,
who offered helpful comments on several chapters of the Latin
America handbook.


For sale by Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government
Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402. Postage stamps not
acceptable; currency submitted at sender's risk. Remittances
from foreign countries must be by international money order or
by a draft on a U.S. bank.


Library of Congress Card No. 84-601056.





Women of the World
















Abbreviations Used in This Report ................................ VII

M ap . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. V Ii

Chapter 1. Introduction ............................... .. ........... 1

Chapter 2. Sources of Data ........................................... 7

Table 2.1 Number of Tables in WID Data Base, by Country and Category ............... 9

Chapter 3. Population Distribution and Change ........................... 11

Figures

3.1. Latin America and Caribbean: Estimated and Projected Population Size and
Components of Change, 1960 to 2025 ................................. 17
3.2. Population Distribution of Latin American and Caribbean Countries: 1983 ......... 18
3.3. Estimated and Projected Population of the Caribbean, Middle America, and South
America: 1960, 1970, and 1985 ..................................... 19
3.4. Percent of All Women in Selected Age Groups ............................. 20
3.5. Three Modal Types of Population Pyramids: Expansive,Constrictive, and Stationary 21
3.6. Percent of Women Living in Urban Areas, Latest Two Censuses ............... 22
3.7. Sex Ratio by Rural/Urban Residence .................................... 23
3.8. Sex Ratio of the Population in Two Age Groups, by Rural/Urban Residence ....... 24
3.9. Rural/Urban Ratio of Women in Reproductive Ages, for Two Census Dates ....... 25

Tables

3.1. Total Population, by Sex, and Sex Ratio ................................. 26
3.2. Total Population: 1960 to 1985 ........................................ 27
3.3. Percent of Population Under Age 15 Years and Age 65 Years and Over, by Sex.... 28
3.4. Dependency Ratios, by Rural/Urban Residence ............................. 29
3.5. Percent of Female Population in Selected Age Groups ....................... 30
3.6. Percent of Male Population in Selected Age Groups ......................... 31
3.7. Sex Ratios of Population in Selected Age Groups ........................... 32
3.8. Percent of Population Residing in Urban Areas, by Sex, and Female/Male Ratio of
Percent Urban: Latest Two Censuses .................................. 33
3.9. Average Annual Population Growth Rates, by Rural/Urban Residence, Between the
Latest Two Census Rounds .......................................... 34
3.10. Percent of Migrants Among Total Population, and in Province of the Capital City ... 35
3.11. Sex Ratios of Rural Population in Selected Age Groups ...................... 36
3.12. Sex Ratios of Urban Population in Selected Age Groups ...................... 37
3.13. Percent Distribution of Female Population'Residing in Rural and Urban Areas,
by Selected Age Groups ............................................. 38
3.14. Percent Distribution of Women Age 15 to 49 Years, by Rural/Urban Residence,
1960's and 1970's, and Rural/Urban Ratios of the Two Populations ........... 39





iv Contents Women of the World



Chapter 4. Literacy and Education ...................................... 41

Figures

4.1. Percent Literate Among Women and Men 10 Years of Age and Over ............ 48
4.2. Percent Literate Among Women and Men 10 Years of Age and Over, by
Rural/Urban Residence ................................. ............ 49
4.3. Percent Literate for Women and Men, by Age ............................ 50
4.4. Percent Literate for Women, by Age and Rural/Urban Residence ................ 52
4.5. Percent Enrolled in School Among Girls and Boys 10 to 14 Years of Age ......... 53
4.6. Percent Enrolled in School Among Girls and Boys 10 to 14 Years of Age, by
Rural/Urban Residence ................. ............................ ... 54

Tables

4.1. Percent Literate Among Population Age 10 Years and Over, by Sex and
Rural/Urban Residence, and Female/Male Ratio of Percent Literate ............. 55
4.2. Percent Literate Among Women and Men in Selected Age Groups ............... 58
4.3. Percent of Population Age 5 to 24 Years Enrolled in School, by Sex, and
Female/Male Ratio of Percent Enrolled ................. ................ 59
4.4. Percent of Population Enrolled in School, by Age and Sex ................... 60
4.5. Percent of Population Enrolled in School, by Age and Sex, for Rural Areas ........ 61
4.6. Percent of Population Enrolled in School, by Age and Sex, for Urban Areas ....... 62
4.7. Percent Female Among Enrolled University Students for Selected Years .......... 63
4.8. Percent Female in Various University Faculties ............................. 64




Chapter 5. Women in Economic Activity ................................. 65

Figures

5.1. Ratio of Female to Male Labor Force Participation Rates for the Population 10
Years of Age and Over ............................................. 75
5.2. Labor Force Participation Rates for the Population 10 Years of Age and
Over, by Sex .................... ......... ................. 76
5.3. Labor Force Participation Rates for Women 10 Years of Age and Over, by
Rural/Urban Residence .............................................. 77
5.4. Female/Male Ratios of Labor Force Participation Rates, by Rural/Urban Residence... 78
5.5. Percent Economically Active, by Sex and Age, for Argentina, Brazil, and Guatemala 79
5.6. Labor Force Participation Rates of Women 20 to 29 Years of Age in Rural and
Urban A areas ........................................... ......... 80
5.7. Female Share of the Rural and Urban Labor Force Under 20 Years of Age ........ 81
5.8. Latin America: Female Participation in the Labor Force, by Age: 1950, 1960, and
19 70 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 2
5.9 Percent of Nonagricultural Labor Force in Selected Occupational Groups, by Sex .... 83

Tables

5.1. Number and Percent Economically Active Among Population Age 10 Years and
Over, by Sex, and Female/Male Ratio of Percent Active ................. .... 84
5.2. Percent Distribution of Economically Active Population Age 10 Years and
Over, by Sex ............................ .......... ............ 85
5.3. Number and Percent Economically Active Among Rural Population Age
10 Years and Over, by Sex, and Female/Male Ratio of Percent Active .......... 86
5.4. Number and Percent Economically Active Among Urban Population Age
10 Years and Over, by Sex, and Female/Male Ratio of Percent Active .......... 87









Chapter 5-Continued

5.5. Labor Force Participation Rates, by Age and Sex ........................... 88
5.6. Labor Force Participation Rates for Rural Areas, by Age and Sex ............... 90
5.7. Labor Force Participation Rates for Urban Areas, by Age and Sex .............. 92
5.8. Female Share of Rural and Urban Labor Force, by Age ....................... 94
5.9. Number and Percent of Population in Urban Labor Force, by Sex, for Age
Groups 10 to 14 Years and 60 Years and Over ........................... 96
5.10. Percent of Labor Force in Agriculture, by Sex ............................. 97
5.11. Percent Distribution of Nonagricultural Labor Force, by Principal Occupation
Group and Sex .............................. ........ ............. 98


Chapter 6. Marital Status and Living Arrangements ....................... 99

Figures

6.1. Age by Which 50 Percent and 75 Percent of Women Have Ever Been Married
for Rural and Urban Areas........................................... 106
6.2. Female/Male Ratio of Percent Widowed, Divorced, and Separated 15 Years of Age
and Over, by Rural/Urban Residence ................................... 107
6.3. Proportion of Married Women in Consensual and Legal Unions, for Two Age
Groups ................................... ....................... 108
6.4. Percent Single Among Women in Two Age Groups, by Rural/Urban Residence ..... 109
6.5. Urban/Rural Ratio of Single Persons 15 to 19 Years of Age, by Sex ............ 110
6.6. Median Number of Persons per Household, by Rural/Urban Residence ............ 111

Tables

6.1. Minimum Legal Age at Marriage for Women and Men ....................... 112
6.2. Age by Which 50 Percent of Women and Men Have Ever Been Married, by
Rural/Urban Residence ............................................ 113
6.3. Percent Distribution of Population Age 15 Years and Over, by Marital Status
and Sex ..................................... ................... 114
6.4. Percent Distribution of Rural Population Age 15 Years and Over, by Marital Status
and Sex ...................................... .................. 116
6.5. Percent Distribution of Urban Population Age 15 Years and Over, by Marital Status
and S ex . .. . .. . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. 118
6.6. Percent Single Among Women and Men Age 20 to 24 Years and 45 to 49 Years .. 120
6.7. Percent Single Among Women and Men Age 20 to 24 Years and 45 to 49 Years,
by Rural/Urban Residence ........................................... 121
6.8. Median Number of Persons per Household, by Rural/Urban Residence ............ 122
6.9. Selected Household Characteristics ..................................... 123


Chapter 7. Fertility and Mortality ........................................ 125

Figures

7.1. Crude Birth Rates for Total Country and Rural/Urban Areas ................... 131
7.2. Total Fertility Rates for Total Country and Rural/Urban Areas .................. 132
7.3. Life Expectancy at Birth for Women and Men ............................. 133
7.4. Infant Mortality Rates, by Sex ............................. ... ......... 134
7.5. Proportion of Children Dying Before Their Fifth Birthday, by Sex ............... 135

Tables

7.1. Crude Birth Rate, Total Fertility Rate, Gross Reproduction Rate, and Net
Reproduction Rate ................................................. 136
7.2. Total Fertility Rate and Crude Birth Rate, by Rural/Urban Residence ............. 137


Women of the World


Contents V









Chapter 7-Continued

7.3. Percent Distribution of Lifetime Fertility, by Age of Mother ................... 138
7.4. Percent Distribution of Lifetime Fertility, by Age of Mother, for Rural and
Urban Areas ...................................... .... ........... 139
7.5. Life Expectancy at Birth and at Age 1 Year for Women and Men, and Female/Male
Ratio of Life Expectancies ........................................... 140
7.6. Number of Years Women May Expect to Outlive Men at Birth and at Age 1 Year,
and Male Gains in Life Expectancy Between Birth and Age 1 Year ............. 141
7.7. Infant Mortality Rates per 1,000 Live Births, by Sex, and Female/Male Ratio of
Infant M ortality Rates .............................................. 142
7.8. Proportion of Children Dying Before Their Fifth Birthday, by Sex, and Female/Male
Ratio of Proportion Dying ............................................ 143

Chapter 8. Conclusions ................................................. 145

Appendixes

A References ....................................................... 149
B. Tables in the Women In Development Data Base ........................... 161
C. Population by Age, Sex, and Rural/Urban Residence ........................ 163


Vi Contents


Women of the World







Women of the World Abbreviations Vii


Abbreviations Used in This Report


ASFR: Age specific fertility rate (the average annual number
of births to women in a given age group during a specified
period of time per 1,000 women in the same age group,
based on midperiod population).

CBR: Crude birth rate (the average annual number of births
during a specified period of time per 1,000 persons, based on
midperiod population).

CELADE: United Nations, Centro Latinoamericano de Demo-
graffa (Latin American Demographic Center). Santiago and
San Jos6.

CEPAL: Comisi6n Econ6mica para Am6rica Latina (Economic
Commission for Latin America).

CIR: Center for International Research, U.S. Bureau of the
Census.

DUALabs: Data Use and Access Laboratories, Arlington,
Virginia.

0e: Life expectancy at birth (the average number of years to
be lived by a birth cohort, if the mortality of each particular
age remains constant in the future).

el: Life expectancy at age 1 (the average number of years of
life remaining to a hypothetical cohort at age 1, if the mor-
tality of each particular age remains constant in the future).

ESDS: Economic and Social Data Services, Bureau for Program
and Policy Coordination, U.S. Agency for International
Development.

F/M ratio: Ratio of the female value to the male value for
a given characteristic (for example, the ratio of the female
percent literate to the male percent literate).

GNP: Gross national product (the value of all final goods and
services produced in an economy during a specified period
of time).


GRR: Gross reproduction rate (the average number of
daughters born per woman in a group of women passing
through the childbearing years and experiencing a given set
of age-specific fertility rates.This rate implicitly assumes that
all the women live to the end of the childbearing years. See
also NRR.).

ILO: International Labour Office. Geneva.

NA: Data not available.

NRR: Net reproduction rate (a refinement of the gross
reproduction rate that allows for mortality of women from
birth to the end of their reproductive years).

OECD: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Develop-
ment. Paris.

TFR: Total fertility rate (the average number of children that
would be born per woman if all women lived to the end of
their childbearing years and bore children according to a given
set of age-specific fertility rates).

U.N.: United Nations.

UNDP: United Nations Development Program.

UNESCO: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization. Paris.

USAID: United States Agency for International Development.

WID: Women in Development.

WID Data Base: Women In Development Data Base (a project
of the U.S. Bureau of the Census).

WID Office: Office of Women In Development, Bureau for
Program and Policy Coordination, U.S. Agency for Interna-
tional Development.


Women of the World


Abbreviations vii







viii Map Women of the World


Mexico


Cuba


Dominican Republic


Jamaica Haiti


Guatemala-
El Salvador'
Honduras
Nicaragua
Costa Rica/
Panama-


Venezuela

Colombia


Ecuador


Peru


Bolivia


Paraguay


-Chile


Argentina


Guyana


Brazil


VIII Map


Women of the World





Women of the World I


Chapter 1



1 7 n o

l.!!^*^^'*^IP i .& u )


The Women of the World handbooks present and analyze
statistical data on women in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the
Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Near East
and North Africa. The handbooks are the latest product of the
National Statistics on Women project of the Office of Women
In Development, U.S. Agency for International Development
(USAID). The overall project has as its aim the compilation of
an adequate data base on women in developing countries for
planning, program development, and project design. It assists
data-gathering efforts in developing countries and provides
statistical information to international agencies, donor govern-
ments, host government development planners, and scholars,
as well as to USAID's own policymakers and planners. A number
of subactivities have been funded under this project, of which
the Women of the World handbooks are one (Office of Women
in Development, 1980, p. 68). The analysis of the current status
of women as contained in these handbooks is offered to plan-
ners and others as a starting point against which they may assess
the impact of programs and policies in the future. Without such
a statistical background, the amount, direction, and significance
of change is often only speculative. The analysis is based pri-
marily on statistics in the Census Bureau's Women In Develop-
ment Data Base (referred to hereafter as the WID Data Base).
The WID Data Base had its inception in 1977 when the Of-
fice of Women in Development became aware that economic
and social data being gathered for storage as part of USAID's
new Data Information and Utilization systems did not include
any disaggregation by sex. At the same time, there was a new
awareness that planners and policymakers needed hard data on
women's situation in order to carry out the Percy Amendment
of 1973 that directed USAID to give particular attention to pro-
grams, projects, and activities tending to integrate women into
the total development effort.
In 1977, Section 108 of the International Development and
Food Assistance Act directed USAID to "evaluate progress


toward developing an adequate data base on the role of women
in national economies of recipient countries." In response, the
WID Office commissioned a preliminary survey of statistical in-
formation on women available both inside and outside of USAID
(Biocentric, Inc., 1977). USAID was not alone in its efforts; about
the same time, the United Nations Statistical Office sent a
representative to visit statistical offices in selected developing
countries to take a critical look at the way censuses were car-
ried out, particularly measurement of female labor force participa-
tion, and to suggest alternatives (United Nations, 1980). Other
related efforts were getting underway at about this time.'
To assess the impact on women of development projects and
activities, as well as to program for women's contribution to the
development enterprise, two kinds of data are necessary for plan-
ners. The first is a system of socioeconomic indicators derived
from national statistics on an internationally comparable basis
which describe the participation of women and girls in impor-
tant aspects of national life and compare their participation to
that of men and boys. The second is from sociological and an-
thropological studies on the position and status of women and
girls within particular regions or cultural subgroups of a coun-
try. Both kinds of information are essential in developing mean-
ingful programs and projects in host countries of differing cultural
values.
USAID already had made some progress in providing the
second type of information by commissioning a series of "status

'Among related efforts are the production of a data sheet of basic
statistics on women by the Population Reference Bureau (1980); a user
file, compiled by the Center for Population Research, Georgetown Univer-
sity, under a subcontract from the Population Reference Bureau, on
women's labor force participation, school enrollment, and fertility in
developing countries (no analysis or interpretation is available), and a
project through which DUALabs (contracted by the USAID Office of
Population) is assisting national statistical offices in 10 developing coun-
tries to improve their data-gathering efforts on women and to produce
reports on the status of women as part of their 1980 census round ac-
tivities. In addition, DUALABS (1980 and 1981) has issued two
documents on preparing census reports on women's status and roles,
and on data needs, availability, and use.





Women of the World


of women profiles" in many assisted countries. In most cases,
these reports reviewed already existing studies carried out by
sociologists, anthropologists and others; in some cases, original
surveys were carried out. Many of these reports included quan-
titative as well as qualitative data; however, no systematic
effort had been made to provide a data base on women derived
from aggregated sources. Profiles on women produced under
USAID auspices have been annotated and reviewed by Jaquette
(1982).
In order to assist USAID to fulfill its Congressional mandate
to evaluate the impact of development programs on the "in-
comes, productivity, and literacy of women, and the level or ex-
tent of their participation in the development process," the WID
Office held several informal meetings with relevant offices dur-
ing 1977-78. Out of these consultations grew the idea of gather-
ing existing aggregate information of women's situation and
potential contribution as an aid to planners. In close collabora-
tion with USAID's Economic and Social Data Services (ESDS)
and Office of Population, the WID Office decided to sponsor a
search of existing raw data sets, primarily population censuses
and vital statistics reports, supplemented by other national-level
data-gathering efforts such as labor force, household, and
agricultural surveys.
In 1978, a contract was awarded to the Center for Interna-
tional Research, U.S. Bureau of the Census, to conduct a search
on 19 variables, including demographic, educational, household
and marital arrangements, and labor force topics. Each variable
was chosen because of its key importance as an indicator of
women's status, and because these particular variables appeared
to be the ones that would be most readily available in census
publications; special runs of census files were not contemplated
because of the high cost. Whenever possible, information on
each of the 19 variables was to be presented not only by sex,
but by age and rural/urban residence (see appendix B for a list
of tables included in the WID Data Base).
The first data search included only the 69 countries where
USAID had active programs. It was planned that after the initial
search was completed, more countries would be added for pur-
poses of comparison, and more variables if the initial search
determined that sufficient information was available on other
aspects of women's situation and activities. Subsequently, the
WID Data Base was expanded to include all countries with
populations of 5 million or more. Over 2,600 tables have been
compiled on the 19 indicators, and these form the raw data base
for these handbooks. Statistics come principally from the 1970
census rounds; in some cases, 1960 census round data are
included.2 Some information from the 1980 censuses is available
at this time, and this has also been included whenever pos-
sible. To supplement the census data, the results of national
surveys are also used for some topics.
Because the task was large and funds limited, not all variables
in which the WID Office was interested could be searched. For
example, it was decided not to include data on the labor force


2A census round refers to a decade during which the various coun-
tries conduct their censuses; 1960 round censuses were taken during
the period 1955 to 1964, 1970 round during 1965 to 1974. The 1980
round is still underway, referring to censuses taken during 1975 to 1984.


by occupation or industry, although these variables were
placed on a second priority list for possible search at a later date.
In retrospect, this omission probably was a mistake, which has
been rectified in part in the handbooks by using occupational
data from other sources. On the other hand, data on income were
included among the 19 variables, but the search produced very
little hard information; the inclusion probably was an error for
the initial effort. The choice of variables was made jointly by the
WID Office, the ESDS, and the Office of Population of USAID,
in consultation with the Census Bureau.
The WID Data Base project always has been envisioned as an
ongoing one. The data have now been integrated into the more
comprehensive International Data Base of the Center for Inter-
national Research, and updated information will be added on a
continuing basis. A major disadvantage of population censuses
and other national surveys as statistical sources for planning is
the fact that complete results are often published only 3 to 7
years after the actual data gathering takes place. The handbooks
present the latest available national statistics on women in stan-
dardized format and will serve as an important benchmark of
women's status as statistics from the 1980 census round
become available. Other national survey efforts will continue to
be used in filling the information gaps in the data base and in
expanding the coverage to other key variables in future years,
including such initiatives as the World Fertility Survey, the
National Household Survey Capability Program of the United
Nations, the activities of the various regional U.N. Economic
Commissions, and the next round of agricultural censuses.
Chapter 2 discusses data availability and quality in greater detail.
Since the inception of the USAID/WID project, several other
efforts have gone forward. Valuable critiques of the concepts,
approaches, and data gathering methods used in producing
statistics on women have been published, among them Baster
(1981); Boulding (1983); the volume edited by Buvini6 (1981),
with articles by El Belghiti, Kisekka, Mitra, and Massiah; Buvini6
and Sebstad (1980); International Center for Research on
Women (1980c); Mueller (1983); two articles by Recchini de
Lattes and Wainerman (1979 and 1982); and Youssef (1980).
Recently, another series of articles was issued in connection with
an Expert Group on Improving Statistics and Indicators on the
Situation of Women, convened by the U.N. Statistical Office in
1983, including papers by Powers, Safilios-Rothschild, and
Youssef.
Several consultations also preceded the work on the hand-
books, not only with USAID, but with other organizations and
persons working on the problem of improving data and indicators
on women (Office of Women in Development, 1981 b and 1982).
As well, an evaluation of the Census Bureau's Data on Women
project was carried out in 1981 (Newland and Williamson), which
recommended that the data base be expanded beyond aid-
recipient countries to make it more useful to researchers and
other donors, that data more timely than the census statistics
be used whenever alternative sources could be used with con-
fidence, and that the proposed handbooks include information
from other studies in order to highlight the problems inherent
in conventional measures of women's activities. These recom-
mendations have been carried out. A preliminary publication of
tables and captioned charts was issued by the U.S. Bureau of


2 Introduction







Women of the World Introduction 3


the Census at the time of the World Conference of the United
Nations Decade for Women in Copenhagen, 1980.
The WID Data Base originally was designed for USAID's policy
and program planners; the decision to analyze and publish the
data in the present series of Women of the World handbooks
grew out of a desire not only to make the information more
accessible to development planners outside USAID, but to share
it with a wider audience. The handbooks are descriptive and ex-
ploratory in nature, although they do strive towards giving some
hints at explanation. They are offered as a necessary first step
towards more elaborate analyses. Time and budget restrictions
prohibited cross-cultural comparison between and among the
variables. Such comparisons are extremely complex, each re-
quiring much more analysis than could be carried out for a
publication which aims at giving a general over;vew of the WID
Data Base. If one fact stands out in recent research, it is that
there are few, if any, simple one-to-one causal relationships bet-
ween two variables. As Youssef (1982, p. 178) points out in
a recent exploration of the interrelationships between the divi-
sion of labor in the household and women's roles, and their im-
pact on fertility, few studies make clear that the relationships
among such variables as education, employment, and marital
status are neither direct nor simple. Each variable affects the
others as well as fertility, and in addition, there may be other
variables that have an equal impact on fertility. Elaborate
analyses depending upon multiple regression techniques were
beyond the scope of the present exploratory data analysis.
The handbooks are offered in full knowledge that they have
many shortcomings inherent in data sets based primarily on cen-
sus sources. Yet we believe they give valuable information on
women that otherwise would simply not be available. No data-
gathering effort matches the decennial census in scope and
coverage, and the results are useful if one is aware of the limita-
tions. These handbooks do not simply present the information
on women's status in tables, charts, and text, but offer a
critique on the concepts, availability, and quality of the data
assembled on each variable-the positive attributes, as well as
the major deficiencies.
Because census data must be assessed carefully, and often
corrected, by comparison with other data sources, the hand-
books are one step towards providing better information on
women for both planning and scholarly purposes.


Latin America and the Caribbean

The WID Data Base provides information on 21 countries of
Latin America and the Caribbean. The countries were chosen
either because their populations total 5 million or more or because
they are countries in which USAID currently has programs. The
only region missing from the WID Data Base which nevertheless
comes under the guidelines mentioned above is the Eastern
Caribbean; although all of the countries have under 5 million
population, USAID has a large number of programs throughout
the area. Because data are scanty for these territories,3 they are

3An exception is Barbados (1978) where a National Commission on
the Status of Women issued a three-volume compendium of informa-
tion on all aspects of women and their lives. The work was edited by
Norma M. Forde.


not included in the WID Data Base, but will be available with
results of the 1980 census round. Preliminary information from
the Women in the Caribbean project, directed from the Institute
of Social and Economic Research, University of the West Indies,
Barbados, as well as data from other sources, are incorporated
throughout the text to make up for this deficiency. Only scat-
tered information is available on women in the other small islands
and territories of the Caribbean-the six Netherlands Antilles
islands, united among themselves in a federal government
associated to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the French
Antillean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique, which are
overseas d6partementsof France-and thus reference to them
has been omitted. Suriname and French Guiana are excluded for
the same reason.
Latin America consists of the countries of Spanish, Por-
tuguese, and French language and heritage on the South
American continent; the countries of Middle America (Central
America, Mexico, and Panama); and the Spanish and French
speaking Caribbean islands. Further subdivisions on the South
American continent include the Andean region (Venezuela,
Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru); Brazil; and the Southern
Cone (Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Paraguay). With the ex-
ceptions noted above, all except Uruguay are included in the WID
Data Base. The English-speaking Caribbean includes the 14
island countries of the British Commonwealth, plus Guyana and
Belize on the South American continent. Only Jamaica and
Guyana are included in the WID Data Base. There are anomalies
in the divisions employed here: Guyana, as a member of the Com-
monwealth, is considered to be part of the Afro-Caribbean; as
also is a common practice, however, it is here grouped with the
South American countries. Haiti sometimes is considered to be
part of Latin America because of its cultural heritage, and at other
times, is included among the Afro-Caribbean nations because
of its black population. In either event, it is unequivocally a Carib-
bean nation. The accompanying map shows the three regions
included in the analysis.


Analytical Summary

The remaining chapters of this handbook analyze the statistics
from the WID Data Base. Beginning with an overview of the
population characteristics of the Caribbean and Latin America
region, the analysis continues with a description of women's
literacy and education, their labor force participation, their marital
status, their fertility, and their mortality. Each topic is discuss-
ed in terms of both the availability of data and the situation of
women as revealed by these statistics.


Population Distribution and Change

The demographics of the region serve as a starting point for
analysis of women's roles in many aspects of life. Population
sizes range from only a few thousand inhabitants in the smaller
Caribbean islands to over 130 million in Brazil. The components
of population change also vary, as indicated in the following table
which shows estimates for 1983 (U.S. Bureau of the Census,
1983b).


Introduction 3


Women of the World







4 Introduction Women of the World


Caribbean .......
Middle America ...
South America ..


Popu-
lation-
(in
thou-
sands)

30,699
100,025
259,644


Births
per
1,000
popu-
lation

24-26
34-35
30-32


Deaths
per-
1,000
popu-
lation


Growth
rate
(per-
cent)

1.4-1.5
2.6-2.7
2.2-2.3


As death rates do not vary significantly by subregion, dif
erences in population growth rates result from variations in levels
of fertility and international migration. In the Caribbean, birth
rates are on the low side and emigration from the subregion is
significant, as evidenced by the low growth rate. In Middle
America, on the other hand, birth rates are relatively high (but
still moderate by world standards) and emigration is slight, while
South American birth rates and growth rates are at an in-
termediate level. These figures are based on weighted averages
and mask differences among individual countries that are evi-
dent from the more detailed tables presented later in this report.
Distribution of the population by age and sex is an important


element in develop
didates for schoolin
among other activi
tions based on Unit
shown below:


C


Age

All Ages ...
0 to 14 years.
15 to 49
years ......
50 to 64
years ......
65 years
and over ...


Fen

10
3

4


While the difference
and men do not dev


does the rapid urban growth imply stagnation in rural areas; they
continue to increase in population size as well.



Literacy and Education

Education and literacy are increasingly seen as prerequisites
to entering the labor force, especially in the formal sector. The
levels of both enrollment and literacy are increasing over time,
as evidenced by higher rates among the young.
Statistics are not available for all countries by rural/urban
residence, but it is possible to calculate the median percent
literate and enrolled in school based on those Caribbean and Latin
American countries with available data:

Percent literate, age Percent enrolled,age
10 years and over 10 to 14 years


Residence

Rural .........
Urban .........


Women

55.6
84.0


Men

67.3
91.6


Girls Boys

60.6 62.2
86.7 88.8


aent planning, as it reflects the potential can- As is true with any summary measure, these percentages hide
g, childbearing, employment, and migration, a wide variation among the countries. In addition, the data for
ties. A summary of these percent distribu- individual countries refer to different years, and so these me-
ted Nations (1982a) estimates for 1980 is dian figures are only a rough approximation of the educational
status of women and men in Latin America and the Caribbean.
It may be noted in the case of literacy that while the differences
;aribbean Middle America South America in rates between the sexes are substantial, the gap between rural
SM F M F and urban rates for either sex is larger still. For enrollment at
male Male Female Male Female Male
ages 10 to 14 years, the rural/urban gap is equally large, but
)0.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 the female/male differences are less significant than in the case
!6.7 37.9 44.1 45.1 37.9 38.6 of literacy. In some countries of the region, especially in rural

,8.7 48.2 45.4 45.5 48.4 48.6 Central America and the Andean region where many people con-
tinue to speak only their indigenous languages, enrollment for
9.1 8.7 6.8 6.3 8.9 8.6 both sexes remains quite low.

5.4 5.1 3.7 3.1 4.8 4.2 At higher levels of education, enrollment declines, particu-
larly for women. At the university level, far more men than
women continue to be enrolled, and women still tend to cluster
es between the age distributions of women in the traditionally feminine fields of study in spite of increasing
iate from the usual pattern (a slightly higher opportunities to enter other professions.


proportion of boys than girls at the youngest ages changing
gradually to a preponderance of women at the older ages), dif-
ferences among subregions for both sexes are more noticeable
and reflect the differences in vital rates noted above. In particular,
the larger proportion of young people in Middle America than
in the other subregions results from the higher birth rates there.
Aside from the fairly high population growth rates of the region
overall, perhaps the most significant demographic fact is the
rapid pace of urbanization, and this phenomenon does differen-
tiate between the sexes. In Latin America, more women than
men are included among the migrants from the countryside to
the cities, resulting in increasing proportions of women in
urban areas and of men in rural areas. This trend is even more
apparent in the Southern Cone countries and Venezuela than
elsewhere. Usually the capital cities have the fastest growth but
not to the exclusion of growth in other cities and towns. Nor


Women in Economic Activity

Among the various roles of women to be analyzed, their par-
ticipation in the labor force is perhaps the least well represented
in the available statistics. Worldwide, a large proportion of
women work in activities that do not fall into the categories
represented in the formal labor force concepts as measured by
censuses and surveys. Thus, while certain comparisons can be
made based on the available data, one must exercise con-
siderable caution in drawing conclusions.
As expected, the available statistics show a far lower participa-
tion of women than men in the formal labor force, as illustrated
by the following median percentages for the population age 10
years and over based on the countries reporting such
information:


Women of the World


4 Introduction







Women of the World Introduction 5


Residence


Total country ............
Rural .................
Urban ................


Women

20.8
11.1
25.2


Men between rural and urban dwellers, as shown by the following
median percentages in these categories, for the population age
73.7 15 years and over based on countries with available data:


66.9
66.9


Rural


Urban


As in the case of other measures, these median participation
rates hide the wide variation among countries, particularly in the
rates for women.
In the Caribbean and Latin America, women's work is
characterized by two parallel processes: an accelerating move-
ment of women into paid employment in the formal sector, and
continuing high rates of female participation outside the formal
structure of the labor market. Poor women have always
worked, and today many middle and upper class women are
joining them in the ranks of the employed.
Rapid urbanization and the incorporation of women into both
the formal and the informal labor markets are positively cor-
related. In the cities, by far the largest proportion of women enter
the service sector. A fairly substantial proportion of women in
the nonagricultural labor force may be found in professional and
technical occupations as well, but they are primarily teachers,
nurses, pharmacists, and laboratory technicians, careers which
do not carry high prestige in Latin America. In rural areas, such
as the Andean regions, women continue to fill their schedules
with activities such as planting crops, weeding and cultivating
gardens, marketing produce, carding and spinning wool, and car-
ing for small animals, in addition to their traditional household
tasks. Many of these women are not represented in the labor
force statistics because the results of their labor do not enter
the cash economy.

Marital Status and Living Arrangements

Women's principal power and influence continue to be
exercised in the domains of the family and the household, even
though increasing numbers are entering the labor force and
achieving status in the professions and government.
The types of marital unions women enter vary among the
subregions and over the life cycle of individual women. Women
in the countries with large European populations (Argentina and
Chile, among those included in this analysis) tend to enter legal
rather than consensual unions, and women of Hispanic and Afro-
Caribbean origin usually aspire to legal marriage, although many
spend their younger years in consensual unions before attain-
ing their goal. In the Afro-Caribbean, many women are involved
in a third type, the visiting union, which does not involve
coresidence.
Differences between men and women in the proportion who
report themselves as married are not significant, but the pro-
portions single and widowed do vary between the sexes, and


Marital Status
Single ...........
Widowed ........


Women
28.4
6.9


Men
39.8
2.4


Women
36.5
7.2


Men
42.0
1.9


These figures reflect the younger age at marriage of women
than men, particularly in rural areas. They also reflect the
preponderance of women among the migrants to the cities, as
evidenced by the relatively high proportion of single women in
urban areas. The proporion of widowed women far exceeds that
of widowed men in both types of residence.
Statistics on families and household are often difficult to in-
terpret because concepts vary so much among countries and
definitions are often ambiguous or lacking altogether. Families
and households are seldom coterminous, as households fre-
quently contain not only conjugal families but members of other
generations as well. Today they often contain no family at all.
An increasingly interesting unit of study is the woman-headed
household, although here again problems of definition hinder any
attempt at precise comparisons. Women-headed households are
most often created by widowhood, divorce, or separation, but
often result also from the migration of men who leave their
families behind or by the migration of women themselves. Not
all women who head households are without male partners;
many are acknowledged as head even when their partners are
present. Among the subregions, women-headed households are
most prevalent in the Caribbean, where up to one-third of
household heads are women.


Fertility and Mortality

Paradoxically, women's prestige in Latin America and the
Caribbean frequently results from their motherhood and family
responsibilities, yet the pressure of economic realities and in-
creasing opportunities for outside involvements lead many
women to limit their childbearing. Interrelationships between fer-
tility and other variables such as education and labor force par-
ticipation are complex and not fully explored here.
Complex relationships also exist among variables related to
mortality. While age and sex are crucial variables in determin-
ing death rates and life expectancies, living standards, health
conditions, and other factors may also play significant roles. Dif-
ferential mortality by sex in Latin America and the Caribbean
follows the general worldwide pattern, with women having the
general advantage over men.


Introduction 5


Women of the World








Women of the World


Chapter 2


~1
(i7 ~_ _~_ ....
; ~r~lEI


~a r
rT~


The primary source of the statistical data analyzed in this
handbook is the WID Data Base created by the Center for Inter-
national Research, U.S. Bureau of the Census, under the auspices
of the USAID. The data file, including statistics for 120 coun-
tries worldwide, is contained on a computer tape. The capabili-
ty also exists for selecting and printing tables in a standardized
format. A list of table titles for which data were compiled by
sex and rural/urban residence may be found in appendix B.

Selection and Quality of Data

As is well known, there are vast differences in both the quan-
tity and the quality of statistics reported by the various coun-
tries. Furthermore, in spite of international recommendations,
such as those provided by the United Nations, for the standardi-
zation of concepts and definitions pertaining to data collected
in censuses and surveys, there continue to be wide discrepan-
cies in data collection practices due to legitimate differences of
what is appropriate in the varying cultural contexts. As a result,
any attempt to compile standard data across countries, such as
those in the WID Data Base, requires some decisions about
whether and how the reported data should be manipulated so
as to provide comparability. Certainly there is not a single right
solution to this problem, but it is essential to set rules from the
start so that consistent decisions are made whenever similar data
situations are encountered among countries.
The standards used in selecting and evaluating the data for
inclusion in the data base depend to some extent on the type
of data being considered. For the demographic subjects, only
data of benchmark quality are included. The concept of bench-
mark data refers to statistics (as reported by the country, as ad-
justed by researchers, or as derived by applying demographic
techniques to incomplete data) which have been evaluated by
the Census Bureau analysts and have been judged to be as
representative as possible of the true situation. These data are


internally consistent for a given country (for example, birth rates,
death rates, international migration rates, population growth
rates, and age/sex composition all fit together in a logical
demographic pattern) and are consistent with other facts that
are known about the country (for example, fertility levels are
consistent with family planning practices and goals, and mor-
tality levels are consistent with known health indexes).
These data also have been checked for external consistency.
They have been compared to data for other countries in the same
region or subregion, and to those elsewhere at approximately
the same level of economic and social development, to ensure
that they are not out of line.
These benchmark data refer to the date on which the census
or survey was taken, that is, no projections beyond the reference
date are included among them.
Demographic data that do not conform to these rigid bench-
mark requirements are generally not included in the data base.
The source and method of derivation of the estimates are ex-
plained in the notes accompanying each table.
For socioeconomic variables (data on households, marital
status, education, and economic activity), less rigid requirements
were placed on the accuracy of the data. No techniques have
been applied to evaluate the quality of the data in the
socioeconomic tables, and most of these statistics are presented
as they appear in the original sources. Nevertheless, the same
care has been taken to annotate the sources and to explain any
discrepancies in totals or deviations from standard international
practices.

Concepts and Definitions

Concepts and definitions usually are not standardized among
countries beyond what has already been done by the countries
themselves for two reasons: first, the information is usually not
available to manipulate the data to conform to standard con-






8 Sources of Data Women of the World


cepts, and second, the differing concepts or definitions are often
deliberately developed for each country's particular situation.
For example, a country with only a few small urban centers needs
a different definition of urban than a country that is already
predominantly urban. On the other hand, nearly all countries
define literacy as the ability to read and write, although some
countries include additional requirements such as the ability to
write a simple statement about everyday life, or the ability to
read and write a specific language.
Although in the WID Data Base no attempt has been made
to standardize the definitions of concepts such as urban, literacy,
or economic activity, and such data are presented as reported
by the country, all tables are nevertheless annotated, specify-
ing the definition used by the country for these concepts and
others such as nationality, household, and school enrollment.
Thus, in all cases, the user has the opportunity to examine a
fairly substantial set of notes that may help to explain any ap-
parent discrepancies in the statistics from one country to
another.

Time Period

For the basic distribution of the population by age and sex,
data are included in the data base for the latest 2 census years.
Most of the tables present data for the latest year available at
the time of compilation. For countries whose data were com-
piled at an early stage of the project, updated tables presenting
later statistics have been added to the file.
Some tables, for which a measure of change is most relevant
and most readily available, present a time series of data. This
is done for the various measures of mortality and fertility, where
all available benchmark data since 1970 are presented; in a few
cases where no post-1970 data are available, the latest post-
1960 estimate is given for these measures.
Most often, the 1970 round of population censuses serves
as the major source of the data presented. However, 1980-round
data are given whenever these are available. Reliable surveys
are also used to supplement census data whenever possible.

Auxiliary Measures

Users may choose to manipulate the data to derive additional
rates and ratios to measure the status of women in the various
subject areas covered in the data base, and this has sometimes
been done in the analytical portions of this handbook. These
measures may be designed to compare the position of women
versus men with respect to a particular topic, or they may relate
women in a particular category to all persons in the same
category.
For example, the percent literate is shown in the data base
for women and men; another measure may be derived to pre-
sent the female/male ratio of the percent literate. A similar ratio
can be devised for other topics such as the female/male ratio
of the percent urban, the female/male ratio of the labor force
participation rate, and so on.
In the other instance, to analyze women's share in a particular
category or activity, the data can be used to calculate the per-


cent of all persons with a given characteristic who are women.
For example, it may be useful to calculate the female share of
the rural labor force in a developing country. This measure would
be derived using the number of economically active rural women
as the numerator and the number of economically active rural
persons of both sexes as the denominator. Such a measure might
also be derived separately for various age groups or for any other
characteristic.
Of course, more conventional percent distributions are also
useful in many instances, such as a percent distribution of
women by marital status. Sometimes, just one percentage is a
useful measure across countries, such as the percent single
among women ages 20 to 24 years. Many of these derived
measures lend themselves easily to graphic presentation as well.

Data Availability

Given the criteria established for the selection of statistics
for the WID Data Base, it is not surprising that not all data were
available for all countries. In many cases, even when data of
appropriate quality were available, they often did not fit the
established categories exactly. In order to provide a summary
of the amount and standardized nature of the statistics in the
data base, a tally was made of the number of rows and columns
of data in each table, and these results were compared to the
number of rows and columns in each standard table outline. The
tally for Latin American countries is summarized in table 2.1.
Ordinarily, each country has 31 tables of data. (In appendix
B there are 19 table numbers, but several tables have parts A,
B, and C, totalling 31 tables.) If updated information has been
added, certain table numbers appear more than once, giving
some countries more than 31 tables. A standard table is one
whose number of rows and columns conforms to the outline.
An actual table may be nonstandard for trivial reasons, for ex-
ample, because a single age category was different from the
outline; or it may be nonstandard in significant ways, for
example, because data for only a total row were available when
considerably more detail was intended. A frequent reason for
a classification as nonstandard is the lack of a rural/urban
breakdown of the data.
Sometimes no data at all were found on a particular topic for
a given country, as represented by the number of blank tables
indicated on table 2.1. In some instances, data were found on
most topics for which a search was made (only three or four
blank tables for Costa Rica, Mexico, and Colombia, for exam-
ple), while for Haiti nearly half the tables are blank for lack of
reliable data.
In this handbook, all tables and charts were derived from
statistics in the WID Data Base unless stated otherwise. Coun-
tries are omitted from tables and charts if no data were available
on the topic being presented. Each chapter discusses the
quality and availability of data on its particular subject matter.
Further information on the WID Data Base, including how to
access the computer file or obtain hard copy printouts, may be
obtained by addressing the Chief, Center for International
Research, U.S. Bureau of the Census, Washington, D.C. 20233.


8 Sources of Data


Women of the World










Table 2.1. Number of Tables in WID Data Base, by Country and Category


Region and country Total Standard Nonstandard Blank


CARIBBEAN

Cuba........................ 31 11 8 12
Dominican Republic.......... 32 8 14 10
Haiti ....................... 31 10 6 15
Jamaica..................... 34 1 28 5

MIDDLE AMERICA

Costa Rica.................. 39 11 24 4
El Salvador................. 31 11 13 7
Guatemala................... 31 9 17 5
Honduras.................... 31 8 15 8
Mexico...................... 32 7 22 3
Nicaragua................... 31 9 13 9
Panama...................... 32 7 20 5

SOUTH AMERICA

Argentina................... 31 0 21 10
Bolivia..................... 31 11 12 8
Brazil....................... 31 7 19 5
Chile........................ 33 4 24 5
Colombia ................... 37 11 22 4
Ecuador..................... 32 6 18 8
Guyana...................... 32 1 24 7
Paraguay.................... 31 10 14 7
Peru........................ 33 10 16 7
Venezuela................... 33 5 21 7


Women of the World


Sources of Data 9








Women of the World 1


Chapter 3




IfI j"i rl ln


[: ~ii, ]: I)a!1
-~~r)


(I'
(7-1f 11


Women and men are differentially affected by population
distribution, growth, and change. The age structure of popula-
tions, the numbers of women and men living in rural and urban
areas, and the ethnic, linguistic, and religious composition of
populations all are important variables in determining women's
status in the developing world.
Populations grow or decline and arrange themselves spatially
through birth, death, and migration. Fertility and mortality, along
with migration, not only contribute to population change at the
aggregate level, but also relate in important ways to women's
lives. In this chapter, the influence of birth, death, and migra-
tion on overall population dynamics is emphasized; chapter 7
presents the impact they have on women's position and status.
Both the popular and the academic press have, over the past
20 years, publicized the accelerating rates of population growth
in much of the Third World, as well as the complex connections
among fertility, mortality, and migration in determining the
numbers of people in a country and their distribution be-
tween rural and urban areas. Information on populations and their
distributions is crucial to planners. There are, first of all, ques-
tions related to feeding the many new millions who will inhabit
the world by the year 2000, the overriding concern in many
development efforts. However, many other problems face
policymakers and the development community: how will the
many new people be housed, educated, employed, and pro-
vided with medical attention and other services when current
capacities already are inadequate to accommodate the present
population? Whatever the policy stance towards population
issues-that, in general, it is positive for a country to increase
its human resources, or that it is negative to the extent that
population growth outstrips the possibility of providing an ac-
ceptable standard of living for all-population questions cannot
be ignored but must be included in all aspects of planning.
In Latin America, population growth rates, paradoxically, con-
tinue to be high in many countries, in spite of impressive declines


in fertility for the region as a whole over the past two to three
decades (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1983a). Because of the
young age structure of the population already born, and the fact
that fertility is not declining rapidly enough to compensate for
the precipitous declines in mortality and the consequent increas-
ing life expectancy at birth, rates of natural population increase
are high. These conditions result in projections of a steep and
continuing rise in the absolute numbers of people who will in-
habit the continent by the year 2000 and beyond. Figure 3.1
shows the relationships between fertility and mortality for the
Latin America and Caribbean region as a whole, resulting in a
lowered rate of natural increase that still, however, may result
in a population increase from about 200 million people in 1960
to over 900 million by the year 2025. There are sharp variations
by subregion in the rates of population increase and the numbers
these rates portend. Projections for Argentina (Argentina, In-
stituto Nacional de Estadistica y Censos, and CELADE, n.d.), for
example, show a population increase of only 27 to 39 million
by 2025 because fertility and mortality have been low for some
time, and the country consequently has a much "older" age
structure. In contrast, Mexico, with higher fertility rates and
higher (but nevertheless declining) mortality, is projected to have
a population of 133 million by 2010, compared to 76 million in
1983 (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1982).
Every population, even in simple societies, is distributed in
several ways. Such distributions indicate only the size of pools
in age, sex, rural/urban residence, and other categories that are
appropriate for certain activities in the society. No causal links

are implied that would lead to a kind of demographic deter-
minism. People's behavior always is complex and never the result
of single determinants. For example, distribution by age indicates
those who are potentially dependent, but does not indicate how
many children are, in fact, not dependent but working in paid
employment. Other portions of the age distribution single out
the potential candidates for schooling, childbearing and childrear-


(i`'iriiill






1 2 Population Distribution and Change Women of the World


ing, employment, migration, and other significant activities.
Possible options change over a person's life course, particu-
larly for women whose family commitments often interrupt their
education and employment.1
Another key division of the population is by rural and urban
residence, particularly in developing countries where scarce
resources must be allocated among various constituencies in the
countryside, towns, and cities. Another important distribution
that potentially affects policy and program planning is that
dividing the population among socioeconomic groups and into
various religious and ethnic formations. Each such group, de-
pending on its size, resources, and other factors, may modify
the society in profound ways and, in turn, may itself be modified.
A final, and often neglected distribution is perhaps the most
fundamental of all: that between the sexes. Unless and until
population, labor force, education, and other statistics are disag-
gregated by sex, at all other levels the observer will run the risk
of missing important insights that can profoundly affect the
policy planning process.2 For example, for many years it has been
noted that the worst off among the population of Latin America
are the urban poor. A disaggregation by sex demonstrates that
on almost any poverty index, women predominate in the least
desirable categories: they form the largest pool of the urban
population at the lowest socioeconomic levels; they work at the
lowest level jobs for the lowest wages, or alternatively, they form
the bulk of the underemployed and unemployed; and they en-
joy the least occupational mobility and the least access to the
available services and amenities such as schooling, vocational
training, child care, and social and medical services. Recent
studies documenting the disadvantaged position of women are
cited in the next chapters on education, economic activity, liv-
ing arrangements, and women's situation related to issues of
fertility and mortality.
The disaggregation of population statistics by age, rural and
urban residence, and, in the few cases where data are available,
by ethnic/language and religious affiliations, can illumine old data
in new ways, particularly when a further disaggregation by sex
is possible. In this chapter, overall statistics on the populations
of the 21 Latin American and Caribbean countries are compared
and contrasted in three particular issue areas: 1) the pre-
dominance of the young, the implications of the age structure
of populations for women, and, in a few cases, the problems
of the growing proportions of elderly women, particularly in ur-
ban areas; 2) the rapid pace of urbanization in the region, which
always has had a certain bias towards centralization, reen-
forced in recent decades by accelerated rural-to-urban migra-
tion of the female population; and 3) the concomitant growth
of rural Latin America and the problems of women in regions
of substantial migration of the male population, where women
become responsible for subsistence agriculture. The statistics
on women-headed households in both rural and urban areas also
are explored.


'The influence of women's particular stage in their life course and their
economic activity is explored in chapter 5.
2For example, Cross (1979, pp. 50-56), in discussing employment pro-
blems in the Caribbean, mentions male rates of employment/
unemployment 10 times in the course of a short discussion, but female
rates only twice.


Data Availability and Quality

Basic counts of women and men for the 1970's are included
in the WID Data Base and are reasonably complete by sex, age
groups, and rural/urban residence. No rural/urban disaggrega-
tions by sex and age are available for Argentina, Guyana,
Jamaica and Venezuela; otherwise, there are no missing data.
There are comparable population statistics for 14 countries from
the 1960 census round; this enables some degree of comparison
between the two censuses. A limited amount of 1980 data are
also available. One signal advantage in using census data is the
fact that Latin America and the Caribbean have had fairly regular
censuses, with only a few exceptions, since the 1950's (pre-
World War II population censuses were not always held so
consistently).
Researchers who have studied population issues in Latin
America are aware that serious errors often are made in basic
population statistics. The administration of censuses is
sometimes extremely difficult, given the rugged terrain and the
isolation of many indigenous population groups. Occasionally
census enumerators, rather than make the precipitous descent
to the small, scattered settlements in the intermountain valleys,
estimate totals by counting the number of houses and multiply-
ing by the average family size for the region. In other cases, large
numbers of women and men speaking only an indigenous
language (about one-third in Bolivia and Peru, for example) make
communication difficult, although census workers are often bil-
ingual. The 1971 census of Haiti was conducted in French (the
language of only about 5 percent of the population), although
the enumerators were asked to translate from the Creole (Segal,
1975, p. 178).
Adjustments in census totals need to be made to correct for
errors in administration, but these manipulations often take
years. In the WID Data Base, except for total population figures
for most countries, the data have not been adjusted. Sometimes
adjustments cannot be made because there is no way to "cor-
rect" for administrative errors. In Peru, for example, in the 1961
census, a large number of women who were actually paid
household workers (domestic servants) apparently were
registered in the unpaid family worker category, inflating the lat-
ter statistic to 21.1 percent of all women workers.3
There also are inconsistencies in the concepts and definitions
employed, which make cross-cultural comparisons inexact.
Some of these are treated in detail in succeeding chapters, par-
ticularly in relation to marital status and economic activity. In
this chapter, a major drawback is that definitions of rural and
urban places are not uniform, and thus comparisons among coun-
tries of the region are somewhat problematic. Sometimes "ur-
ban" is based on a numerical definition, but the numbers


I3n 1961, household workers comprised only 12.9 percent of all
women workers, compared to the 21.1 percent in the family worker
category. In the subsequent census in 1972, however, family workers
dropped to only 8.4 percent of all women workers, and household
workers jumped to an unlikely 18.4 percent.
In the same way, in the 1961 census, a large number of independent
workers declared themselves to be employers, inflating that category
to 31.5 percent of all workers-a statistic that has no relation to the
0.6 and 1.1 percent registered in the employer category in the 1972
and 1981 censuses. Nor is it plausible that independent workers would
jump from only 11.0 percent in 1961 to 43 percent in 1972.


12 Population Distribution and Change


Women of the World







Women of the World Population Distribution and Change 13


separating rural from urban are not consistent. In some coun-
tries, to be classified as urban requires that a place have as few
as 1,000 persons; in others, up to 2,500.4 In other cases, a
numerical definition is linked to certain urban characteristics. In
Honduras, for example, urban includes population centers of
2,000 or more persons that have the following: highway, rail,
or air transport; water mains; at least six grades of education;
postal or telegraph service, and at least one of either electric
lights, sewage system, or health center. For places to be con-
sidered urban in Nicaragua requires only 1,000 persons, plus
some similar characteristics. In Chile, an area must have at least
40 houses grouped together to be classified as urban. Thus, to
compare rural and urban populations among countries is actually
to compare people who live under varying conditions. Such com-
parisons must be made with full knowledge that only gross
trends are being analyzed.
Information on migratory status of the population is scanty.
The most exact measure in the WID Data Base is the percent
of the population born outside the province of current residence;
for the region, however, data are available for only 11 countries.
One can estimate the extent of migration indirectly by looking
at the growth of urban over rural areas between censuses, but
this strategy has two difficulties: 1) it is impossible to separate
the contributions that migration and urban fertility make to the
growth of urban places and 2) the definitions of rural and urban
are ambiguous, at best, making it difficult to decide what degree
of urbanization is being measured cross-culturally. In some cases,
countries show higher indexes of urbanization not because the
population has necessarily moved, but because the boundaries
of urban metropoli have pushed outward, thus reclassifying
people who were rural as urban dwellers without their having
changed residence. Few countries have good statistics on in-
ternational migration.
Finally, very little information on ethnic, language, or religious
affiliations is available from census sources. However, general
information is available and has been incorporated in the next
section.


Women, Population, and Change in Latin America
and the Caribbean

The countries of Latin America and the Caribbean range in size
from the tiny island nations of the Eastern and Western Carib-
bean, whose populations are under 100 thousand (Anguilla, An-
tigua and Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands,
Dominica, Montserrat, St. Christopher-Nevis, and Turks and
Caicos Islands) to Brazil, which in 1983 was estimated to have
a population of 131 million (U.S. Bureau of the Census 1983b,
p. 3); the distribution of these populations is illustrated in figure
3.2. In the same set of estimates, Mexico registered almost 76
million; Argentina, 30 million; and Colombia 28 million persons.
Together with Peru, 19 million, and Venezuela, 18 million, these
six countries (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and
Venezuela) account for over three quarters of the total popula-


'Fox and Huguet (1977, pp. 66ff), for example, urge care in interpreting
low urbanization rates in Costa Rica because the definition of urban is
too narrow in comparison to that of other countries.


tion of the region, estimated at about 390 million in 1983 (ibid.).
Table 3.1 gives the total numbers of women and men for the
21 Latin American countries in the WID Data Base from Cen-
suses around 1970, and figure 3.3 shows the estimated total
population at three points: midyear 1960, 1970, and 1985.
(Estimates for selected years, 1960 to 1985, are shown in table
3.2).
Table 3.1 also shows sex ratios for the 21 countries, that is,
the number of men in relation to each 100 women. There is a
rough balance between the sexes in most of the countries of
Middle America, in the Andean nations of Ecuador and Peru, and
in Brazil, Paraguay, and Venezuela. Exceptions are Guatemala,
Panama, and Cuba, all of which have an excess of males. In
Cuba, more women than men may have been among the
refugees who left the island during the 1960's. The remaining
countries of South America have moderately low sex ratios (more
women than men); among these are two of the most advanced
countries, Argentina and Chile, where the ratio reflects the larger
numbers of older women, as well as countries with fairly
substantial male populations in international migration: Colom-
bia, Guyana, Haiti, and Jamaica.
The peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean are, on the
whole, a young population, although not so young as the in-
habitants of Africa and Asia (with the exception of certain coun-
tries of East Asia and Oceania). As in other developing regions,
there are substantial numbers of dependent young, with only
three countries (Argentina, Chile, and Cuba), among those be-
ing considered here, registering less than 40 percent of their
populations under 15 years of age at the time of the 1970 cen-
sus round, as table 3.3 shows. Several other countries (the
Dominican Republic, Honduras, Guyana, and Nicaragua) hovered
near the 50 percent mark in the proportions of their populations
under 15 years of age. In the Afro-Caribbean, statistics for the
1970's show that Barbados (37 percent in the younger age
group) is the only country that falls below 40 percent in the
young dependent ages, while some of the Windward and
Leeward Islands (Dominica, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the
Grenadines) have near 50 percent or more in the young depen-
dent category, as does Belize (Cross, 1979, table 4.3, p. 61).
The proportion of the total population 65 years of age and older
ranges from 3 to 4 percent for most countries in this study, not
dissimilar to other parts of the developing world (United Nations,
1982a). Several Middle American nations (Guatemala, Honduras,
and Nicaragua) register 3 percent or less of their populations in
the elderly category, while four countries are in the 5-to-7 per-
cent range: Argentina, Chile, Cuba, and Jamaica. These percen-
tages are higher than in most other nations in the developing
world.
Dependency ratios,5 as table 3.4 records, range from a low
of 56.9 in Argentina to more than 100 in the Dominican Republic,
Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, and Nicaragua. In the developed
nations, dependency ratios range from 50 to 60 persons for each
100 persons of working age (United Nations, 1982a).
Tables 3.5 and 3.6 show the percentages of women and men
in the 21 countries at the time of the 1970 census round in


"The dependency ratio represents the number of persons under 15
and over 64 years of age for every 100 persons of working age.


Women of the World


Population Distribution and Change 13






14 Population Distribution and Change Women of the World


several key age groups: pre-school age (0 to 4 years), school
age (three age groups, roughly corresponding to the first,
second, and third levels of education), reproductive ages (15 to
49 years, shown for women only), working ages (15 to 64
years), and elderly (65 years and over). Figure 3.4 shows
graphically the proportions of women in four of the key age
groups.
The purpose of these tables and chart is not to suggest that
each person in the designated age group will, in fact, be a can-
didate for child care or pre-school activities, enroll in school, work
in paid employment or, in the case of women, bear children, but
to show the pool of persons whom policymakers need to take
into account. For example, it may be considered positive when
a relatively small proportion of people are found in the depend-
ent ages, and more among the working-age population, as is the
case in Argentina, Chile, and Cuba among the countries repre-
sented in this data base. The problem in many countries is that
not all of those who are in the working-age group necessarily
are employed, and many others are underemployed even when
they have jobs. Nor are young people in their nominally depend-
ent years always free to pursue their educations. In some cases,
school facilities are lacking; in other cases, children must work.
Among the school and working age populations, age distribu-
tions of women are relatively similar to those of men; in nearly
all cases, however, there are slightly higher percentages of
women than men in the working ages, and slightly higher pro-
portions of males than females in the younger school ages. At
least 4 or 5 of every 10 women in most countries are in their
reproductive years. There are proportionately more women in
the 15 to 49 year age group in Argentina than in other coun-
tries, but age-specific fertility rates explain why that country has
achieved slower population growth, while most of the other
countries have not (see chapter 7).
Persons in older age groups are a growing concern in some
countries, as lower fertility and mortality rates age the popula-
tion. There are beginning to be fairly substantial percentages of
older women in Argentina, Chile, Cuba, and Jamaica; propor-
tions of older men in these countries also are higher, although
neither sex approaches the 10 to 16 percent elderly in developed
countries. Among the countries in the data base, Middle
American women as a group are the youngest among the Latin
American subregions.
Higher proportions of women than men are 65 years of age
and older in all countries except in Cuba, the Dominican Republic,
and Guatemala, as tables 3.5 and 3.6 also show. The difference
between proportions of women and men among the aged is not
nearly so marked as in developed countries where the dis-
crepancy between male and female life expectancy is far greater.
Figure 3.5 pictures three modal types of population pyramid,
reflecting three major age composition patterns. While individual
countries do not match any modal type exactly, most countries
tend toward one of the three general profiles. The expansive
pyramid, with its broad base, indicates greater numbers in the
younger age groups. The constrictive type shows smaller
numbers in the younger age cohorts, and the stationary pyramid
reflects roughly equal numbers of people at all age ranges, ex-
cept for the older ages where there is, of course, a tapering off
(Population Reference Bureau, 1978, p. 14). In Latin America


and the Caribbean, the expansive pattern represents all the coun-
tries in the WID Data Base except Argentina, which is well on
the way towards a constrictive pattern. Costa Rica, Chile, and
Colombia are in the first stages of a trend towards the constric-
tive type.
Among the Latin American countries, sex ratios for the various
age groups fall into some consistent patterns (table 3.7). In most
cases, boys outnumber girls into the early teenage years; then
young women begin to outnumber men in the age group 15 to
19 years. Countries that show distinctive patterns not follow-
ing the general trend are Panama, where the excess of men con-
tinues until after age 65 years; Cuba, which exhibits an excess
of men at all ages that increases rather than decreases with age;
and the Dominican Republic, where the lowest sex ratio occurs
among the 15 to 19 year olds, and then increases with age.

Rural/Urban Population Patterns. Aside from continued high
rates of population growth in most countries, probably the most
significant demographic fact about Latin American and Carib-
bean countries is the rapid pace of urbanization. It is important
to modify this statement at the outset. In contrast to many world
regions, even in pre-Columbian times, Latin America has had a
strong urban bias (Hardoy, 1975); on the other hand, para-
doxically, not all rural regions have stopped growing, especially
those with a well-developed rural base of small peasant farmers.
Latin American political, economic, and religious administrative
systems were, from the beginning of Spanish colonization, highly
centralized. Building on the sites of indigenous cities (Hardoy,
1975, pp. 19-20), Latin America boasted great cities and
flourishing market towns long before the period of post-World
War II industrialization. Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Rio de
Janeiro, and Lima have been cosmopolitan centers for hundreds
of years, although their populations were relatively small and
grew slowly.6
Over the past three decades, beginning around the middle of
the 1950's, the rural people of Latin America and the Caribbean
have been setting out in ever-accelerating numbers for the ur-
ban places in their own countries, to the neighboring countries
of the region, or northward to the United States.7 The interna-
tional emigration has tempered the growth rate in many coun-
tries, although there is evidence now of countervailing
movements of return migrants who, by and large, tend to settle
in the towns and cities of their homelands, whether or not they
originally resided in urban areas. Segal (1975) has drawn
together information on net population movements in the Carib-
bean region, estimating that about 10 percent of the total -some
2.8 million people-left between 1947 and 1962, reducing the
population growth rate from 3 to 2 percent overall ibidd., p. 8).8

'Some recent overviews on urbanization in Latin America, with good
bibliographies, include Bromley and Gerry (1979); Butterworth and
Chance (1981); Cross (1979); the International Labour Organization
volumes on the informal sector, summed up in Sethuraman (1981); Lloyd
(1979); Portes and Walton (1976); and Roberts (1978).
7People from the English-speaking Caribbean went to England until
the mid-1960's.
8There is a vast literature on internal migration in Latin America, much
of it carried out by the Centro Latinoamericano de Demografla in
Santiago, Chile. Some recent works on movements across national
boundaries include Bryce-Laporte (1980); the International Labour
Organization volumes on international migration, carried out by the World
Employment Programme; Kritz, et al. (1981); Piore (1979); and Portes
and Walton (1981).


14 Population Distribution and Change


Women of the World







Women of the World Population Distribution and Change 1 5


The growth of Latin American and Caribbean urban places in
recent times has resulted from two intertwined trends: the high
indexes of rural-to-urban migration and continued high rates of
natural population increase in the cities. One process feeds the
other: migration brings more women in their reproductive years
into the cities and towns, where they continue to produce many
children, although not so many as their rural counterparts.
Recent discussions of the effects of migration on women include
Chaney (1980); Orlansky and Dubrovsky (1978); and Youssef,
Buvini6, and Kudat (1979).
Urbanization is most marked in the Southern Cone and
Venezuela, where over 70 percent of the population resides in
urban places, the result of previous rural-to-urban movements
over several generations antedating the 1950's. The proportion
of the population that is urban differs widely in the rest of the
region (table 3.8). At the time of the 1970 census round, several
countries approached 60 percent urban, and by now all have
exceeded that mark: Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, and Peru
(Population Reference Bureau, 1980). The populations of Bolivia,
Ecuador, and Paraguay were approximately 40 percent urban,
while the English-speaking Caribbean countries registered urban
populations in the 20 to 25 percent range, except for Barbados,
Jamaica, and Saint Lucia, at about 40 percent urban. Middle
America remains the most rural subregion, but even there the
proportion of the population resident in urban areas never fell
below 30 percent and in two cases (Nicaragua and Panama) ap-
proached 50 percent urban. No doubt by now these percentages
are higher.
In the urban areas, for countries where data are available, an-
nual urban growth rates were high in the intercensal period be-
tween the 1960 and 1970 census rounds: over 3.7 percent or
higher annually in all countries of Middle America except
Guatemala; an equally high rate in Brazil, the Dominican Republic
and Ecuador, with the remainder of the countries on the South
American continent registering urban growth rates of 3.0 per-
cent or above (table 3.9). It is important not to overemphasize
the contribution of migration to urban growth; as Fox (1982b,
p. 6) points out, in the past decade the largest proportion of ur-
ban population growth resulted from natural increase and only
about 30 percent from net migration. In recent times, migration
logically may be contributing proportionately less to total popula-
tion growth in the cities and towns, as natural increase con-
tributes more.
In most cases, the capital city has registered the greatest
growth; in the 1950's, for example, the six capitals of Central
America grew by at least 50 percent, and in the 1960's, by 50
percent again, with the same pattern of growth foreseen for the
1970's (Fox and Huguet, 1977, p. 7). However, there also were
indications that a large number of secondary cities have been
growing faster than the capitals in the past decade ibidd.,
pp. 5-8).
The rapid growth of the cities is reflected in the increasing pro-
portions of both women and men living in urban areas. Figure
3.6 compares this proportion for women at the latest two cen-
sus dates. There are some census data confirming that more
women than men are migrants, i.e., born outside the province
of current residence. Taking into account the province in which
the capital city of each country is located, in the 11 countries


for which data are available, except Brazil and Peru, there were
more women than men migrants residing in or near the capitals
at the time of the 1970 census round (table 3.10). And again,
there are more women than men in the cities, while in rural areas
the men predominate except in Bolvia and Haiti (see sex ratios
for both areas in figure 3.7).
While the proportion of the total population residing in urban
areas has increased dramatically, this does not mean that the
countryside in Latin America is emptying out. In all but a few
countries, rural populations are continuing to grow, since many
women in their fertile years remain in the countryside. Rural
population growth rates were not as high as urban rates in the
period between the 1960 and 1970 census rounds, and negative
growth for the rural areas was registered in three countries: Chile,
Colombia, and Cuba. Some areas are better at retaining their
populations: for example, Fox (1975, pp. 6-7) notes the surpris-
ing ability of the rural sector in Mexico to retain great numbers
of people, particularly in the hundreds of large villages with viable
agricultural systems.
The sex ratios by age show opposite patterns in rural and ur-
ban areas (tables 3.11 and 3.12). There is a marked excess of
men in the rural areas that tends to increase in each succeeding
age group, becoming noticeable in some countries among per-
sons of working age (15 to 64 years), and much more marked
by ages 65 and over (see figure 3.8). Conversely, for the most
part the proportion of urban boys in the younger age groups is
greater than (or roughly equivalent to) the proportion of urban
girls, but there is an excess of women in each age group after
15 years, culminating in low sex ratios for the working age
population. These ratios become extremely low in some coun-
tries after age 65 years. Exceptions are Peru, with roughly equal
proportions of women and men in the working ages in both rural
and urban areas, and Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, and Haiti where
low sex ratios characterize the rural as well as the urban
elderly. The implications of these figures for the woman-headed
household are discussed in chapter 6.
The high proportions of elderly women in the city do not
necessarily reflect overall low sex ratios for this group, i.e., the
natural tendency for women to outlive men. In Costa Rica, for
example, the overall sex ratio for persons age 65 years and over
is 98.2, while the urban ratio of older men to women is a low
75.9; for Panama, 96.7 is the sex ratio for the elderly in the total
population, and 76.4 the urban ratio. The Dominican Republic
registers a high sex ratio of 102.0 in this age group, indicating
there are more elderly men than women in the total population;
however, the Dominican Republic also registers a low urban sex
ratio of 74.9.
Apart from the sex ratios at selected ages, one might also con-
sider the actual percentages of women in the various age groups
in the rural and urban areas. Table 3.13 shows the percent
distribution by age of women living in rural and urban places at
the time of the 1970 census round. In Middle America, nearly
half (between 48 and 50 percent in all countries) of the female
population in rural areas was under 15 years of age, and in the
other subregions, between 40 and 50 percent were in the
youngest age group. In urban areas, in contrast, there was a
predominance of women in the reproductive ages (15 to 49
years); in all but three countries with available data, at least 48


Population Distribution and Change 15


Women of the World






1 6 Population Distribution and Change Women of the World


percent of the urban female population fell into the reproduc-
tive age group. However, when one considers only women of
reproductive ages and their distribution between rural and ur-
ban areas, as is done in table 3.14 and illustrated in figure 3.9,
it can be noted that women of these ages predominate in the
countryside in about half the countries, as the overall size of the
rural population still outweighs the urban. Thus, in absolute
numbers, there are more women of reproductive age in urban
than in rural areas only in Cuba among the Caribbean countries
shown; in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Peru among the South
American countries; and in Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama
among the Middle American countries. These countries corre-
spond closely to those where 50 percent or more of the overall
population resides in urban areas; only Nicaragua and Panama
among them have less, and they are fast approaching the
halfway mark.
Dependency ratios generally are much higher in the rural areas
than in the cities and towns. It is possible that part of the surge
of rural people towards the cities can be explained by the
pressures exerted by many dependents and fewer possibilities
for employment in rural places; women, in particular, suffer from
fewer income-generating opportunities in the countryside than
in former times, when there was greater demand for female labor
in agriculture and rural industries.

Ethnicity and Language. Little census data are available on
ethnic and language groups. From other sources, we know that
in the Caribbean, four-fifths of the population is roughly divided
among black and white populations, while the rest are of mixed
ancestry. Jamaica and Barbados are predominantly black
nations, with 91 percent of their populations identified as of
African ancestry, and only 1.2 and 0.5 percent, respectively,
classified as East Indian, descendants of those persons who
came from Asia as indentured servants in the last century. The
Trinidadian population, in contrast, is about evenly divided
between persons of African and of East Indian descent (some
40 percent of each), while in Guyana, persons of African
descent are a minority (about 31 percent are descendants of
black ancestors, and 52 percent have East Indian ancestry).
Central America, while dominated by Hispanic heritage and
language, has been influenced greatly by its Amer-lndian popula-


tions. Guatemala, for example, registered nearly 44 percent of
its population as Indian in 1973, while Panama has only about
5 percent Indian population. Other Central American countries
are mainly mestizo (mixed Spanish and Indian), with small
numbers of full-blooded indigenous people. Small numbers of
Afro-Caribbean people also reside in Central America; there is,
for example, a colony of Jamaicans in Costa Rica who migrated
to work in the banana plantations and did not go home.
South America today reflects its European heritage; in some
countries, this predominates, as the Indian "problem" was
solved by pushing the indigenous people further and further
south (as in Chile), or eliminating them (as in Argentina). In the
latter country, persons of Italian descent nearly equal (some say
surpass) those of Spanish heritage; there are smaller numbers
of German, English, and Irish ethnic groups in both nations. Chile
today has a predominantly mestizo population, the descendants
of the early admixture of Spanish conqueror and Amer-lndian
women. Although Colombia and Venezuela are Andean coun-
tries, their racial makeup also is predominantly Spanish and
mestizo. In all of these countries, the Hispanic model for
women-wifehood and motherhood as the one honorable voca-
tion, reenforced by church doctrine and education-has greatly
influenced the lives of all women, whatever their ethnic origin
or class.
In the other Andean countries (Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador), large
numbers of Amer-lndian people remain, particularly in the
highland areas, with cholos (Indians who have adopted Spanish
language and dress, and who also may have some Hispanic
ancestry) more evident in the highland towns. According to their
last censuses, a majority of urban women in Bolivia and Peru
spoke Spanish (53 and 81 percent respectively). There were,
however, large numbers of women in the rural areas who still
spoke only an Indian language (46 percent in Bolivia and 52 per-
cent in Peru). Rural men, many of whom have been conscripted
to army service and have learned to read and write Spanish, out-
number the women who can do so. In Bolivia, for example, while
31 percent of the rural women speak both Spanish and an In-
dian tongue, 47 percent of the men do so (about a quarter of
each speak Spanish only). In Peru, the differences are not so
marked: 47 percent of rural men speak only an Indian language,
while 52 percent of women are in this group.


16 Population Distribution and Change


Women of the World






Women of the World Population Distribution and Change 1 7


Figure 3.1. Latin America and Caribbean: Estimated and
Projected Population Size and Components of
Change: 1960 to 2025


Population in
millions


Rates per
thousand
population


O 1 1
1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020
Year


Source: United Nations, 1982, pp. 176 and 178.


1000


900



800



700



600



600



400



300



200


P t Birth rate




Growth rate

Population






Death rate


~ZC~


Population Distribution and Change 17


Women of the World





18 Population Distribution and Change Women of the World


Figure 3.2. Population Distribution of Latin American
and Caribbean Countries: 1983


26 percent in 7
Middle American
countries with a
population between
2 and 76 million


6 percent in 4 1%
Caribbean countries *
with a population
under 10 million


Costa Rica
El Salvador
Guatemala
Honduras
Mexico
Nicaragua
Panama


Cuba
Dominican Republic
Haiti
Jamaica


* 1.0% in 23 Latin American and Caribbean countries
not presently in the WID data base.
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1983.


18 Population Distribution and Change


Women of the World






Women of the World Population Distribution and Change 19


Figure 3.3. Estimated and Projected Population of the
Caribbean, Middle America, and South America:
1960, 1970, and 1985

1960 1970 198
1960 1970 1986


Millions


~m ~m rn ~H H


140


130


120


110


100


90


80


70


60


50


40


30


20


10


0 .I. ..
Brazil Mexico Argen- Colombia Peru Venezuela Chile Cuba Ec
tina


Note: Countries are presented in rank order by population size in 1985.
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census 1983.


uador Guate- Dominican
mala Republic


Millions


Bolivia Haiti El Hon- Paraguay
Salvador duras


Millions








Nicaragua Costa Jamaica Panama Guyana
Rica


' ' ' ' ~ ~ '


Population Distribution and Change 19


Women of the World


19 d El F^i


r/











Figure 3.4. Percent of All Women in Selected Age Groups





0-14 15-49 50-64 65+


Percent


Caribbean and Middle America


Percent


Costa Cuba Dominican El Guatemala Haiti Honduras Jamaica Mexico Nicaragua Panama
Rica 1970 Republic Salvador 1973 1971 1974 1970 1980 1971 1970
1973 1970 1971


Percent


South America


Percent


Argentina Bolivia Brazil Chile Colombia Ecuador Guyana Paraguay Peru Venezuela
1970 1976 1970 1970 1973 1974 1970 1972 1981 1971


20 Population Distribution and Change


Women of the World






Woe fteWol ouain itiuin n hne 2


Figure 3.5. Three Modal Types of Population Pyramids:
Expansive, Constrictive, and Stationary


EXPANSIVE


CONSTRICTIVE


NEAR
STATIONARY


MALE


FEMALE


Percent of population


4 2 0 2 4 6 6 4 2 0 2 4
Percent of population Percent of population


Women of the World


Population Distribution and Change 21





22 Population Distribution and Change Women of the World


Figure 3.6. Percent of Women Living in Urban Areas,
Latest Two Censuses


OzO
Earlier Later
census cenaus


Percent


Caribbean and Middle America


Percent


Costa Cuba Dominican El Guatemala Haiti Honduras Mexico Nicaragua Panama
Rica 1970/81 Republic Salvador 1964/73 1971 1961/74 1960/70 1963/71 1960/70
1963/73 1960/70 1961/71



Percent South America Percent










BoivaPr


Brazil Chile
1960/70 1960/70


Colombia
1964/73


Ecuador
1962/74


Guyana Paraguay
1970 1962/72


22 Population Distribution and Change


Women of the World


Bolivia
1976


Peru
1972/81







Women of the World Population Distribution and Change 23


Figure 3.7. Sex Ratio by Rural/Urban Residence


Caribbean and Middle America


Rural Urban


Males per
100 females


140


120


100*


80


60


40


20


0


Costa Cuba Dominican El Guatemala Haiti Honduras Mexico Nicaragua Panama
Rica 1970 Republic Salvador 1973 1971 1974 1970 1971 1970
1973 1970 1971


Males per
100 females
140


120


*100 -


80





40


20


0


South America


Bolivia Brazil Chile Col
1976 1970 1970 1

*Number of males equals number of females.


Males per
100 females


ombia Ecuador Guyana Paraguay Peru
973 1974 1970 1972 1981


Males per
100 females


120


*100


80


60


40


20


0


140


120


100*


80


60


40


20


0


Women of the World


Population Distribution and Change 23






24 Population Distribution and Change Women of the World


Figure 3.8. Sex Ratio of the Population in Two Age Groups,
by Rural/Urban Residence


Rural Urban
15-64


Rural Urban
65+


Men per
100 women
200

180

160 -

140

120

*100 -

80

60

40

20 -

0


Caribbean and Middle America


Men per
100 women
200

180

160

-140

120

S100*

80

60

-40

20

0


Costa Cuba Dominican El Guatemala Haiti Honduras Mexico Nicaragua Panama
Rica 1970 Republic Salvador 1973 1971 1974 1970 1971 1970
1973 1970 1971


Men per
100 women


200

180

160

140

120

*100

80

60

40

20

0


Men per
South America 100 women


Bolivia Brazil Chile Colombia Ecuador Paraguay Peru
1976 1970 1970 1973 1974 1972 1981


200

180

160

140

120

100*

80

60

40

20

0


* Number of men equals number of women.


24 Population Distribution and Change


Women of the World











Figure 3.9. Rural/Urban Ratio of Women in Reproductive
Ages, for Two Census Dates i [
Earlier Later
census census


Number of rural
women for each
100 urban women


Caribbean and Middle America


Number of rural
women for each
100 urban women


300


250


200


150 _-


100 -


50


Costa
Rica
1963/73


Cuba Dominican El Guatemala
1970 Republic Salvador 1964/73
1960/70 1961/71


Number of rural
women for each
100 urban women


Haiti
1971


South America


Honduras Mexico Nicaragua Panama
1961/74 1960/70 1963/71 1960/70


Number of rural
women for each
100 urban women


350


300


250


200


150


* 100


50


0


Bolivia Brazil Chile Colombia Ecuador Paraguay Peru
1976 1960/70 1960/70 1964/73 1962/74 1962/72 1961/72

* Number of rural women equals number of urban women.


-------- -- ---- ---- ---------- --- ----------1 -----


350


300


250


200


150


100 *


50


0







350


300


250


200


150


100*


50


0


Women of the World


Population Distribution and Change 25












Table 3.2. Total Population: 1960 to 1985
(Midyear population in thousands)
Annual
rate of
Region and country 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 growth
1980-85
(percent)

CARIBBEAN

Cuba...................... 7,027 7,810 8,551 9,300 9,658 10,036 0.8
Dominican Republic........ 3,159 3,703 4,343 5,038 5,774 6,588 2.6
Haiti..................... 3,723 4,137 4,605 4,986 5,395 5,921 1.9
Jamaica................... 1,632 1,777 1,944 2,108 2,243 2,403 1.4

MIDDLE AMERICA

Costa Rica................ 1,248 1,488 1,736 2,008 2,404 2,761 2.8
El Salvador............... 2,574 3,005 3,582 4,143 4,718 4,983 0.1
Guatemala................. 3,969 4,595 5,262 6,091 7,120 8,206 2.8
Honduras.................. 1,952 2,299 2.683 3,178 3,816 4,575 3.6
Mexico.................... 38,579 45,142 52,775 61,456 70,111 79,662 2.6
Nicaragua................. 1,438 1,659 1,908 2,196 2,497 3,030 3.8
Panama.................... 1,112 1,294 1,497 1,711 1,916 2,145 2.3

SOUTH AMERICA

Argentina.................. 20,616 22,283 23,962 26,052 28,237 30,564 1.6
Bolivia................... 3,405 3,802 4,265 4,809 5,450 6,195 2.6
Brazil..................... 71,695 83,093 95,684 108,672 122,407 137,502 2.3
Chile...................... 7,585 8,510 9,369 10,214 10,991 11,828 1.5
Colombia................... 15,953 18,646 21,430 24,165 26,056 28,842 2.0
Ecuador................... 4,422 5,134 5,958 6,891 8,021 9,380 3.1
Guyana.................... 571 640 715 775 817 840 0.5
Paraguay.................. 1,910 2,170 2,477 2,832 3,244 3,722 2.7
Peru...................... 10,181 11,694 13,461 15,397 17,625 20,273 2.8
Venezuela................. 7,550 9,169 10,962 13,074 16,302 19,120 3.2

Note: Slight discrepancies between the population totals shown in this table and those in
table 3.1 are explained primarily by the different dates during the year to which the data refer.
Figures in table 3.1 refer to the respective census dates for each country, while those in
table 3.2 all refer to July 1.


Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1983b.


Population Distribution and Change 27


Women of the World










Table 3.3. Percent of Population Under Age 15 Years and Age 65 Years and Over, by Sex


Under 15 years 65 years and over
Region and country
Year Total Girls Boys Total Women Men

CARIBBEAN

Cuba.......................... 1970 36.9 37.0 36.9 5.9 5.6 6.2
Dominican Republic............ 1970 47.6 47.2 48.0 3.1 3.1 3.1
Haiti......................... 1971 41.5 40.0 43.0 4.5 4.9 4.1
Jamaica....................... 1970 45.9 44.6 47.2 5.6 5.0 6.1

MIDDLE AMERICA

Costa Rica.................... 1973 44.0 43.5 44.6 3.5 3.6 3.5
El Salvador................... 1971 46.4 45.3 47.6 3.5 3.6 3.3
Guatemala..................... 1973 45.1 44.5 45.7 2.9 2.9 2.9
Honduras...................... 1974 48.1 46.9 49.2 2.8 2.8 2.7
Mexico........................ 1970 46.2 45.2 47.2 3.7 3.9 3.6
Nicaragua..................... 1971 48.1 46.6 49.6 3.0 3.2 2.8
Panama........................ 1970 43.4 43.5 43.4 3.7 3.8 3.6

SOUTH AMERICA

Argentina ..................... 1970 29.3 28.7 29.9 7.0 7.6 6.4
Bolivi a....................... 1976 41.5 40.4 42.6 4.2 4.5 3.8
Brazil ........................ 1970 42.0 41.5 42.5 3.1 3.3 3.0
Chile.......................... 1970 39.2 38.1 40.3 5.0 5.5 4.6
Colombia...................... 1973 46.7 45.3 48.2 3.1 3.3 3.0
Ecuador....................... 1974 44.5 43.9 45.1 3.8 4.0 3.6
Guyana........................ 1970 47.1 46.6 47.6 3.6 4.0 3.2
Paraguay...................... 1972 44.7 43.5 46.1 4.0 4.5 3.5
Peru........................... 1981 41.3 40.6 42.1 4.1 4.3 3.9
Venezuela ..................... 1971 45.0 44.4 45.6 3.0 3.3 2.6


Women of the World


28 Population Distribution and Change










Table 3.4. Dependency Ratios, by Rural/Urban Residence


Region and country Year Total Rural Urban


CARIBBEAN

Cuba....................... 1970 75.0 87.0 67.9
Dominican Republic......... 1970 102.9 112.2 90.1
Haiti...................... 1971 85.2 87.2 77.8
Jamaica.................... 1970 106.0 (NA) (NA)

MIDDLE AMERICA

Costa Rica................. 1973 90.7 104.7 73.4
El Salvador................ 1971 99.6 111.8 83.5
Guatemala ................. 1973 92.2 99.7 80.4
Honduras .................. 1974 103.4 112.0 86.9
Mexicol .................... 1970 99.7 109.3 93.5
Nicaragua.................. 1971 104.5 112.2 97.5
Panama..................... 1970 89.2 104.7 74.6

SOUTH AMERICA

Argentina.................. 1970 56.9 (NA) (NA)
Bolivia.................... 1976 84.1 91.7 74.4
Brazil...................... 1970 82.6 96.2 73.2
Chile....................... 1970 79.2 95.2 74.5
Colombia................... 1973 89.9 105.7 81.0
Ecuador ................... 1974 93.4 102.3 82.2
Guyana..................... 1970 102.9 (NA) (NA)
Paraguay................... 1972 95.3 108.9 76.0
Peru...................... 1981 83.2 102.0 74.4
Venezuela.................. 1971 92.1 (NA) (NA)


1The dependency ratio for Mexico, according to adjusted population census figures for 1980, is
94.3 for the total country. Rural/urban disaggregations are not yet available.


Women of the World


Population Distribution and Change 29






30 Population Distribution and change Women of the World


Table 3.5. Percent of Female Population in Selected Age Groups
(Percentages do not add to 100.0 because of overlapping categories)


Repro-
Preschool School age ductive Working Elderly
age age age
Region and country ---
0to4 5to9 10to14 15to19 15to49 15to64 65years
Year years years years years years years and over

CARIBBEAN

Cubal...................... 1970 13.9 13.7 9.5 9.0 46.8 57.4 5.6
Dominican Republic......... 1970 16.7 16.3 14.2 11.6 44.0 49.7 3.1
Haiti...................... 1971 13.5 13.3 13.2 11.2 48.0 55.1 4.9
Jamaica.................... 1970 15.4 16.1 13.1 9.1 40.1 50.0 6.1

MIDDLE AMERICA

Costa Rica.................. 1973 13.7 15.2 14.6 11.9 45.8 53.0 3.6
El Salvador................ 1971 16.6 15.9 12.8 10.3 44.3 51.0 3.6
Guatemala.................. 1973 16.8 14.9 12.8 11.1 46.1 52.6 2.9
Honduras................... 1974 17.9 15.6 13.4 11.1 44.1 50.3 2.8
Mexico..................... 1980 13.6 14.9 13.5 11.5 46.6 53.3 4.4
Nicaragua.................. 1971 16.6 16.3 13.7 11.1 44.0 50.1 3.2
Panama..................... 1970 16.2 15.1 12.2 10.3 45.2 52.7 3.8

SOUTH AMERICA

Argentina.................. 1970 9.8 9.6 9.2 8.8 50.2 63.7 7.6
Bolivia.................... 1976 15.6 13.4 11.3 10.6 47.1 55.1 4.5
Brazil...................... 1970 14.6 14.2 12.7 11.2 47.6 55.0 3.3
Chile...................... 1970 12.2 13.6 12.2 10.3 47.1 56.4 5.5
Colombia................... 1973 13.8 15.0 14.0 12.1 47.0 53.8 3.3
Ecuador.................... 1974 15.8 14.9 13.2 10.8 45.0 52.1 4.0
Guyana..................... 1970 15.6 16.7 14.3 11.3 42.0 49.4 4.0
Paraguay................... 1972 15.2 14.9 13.4 11.1 44.2 52.0 4.5
Peru....................... 1981 14.1 13.9 12.5 11.0 47.7 55.1 4.3
Venezuela.................. 1971 16.0 15.1 13.4 11.5 45.5 52.3 3.3

'Preliminary data from the 1981 census of Cuba indicate the following percentages of female
population in broad age groups: 0 to 16 years, 34.6; 17 to 29 years, 23.0; 30 to 44 years, 19.3;
45 to 59 years, 12.4; 60 years and over, 10.7.


30 Population Distribution and Change


Women of the World










Table 3.6. Percent of Male Population in Selected Age Groups
(Percentages do not add to 100.0 because of overlapping categories)



Preschool School age Working Elderly
age age
Region and country
Oto4 5to9 10 to 14 15 to 19 15to64 65years
Year years years years years years andover


CARIBBEAN

Cubal.................... 1970 13.8 13.6 9.5 8.9 56.9 6.2
Dominican Republic....... 1970 17.2 16.5 14.3 10.5 48.9 3.1
Haiti.................... 1971 14.6 14.0 14.4 11.0 52.9 4.1
Jamaica.................. 1970 16.3 17.1 13.9 9.2 47.7 5.0

MIDDLE AMERICA

Costa Rica............... 1973 14.0 15.7 15.0 11.9 51.9 3.5
El Salvador.............. 1971 17.1 16.8 13.7 9.9 49.2 3.3
Guatemala................. 1973 17.0 15.3 13.5 10.6 51.4 2.9
Honduras................. 1974 18.7 16.4 14.2 10.6 48.1 2.7
Mexico................... 1980 14.0 15.6 14.1 11.3 52.0 4.0
Nicaragua ................. 1971 17.7 17.2 14.7 10.7 47.6 2.8
Panama................... 1970 16.2 14.9 12.2 9.9 53.0 3.6

SOUTH AMERICA

Argentina................. 1970 10.3 10.0 9.6 9.1 63.7 6.4
Bolivia................... 1976 16.2 14.0 12.3 10.9 53.5 3.8
Brazil.................... 1970 15.0 14.7 12.8 10.8 54.3 3.0
Chile...................... 1970 13.1 14.4 12.9 10.3 55.1 4.6
Colombia.................. 1973 14.8 15.9 14.8 11.5 51.5 3.0
Ecuador................... 1974 16.2 15.2 13.7 10.7 51.3 3.6
Guyana.................... 1970 16.1 17.1 14.4 11.4 49.1 3.2
Paraguay.................. 1972 16.0 15.7 14.4 11.2 50.4 3.5
Peru...................... 1981 14.6 14.4 13.1 10.8 54.0 3.9
Venezuela................. 1971 16.4 15.4 13.7 11.2 51.8 2.6
1 Di mi ; ,,4 4+- f. + m h 18Q1 Qrnciic nf Cuha inrlirate the following nercentaaes of male


r e I m l I y a i i ll
population in broad age groups: 0
45 to 59 years, 12.2; 60 years and


to 16 years, 35.3; 17 to 29
over, 11.1.


years, 22.7; 30 to 44


years, 18.8;


Population Distribution and Change 31


Women of the World






32 Population Distribution and change Women of the World


Table 3.7. Sex Ratios of Population in
(Males per 100 females)


Selected Age Groups


Repro-
Preschool School age ductive Working Elderly
age age age
Region and country- --
All Oto4 5to9 10tol4 15tol9 15to49 15to64 65years
Year ages years years years years years years andover


CARIBBEAN

Cuba2............... 1970 105.2 104.7 104.6 105.2 103.3 103.2 104.3 116.6
Dominican Republic.. 1970 99.6 102.2 101.1 100.3 90.1 95.7 98.2 102.2
Haiti............... 1971 93.1 100.4 98.5 102.1 91.7 87.4 89.4 77.2
Jamaica............. 1970 95.5 101.5 100.9 101.1 95.9 90.3 91.1 79.5

MIDDLE AMERICA

Costa Rica.......... 1973 100.6 102.8 103.5 103.5 99.8 98.3 98.5 98.2
El Salvador......... 1971 98.4 101.4 103.9 105.1 95.2 94.7 94.8 88.5
Guatemala........... 1973 100.7 102.0 103.2 105.7 96.2 97.5 98.5 98.6
Honduras............ 1974 98.3 102.7 103.3 103.8 93.8 93.3 94.0 94.5
Mexico.............. 1980 97.7 100.8 102.3 101.8 96.0 95.1 95.2 88.8
Nicaragua........... 1971 96.4 102.5 101.4 103.7 92.9 91.3 91.5 83.0
Panama.............. 1970 102.8 103.1 101.7 103.1 98.7 101.9 103.5 96.7

SOUTH AMERICA

Argentina........... 1970 98.7 103.3 102.6 102.5 101.8 99.6 98.7 82.7
Bolivia............. 1976 97.4 101.6 101.8 105.9 99.5 95.5 94.6 82.2
Brazil.............. 1970 99.0 101.9 102.1 100.2 95.0 96.9 97.6 90.9
Chile............... 1970 95.6 102.1 100.7 100.9 95.7 94.0 93.4 80.3
Colombia............ 1973 96.0 102.6 101.7 101.7 91.1 91.0 91.8 87.4
Ecuador............. 1974 99.8 102.2 102.2 103.4 98.8 98.0 98.4 89.3
Guyana.............. 1970 98.8 102.0 101.3 99.7 99.1 97.2 98.2 80.1
Paraguay............ 1972 98.3 103.4 103.5 106.0 99.0 95.7 96.7 76.8
Peru................ 1981 96.6 102.1 102.0 103.7 97.2 96.4 97.0 89.5
Venezuela........... 1971 98.9 102.6 102.1 101.7 97.3 98.4 98.6 80.5

1Totals may differ from those in table 3.1 because table 3.7 is based on unadjusted population
data.
2Preliminary data from the 1981 census of Cuba indicate a sex ratio of 102.4 for the total
population.


32 Population Distribution and Change


Women of the World










Table 3.8. Percent of Population Residing in Urban Areas, by Sex, and Female/Male Ratio of
Percent Urban: Latest Two Censuses

Earlier census Later census

F/M F/M
Region and country ratio of ratio of
percent percent
urban urban
Both (male= Both (male=
Years sexes Female Male 1.00) sexes Female Male 1.00)


CARIBBEAN

Cuba............... 1970/81 60.3 62.1 58.6 1.06 69.0 70.7 67.4 1.05
Dominican Republic. 1960/70 30.3 32.5 28.0 1.16 39.7 41.9 37.6 1.11
Haiti.............. 1971 (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) 20.4 22.6 18.0 1.25
Jamaica............ 1960/70 33.6 (NA) (NA) (NA) 41.4 (NA) (NA) (NA)

MIDDLE AMERICA

Costa Rica......... 1963/73 34.5 36.7 32.2 1.14 40.6 42.8 38.4 1.11
El Salvador........ 1961/71 38.5 40.4 36.5 1.11 39.5 41.4 37.7 1.10
Guatemala.......... 1964/73 33.6 35.0 32.2 1.09 36.4 37.8 35.0 1.08
Honduras.......... 1961/74 23.2 24.4 22.1 1.10 31.4 32.7 30.0 1.09
Mexico............ 1960/70 50.7 52.0 49.4 1.05 58.7 59.7 57.7 1.03
Nicaragua.......... 1963/71 40.9 43.6 38.1 1.14 47.7 50.3 45.0 1.12
Panama............ 1960/70 41.5 43.7 39.4 1.11 47.6 49.8 45.4 1.10

SOUTH AMERICA

Argentina ......... 1970/80 79.0 (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA)
Bolivia............ 1950/76 35.0 (NA) (NA) (NA) 41.7 42.4 41.1 1.03
Brazil............. 1960/70 44.7 46.2 48.1 1.07 55.9 57.4 54.5 1.05
Chile.............. 1960/70 68.2 70.8 65.5 1.08 75.1 77.1 73.1 1.05
Colombia.......... 1964/73 52.0 54.4 49.5 1.10 61.0 63.6 58.3 1.09
Ecuador........... 1962/74 36.0 37.5 34.5 1.09 41.4 43.0 39.8 1.08
Guyana............. 1970 (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) 31.6 32.6 30.6 1.07
Paraguay........... 1962/72 35.8 37.4 34.2 1.09 37.4 39.2 35.6 1.10
Peru............... 1972/81 59.5 59.7 59.4 1.01 64.9 65.2 64.5 1.01
Venezuela.......... 1971 (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) 73.1 (NA) (NA) (NA)

1Argentina, Instituto Nacional de Estadfstica y Censos, 1975.


Women of the World


Population Distribution and Change 33









Table 3.9. Average Annual Population Growth Rates, by Rural/Urban Residence, Between the
Latest Two Census Rounds
(In percent)


Region and country Years Total Rural Urban


CARIBBEAN

Cuba ......................... 1970/81 1.1 -1.1 2.4
Dominican Republic ........... 1960/70 2.9 1.4 5.8
Haiti........................ 1950/71 1.6 (NA) (NA)
Jamaica...................... 1960/70 1.4 (NA) (NA)

MIDDLE AMERICA

Costa Rica.................... 1963/73 3.3 2.4 5.0
El Salvador.................. 1961/71 3.4 3.3 3.7
Guatemala.................... 1964/73 2.1 1.6 3.0
Honduras..................... 1961/74 2.7 1.8 5.0
Mexico....................... 1960/70 3.4 1.5 4.9
Nicaragua.................... 1963/71 2.5 1.3 4.5
Panama....................... 1960/70 3.1 1.9 4.6

SOUTH AMERICA

Argentina.................... 1960/70 1.6 (NA) (NA)
Bolivia...................... 1950/76 2.7 (NA) (NA)
Brazil........................ 1960/70 2.8 0.6 5.1
Chile......................... 1960/70 2.0 -0.6 3.0
Colombia..................... 1964/73 1.8 -0.4 3.5
Ecuador...................... 1962/74 3.3 2.5 4.5
Guyana....................... 1960/70 2.2 (NA) (NA)
Paraguay..................... 1962/72 2.7 2.4 3.1
Peru......................... 1972/81 2.5 1.0 3.4
Venezuela.................... 1961/71 3.3 (NA) (NA)


34 Population Distribution and Change


Women of the World










Table 3.10. Percent of Migrants Among Total Population and in Province of the Capital City


Migrants in the Migrants in the province
Region and country total population of the capital city
Year Female Male Female Male


CARIBBEAN

Cuba.......................... 1981 11.5 10.5 30.7 27.0
Jamaica....................... 1970 25.5 22.2 46.6 38.4

MIDDLE AMERICA

Costa Rica..................... 1973 19.4 19.0 21.3 18.1
El Salvador................... 1971 15.5 14.2 32.4 27.3
Mexico........................ 1970 15.1 14.0 35.3 31.2
Panama........................ 1970 19.2 17.9 33.7 30.8

SOUTH AMERICA

Bolivia....................... 1976 10.2 11.1 8.0 7.1
Brazil......................... 1970 14.0 14.7 26.7 26.8
Chile.......................... 1970 (NA) (NA) 34.3 30.0
Colombia...................... 1973 21.5 19.7 52.0 46.2
Peru......................... 1981 18.2 20.3 39.8 40.2
Venezuela..................... 1971 23.3 22.7 (NA) (NA)

Note: Migrants are defined as persons born in a province other than that in which they lived at
the time of enumeration in the census.


Population Distribution and Change 35


Women of the World










Table 3.11. Sex Ratios of Rural Population in Selected Age Groups
(Males per 100 females)


Pre- Repro-
school School age ductive Working Elderly
age age age
Region and country --
All Oto4 5to 9 10to4 15to19 15to49 15to64 65years
Year ages years years years years years years and over


CARIBBEAN

Cuba................ 1970 115.0 104.8 105.6 107.9 107.8 114.0 118.2 178.7
Dominican Republic.. 1970 106.9 102.6 103.1 107.4 102.4 105.4 108.8 122.4
Haiti................ 1971 98.6 99.9 100.5 112.2 102.4 94.1 96.2 82.9

MIDDLE AMERICA

Costa Rica.......... 1973 108.2 102.8 104.0 106.5 112.1 109.9 111.1 126.1
El Salvador......... 1971 104.6 101.6 106.1 108.5 103.5 102.7 103.8 111.5
Guatemala........... 1973 105.3 102.2 104.2 109.5 103.0 103.6 105.2 116.7
Honduras............ 1974 102.2 102.6 103.6 107.1 101.9 98.6 99.9 107.5
Mexico.............. 1970 104.6 103.0 104.5 109.0 104.9 102.6 103.4 112.7
Nicaragua........... 1971 106.7 103.3 104.4 112.4 108.5 105.1 106.6 119.8
Panama.............. 1970 112.0 102.3 103.0 110.3 122.1 116.7 118.8 123.3

SOUTH AMERICA

Bolivia............. 1976 99.6 101.3 102.5 110.2 102.7 98.2 97.3 87.3
Brazil.............. 1970 105.8 101.8 103.0 104.6 105.3 106.1 108.0 112.9
Chile................ 1970 112.6 102.0 103.9 110.0 121.3 119.0 119.7 110.2
Colombia............ 1973 109.9 103.3 104.6 112.5 120.1 111.7 113.2 114.5
Ecuador............. 1974 105.5 102.3 103.3 109.6 110.8 106.3 106.9 99.2
Guyana.............. 1970 102.0 (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA)
Paraguay............ 1972 104.0 103.5 105.1 111.8 102.5 103.1 103.0 88.1
Peru................. 1981 101.0 101.2 102.6 108.0 101.5 98.6 99.2 95.0


Women of the World


36 Population Distribution and Change










Table 3.12. Sex Ratios of Urban Population in Selected Age Groups
(Males per 100 females)


Pre- Repro-
school School age ductive Working Elderly
age age age
Region and country
All Oto4 5to9 10to14 15to19 15to49 15to64 65years
Year ages years years years years years years and over


CARIBBEAN

Cuba ............... 1970 99.2 104.7 103.9 102.9 99.9 97.1 96.9 96.6
Dominican Republic.. 1970 89.5 101.3 97.8 89.6 76.0 84.1 84.9 74.9
Haiti................ 1971 74.4 102.9 90.3 74.5 66.2 67.0 67.9 52.9

MIDDLE AMERICA

Costa Rica.......... 1973 90.3 102.7 102.4 98.6 86.0 85.5 84.9 75.9
El Salvador......... 1971 89.6 100.8 99.9 99.8 85.7 84.9 84.0 68.8
Guatemala........... 1973 93.1 101.8 101.3 99.1 86.5 88.4 88.7 79.6
Honduras............. 1974 90.4 102.9 102.3 96.7 80.9 84.2 83.7 72.6
Mexico............... 1970 96.2 103.6 103.4 101.6 92.5 92.2 92.0 79.7
Nicaragua........... 1971 86.2 101.5 98.0 95.1 79.9 79.0 78.2 61.7
Panama............... 1970 93.6 104.2 99.9 95.0 81.8 89.7 90.8 76.4

SOUTH AMERICA

Bolivia............. 1976 94.4 102.1 100.7 100.3 96.3 92.3 91.3 71.8
Brazil.............. 1970 93.9 102.0 101.2 96.5 87.7 90.9 91.0 79.5
Chile................ 1970 90.6 102.1 99.5 97.8 89.1 87.8 86.8 71.9
Colombia............ 1973 88.1 102.0 99.4 95.4 79.0 81.2 81.6 74.1
Ecuador............. 1974 92.3 101.9 100.4 95.3 86.8 88.6 88.5 75.9
Guyana.............. 1970 92.7 (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA)
Paraguay............ 1972 89.5 103.3 100.3 96.7 94.7 86.2 85.3 63.8
Peru................. 1981 97.8 102.7 101.7 101.3 95.4 95.5 96.0 86.0


Women of the World


Population Distribution and Change 37









Table 3.13. Percent Distribution of Female Population Residing in Rural and Urban Areas,
by Selected Age Groups
(Figures may not add to totals due to rounding)


Rural Urban
Region and country
Oto14 15to49 50years 0to14 15to49 50years
Year Total years years and over Total years years and over


CARIBBEAN

Cuba................ 1970 100.0 43.7 44.7 11.7 100.0 33.0 48.1 18.9
Dominican Republic.. 1970 100.0 50.3 41.1 8.5 100.0 42.9 47.9 9.2
Haiti............... 1971 100.0 40.7 46.8 12.5 100.0 37.4 52.2 10.4

MIDDLE AMERICA

Costa Rica.......... 1973 100.0 49.0 42.1 8.8 100.0 36.0 50.8 13.4
El Salvador......... 1971 100.0 49.7 41.5 8.8 100.0 39.1 48.2 12.7
Guatemala........... 1973 100.0 47.5 44.2 8.3 100.0 39.5 49.3 11.3
Honduras............. 1974 100.0 49.6 41.7 8.6 100.0 41.3 49.0 9.7
Mexico.............. 1970 100.0 48.3 41.8 9.8 100.0 43.2 46.1 10.8
Nicaragua........... 1971 100.0 50.2 41.9 7.8 100.0 43.0 46.1 10.9
Panama............... 1970 100.0 49.4 40.5 10.1 100.0 37.5 49.9 12.6

SOUTH AMERICA

Bolivia............. 1976 100.0 41.9 44.2 13.9 100.0 38.2 51.1 10.7
Brazil.............. 1970 100.0 46.9 44.0 9.0 100.0 37.5 50.3 11.9
Chile................ 1970 100.0 45.2 40.7 14.1 100.0 36.0 49.1 15.0
Colombia............ 1973 100.0 49.2 41.3 9.5 100.0 39.3 50.3 10.4
Ecuador............. 1974 100.0 46.8 42.1 11.2 100.0 40.0 48.9 11.1
Paraguay............ 1972 100.0 47.9 41.0 11.1 100.0 36.5 49.1 14.3
Peru................. 1981 100.0 45.3 42.1 12.6 100.0 38.1 50.7 11.2


38 Population Distribution and Change


Women of the World






Women of the World Population Distribution and change 39


Table 3.14.


Percent Distribution of Women Age 15 to 49 Years, by Rural/Urban Residence, 1960's
and 1970's, and Rural/Urban Ratios of the Two Populations
(Figures may not add to totals due to rounding)


1960's 1970's

Region and country R/U ratio R/U ratio
(urban= (urban=
Years Total Rural Urban 1.00) Total Rural Urban 1.00)


CARIBBEAN

Cuba............... 1970 100.0 (NA) (NA) (NA) 100.0 36.1 63.9 0.56
Dominican Republic. 1960/70 100.0 63.3 36.7 1.72 100.0 54.4 45.6 1.19
Haiti.............. 1971 100.0 (NA) (NA) (NA) 100.0 75.4 24.6 3.06

MIDDLE AMERICA

Costa Rica......... 1963/73 100.0 59.3 40.7 1.45 100.0 52.6 47.4 1.11
El Salvador........ 1961/71 100.0 57.2 42.8 1.34 100.0 55.0 45.0 1.22
Guatemala.......... 1964/73 100.0 63.2 36.8 1.72 100.0 59.6 40.4 1.48
Honduras........... 1961/74 100.0 73.6 26.4 2.79 100.0 63.7 36.3 1.75
Mexico............. 1960/70 100.0 46.7 53.3 0.88 100.0 38.0 62.0 0.61
Nicaragua.......... 1963/71 100.0 54.7 45.3 1.21 100.0 47.3 52.7 0.90
Panama............ 1960/70 100.0 51.9 48.1 1.08 100.0 45.0 55.0 0.82

SOUTH AMERICA

Bolivia............ 1976 100.0 (NA) (NA) (NA) 100.0 54.1 45.9 1.18
Brazil............. 1960/70 100.0 50.9 49.1 1.04 100.0 39.4 60.6 0.65
Chile.............. 1960/70 100.0 25.7 74.3 0.35 100.0 19.7 80.2 0.24
Colombia........... 1964/73 100.0 42.5 57.5 0.74 100.0 32.0 68.0 0.47
Ecuador............ 1962/74 100.0 61.1 38.9 1.57 100.0 53.3 46.7 1.14
Paraguay........... 1962/72 100.0 59.4 40.6 1.46 100.0 56.4 43.6 1.29
Peru............... 1961/72 100.0 50.3 49.7 1.01 100.0 36.9 63.1 0.58


Population Distribution and Change 39


Women of the World








Women of the World 41


Chapter 4







[u@@tefh(

E~JiiEo


Education and literacy exercise important direct and indirect
influences on women's family relationships, childbearing, and
economic activity. Scholars are discovering that women's educa-
tion is contradictory in many of its effects. Education may, for
example, postpone marriage and shorten a woman's childbear-
ing span so that she bears fewer children. At the same time,
however, access to new information may improve a woman's
health and her ability to conceive and carry a child to term.
How education bears on women's family roles, fertility, and
work is a complex topic that is engaging increasing attention
(Cochrane, 1979). Whatever the final outcome of the scholarly
debates, women and men in Latin America and the Caribbean
increasingly view literacy and education for women as positive
enhancements to their status. In past times when women stayed
at home, even educated men often did not seek wives who had
been to school. Fathers and mothers believed that schooling
would detract from a daughter's chances to marry. Today,
however, education and literacy are considered prerequisites for
entering the labor market, especially for securing better-paying
jobs in the formal sector. Families at all class levels except the
privileged elites depend on multiple income earning of all able-
bodied adult members (and sometimes their child members) for
survival. Because of the presumed link between education and
employment, learning has become the greatest single aspiration
of young and old at all socioeconomic levels throughout the
hemisphere, for women and men alike.
Worldwide, female enrollment in school increased at the first,
second, and third levels of education between 1950 and 1975
(UNESCO, Statistical Yearbook 1982), although the momentum
slowed somewhat in the decade of the 1960's (McGrath, 1976,
p.18; Newland, 1979, p. 27). In many world areas, percentage
increases in enrollment have been greater for girls than for boys
over the past two to three decades, but absolute numbers of
women not enrolled also have increased, as the numbers of


young children reaching school age have outstripped the ability
of many nations to provide sufficient teachers and classrooms.
In spite of increased enrollments, women still account for an
estimated two-thirds of the world's illiterate population
(McGrath, 1976, p. 44; Population Reference Bureau, 1980).
In the developing world, only 32 percent of adult women and
52 percent of adult men are literate (Population Reference
Bureau, 1980). In relative terms, women's literacy rates are
improving in many countries, so that increasingly higher per-
centages of women can read and write. Yet, the absolute
numbers of illiterates continue to rise. Between 1960 and 1970,
the world's illiterate men rose by 8 million, but illiterate women
increased by 40 million (McGrath, 1976, p. 44; Newland, 1979,
p. 29).
In comparison to other world areas, women in most countries
of Latin America and the Caribbean register on the high side of
educational indicators, both in relation to their numbers in the
total population and in relation to men. School enrollment for
girls nearly doubled between 1965 and 1977 at the first and
second levels (Inter-American Development Bank, 1982, p. 133).
In the early school years, girls sometimes participate at slightly
higher rates than boys, and at the secondary level the two sexes
often are at or near parity. Large differences in registration
between women and men generally are found only at the univer-
sity level, where far fewer women are in school in relation to
their numbers in the total population. Far fewer women than men
are enrolled in post-secondary institutions, whether at univer-
sities or at vocational schools. In some countries, differences
also begin to appear between 15 to 19 year old women and men
in rural areas.
This situation is a great improvement over women's educa-
tional opportunities in former times. During the first centuries
of colonial rule, secondary education was reserved for boys,
usually in liceos or colegios directed by Jesuits or Dominicans






42 Literacy and Education Women of the World


who were not allowed by their rules to educate women. Girls,
for the most part, went unlettered. A few secondary schools
for girls were started under private auspices, but few survived
their foundresses. Mass compulsory primary education for all
(as an ideal, if not yet a reality in most Latin American and Carib-
bean countries) is a post-World War II phenomenon.

In a few countries, notably Chile and Argentina, education for
girls in public liceos was inaugurated as early as the last decades
of the 19th century. The University of Chile graduated Latin -
America's first two women medical doctors (in obstetrics and
gynecology) in 1887. In contrast, the National University in
Colombia accepted its first woman student only in 1936. As late
as 1907, after the sister of the rector of Cuzco University (Peru)
received her degree, the townspeople would throw holy water
as she passed (Chaney, 1979, pp. 55-56).
In spite of women's relatively good showing at the first and
second educational levels in many Latin American and Caribbean
countries, there is no reason for complacency. In a large number
of countries, enrollment and literacy rates are comparatively low
for both women and men, particularly in the rural areas of Cen-
tral America and the Andean countries where more women than
men often speak only the indigenous languages (46 percent in
Bolivia and 52 percent in Peru, according to their latest cen-
suses). Although there have been efforts in several countries
to teach the indigenous languages and to conduct certain courses
in these tongues, as well as in Spanish, none has been enduring
or successful. In the English-speaking Caribbean, however, both
literacy and enrollment rates are the highest in the developing
world, and Barbados outstrips all others with its 99 percent
literate population (UNESCO, 1979, p. 10; UNESCO, Statistical
Yearbook 1981).
As with other indicators, educational statistics need to be
interpreted with caution (the following section discusses the
problems in detail). Literacy rates, for example, may measure
different degrees of literacy in different countries, and indicate
little about the qualifications of persons classified as literate for
further schooling, vocational training, or the work force. Even
though there may be little difference in rates of enrollment
between the sexes in many countries, the curricula for girls and
boys may differ considerably even during the primary school
years. At the post-primary level, young men study mathematics,
science, industrial, and agricultural arts, while young women
enroll in home economics or, at best, commercial courses. At
the university level, women cluster in the faculties of liberal and
fine arts, or the helping professions.

Some women now participate in vocational training, at either
the post-primary level or post-secondary level, but they are con-
centrated overwhelmingly among the nonsupervisory worker
trainees, while most of the managerial and technical training
places are reserved for men (Derryck, 1979, p. 50). Often
women in vocational institutes are channeled into recognized
"feminine" specialties that reinforce their secondary position
in the labor market (Chang and Ducci, 1977, p. 23). For exam-
ple, in none of the 10 government-sponsored institutes examined
in seven countries, did more than a handful of women choose
specialties such as industrial or auto mechanics, graphic arts,


industrial design, construction, electricity and electronics, radio
repair, plumbing, or cabinet making; instead they were placed
in courses in leatherwork, food preparation and processing, or
operation of industrial sewing machines ibidd., p. 21). Moreover,
in most of these institutes the participation of women (around
1974) was itself very restricted, ranging from a low of 3.6 per-
cent of women in the Servicio Nacional de Adiestramiento de
Industria y Turismo in Peru, to a high of 42.5 percent in the
Colombian Ministry of Labor's Servicio Nacional de Aprendi-
zaje ibidd., p. 18). In the English-speaking Caribbean, about 15
percent of men and 9 percent of women have received job train-
ing (Massiah, 1981a, p. 82).
In some places, nonformal education, which was to be the
answer for those women and men who had not had a chance
at formal study, has created a two-tiered educational system,
with the nonformal programs tending to serve the poor,
especially poor women, while academic institutions even at the
primary level enroll those who are economically somewhat
better off. Moreover, nonformal education programs for women
still are dominated by handicraft and homemaking courses (Non-
Formal Education Exchange, 1978, p. 5).

Women who do manage to complete third level formal educa-
tion and beyond find that their options and opportunities increase
dramatically. There is some evidence in Third World countries
that educated women replace the less educated in the competi-
tion for jobs, as employers use educational requisites as a screen-
ing device even for jobs that do not require much education
(Papanek, 1982). In a situation where the job market is
expanding only very slowly, this has the effect of pushing poor
older women out of the job market, and of placing women who
are overqualified in positions where they are severely
underemployed. Little data are available on the extent to which
this is happening in Latin America and the Caribbean as a
response to worldwide recession and the constriction of the labor
market. At the time of the last round of censuses, however, the
job market was expanding in Latin America for both women and
men, and professionals were in short supply in many fields. In
this situation, barriers fall and women find employment even in
fields traditionally reserved to men. In both Latin America and
the English-speaking Caribbean, women have made notable
progress in government bureaucracies, even in those ministries
that do not deal specifically with women's concerns. In Jamaica,
for example, directors of the government entities dealing with
urban development and foreign investment promotion are
women. Trained in law and public administration, many women
find greater scope for advancement and challenge in the less
well remunerated government service than in the male-
dominated private sector. At all but the highest levels throughout
the region, women are directors and subdirectors of government
bureaus and ministries; as well, they often outnumber men in
the lower ranks, although the top ministerial posts are still
reserved mainly for men.

Women have found particular scope in those government
entities that deal with health, education, and welfare. In the
private sector, they also tend in the Latin American and Carib-
bean region to choose those professions and careers that


42 Literacy and Education


Women of the World







Women of the World Literacy and Education 43


extend their traditional mothering and nurturing roles outside the
home. This strong preference for the traditionally feminine
careers has profound consequences for the education of women,
as will be discussed in more detail below.
Education for women is important, first of all, purely in terms
of equity. Medical advances have prolonged women's lives, at
the same time as contraceptive advances and decreasing
mortality rates have (at least potentially) freed women from the
need for continual childbearing in their younger years. Educa-
tion is the necessary, if not sufficient, condition for women to
be able to realize more fully their potential as human beings. Even
poor women whose circumstances do not permit them the
luxury of education for self realization benefit from sufficient
primary education to guarantee their literacy, and from the kinds
of training that help them to increase their earning potential.
Women who are educated exercise more power in the family
and have more say in decisionmaking.
It is important, however, to educate girls and women not
only for their own sake but also for the effect their education
has on many aspects of community and national life. Review-
ing the evidence, Cochrane (1979, pp. 146-147) concludes that
educated women tend to marry later and to reduce their demand
for children, as measured by desired family size, as well as to
increase their knowledge and use of contraceptives.1 There are
indications in the literature that the children of educated women
are healthier and better nourished (World Bank, 1980, p. 50).
Harrison (1977, p. 125) has correlated level of mother's educa-
tion with infant mortality (birth to 2 years old) for the city of
San Salvador. The death rate for children of illiterate mothers
was 184 deaths per 1,000 children under 2 years, while the
death rate for children of mothers with 7 or more years of educa-
tion dropped to 37 per 1,000. Children of literate or educated
mothers also are more likely to attend school and to retain literacy
and numeracy (Derryck, 1979, p. 128).
Educated women also add to the productive human resources
available to a country, resources that cannot be fully utilized until
women have access to education on an equal basis with men.
Again, the precise ways in which education influences women's
participation in the formal labor market are not well known.
Standing's (1978, pp. 161-62) review of the evidence suggests
that while there is no clear, universal association between
women's education and their labor force participation, never-
theless as women gain greater access to education, traditional
barriers to their employment in higher-income occupations tend
to break down, and their employment opportunities are
enhanced. At the same time, the cultural restrictions to their
active participation tend to be weakened.
There is some evidence that women with lower levels of
education have higher rates of labor force participation than
those with somewhat higher levels, with the relationship



'However, the same author points out that the total effect of educa-
tion on fertility is uncertain for reasons mentioned at the beginning of
this chapter. Not only may the educated woman's increased knowledge
and access to health care improve her chances of bearing a healthy child,
but as well she may give up traditional practices (for example, pro-
longed lactation and postpartum abstinence) that also tend to reduce
fertility) (ibid.).


becoming positive again at still higher educational levels ibidd.,
pp. 150-153). This would coincide with the knowledge that poor
women often must work, while the highly educated with a pro-
fession have a strong motivation for exercising a career. Those
in the middle might have neither the same desire to work, nor
employment opportunities.
Even poor women without much prospect of steady, formal-
sector jobs can benefit from training. The turn towards con-
sideration of the world's poor as the first priority in development
brought with it increased attention to traditional agriculture and
the urban informal sector, where 60 to 80 percent of the poor
(depending on the country) are employed. Such a turn has pro-
found educational implications, particularly for women, since it
is in these two sectors that most of the world's women work.
Studies by the World Bank indicate that even poor education
in the basic skills produces better workers (Heyneman, 1983,
p.8), and hence better pay. In the last two decades of the 20th
century, it will be a serious challenge to assist women in
making advances, however incremental, in their education for
work in a situation where few realistically will find employment
in the formal labor market.


Data Availability

The WID Data Base provides information on female and male
enrollment in school at the time of the 1970 census round, as
well as data on the literate population. There are several dif-
ficulties with taking these two measures as unqualified indicators
of educational levels. Literacy, for example, is notoriously dif-
ficult to measure, and it is unclear to what degree such a measure
may be comparable across countries. McGrath (1976, p. 16)
notes that even the minimal ability to write one's name
sometimes is accepted by census takers as evidence of literacy.
Moreover, it is not clear how long newly literate persons retain
their skills; there is general agreement that completion of 4 or
5 years of schooling is necessary for lifelong retention of literacy.
The 12- to 18-month crash campaigns have not proven adequate
to guarantee continued literacy, especially among women who
often have less opportunity than men to use their new skills in
reading and writing.
Enrollment data also present some difficulties in interpreta-
tion. Such data have the usual drawback of all measures taken
at one point in time, that is, they do not reveal how many per-
sons enrolled at the time of the census or survey actually com-
plete I year or one level of schooling and/or go on to the next.
In the world's 36 poorest countries (with a Gross National Pro-
duct in 1975 of less than $265 a year), average enrollment at
all levels of primary education increased from 48 percent of
school-age children in 1960 to 70 percent in 1977 (Heyneman,
1983, p. 18). However, there were 50 percent more children
enrolled in grade 1 than in grade 4, indicating that while'many
children start school, not all are destined to complete'even the
first level of education. Enrollment statistics also can be
extremely difficult to analyze over time. The number of children
in the primary age group in Colombia, for example, doubled
between 1950 and 1970; in the 1970's, it increased only
slightly, then fell (World Bank, 1980, p. 40). In order not to mis-


Women of the World


Literacy and Education 43






44 Literacy and Education Women of the World


judge the situation in Colombia, one would need to interpret the
absolute numbers enrolled, as well as the numbers enrolled as
a proportion of the total population, in light of Colombia's
diminishing population in the young age groups.
Educational attainment data, more useful in many instances
than enrollment statistics, are difficult to obtain and sometimes
are not disaggregated by sex. The World Bank (1980, p. 47)
estimates that in developing countries, 40 percent of those who
enroll in primary school do not continue beyond their fourth year.
In Peru in 1973, for example, 45 percent of women had com-
pleted their primary education, but only 15 percent had
finished secondary level schooling, and only a meager 3 percent
had received diplomas in an institute of higher education (com-
parative attainment figures for men were 54, 19, and 5 percent,
respectively) (Villalobos, 1975, table 1, pp. 1-14).
Chang and Ducci (1977, pp. 45-46) estimate that average
educational attainment in South America is about 5 years of
primary school; Argentina, Venezuela, Costa Rica, and the
countries of the English-speaking Caribbean register slightly
higher in terms of completed years of schooling. Women show
attainment levels consistently lower than men in many
countries; moreover, there has been a deterioration in women's
position in some countries, for example, in Mexico and Peru in
the 1970's compared to the 1960's ibidd., p. 47).
Another difficulty in using census data is that the conventional
5-year age groups in which most enrollment data are available
are not congruent with the Latin American school system. In
many countries, the prescribed age for children to enter first
grade is 6 or 7 years old, not 5 years. In Peru, for example,
children in pre-school institutions number only about 6 percent
of children under 6 years old (Villalobos, 1975, table 1, pp.1-14).2
The prescribed age for entering school in El Salvador is 7 years
(Harrison, 1977, p. 136), but the census reports enrollment for
those 6 years old and over. In most Latin American countries,
children complete 6 years of education at the first level, and 5
or 6 years at the second level. This puts young women and men
into post-secondary education at ages 16 or 17 years. Thus, in
Peru, one-half of the 10 to 14 year olds are still in primary school,
while in the 15 to 19 year old group, one half is already at univer-
sity age (Villalobos, 1975, table 4-5, pp.17-8). Nor are children
necessarily enrolled in the proper year for their age group. In El
Salvador (1972), for example, only 34 percent of those enter-
ing the first grade were 7 years old, the proper age, while 21
percent were 10 to 14 years of age. The four age categories
employed in this handbook thus correspond only very roughly
to the actual ages of students at the various levels of education
in Latin America.
Census statistics do not reveal the quality of education. Bolivia,
for example, spent only about 80 U.S. cents per pupil on
furniture and materials in the average fourth grade classroom
in 1978, one-sixtieth of what was spent in Maryland, U.S.A.
(Heyneman, 1983, p. 29). Funding certainly is not the only
indicator of educational quality, but because of the lack of
teaching tools and the poor preparation of teachers in the


2Nortman (1982, table 3, pp. 34-36) has charted eligible age groups
for the three levels of education for most countries of the world.


developing countries, "their pupils leave school with far fewer
skills than their counterparts in the developed world" (ibid.). It
is not certain whether there is much difference in the amounts
spent on girls' education as on boys' education in Latin America,
but there do appear to be differences in most world regions
(Derryck, 1979, p. 53).
Nor do census or educational survey data give clues about the
disparity in education among social classes. As McGrath (1976,
p. 15) points out, access to education is governed by many
factors besides age, sex, and rural/urban residence, including
religion, ethnic group affiliation, and economic class. McGrath
notes that within each geographic region or ethnic group, female
rates of enrollment and literacy are almost always lower than
male rates. Related to class and economic considerations is the
fact that, in Latin America, a great deal of education takes place
in expensive private schools under both religious and secular
sponsorship. The student bodies, curricula, and quality of educa-
tion in these schools may differ dramatically from those in public
institutions. This does not mean that educational data are not
collected from private sources, but often they are "limited, not
very reliable or sometimes totally nonexistent" (Le6n de Leal and
Bonilla de Ramos, 1976, p. 95).


Enrollment and Literacy as Educational Indicators for
Women

Census data have the advantage of providing indicators that
are roughly comparable among countries and regions. They are
the only such data available. While these data must be
analyzed with the cautions suggested above, they do provide
significant information in delineating the educational situation
of women in Latin America.
In the 1970's, the percentage of persons who were literate,
as well as those enrolled in school, showed wide variation among
countries, as tables 4.1 and 4.3 demonstrate. Among South
American countries, Argentina and Chile register high female
rates on both enrollment and literacy. The other South American
countries fall in a middle group, with Colombia and Venezuela
showing higher female literacy rates than other countries in this
group, while enrollment rates in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, and
Guyana fall lower than in other middle-range countries. High/low
rates for girls often are paralleled by high/low rates for boys,
except in Bolivia and Peru, where female/male ratios demonstrate
a wide gap between women and men on both literacy and enroll-
ment indexes.
Jamaica and some other English-speaking Caribbean islands
(not shown) register high rates of literacy and enrollment among
both women and men. Barbados and Trinidad/Tobago are
particularly high on both indexes, while the smaller islands (St.
Lucia, Dominica, Grenada, etc.) tend to fall in a middle range
(Population Reference Bureau, 1980).
Among the Latin American subregions, the Middle American
countries show the lowest rates on both literacy and enrollment
indexes, except for Costa Rica and Panama, where both
measures show high rates. Mexico is a special case, in that
literacy rates are available for 1980 (putting Mexico in the
highest category), while enrollment rates for 1970 suggest that


44 Literacy and Education


Women of the World







Women of the World Literacy and Education 45


Mexico, at that time, was similar to its Central American
neighbors. Female/male differentials in enrollment and literacy
levels are not substantial in Middle America, except in Guatemala
where rates are about one-fourth higher among men.
In several countries, encompassing those with both high and
low literacy, women's rates are equal to or outstrip men's rates;
these rates are plotted on figure 4.1. Differences in literacy rates
between rural and urban populations are substantial for both
women and men, as table 4.1 shows. Figure 4.2 illustrates the
literacy gap between rural and urban women and men.

Urban women in most countries with available data are almost
on a par with men (table 4.1) so far as literacy is concerned;
in the rural areas, some differences appear for all countries
except Costa Rica, as figure 4.2 demonstrates. The largest gaps
between rural women and men are found in Bolivia, Guatemala,
Haiti, and Peru. The same figure reveals greater differences
between rural and urban women than between rural and urban
men in nine of fifteen countries for which data are available;
these differences are particularly marked in Bolivia and Peru. In
Bolivia, Guatemala, and Peru, many rural women speak only an
indigenous language, while rural men who are conscripted into
the army learn to read and write Spanish, thus erasing some of
the difference between themselves and urban men. The same
reasoning may explain the discrepancy in rural rates of literacy
between women and men in Haiti; men who serve in the army
become literate in French, while many women speak only
Haitian Creole. Some written materials are available in the
indigenous Andean languages, as well as in Creole, but the
major languages of instruction and communication are Spanish
and French.

Literacy rates for some countries appear high in relation to
what other sources reveal about the proportions of women who
are without schooling. For example, 43 percent of rural
Ecuadorian women and 57 percent of rural Bolivian women lack
any kind of schooling (Luzuriaga, 1980, p. 34; Comisi6n
Econ6mica para America Latina, 1982b, table 14, p. 50). As the
Luzuriaga study points out, "it is probable that the proportion
of female illiterates is very much higher than what the census
records, since among women who have only 1 to 3 years of
primary schooling, a large percent will have lapsed into illiteracy
through disuse" (ibid.). Brody (1981, p. 88), summarizing
evidence from official sources and government reports, puts
literacy in Jamaica at only 50 percent of the adult population.

In considering the percent literate among age groups, the dif-
ferences are more substantial between women and men at 35
years of age and over, than between women and men at 15 to
24 years of age (table 4.2). In the younger age group, literacy
rates are more nearly equal, and countries with low rates for
women usually have corresponding low rates for men (with the
exceptions of Bolivia and Guatemala noted above). In 10 of the
18 countries for which data are available, proportionately more
women than men are literate among the 15 to 24 year olds, while
in Jamaica, women's literacy is higher in both the younger and
the older age groups.
Analyzing literacy in different age groups provides some
notion of changes in literacy rates over time. Figure 4.3 plots


female and male literacy rates by age. Most of the countries
already high on the literacy index in the older age group show
little difference between women and men in the age groups
plotted on the chart, but rather dramatic improvements in
women's literacy rates appear in the remaining countries when
the older and younger women are compared. The improvements
in men's rates are not so marked, and there is a definite leveling
off of improvements, especially where literacy rates in the older
age groups already are high. The exception is Brazil, where a
leveling off effect in improvement of men's literacy rates has
occurred even though the literacy rate among the 15 to 24 year
olds is less than 75 percent.

There also is a definite trend towards closing the gap between
female and male literacy rates. Considering the differences in
percent literate in the two age groups, the literacy gap between
women and men at the younger ages is 10 percentage points
or more in only two (Bolivia and Guatemala) of the eighteen
countries for which data by age are available. Among those 35
years of age and older, however, the gap between literate
women and men registers 10 percentage points or more in 9
of the 18 countries. Even in countries where the literacy gap
is substantial, there has been an improvement. In Bolivia, for
example, the proportion literate was almost 29 percentage points
higher among men than women in the older age group, but only
16 points higher among the 15 to 24 year olds.
Figure 4.4 shows the substantial rural/urban differences in per-
cent literate between younger and older women; nevertheless,
the overall pattern that emerges is one of significant progress
in both rural and urban areas. Women's age-specific literacy rates
fall roughly into three modal patterns of rural/urban differentials
by age. In type I, the pattern is high urban literacy in all age
groups (not falling below 75 percent literate, even among the
older women), and a pattern of high literacy also among the
younger women in rural areas, but with steady declines after
age 30 years-never, however, falling much below 50 percent
literate at the older ages. Type I countries following some varia-
tion of this pattern include Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama,
and Paraguay. The decline in literacy after age 50 is more
precipitous in Panama and Paraguay than in the other two
countries and the urban literacy rates are not so high in Paraguay
as in the other four.
Type II countries (Bolivia, Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala,
Honduras, and Nicaragua) show extreme contrast between rural
and urban literacy rates, indicating that attention to rural educa-
tion seems to have been neglected in favor of the cities and
towns, at least until recent times. Urban literacy for women
registers high, especially at the younger ages (although not so
high as for type I countries), but rural rates are lower, even at
the younger ages. Type III countries (Ecuador and Venezuela)
fall in the middle; they demonstrate less contrast between rural
and urban areas, but show a steep rise in literacy between age
groups, particularly in the rural rates. For the remainder of the
countries, age-specific literacy rates by rural and urban residence
are not available.

Table 4.3 presents enrollment rates for the total school age
population, table 4.4 by selected age groups, and tables 4.5 and


Literacy and Education 45


Women of the World







46 Literacy and Education Women of the World


4.6 in the rural and urban areas. In most cases, the highest
percentages of girls and boys enrolled, in both rural and urban
areas, falls among the 10 to 14 year olds. This probably is the
crucial age to examine, since these children should be in school,
whereas lower enrollment among the 5 to 9 year olds is often
a function of a prescribed entrance age to first grade of 6 or 7
years, while among the 15 to 19 year olds, there are those who
will have completed second level education yet not be enrolled
in an institution of higher learning.
Figure 4.5 presents enrollment for the 10 to 14 year olds,
showing that in the 1970's, Bolivia, Peru, Guyana, and Paraguay
were doing better than their total enrollment figures indicated;
about 80 percent of children in this age group were enrolled in
school. Figure 4.6 presents rural and urban enrollment for the
same age group.
The crucial points for girls' enrollment/dropout rates are at
entrance to the first grade, passage to secondary level educa-
tion, and matriculation at a university or other post-graduate
institution. Worldwide, enrollment rates are lower and dropout
rates are higher for girls than for boys (Derryck, 1979, p. 58;
McGrath, 1976, p. 19). In Latin America, female enrollment as
already noted is more nearly equal to male enrollment at the first
two levels, and more nearly equal in urban than in rural areas.
Not much information is available on wastage, but from the
enrollment statistics one can infer greater wastage among young
women than young men, particularly between the second and
third educational levels. Already in the 15 to 19 year age group,
there is a decline in female enrollment rates in relation to male
rates, as well as in comparison to female rates for the 10 to 14
year age group.
The age at which young women marry is a major factor
influencing the dropout rate between second and third level
education (Safilios-Rothschild, 1979, p. 5). In Latin American
countries, where half the women are married by age 19 or the
early twenties (see table 6.2 in chapter 6), enrollment in
secondary school and at university is, not surprisingly, lower,
while in those countries where more women marry later, school
enrollment appears to be higher. Young women also leave school
(or choose not to progress to the next level) because they go
to work. The typical pattern for a young rural woman is to go
to the city to seek employment as a domestic servant or street
vendor, jobs that do not require any particular educational
qualifications (Bunster and Chaney, forthcoming). Often, too,
girls do not progress beyond primary school because their village
does not have any educational facilities beyond primary school.
It is rare that a single young woman would set out on her own;
if the family has no relatives in a town or city, the only other
alternative for a girl is to board at school-a possibility within
the financial reach of few rural families.
Women's enrollment and dropout rates in Latin America are
also influenced by the pervasive belief, particularly prevalent in
rural areas, that it is more important to educate boys than girls,
whose destiny is the home and family. Time budget studies show
that girls spend more time than boys in household and child care,
and in assisting their mothers with their agricultural and/or
trading activities (Deere, 1983; Schmink, 1982; and Bunster and
Chaney, forthcoming). The different allocation of tasks between


girls and boys not only cuts down study time for the girls, but
it may lead them to regard their education as less important than
their brothers' and their assistance to their mothers as the more
appropriate preparation for their future lives. There is evidence
that in Latin America, girls also are taken out of school more
often than boys at times of family crises to care for younger
brothers and sisters when they are ill (especially when their
mothers work), or to help out at peak agricultural work seasons.
The decline between second and third level enrollment also
is a function of the lower female/male ratio of those applying
for admission to institutions of higher education, as well as those
graduated from the second level. Other sources reveal that the
numbers of women completing secondary school in some
countries are nearly equal to the men; since women have the
prerequisites to enroll in higher education, something else must
explain why so many fewer do so than their male counterparts.
This something else may be the weight of tradition which, until
recently, offered women in Latin America only one honorable
vocation aside from the religious life: motherhood. Today, of
course, much is changing, and university enrollment of women
has increased greatly since the 1960's, as table 4.7 shows.
Women still highly value their home and family roles, and those
among the middle and upper classes who can afford higher
education are in a position to educate themselves for a profes-
sion and continue to work after marriage. Society has changed
its view a great deal with respect to women working outside
the home after marriage, particularly in the middle class where
the wife's salary is needed to maintain an accustomed life style.
Educated working women continue to bear the total responsi-
bility for household and family because servants still are
abundant and cheap in most countries.
Census data do not provide information on whether children
and young adults are enrolled in vocational or academic pro-
grams, or in which faculties women and men are matriculated
at the university level. Other sources, however, show that Latin
American women still cluster in those faculties that prepare
women for the traditionally feminine careers, rather than for
scientific, industrial, or commercial occupations. There is an
important exception: the Latin American middle-class woman
has, in some cases, taken advantage of the fact that many jobs
related to the technological revolution are so new that they have
not had a chance to become sex-stereotyped. Many observers
have remarked on the large numbers of women entering such
sex-neutral fields as statistics and computer programming, adver-
tising and television production, journalism and social sciences.
In relation to the numbers who continue to seek the more tradi-
tionally feminine professions, the numbers still are small, as table
4.8 demonstrates. Nevertheless, women have made some
significant breakthroughs, as their university enrollment
quadrupled between 1965 and 1977 (Inter-American Develop-
ment Bank, 1981, p. 133).
Few barriers remain in Latin American institutions of higher
learning that constrain women from studying whatever they
wish. Clustering in the so-called feminine careers may be the
result not of discrimination at the university but of a shrewd
appraisal on the part of women that they will go further if they
continue to choose professions that society regards as appro-


46 Literacy and Education


Women of the World








Women of the World Literacy and Education 47


private for women. Until recently, for example, women in law
found it difficult to enter private practice unless a male relative
took them into his office. Many women lawyers, for this reason,
opt for a bureaucratic career as already noted above; while
salaries are lower than in the private sector, they still earn what
men earn in government positions. Several professions have
become overwhelmingly female-dentistry, laboratory
technology, and pharmacy, for example-in that more women
than men prepare for and enter these fields in many countries.
Women medical students are found overwhelmingly in
gynecology, obstetrics, and pediatrics, considered female
specialties in Latin America. It is worth noting that women in
developed countries also face occupational sex-stereotyping; in
the United States, for example, 80 percent of all women work
in only 25 of the 420 occupations listed by the Department of
Labor. Precisely because sex-stereotyping is so much stronger
in Latin countries, however, a clear field has been left to women
in many of the specialties perceived as feminine, and women
have more opportunity to rise to the top levels (particularly in
the public sector) than their North American counterparts. One
interesting aspect of this clustering of women at policy levels
in such fields may be that as societies turn from their preoccupa-
tion with modernization and industrialization, Latin American and


Caribbean women will find themselves, much more than pro-
fessional women in developed countries, at the center of post-
industrial concerns such as values and ethical questions, com-
munications, human relationships, the community, and the
environment.

In considering women who have progressed to the third level
of education, it is well to be reminded that they are very few
in number (as are their male counterparts) in relation to the total
numbers of women and men in their societies. The vast numbers
of women still struggle on, considering themselves lucky to have
4 or 5 years of primary education, or to have the chance to learn
some kind of income-generating skill in vocational or nonformal
education programs. Nevertheless, the improvement of women's
position in higher education has important consequences for
planning and policy. One explanation for the paucity of women
at these levels has been that, until recently, the pool of educated
women was very small, and their preparation in traditional fields
precluded their recruitment to either private or public entities
dealing with development and social change. The large growth
of this pool in the past two decades leaves little reason now for
women's exclusion from the top levels of politics and
government.


Women of the World


Literacy and Education 47






48 Literacy and Education Women of the World


Figure 4.1. Percent Literate Among Women and Men
10 Years of Age and Over


Caribbean and Middle America


Women Men

Percent
literate


Costa Dominican El Guatemala Haiti Honduras Jamaica Mexico Nicaragua Panama
Rica Republic Salvador 1973 1970 1974 1960 1980 1971 1970
1973 1970 1971


Percent
literate South America


Percent
literate


Argentina Bolivia Brazil Chile
1970 1976 1970 1970


Colombia Ecuador Paraguay
1973 1974 1972


Percent
literate


48 Literacy and Education


Women of the World


Peru Venezuela
1981 1974











Figure 4.2. Percent Literate Among Women and Men 10 Years
of Age and Over, by Rural/Urban Residence



Women Men Women Men
Rural Urban


Percent Percent
literate Caribbean and Middle America literate
100 1100

90 90

80 -- 8

70 70

0 I 160

50 -50

40 40

30 30

20 !20

10 I 110

0 0
Costa El Guatemala Haiti Honduras Mexico Nicaragua Panama
Rica Salvador 1973 1970 1974 1970 1971 1970
1973 1971


Percent Percent
literate South America literate
100 100

90 90

80 80

70 70

60 ] 60
50 -50


40 _- 40
30

20 20

10 10

0 o


Bolivia Brazil
1976 1970


Chile Colombia Ecuador Paraguay Peru Venezuela
1970 1973 1974 1972 1981 1971


Literacy and Education 49


Women of the World






50 Literacy and Education Women of the World


Figure 4.3. Percent Literate for Women and Men, by Age





Caribbean and Middle America


Women


Percent


15-24


I
25-34
Age


35+


Men


Percent


15-24
15-24


25-34
Age


---


50 Literacy and Education


Women of the World






Women of the World Literacy and Education 51


Figure 4.3. Percent Literate for Women and Men by Age--Continued





South America


Women


Percent


gentina


--C hi le


olivia


,-B razil


60 h


50 F-


40 1-


30 k


15-24 25-34 35+
Age


Percent
100




-livia
90 -


Br a 11


70 H


50 -


40 F


30








15-24


Men


Ar Cantina
Chile


Colorno a


25-34
Age


Literacy and Education 51


Women of the World





52 Literacy and Education Women of the World


Figure 4.4 Percent Literate for Women, by Age and
Rural/Urban Residence


15-24 25-34 35+
Rural


---
15-24 25-34 35+
Urban


Caribbean and Middle America


100

90

80

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

0






100

90
80

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

0


Nicaragua
1971


South America


Colombia
1973


Ecuador
1974


II
Paraguay Venezuela
1972 1974


Percent


Percent


i m
Costa
Rica
1973


Honduras
1974


El
Salvador
1971


Guatemala
1973


Percent


Panama
1970


Percent


LI
Brazil
1970


Bolivia
1976


Chile
1970


100

90

80

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

0






100

90

80

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

0


52 Literacy and Education


Women of the World











Figure 4.5. Percent Enrolled in School Among Girls and Boys
10 to 14 Years of Age


Caribbean and Middle America


Girls Boys

Percent
enrolled


Costa Dominican El Guatemala Honduras Jamaica Mexico Nicaragua Panama
Rica Republic Salvador 1973 1974 1970 1970 1971 1970
1973 1970 1971


Percent Percent
enrolled South America enrolled
n .-11(


Argentina Bolivia
1970 1976


Brazil Chile Colombia Ecuador Guyana Paraguay
1970 1970 1973 1974 1970 1970


Percent
enrolled


inn


I I I I I I I I I I I


Peru
1972


Literacy and Education 53


Women of the World


n






54 Literacy and Education Women of the World


Figure 4.6. Percent Enrolled in School Among Girls and Boys
10 to 14 Years of Age, by Rural/Urban Residence




Girls Boys Girls Boys
Rural Urban

Percent Percent
Enrolled Caribbean and Middle America Enrolled
100 100

90- 90

80 i 80

70 -- -70

60 I 60

50- 50

40- -40

30 -I -30

20 i 20

10- -10

0 0---0
Costa El Guatemala Honduras Nicaragua Panama
Rica Salvador 1973 1974 1971 1970
1973 1971


Percent Percent
Enrolled South America Enrolled
100 100

90- 90

80- 80

70- 70
I I I
60- -60

50- 50

40- 40

30- I 30

20- 120

10- I 10

0 0


Colombia Ecuador Paraguay
1973 1974 1974


54 Literacy and Education


Women of the World


Bolivia Brazil
1976 1970


Peru
1972










Table 4.1. Percent Literate Among Population Age 10 Years and Over, by Sex and Rural/Urban Residence,
and Female/Male Ratio of Percent Literate

F/M ratio
Region and country Percent literate of percent
literate
Year Total Women Men (male=1.00)


Total

CARIBBEAN

Dominican Republic........... 1970 67.5 66.8 68.2 0.98
Haiti........................ 1970 19.6 16.4 22.9 0.72
Jamaica...................... 1960 83.9 86.6 80.9 1.07

MIDDLE AMERICA

Costa Rica................... 1973 89.8 89.7 89.8 1.00
El Salvador.................. 1971 59.7 56.9 62.7 0.91
Guatemala.................... 1973 47.9 41.0 54.8 0.75
Honduras..................... 1974 59.5 58.4 60.7 0.96
Mexico....................... 1980 85.9 83.5 88.4 0.94
Nicaragua.................... 1971 57.4 57.6 57.1 1.01
Panama....................... 1970 79.3 79.1 79.6 0.99

SOUTH AMERICA

Argentina.................... 1970 92.9 92.2 93.7 0.98
Bolivia...................... 1976 67.6 56.8 78.9 0.72
Brazil..................... 1970 67.0 64.7 69.3 0.93
Chile...................... 1970 89.8 89.2 90.4 0.99
Colombia..................... 1973 82.3 81.8 82.8 0.99
Ecuador...................... 1974 75.9 72.8 79.1 0.92
Paraguay..................... 1972 80.3 76.7 84.0 0.91
Peru.......................... 1981 84.1 77.5 90.9 0.85
Venezuela.................... 1974 83.8 81.6 86.0 0.95


Women of the World


Literacy and Education 55









Table 4.1. Percent Literate Among Population Age 10 Years and Over, by Sex and Rural/Urban Residence,
and Female/Male Ratio of Percent Literate-Continued

F/M ratio
Region and country Percent literate of percent
literate
Year Total Women Men (male=1.00)

Rural

CARIBBEAN


Dominican Republic..........
Hafti........................

MIDDLE AMERICA

Costa Rica..................
El Salvador .................
Guatemala...................
Honduras ....................
Mexi co1 ......................
Nicaragua ...................
Panama......... ..............

SOUTH AMERICA

Bolivia......................
Brazil .......................
Chile........................
Colombia ....................
Ecuador............. .........
Paraguay ....................
Peru.........................
Venezuela...................

See footnote at end of table.


1970
1970



1973
1971
1973
1974
1970
1971
1970



1976
1970
1970
1973
1974
1972
1981
1974


57.6
11.8



85.3
44.7
31.5
48.8
63.5
34.0
64.5



53.0
47.4
76.9
68.8
4.4
74.6
66.0
64.5


(NA)
8.1



85.2
41.4
22.9
47.4
58.9
33.3
62.4



38.8
44.9
75.3
67.6
59.3
69.8
52.2
61.4


(NA)
15.5



85.4
47.8
39.6
50.2
67.8
34.7
66.3



67.5
49.8
78.3
69.9
69.2
79.3
79.8
67.1


(NA)
0.52



1.00
0.87
0.58
0.94
0.87
0.96
0.94



0.57
0.90
0.96
0.97
0.86
0.88
0.65
0.92


56 Literacy and Education


Women of the World









Table 4.1. Percent Literate Among Population Age 10 years and Over, by Sex and Rural/Urban Residence,
and Female/Male Ratio of Percent Literate-Continued

F/M ratio
Region and country Percent literate of percent
literate
Year Total Women Men (male=1.00)


Urban

CARIBBEAN

Dominican Republic........... 1970 81.4 (NA) (NA) (NA)
Haiti....................... 1970 48.2 43.3 54.7 0.79

MIDDLE AMERICA

Costa Rica.................... 1973 95.6 94.9 96.3 0.99
El Salvador.................. 1971 80.2 76.0 85.2 0.89
Guatemala.................... 1973 74.0 67.5 81.2 0.83
Honduras..................... 1974 80.9 78.6 83.6 0.94
Mexicol..................... 1970 84.8 82.0 87.8 0.93
Nicaragua.................... 1971 81.3 79.2 83.8 0.95
Panama....................... 1970 93.9 93.5 94.4 0.99

SOUTH AMERICA

Bolivia...................... 1976 86.9 79.9 94.6 0.84
Brazil..................... 1970 81.0 77.9 84.5 0.92
Chile......................... 1970 93.8 92.9 94.8 0.98
Colombia..................... 1973 90.1 88.9 91.5 0.97
Ecuador...................... 1974 91.0 88.9 93.3 0.95
Paraguay.................... 1972 88.6 85.9 91.7 0.94
Peru....................... 1981 93.1 89.6 96.8 0.93
Venezuela.................... 1974 90.0 87.3 92.9 0.94


11980 census data on literacy by rural/urban residence are not yet available.


Women of the World


Literacy and Education 57










Table 4.2. Percent Literate Among Women and Men in Selected Age Groups

Women Men

Region and country 15to24 25to34 35 years 15to24 25to34 35years
Year years years and over years years and over


CARIBBEAN

Dominican Republic........... 1970 78.0 71.0 47.4 76.6 76.5 55.8
Jamaica...................... 1960 92.9 88.5 78.5 85.0 81.6 73.7

MIDDLE AMERICA

Costa Rica.................... 1973 95.4 90.2 80.7 94.8 90.3 82.2
El Salvador.................. 1971 69.8 56.3 39.3 73.3 63.3 49.4
Guatemala.................... 1973 47.6 38.4 30.3 61.8 55.3 45.5
Honduras..................... 1974 72.3 57.9 37.2 70.5 61.6 46.9
Mexico....................... 1980 92.3 85.2 68.7 94.0 90.9 78.9
Nicaragua.................... 1971 65.9 56.7 48.5 62.2 58.2 52.7
Panama....................... 1970 86.9 81.2 68.5 87.9 82.6 70.3

SOUTH AMERICA

Argentina.................... 1970 96.1 94.8 88.8 95.6 95.6 91.7
Bolivia...................... 1976 75.8 57.2 30.4 91.5 83.7 59.1
Brazil........................ 1970 75.0 66.5 51.7 74.3 72.3 64.1
Chile......................... 1970 95.5 91.6 82.0 95.4 92.4 85.0
Colombia..................... 1973 89.7 84.1 70.3 88.0 85.8 76.0
Ecuador...................... 1974 84.1 74.0 56.3 87.2 81.9 67.8
Paraguay..................... 1972 88.5 82.1 61.7 91.1 88.1 78.0
Peru.......................... 1981 89.9 81.6 58.1 96.3 94.5 82.7
Venezuela.................... 1974 92.9 84.9 62.4 92.2 89.9 74.6


58 Literacy and Education


Women of the World






Women of the World Literacy and Education 59


Table 4.3. Percent of Population Age 5 to 24 Years Enrolled in School, by Sex, and
Female/Male Ratio of Percent Enrolled


F/M ratio
Region and country Percent enrolled of percent
enrolled
Year Total Female Male (male=1.00)



CARIBBEAN

Dominican Republic ........... 1970 43.9 42.9 44.9 0.96
Jamaical..................... 1970 81.6 82.9 80.3 1.03

MIDDLE AMERICA

Costa Rica2................... 1973 58.2 57.4 59.1 0.97
El Salvador2................. 1971 41.4 40.1 42.7 0.94
Guatemala3................... 1973 31.0 27.1 34.8 0.78
Honduras2..................... 1974 38.8 37.6 40.1 0.94
Mexico2...................... 1970 46.0 43.2 48.9 0.88
Nicara ua2................... 1971 37.5 37.1 37.9 0.98
Panama ...................... 1970 52.7 51.9 53.5 0.97

SOUTH AMERICA

Argentina.................... 1970 52.1 51.3 52.9 0.97
Bolivia...................... 1976 50.7 45.7 55.6 0.82
Brazil........................ 1970 43.9 42.9 44.9 0.96
Chile......................... 1970 63.7 62.3 65.1 0.96
Colombia..................... 1973 42.5 42.1 43.0 0.98
Ecuador...................... 1974 51.6 50.0 53.1 0.94
Guyana4...................... 1970 38.1 37.3 38.9 0.96
Paraguay3.................... 1972 53.5 51.6 55.3 0.93
Peru.......................... 1972 56.6 52.0 61.1 0.85

IRefers to ages 5 to 18 years.
2Refers to ages 6 to 24 years.
3Refers to ages 7 to 24 years.
Refers to ages 5 years and over.


Women of the World


Literacy and Education 59









Table 4.4. Percent of Population Enrolled in School, by Age and Sex

Female Male
Region and country
5to9 10tol4 15to19 20to24 5to9 10to14 15 tol9 20to24
Year years years years years years years years years


CARIBBEAN

Dominican Republic... 1970 41.4 69.8 36.4 9.8 38.6 68.4 44.9 15.6
Jamaica.............. 1970 88.5 97.7 143.9 (NA) 87.2 96.6 132.7 (NA)

MIDDLE AMERICA

Costa Rica........... 1973 282.5 80.2 36.4 14.9 281.5 82.0 36.9 17.9
El Salvador........... 1971 245.4 70.1 26.0 4.3 45.2 69.3 30.6 8.5
Guatemala............ 1973 342.3 44.4 14.6 4.2 347.3 54.6 21.2 8.8
Honduras............. 1974 251.2 60.5 19.9 6.3 249.8 61.7 22.5 10.4
Mexico............... 1970 259.0 67.3 28.1 3.3 258.5 72.2 38.3 7.5
Nicaragua............. 1971 240.1 58.4 29.9 7.8 238.7 55.2 32.0 12.3
Panama............... 1970 271.1 80.9 33.9 7.4 270.3 82.7 36.4 8.5

SOUTH AMERICA

Argentina............ 1970 72.8 80.8 35.0 10.9 71.7 83.4 36.1 13.5
Bolivia.............. 1976 54.4 73.7 33.7 11.4 58.7 86.2 46.8 18.2
Brazil............... 1970 44.6 68.7 35.4 13.7 43.5 70.3 38.7 17.7
Chile................ 1970 73.5 91.0 51.0 17.9 72.6 93.4 55.5 21.3
Colombia............. 1973 35.7 70.5 38.5 12.4 33.9 68.5 40.4 17.3
Ecuador.............. 1974 266.6 72.7 135.7 12.6 266.5 75.6 38.2 17.8
Guyana............... 1970 85.3 90.2 37.6 41.8 84.9 91.9 40.1 2.5
Paraguay............. 1972 383.3 81.3 23.5 7.0 382.5 85.5 27.1 8.8
Peru................. 1972 59.4 79.8 41.3 12.1 63.0 88.7 56.4 20.9
Venezuela............ 1977 (NA) (NA) s34.0 (NA) (NA) (NA) 530.0 (NA)

1Refers to ages 15 to 18 years.
2Refers to ages 6 to 9 years.
3Refers to ages 7 to 9 years.
Refers to ages 19 years and over.
5Refers to ages 13 to 18 years.


60 Literacy and Education


Women of the World










Table 4.5. Percent of Population Enrolled in School, by Age and Sex, for Rural Areas

Female Male
Region and country
5to9 10tol4 15to19 20to24 5to9 10tol4 15to19 20 to 24
Year years years years years years years years years


MIDDLE AMERICA

Costa Rica............ 1973 179.7 74.0 20.9 7.2 178.6 76.4 21.7 8.5
El Salvador........... 1971 133.8 59.4 13.3 1.1 134.6 57.8 16.0 2.0
Guatemala............. 1973 229.9 30.0 3.3 0.5 236.0 41.9 7.3 1.4
Honduras............. 1974 144.1 50.9 7.0 1.0 142.8 53.1 10.4 2.5
Nicaragua............ 1971 120.1 33.7 11.8 2.4 119.6 31.1 12.0 3.3
Panama............... 1970 163.8 72.8 14.7 1.9 163.1 75.1 19.1 2.3

SOUTH AMERICA

Bolivia.............. 1976 44.9 62.2 14.0 2.3 51.4 80.6 29.9 5.6
Brazil............... 1970 30.7 50.5 17.0 4.2 29.9 52.2 18.5 4.9
Colombia............. 1973 23.1 53.1 17.1 3.8 21.4 49.8 17.1 4.2
Ecuador.............. 1974 156.9 61.8 16.6 3.7 157.2 66.6 20.5 5.7
Paraguay............. 1972 279.3 76.3 10.8 1.6 278.6 81.9 15.8 1.8
Peru................. 1972 39.4 63.8 16.9 1.8 46.4 81.0 36.1 5.3

1Refers to ages 6 to 9 years.
2Refers to ages 7 to 9 years.


Women of the World


Literacy and Education 61










Table 4.6. Percent of Population Enrolled in School, by Age and Sex, for Urban Areas


Female Male
Region and country
5to9 10tol4 15to19 20to24 5to9 10tol4 15to19 20to24
Year years years years years years years years years


MIDDLE AMERICA

Costa Rica........... 1973 188.0 89.9 54.0 23.0 186.9 91.7 59.3 31.1
El Salvador.......... 1971 166.1 86.4 40.5 8.0 165.4 88.4 50.8 17.2
Guatemala............ 1973 266.2 68.9 30.8 9.4 269.5 78.3 44.9 20.7
Honduras............. 1974 269.0 81.0 40.6 14.8 167.9 82.0 47.1 25.0
Nicaragua............ 1971 163.4 83.0 44.9 12.5 162.3 83.5 54.6 22.9
Panama............... 1970 181.3 90.0 47.9 11.7 180.7 92.7 55.2 14.6

SOUTH AMERICA

Bolivia.............. 1976 69.2 88.8 53.1 20.6 70.3 94.1 64.5 31.3
Brazil................ 1970 57.5 83.7 48.6 20.0 56.3 86.4 56.0 27.5
Colombia.............. 1973 45.2 80.7 47.4 16.1 43.8 81.4 55.0 25.2
Ecuador.............. 1974 181.9 86.9 54.6 21.9 181.7 89.1 60.7 32.9
Paraguay............. 1972 291.3 89.4 39.6 13.8 290.8 92.1 42.7 20.1
Peru................. 1972 75.0 90.3 53.5 17.3 76.1 94.3 67.4 28.5

1Refers to ages 6 to 9 years.
2Refers to ages 7 to 9 years.


62 Literacy and Education


Women of the World







Women of the World Literacy and Education 63


Table 4.7. Percent Female Among Enrolled University Students for Selected Years


Region and country 1960 1965 1970 Mid-1970's1


CARIBBEAN

Cuba......................... 20 (NA) (NA) 36
Dominican Republic ........... 28 31 40 (NA)
Haiti........................ 12 13 (NA) 30

MIDDLE AMERICA

Costa Rica................... 45 41 41 (NA)
El Salvador.................. 21 21 25 (NA)
Guatemala.................... 9 15 19 25
Honduras..................... 21 20 (NA) 28
Mexico....................... 15 18 19 26
Nicaragua.................... 20 44 32 (NA)
Panama........................ 43 47 46 51

SOUTH AMERICA

Argentina ................... 33 39 43 (NA)
Bolivia...................... 17 25 42 (NA)
Brazil ....................... 25 30 38 (NA)
Chile................. I .. 35 39 38 (NA)
Colombia..................... 18 23 27 39
Ecuador...................... 18 23 33 (NA)
Paraguay...................... 32 41 39 (NA)
Peru ......................... 27 (NA) 35 (NA)
Venezuela.................... 31 33 41 (NA)


1Data refer to 1975 for Cuba;
Colombia and Guatemala.


to 1976 for Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, and Panama; and to 1977 for


Source: Data for Cuba and Peru from Chang and Ducci, 1977, p. 49; all other data from UNESCO
Statistical Yearbooks as compiled in Inter-American Development Bank, 1981, table V, p. 135.


Women of the World


Literacy and Education 63









64 Literacy and Education Women of the World


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64 Literacy and Education


Women of the World





Women of the World 65


Chapter 5






:I, a i I.'


A-


V

High male economic activity rates worldwide reflect men's
formal participation in the labor force; that is, most men are either
working in, or seeking a job that falls under an appropriate
category in a census or labor force survey. Women's much lower
economic activity rates, on the contrary, do not adequately repre-
sent the extent and variety of their productive work. Women
engage in economic activity not only in the formal labor sector,
but in domestic production on the farm, in the household, and
in the informal labor market. Consequently, many of women's
activities and services are not included in any industry or
occupational codification, and often they are not paid for in cash.
Women's labors may be intermittent or irregular, and thus not
covered by standard reference periods that require a person to
have worked a stated minimum time period during the preceding
week or month in order to be considered in the labor force. These
and other characteristics of women's activity mean that many
women whose days, in fact, are filled with productive toil are
classified as "inactive" in census and labor force statistics.
Today, there is growing recognition that women's work in both
its formal and informal settings makes a crucial contribution not
only to the household economy but also to the overall develop-
ment enterprise. The notion that women should be integrated
into the national economies of developing countries perhaps
obscures the fact that large numbers of the world's women
already are fully engaged in productive work, aside from or in
addition to the housewife role-which may, in itself, be far more
economically central than has been acknowledged.' The issue
is not only women's economic contribution, but the underestima-
tion of it.2 In a world that puts value almost exclusively on pro-
ductive activities that enter the cash economy, women's low
status may be partially explained by the fact that their work often
defies enumeration and classification by conventional measures.
Improvement in women's status demands not only that their pro-
ductive work be acknowledged, but also that they be paid wages

See footnotes at end of chapter.


equal to men's and that they control their incomes, factors that
censuses and labor force surveys most often do not assess.
A growing number of experts have called for a reappraisal of
the concepts, approaches, and practices associated with gather-
ing employment statistics in censuses in order to better account
for women's economic activity.3 The reevaluation of women's
work outside the formal economy coincides with a more general
recognition of the urban informal sector as a much more stable
and productive component of national economies than has been
acknowledged, accounting for a large proportion of the
employed, whether migrant or native to the city (Portes and
Walton, 1981, p. 83). The extensive literature has not, however,
generally acknowledged women's disadvantaged position within
the informal sector.
The principal problem in current censuses, so far as giving an
accurate notion of women's economic activity, appears to center
around the strict adherence to the labor force approach.
Recchini de Lattes and Wainerman (1979), Standing (1978, ch.
2), and Youssef (1980), among others, have analyzed exten-
sively the deficiencies of this concept. Adopted in the United
States in the 1930's when extensive data on unemployment
were needed, the labor force approach shifts emphasis from gain-
ful occupation (in which a person may or may not be working)
to current activity: whether the individual is employed,
unemployed, or seeking work. The United Nations and the
International Labour Office formally recommended the use of the
labor force approach in the 1970 census round, and it has been
adopted by most countries. Elizaga and Mellon (1971, pp. 19-22)
trace these definitional changes in detail.
Nor is the labor force approach always applied correctly; part
of the underestimation of women's economic activities may be
due to sexual bias in the administration of the censuses. If a
woman is not currently engaged in paid employment, she will
most often be recorded simply as housewife, and will not be


See footnotes at end of chapter.






66 Women in Economic Activity Women of the World


given an opportunity to mention what may be multiple economic
activities (see Recchini de Lattes and Wainerman, 1979, chapter
III, for an extensive discussion).
The WID Data Base includes labor force statistics principally
from national censuses as the most regular and comprehensive
source of information on women's economic activity. Labor force
questions also are asked in labor, household, and agricultural
surveys, taken in the intercensal periods. In Latin America and
the Caribbean, however, these present problems as reliable data
sources: some countries lack such surveys entirely; in other
cases, national population census data are the most recent
available. Agricultural censuses, for example, cluster in the early
1970's (Comisi6n Econ6mica para America Latina, 1982a, table
111.1, p. 147. This chapter, while based on available census data
and thus highlighting women's formal labor force participation,
also emphasizes other types of economic activity.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, there are two parallel
processes: an accelerating movement of women into paid
employment in the formal sector, and continuing high rates of
female participation outside formal structures, particularly in
urban areas. Poor women always have worked, and censuses
from earlier times record high rates of female participation in
agriculture. Now many middle- and upper-class women are enter-
ing the labor market, and their participation has been legitimate
in most countries (although in many places women, ideally, are
expected to cease work when they marry). One major develop-
ment agency recently characterized Latin American and Carib-
bean women's increasing labor force activity as the most visi-
ble evidence of "genuine structural modification in the way that
women participate in economic activities and in society in
general" (Inter-American Development Bank, 1982, p. 128).
The data being analyzed in this handbook do not provide a time
series for labor force participation in Latin America and the Carib-
bean. Other sources, however, reveal that the numbers of
women in formal economic activity increased significantly in the
1960-70 decade, both in relation to the total female population
of working age and as a proportion of all workers. There is
evidence that their rapid incorporation into the labor force con-
tinued in the succeeding decade.
Participation rates for the region showed enormous variation
around 1970, ranging from highs of 60 to 70 percent of all
women in Haiti and Jamaica, to lows of 12 to 13 percent in
Guatemala and Honduras. With the exception of the
English speaking Caribbean, rates are lower than for other
developing regions of the world, especially Africa (International
Labour Office, 1975; Population Reference Bureau, 1980). Pro-
jections indicate that this will not continue to be the case.
Overall, to the end of the century, increases in the female labor
force in Latin America and the Caribbean will average about 3.5
percent per year. This means that the female work force will
grow from about 23 million in 1980 to 55 million by the year
2000 (Inter-American Development Bank, 1982, p. 128).
Because estimates of male increases are much lower, this means
that women will form a much larger proportion of the total labor
force by the year 2000 ibidd., table V-2, p. 130).4


As pointed out in chapter 1, Latin America's rapid
urbanization-with many persons moving from the countryside
to the towns and cities at an age when most of their work life
still is ahead of them-profoundly affects the magnitude and
manner of women's incorporation into both the formal and
informal labor markets. In most Latin American and Caribbean
countries, more women than men are migrating to the cities,
the highest proportions not for family reasons but "as a means
of getting into labor force activities, or finding better, higher-
paying work, or of gaining access to training for employment"
(Standing, 1978, p. 210). Most rural women do not find oppor-
tunity in the modernized industrial sector, however, but move
directly into the urban service sector. A mounting number of
studies document that the range of occupations open to women
in formal urban employment, particularly to women migrants,
is much narrower than that available to men (whether migrant
or native), and that women are overrepresented in the lowest-
paid, lowest-prestige jobs.5 As an ILO (1978, p. 74) study notes:

In practically all of the countries, more than one-half
of the feminine urban workforce works in the
service sector. Within it, between 50 and 70 per-
cent of women work in domestic service, which
constitutes between 30 and 45 percent of the total
urban female economically-active population. This
female role constitutes a transition between the
socialization of the woman in rural life and her new
adaptation to the urban.

The urban household deploys some of its members, if possi-
ble, to waged labor, others to informal sector activities such as
selling prepared food on the street, or making and selling tradi-
tional artisan objects. Such informal activities shade over into
what Jamaicans call "scuffling": wheeling and dealing, trading
and bartering, performing odd jobs such as carrying parcels or
watching and cleaning parked cars, scavenging, and begging.
Still other family members are assigned to productive work at
home: sewing and repairing, preparing food and/or objects for
sale, or doing work at piece rates. Elder daughters and older
women may devote full time to cooking, washing, cleaning, and
child care so that other family members can spend more of their
time in cash-earning activities, stay in school, or enter an
apprenticeship program. Even though they are not remunerated
in cash, such activities still represent income conservation,
hidden transfers that increase the family's actual disposable
income.6
In the rural areas of Latin America and the Caribbean, we know
from an increasing number of studies that women and girls also
engage in a broad range of productive activities. In the Andean
regions, for example, women regularly plant garden crops; weed
and cultivate their own gardens and their partners' field crops;
process, store, and often market much of the produce; card and
spin wool; care for the small animals; and cook for male hands
who may help out at peak work periods-all in addition to their
traditional tasks of child care, housework, and the fetching of


See footnotes at end of chapter.


66 Women in Economic Activity


Women of the World


See footnotes at end of chapter.







Women of the World Women in Economic Activity 67


water and firewood. Because the results of these labors often
do not enter into the cash economy, however, census and labor
force surveys may count many of these women as inactive.
Lower female participation rates in rural areas also reflect the
decline of the rural artisan and cottage industry. The United
Nations (1978) estimates that women's actual rates of participa-
tion range from 50 to 60 percent in the rural areas of the
Andean countries, Mexico, and Northeastern Brazil, far higher
than the census statistics indicate. A good review of the
problem of undercount is Deere and Le6n de Leal (1982, pp.
6-17).7
Sometimes people work in both the formal and informal
sectors; often, the boundary between formal and informal
occupations is difficult to establish, since sometimes
unregulated, low-income jobs may be included in the formal
occupational structure, and at other times not (Arizpe, 1977b,
p. 25). As female household heads increase, it is often women
who guide the varied economic survival strategies. They allocate
the labor time of other household members between formal and
informal employment. They balance their own cash-earning
activities with necessary domestic tasks that cannot be
delegated to their mothers or daughters, while also supervising
income-transfers that do not involve cash: seeking help from
friends and neighbors to bridge gaps in emergencies; taking a
sick child to the free clinic, or going to the parish to sign up for
milk powder and cooking oil. The irony, as Ugalde (1981, p. 4)
suggests, is that we decide

to call fully employed an anesthesiologist who works
two to three hours a day, but unemployed a woman
who cards for four or five hours a day six days a
week and/or attends the mini-window whenever
there is a customer.

Other issues, equally difficult to capture in aggregate statistics,
but emerging increasingly in anthropological and sociological
studies, affect women in both the formal and informal labor
markets. There is mounting evidence that women, whether in
formal or informal employment, have much less job mobility than
men. When women change employment, they often move
laterally, from domestic service to street vending, for example.
There is concern that while overall participation rates continue
to increase for women, older and less educated women may find
themselves forced out of jobs by younger and better educated
women (International Labour Office, 1978, p. 39); Papanek,
1982; Schmink, 1982; and Suarez, 1975).
Other disquieting studies point to the fact that, at whatever
level they are employed, women most often are paid salaries
substantially below those of their male counterparts of equal
experience and education (International Labour Office, 1978,
chapter III). Not only do women's lower wages pose serious
equity questions, but there is growing realization that the income
disparities have serious consequences for the family. A woman's
earnings no longer can be considered as simply complementary
to her male partner's. Because of the increasing incidence of the


woman-headed household in the region, women's wages may
be vital to the basic survival of themselves and their children
(Buvinid, et al., 1978).

Aggregate Data Models on Female Participation

Two explanations of women's participation in the labor force,
both based on aggregate data, have been widely disseminated
in studies and among policymakers in Latin America; a brief
examination is useful in demonstrating the limitations of using
conventional measures to analyze women's participation. The
first model, still encountered in the literature, held that as
modernization and urbanization progressed, women's opportu-
nities would increase, and women would enter the labor force
in greater and greater numbers. With the publication of Boserup's
(1970) pathbreaking book on women's role in economic develop-
ment, there was an acknowledgement, now repeated many
times over, that women who migrated to the towns and cities
of the Third World were not readily absorbed into the new
manufacturing industries and other modern sector employment.
Not only were men preferred, but the sector was based on
capital-intensive technology; import-substitution industrialization
was not sufficiently labor-absorptive to accommodate the great
numbers of men and women who needed employment.8 Many
women turned to the informal sector to find alternatives to the
many economic activities through which they had earned or con-
served income in the rural areas.
Noting that most women did not find the expected employ-
ment opportunities, the second model suggested that women's
incorporation into the labor force followed a U-shaped curve.
Women's high participation rates in the rural subsistence
sector (although not always reflected in the statistics) would fall
dramatically as women left for the cities and withdrew to the
household during their first years in the urban economy. Then,
approximately 20 years after the large influx to the cities, coin-
ciding with increased opportunity in modern industry for both
men and women, female participation rates would begin to rise,
at some point achieving, then surpassing, the 1950 levels.9
Neither model of female incorporation into the labor force
appears to have been adequate to explain what has, in fact,
taken place-although each model contains a partial truth. For
the relatively few women with education and training, urbaniza-
tion and modernization indeed have opened up many possibilities,
and women have responded. Statistics on women's participa-
tion as professionals and technicians in Latin America and the
Caribbean are high, generally outstripping the incorporation of
men in some fields, sometimes by impressive margins. The high
professional employment levels, however, mask the fact that
women's occupational opportunities, clustering in health, educa-
tion, and welfare, are much more restricted than men's options.
A little-noted phenomenon in Latin America and the Caribbean
and other developing regions is the large number of professional
women found in government bureaucracies. In many countries,
women occupy high positions as directors of divisions and
offices and frequently outnumber men at the lower bureaucratic


See footnotes at end of chapter.


Women in Economic Activity 67


Women of the World


See footnotes at end of chapter,






68 Women in Economic Activity Women of the World


levels. The explanation often given by the women themselves
is that their male peers prefer the greater financial rewards of
the private sector, and women therefore have less competition
in rising to high positions in government service. Women's
participation at the middle management level is not, however,
equal to men's outside of the government, and everywhere, in
both public and private enterprises, the command echelons are
generally reserved for men.10
At the aggregate level, the U-shaped curve suggested in the
second model indeed appears to describe the fluctuation of
economic activity rates for women in Latin America and the
Caribbean since 1950. The phenomenon of women's decreas-
ing participation can be observed in the crude activity rates
registered in 1950, compared to the 1960 and 1970 census
rounds. In every case, there is at least a small decline in women's
activity rates during this period. For most of the countries, the
decrease took place in the decade of the 1950's and is registered
in the 1960 censuses; since then, activity rates have begun to
climb once more.
Yet we know from other sources that (1) women did not in
fact retire to the household after their arrival in the towns and
cities but discovered a myriad of employment possibilities in
street vending, sewing, embroidery and handicraft, laundering
and other personal services, and piecework for manufacturing
firms; and (2) very often their employment was not reported and
therefore not reflected in official counts. Thus, women's labor
force participation rates indeed decreased at one point because
women's informal activity was not noted; subsequently, rates
have increased, but the gains are not located, as predicted, in
the incipient manufacturing sector, but in petty commerce, the
service sector, and white collar employment as office workers.
Not all women, however, have been included even in these
limited occupational opportunities-office work and clerking in
stores, for example, require education and what is termed in the
employment ads "buena presencia," that is, good appearance.
As Testa-Zappert (1975) demonstrated in her study of the Lima
labor force, this means that women migrants are all but
excluded from formal-sector employment; white collar employ-
ment even as clerks in stores goes to women who are born in
Lima, have a high school education, and are nonindigenous in
appearance. Male migrants, on the other hand, have much
greater possibilities for urban employment because a greater
range of jobs is open to them, and they are not under the same
educational and racial restrictions. Women from the sierra turn
to domestic service and street vending.
The problem with both models appears to be in the attempt
to find a single explanation for an exceedingly complex reality.
Kudat and Sabuncuoglu (1980), using aggregate data on
women's employment in 108 countries, discovered at least six
quite distinct patterns of female labor force activity by age. Male
patterns, however, are remarkably similar across cultures for all
age groups. Men's employment behavior is much less com-
plicated than women's; most men, of whatever condition or
class, expect to, and do, enter the labor force and remain in it
(even though they may go from job to job and experience
frequent periods of unemployment). Men's rates of labor force

See footnotes at end of chapter.


participation consequently are uniformly high in most develop-
ing countries, and there often is some degree of job mobility with
experience and age. No matter how tenuous their incorporation
into the labor force, men's working lives generally are not inter-
rupted except for enforced periods of unemployment between
jobs, or because of accidents or illness. Sometimes these periods
may be of long duration-cumulatively, even longer than periods
on the job-but most men still consider themselves, and their
culture and society consider them, to be members of the labor
force, that is, either working or looking for work.
Women, on the other hand, display a more complex pattern
of labor force participation that is neither linear nor U-shaped,
but goes in fits and starts in a dozen directions. The expecta-
tion that women will work in paid employment is not culturally
universal, as it is for most men. Women's participation is strongly
influenced by their age, family status, education and training,
socioeconomic background, and place of residence.
Demographic characteristics, however, do not fully explain the
degree or manner of their labor force participation. Economic
motives may be the strongest incentives for women to seek
employment. Subrez et al. (1981), for example, demonstrate a
strong inverse correlation between labor force participation rates
in Lima and economic cycles as measured by the GNP. As
Schmink (1982, p. 15), citing several recent studies, observes:

Because of the importance of their supplementary
income, poor women in general have a much more
permanent link with the labor market than do higher-
income women, despite the latter's greater advan-
tages. It is for this reason that some studies of poor
populations find their participation rates to be higher
than average, showing a reversal of the trend for
rates to increase with income.

The structures of their own and of the international economy
thus strongly influence women's activity rates and which women
have the opportunity to work. In many developing countries,
women's traditional, labor-intensive artisan and cottage industry
employment is displaced by machines when countries
modernize, and men are hired to run the machines in the fac-
tories (Boserup, 1970; Chaney and Schmink, 1976; Tinker,
1974 and 1979; Villalobos, 1975). The relocation of garment,
electronics, and pharmaceutical plants from the United States
to Puerto Rico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, or the Mexican
border offers employment principally to young, single women.
In Mexico, for example, employment increased in one in-bond
assembly plant in a border city from 2,000 in 1969 to 33,000
in 1978, and about 85 percent of those hired were women
between the ages of 17 and 25 years (International Center for
Research on Women, 1980a, p. 9).
This tendency to hire young and single women is noted
generally in modern-sector employment, not only in factories,
but as secretaries, office workers, and store clerks. Arizpe
(1977b, p. 29) suggests that women's participation in formal
employment declines with age, while it increases in informal
activities. For more discussion on women, men, and the inter-


68 Women in Economic Activity


Women of the World







Women of the World Women in Economic Activity 69


national division of labor, see Benerra (1982), Nash and
Fernandez-Kelly (1983), Fernandez-Kelly (1983), Safa and
Leacock (1981), and Young, et al. (1981).


Data Availability and Quality

Census data on the labor force in Latin America and the Carib-
bean, as the preceding discussion has emphasized, present many
limitations in illuminating the complexities of women's economic
activity. Censuses can take one only a certain distance in describ-
ing and analyzing women's employment situation and in con-
structing indicators of women's economic status. Census data
must be combined with information from labor force and other
national level surveys and interpreted in the light of micro-studies
if one is not to draw erroneous conclusions. Census data on the
labor force also suffer from antiquity in that information is often
4 to 7 years out of date before it is published.
Yet there are compelling reasons for making an attempt to
tease out what census data can reveal. First and foremost, cen-
sus materials are the only data available that cover the entire
population of countries and are gathered with some degree of
regularity. Despite differences in definitions (on who is employed,
who is unemployed, who is an unpaid family worker, etc.) among
countries, and even in in the same countries over time, census
data on the labor force at least in a very rough way measure
the same activity across countries and regions. Household and
labor force surveys, on the contrary, are irregular and always
employ sampling techniques which may be subject to a greater
degree of error than the census.
Labor force statistics often are published with little disaggrega-
tion by sex. The latest (1982) ILO Yearbook of Labour Statistics,
for example, attempts some disaggregation, but has data on
women and men by employment sector for only eight of the
countries included in the WID Data Base, and occupational data
disaggregated by sex for only four of the countries. The ILO
depends, of course, on the reports from national statistical
offices which often do not provide such disaggregations.
Recently the Latin American Demographic Center has begun to
make projections of the rural and urban labor force by sex and
age (Fox, 1980, p. 16).
Secondly, census data include both women and men (some
surveys do not), and provide information by age groups, including
some working children when the lower age limit is set at 6 or
10 years, and the working elderly; such information rarely is
available from other sources. Often, the census is the only source
available on women's economic activity in many countries.
Used with caution and an awareness of their limitations, cen-
sus data enable one to make comparisons between the sexes,
among age groups, between rural and urban populations, and
at different points in people's life course. While such com-
parisons do not, by their nature, provide an in-depth analysis,
the gross trends that these data indicate are essential and
valuable background material to any detailed, pointed studies
that may be carried out on specific populations and groups.
The WID Data Base includes information on economic
activity for all the countries. Rural/urban disaggregations are
missing for Argentina, Brazil, Guyana, Venezuela, the Dominican


Republic, and Jamaica; for Mexico, no disaggregations by age
are available for the rural and urban populations. Otherwise, the
basic data are complete. Unfortunately, no sectoral or occupa-
tional data are available in the WID Data Base. Such data have
been supplied from other sources where they are available.
Singelmann and Tienda (1979) outline some of the most
serious problems relating to data on women in the labor force
in the six most populous countries of Latin America (Argentina,
Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela), plus Chile.
Reviewing all the post-World War II censuses, they single out
three major difficulties: changes in the definition of the
economically active population, variation in the industry
classification scheme, and failure to differentiate employment
sector by sex ibidd., pp. 748-749). In the post-war period, defini-
tions of the economically active were reasonably consistent for
Chile, Peru, and Venezuela. There was an overcount of the
economically active in Mexico in 1960 and an undercount in
1970; in Argentina, too, demographers acknowledge an under-
count of the unemployed in the post-war censuses, but do not
indicate its extent. In Mexico, the lower age limit of the labor
force was changed between two censuses, as was the designa-
tion of the reference period for determining who was econom-
ically active. These examples of Singelmann and Tienda-
changes in definition and counting, and variation of the age
groups included-are the kinds of problems that plague many
efforts to compare census results.
Another difficulty relates to the exclusion of both women and
men who have not worked in the preceding week from among
the economically active; only in Haiti is the period extended to
cover the prior 6 months (CEPAL, 1982a, table 111.4, p. 150).
The amount of time during the preceding week that persons must
have worked in order to be included is either vague ("la mayor
parte," the greater part), inconsistent (4 days per week in Argen-
tina; I day during the week of April 13-18, 1970, for Chile; only
3 hours in the Dominican Republic), or unspecified.
The category "unpaid family worker" is inconsistent across
countries. In Guyana, all who indicate home duties as their main
activity (and are not employers or employees) are included as
unpaid family workers; this inflates the number of econom-
ically active in comparison to other countries and puts women's
participation rates above those of men. In El Salvador, on the
contrary, those who engage in domestic tasks are specifically
excluded from unpaid family worker status, but in the 1950 cen-
sus, rural housewives were counted as economically active in
both El Salvador and Ecuador (Inter-American Commission of
Women, 1975, p. 5). In Brazil, family workers must labor 15
hours or more without pay during the reference period for the
person with whom they reside or as religious persons in a con-
vent or monastery. In Colombia, Panama, Mexico, and
Venezuela, the requirement is that unpaid family workers be
related to the person for whom they work. Many younger women
in these countries work for room and board as unpaid domestic
servants, and thus would not be counted. In Chile and Peru, no
definitions of family worker are provided (CEPAL, 1982a, table
111.7, p. 155).
Dixon (1982, pp. 281-282) calls the unpaid family worker
"defiant of formal measurement." In reviewing this category
of worker in 56 developing countries, Dixon concludes that the


Women in Economic Activity 69


Women of the World





70 Women in Economic Activity


higher figures for Africa and Asia are likely to reflect more
accurately their numbers in that region of the world, while the
Central and South American figures significantly underrepresent
those who work without pay in family enterprises.
There are some differences among countries for counting the
labor force in the lower age limits: children at 5 years of age in
Haiti and 6 years of age in Peru are included in the statistics;
for other countries, the lower limit is usually 12 or 1 5 years old.
The ages have been standardized, where possible, in the WID
Data Base, but in some cases single-year data were not available
to permit regrouping. Unfortunately, the elimination of lower age
limits in the Data Base leaves substantial numbers of working
children outside the analysis. Some data are available from other
sources (see Mendelievich, 1979; and World Bank, 1979).
Because of the particular unreliability of statistics on women's
participation in agriculture, several researchers recently have sug-
gested that these data be excluded from analyses of women in
the labor force (Recchini de Lattes and Wainerman, 1982, pp.
41-55). Their "refined rate of participation in modern occupa-
tions" is the quotient between women 15 years of age and over
who work in modern occupations, and the total number of
women in that age group. Their argument is that data collected
in the modern sector probably are more reliable. In order to con-
struct such a measure, occupational and employment status data
are needed but these are still lacking in the WID Data Base.
However, a crude attempt at a refined measure has been
attempted by eliminating the women employed in agriculture,
using occupational data from other sources. At the same time,
a table on women's participation in agriculture has been
retained since it is important to examine these data across
countries.
Others have made attempts to estimate the total numbers of
economically active women. Ugalde (1981, p. 4) points to the
35 percent of women in the labor force in the 1970 Dominican
census who are classified under the category "not well-defined
occupations" as indicative of the difficulty or impossibility of
translating women's myriad economic activities into occupa-
tions. Boulding (1983, pp. 289-290) suggests an ingenious way
for getting some kind of notion of the numbers of economically
active women whom she calls the unaccounted for. She takes
the crude female labor force participation rate, and adds to it
the percent of economically inactive homemakers, then looks
at the difference between this figure and 100 percent of the
women aged 10 years and over. This residual, of course, includes
the formally excluded categories of students, retired persons,
institutionalized persons, and the totally dependent. It is not
possible, she says, that 38 percent of women in nine Latin
American countries, or 49 percent in fourteen African or
Middle Eastern countries can be accounted for by the formally
excluded: these women must be doing something, even if
formal labor force statistics do not capture what that activity
may be.
Very little data are available on either unemployment or income
by sex. Both topics lend themselves more to labor force and
household sample surveys of the continuous kind; by the time
census data are analyzed in most countries, they are too old to
be very useful or meaningful. An attempt was made to include
some income data in the WID Data Base, but the search did not


yield much information. Nor is there any way of ascertaining from
this kind of data whether women retain control of their incomes
(see Dwyer, 1983, for a report on a seminar and forthcoming
publication of recent studies). A good study on unemployment
in the Eastern Caribbean (Brana-Shute and Brana-Shute, 1980)
has extensive data on girls and women; nothing comparable
appears to be available for other regions.
It is important to counter the notion that unemployment among
women is not a crucial issue. As the International Center for
Research on Women (1980a, pp. 63-64) points out, it is com-
monly assumed that women have lower unemployment and
underemployment because census data do not accurately
measure the number of women who need to work and who
would work if they could, but do not fit the category of active
job seeker. They cite a number of studies showing female
unemployment rates as sometimes two to three times higher
than rates for men, particularly at the two extremes of the age
hierarchy: the very young and the elderly.

Women's Participation in the Labor Force: Absolute
and Relative Numbers

Almost all the data on labor force participation in the WID Data
Base come from the 1970 census round and in nearly every case,
definitions of the economically active conform to the ILO
standard.11 Exceptions are Haiti, based on a 1973 demographic
survey of 5 percent of the urban and 1 percent of the rural popula-
tions; Jamaica, based on sample surveys carried out twice yearly
by the Jamaica Department of Statistics; and Venezuela, where
data are from the 1979 national household survey.
Participation rates for women in the Latin American and Carib-
bean work force are much higher than in the Middle East, but
lower than in either Africa or Asia. Caribbean rates and those
for the Southern Cone countries (Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay)
are higher than for either Central America or Tropical South
America.
There are two classic ways of reporting women's participa-
tion in the labor force: the number of women in the labor force
as a percentage of all women of working age, and the female
share of the total labor force. Tables 5.1 and 5.2 show these
numbers and percentages.
Male rates expressed as a percentage of the total male popula-
tion of working age are fairly uniform in Latin America and the
Caribbean, ranging from a low of 66 percent in Nicaragua and
Peru to a high of 81 percent in Paraguay-a variation of only
15 percentage points. Women's rates expressed as a propor-
tion of the total female population of working age show extreme
variation, from lows of 12 to 13 percent in two Central American
countries, to highs of 64 to 83 percent in Guyana, Haiti, and
Jamaica. By far the majority of countries, however, have
reported female labor force participation rates between 15 and
30 percent. The low percentages are due, in part, to underre-
porting of female economic activity (although for Guyana there
appears to be overreporting); yet even if reporting were more
accurate, the variability of rates probably still would be
marked. Figure 5.1 shows female/male ratios of participation
rates.

See footnotes at end of chapter.


Women of the World







Women of the World Women in Economic Activity 71


As pointed out above, Guyana includes among unpaid family
workers all who report home duties as their principal occupa-
tion. If the majority are housewives, it is instructive to note what
happens (table 5.1) when they are counted: women's overall rates
are higher than men's, and they also outnumber men in the labor
force. However, rates in Guyana are not comparable to other
countries; to bring them into line with other censuses, those
engaged only in home duties must be subtracted. Other sources
give the proportions (for those 15 years old and over) as 26 per-
cent of all women in that age group at work, and 24 percent
of the total work force as female (Inter-American Commission
of Women, 1983, table 1,p.21).
Two countries with particularly high rates of female labor force
participation are Haiti and Jamaica. Women also outnumber men
in the population. In both cases, the lesser numbers of men in
the population and the greater participation of women in the work
force may reflect the exodus of men over the past several genera-
tions (going back to the days of the construction of the Panama
Railroad and Canal) in international migration, and the conse-
quent necessity for some women to assume major economic
responsibility for their families when remittances are slow in
coming or cease, or when the men fail to return. Figure 5.2
shows participation rates in the labor force by sex. These rates
show little if any relationship with modernization indexes such
as degree of urbanization or industrialization, or percent of male
labor force engaged in nonagricultural activities.


Work Force Activity in Rural and Urban Areas

When differences in participation rates between rural and ur-
ban regions of Latin America and the Caribbean are analyzed,
as expected women's rates are higher in the towns and cities,
sometimes dramatically higher. While the low participation rates
in rural areas can be accounted for in part by the undercounting
of women in subsistence agriculture, still the urban rates may
reflect the greater opportunities available for female employment
in the urban environment. Male participation rates are lower in
the urban areas than for men in the countryside, although pro-
portionately the rural/urban differences are not nearly so great
for men as they are for women. Tables 5.3 and 5.4 show female
and male participation in the work force by rural and urban
residence.
Figure 5.3 shows the advantage of urban over rural women
in economic activity, and figure 5.4 shows the ratio of women
to men in the rural and urban labor force. The figures may reflect
the reality that there are few off-farm job opportunities for
women in the rural countryside where they would be counted
as economically active (even though they continue to work on
their own family farm, where they may not be counted as
active). Men, on the other hand, may find it more difficult than
women to locate entry-level employment in the cities and towns.
This is so partly because women migrants find ready employ-
ment in domestic service as a typical first job in the city. In Latin
America and the Caribbean, this activity accounts for 25 to 45
percent of the total female work force in the various countries.
Thus, the higher levels of female labor force activity registered
in the urban areas may not reflect progress, but women's over-


representation in the service sector, particularly in low-paid, low-
prestige domestic service jobs.

Age Structure of Female and Male Labor Force

Latin American and Caribbean countries show, for the most
part, rather similar participation rates for the various age groups
among both women and men in the labor force.
Table 5.5 gives the participation rates for women and men
in the total country by age, and figure 5.5 plots the activity rates
for three countries representing three modal participation pat-
terns. Male rates are quite similar over the life span,12 reaching
well over 90 percent of all men employed in certain age groups,
and showing little variation among countries and regions.
Women's rates, on the other hand, do vary in the degree of
participation, but the pattern over the life span is remarkably
uniform, except for Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, and Venezuela.
The female participation pattern in most countries is unimodal,
with the peak coming in the 20 to 29 year old age group, then
decreasing steadily in each succeeding age group. There is as
yet no second peak after 40 years of age as occurs in indus-
trialized societies when women reenter the labor market after
their children are grown. When the 1980 census round data are
in, incipient peaks may be revealed in Argentina and Chile.
The peak in labor force activity, in fact, actually occurs in most
countries at ages 20 to 24 years; exceptions are Haiti and
Jamaica, where extremely high formal labor force participation
is found in all age groups. Jamaica shows nearly uniform rates
until age 54 years. In Guyana, labor force participation peaks
10 years later in the 30 to 34 year old age group, while in
Venezuela, the peak comes in ages 25 to 34 years (a 5-year
breakdown is not available for Venezuela). Two other countries
show peaks in the 25 to 29 year age groups: Bolivia and the
Dominican Republic; since the difference between these age
groups and the 20 to 24 year olds is only two-tenths of a per-
centage point in each case, the generalization that 20 to 24 years
is the age group of greatest labor force activity still holds.
A further disaggregation of labor force participation rates by
age and rural/urban residence (tables 5.6 and 5.7), reveals that
the general trend towards a definite peak at ages 20 to 29 years
still holds for both rural and urban women (except, again, for
Haiti where participation rates are much higher and flatter). This
further disaggregation shows that participation rates for women
in the 20 to 29 year old age group in the cities is, in most cases,
quite high, in no country falling below 30 percent. At the same
time, among the 20 to 29 year olds in rural areas, participation
rates, while higher than for other age groups, are not nearly so
high as in the cities and towns. Figure 5.6 plots participation
rates for rural and urban women in this age group.
The female share of the labor force in rural and urban areas
(table 5.8) reveals some subtle variations in participation by age.
Participation rates show the proportions of women who are
economically active among all women in that age group, and
it is here that the 20 to 24 year old women, by and large, emerge
as the most active. The female share, on the other hand,


See footnotes at end of chapter.


Women in Economic Activity 71


Women of the World






72 Women in Economic Activity Women of the World


measures the percent of all persons active in an age group who
are women. The table shows that, in many cases, it is the
younger women (those under age 20 years) who have the largest
share of the labor force. In 11 of the 14 countries for which data
are available, the female share of the labor force in the rural areas
is higher among women under 20 years of age than in any other
age group (in El Salvador, Haiti, and Honduras, it is the 20 to
29 year olds who have the highest share in the rural areas). In
the towns and cities, only Costa Rica and Paraguay have a larger
female share among those economically active in an age group
above 20 years (at 20 to 29 years); in 1973, the female share
in Costa Rica was highest in the age group under 20 years. Figure
5.7 plots the female share of the rural and urban labor force for
persons under 20 years of age.


Life Span Concepts

Closely related to labor force activity rates by age are ques-
tions about the activities people deem appropriate at different
periods over the span or course of their lives. In developing
countries, the range of choice may differ from that in more-
developed societies. While childhood may be foreshortened, and
old age may not spell leisure for either sex, nevertheless men's
participation rates in activities appropriate to early childhood,
young manhod, adulthood, and old age go forward in more or
less regular fashion across cultures. Women's activities over their
life course are, in contrast, highly variable; their participation
rates in paid labor force activity, while in some cases exhibiting
regularities across cultures, may not, in fact, increase or diminish
in any regular fashion. There is no way to determine from
aggregate data the duration of individual women's economic
activity. Many influences play a part in whether or not a woman
will seek a job in the formal sector and at what periods in her
life. Some of these are need, opportunity, cultural considerations,
marital status, number of children, education and training, and
the economy of her country (which in turn is influenced by
international events over which she has no control).
Other studies show that women in Latin America, until
recently, still regarded incorporation in the formal labor force as
provisional. After marriage, and particularly after having children,
many women believed they should withdraw from the work
force. It is important to recognize, however, that continuing high
dependency ratios compel many women to continue working;
as Schmink (1982, p. 16) points out, high dependency burdens
come in poor households an average of 10 years earlier than in
more affluent groups at a time in the life span when earnings
are likely to be lower. For this reason, while many women may
move out of the formal labor market, they continue with part
time income-earning activities; while they may fall out of the
statistics, they still are engaged in productive work for pay.
Most poor women do not have the luxury of withdrawing from
the labor force, and professional women who can afford servants
do not have any need to do so. Thus, we may speculate that
those who withdrew in the past were principally middle class
women who expected to be supported while they raised their
children. When detailed data from the 1980 census round
become available, they may show that women are distributed


over a much broader spectrum of age groups in the labor force,
smoothing out the peak at ages 20 to 24 years, or alter-
natively, showing definite patterns of re-entry after age 40 years.
If disaggregations by income level or some other social class
indicator become available, they may show that employed
women in the middle (below the top professionals who keep on
working after marriage because they can pay for household help,
and above the poorest women who continue to work whatever
their marital status) can no longer afford to leave paid labor force
activity. Inflation and the rising cost of living have made it
imperative for many women to continue to work who in times
past withdrew from the labor force at marriage or after the birth
of a first child. Increases between the 1960 and 1970 censuses
among women in clerical and sales personnel, and in some pro-
fessional and technical occupations, confirm this tendency.
Two other age groups of particular interest are children and
older persons. One way of looking at the implications of labor
force activity among the young and old is in terms of whether
paid work is appropriate to their stage in life. Should the
society aim for a longer period of education for the young, and
a shorter period of work for adults so that they can enjoy some
leisure in their old age?
In Latin America and the Caribbean, many children who work
will not, of course, be captured in any statistical count. For one
thing, their paid economic activity often is illegal, and therefore
will not be reported. The lower age limit is set too high to
capture much of the labor force activity of children (10 or 12
years in most countries); many begin work at 6 years of age or
even younger. Then, too, children often are in the same posi-
tion as women in relation to paid work: their labors are part time,
intermittent, or confined to the informal sector.
Nevertheless, even under the conditions leading to substan-
tial undercount, large numbers of children are at work in the cities
and towns of Latin America and the Caribbean, as table 5.9
shows. They work in both rural and urban areas, but girls tend
to be undercounted in rural statistics (girls who help in the fields,
pasture cattle or goats, care for their younger brothers and
sisters, carry water, and forage for firewood in the countryside
will only exceptionally be classified as working). Rates of urban
labor force activity for girls are higher in certain countries
(Panama and Bolivia) than for boys 14 years of age and under,
with equal percentages of children of both sexes at work in Peru.
Among persons 60 years of age and over, work participation
rates remain quite high among men in urban places, as table 5.9
demonstrates, but they tend to fall off more sharply for women.
For Latin America, while there has been an increase overall
in labor force participation between 1950 and 1970, there has
been a steep decrease in the participation rates of women over
60 years of age (figure 5.8). Explanations offered are that this
new trend indicates that the Latin American participation pro-
file of women is becoming more like that of the industrialized
countries and less like that of the developing countries (inter-
American Development Bank, 1982, p. 129), and the decrease
is "typical of the behavior of countries that are in the process
of development" (Inter-American Commission of Women, 1975,
p. 6). Another explanation probably accords more closely with
evidence from studies and other statistical sources, that is, the
increasing migration of women in the older age groups to the


72 Women in Economic Activity


Women of the World







Women of the World Women in Economic Activity 73


cities and the low sex ratios in urban places among persons 65
years of age and over (table 3.12). Older women are being forced
out of the labor force because of the preference by employers
for "young women with more education who have displaced
older women with less schooling" (International Labour Office,
1978, p. 39).

Women in Nonagricultural Occupations


Although not a part of the WID Data Base, some occupational
data have been assembled to make the present analysis more
complete. With all the caveats already recorded in this chapter,
table 5.10 gives percentages of the labor force in agriculture by
sex for the countries in the WID Data Base; these are the latest
figures compiled by the U.S. Bureau of the Census (1983b).
Table 5.11 presents a more meaningful picture of women's
formal labor force participation by focusing on nonagricultural
occupations. This is following Recchini de Lattes and Wainer-
man (1979), International Labour Office (1978), Inter-American
Commission of Women (1975), and others, to get a better
notion of the distribution of women and men in nonagricultural
occupations where, presumably, the workers are more accu-
rately counted. The data confirm that women have higher
participation rates than men in service occupations and lower
rates in manufacturing. They also reveal that all countries have
larger percentages of women in professional and technical fields,
although there are more men in absolute numbers because of
their greater participation in the nonagricultural labor force. The
proportion of women in professional and technical occupations


'Not only is women's work in commodity production and services
underestimated, but the whole sphere of reproduction-the bearing and
rearing of the new generation, as well as housework-is ignored in census
and labor force surveys. Many women work two shifts: they toil all day
on the land, sell merchandise in the market or on the street, or work
on a factory assembly line. After their first day's work is done, they face
additional hours in household chores and child care which census and
labor force concepts do not define as work. Some women say that they
work harder during their second shift than during their paid work. The
question of women's reproductive labors, along with related considera-
tions of the sexual division of labor and women's subordination, are as
important as labor force activity in determining women's status.
Women's reproductive activities are not, however, within the scope of
this handbook. Several key articles and bibliographies on this important
topic are included in Beneria (1982), Nash and Fernandez-Kelly (1983),
Safa and Leacock (1981), and Young, et al. (1981). Ultimately, surveys
of women's economic activity will need to be designed that encompass
the totality of women's labors, including domestic production, child care,
and housework.
2Most of the analyses and field studies on women's contributions in
the household and the wider economy treat the rural areas; we do not
yet have an extensive literature on women's contributions to urban
development-perhaps because women's work has been concentrated
in the service sector and the informal labor market, and thus has not
been considered productive. As we become more aware that informal
economic activity also responds to genuine demand and produces
valuable goods and services, a literature may grow. For example, a
reappraisal of the work of women street vendors of food is currently
being carried out by the Equity Policy Center of Washington, D.C.; and
the Population Council is conducting a project on "Women, Low-Income
Households, and Urban Services," with a Latin American/Caribbean seg-
ment directed by Marianne Schmink. Some documentation on what
women do in urban areas is contained in the household/survival strategies
literature reviewed in chapter 6. Good overviews are Newland (1979
and 1980).
The USAID Office of Women in Development recently (1981a) pub-
lished a collection of eight articles on women in agriculture in develop-
ing countries. A good overall survey of the key issues is Loutfi (1980).
A UNDP (1980) study on rural women's participation in four develop-


(figure 5.9) is twice as high as the proportion of men in many
countries, and in Argentina and Brazil it is three times as high.
One reason for the larger proportions of women in the profes-
sional category is their overrepresentation among primary and
secondary level teachers, nurses, pharmacists, and laboratory
technicians, none of which is a career of very high prestige in
Latin America. In contrast, much higher proportions of men than
women are found in the directors and supervisors category,
where prestige and power are greater.
Income data have been compiled for only 3 of the 21 Latin
American and Caribbean countries in the WID Data base. The
best source of information on this topic is a study by the Inter-
national Labour Office (1978), which concludes (p. 135) that
when women's and men's salaries and wages are analyzed,
women are greatly overrepresented among those receiving low
remuneration, particularly in rural areas. While there are salary
differentials in favor of men at every level, the gaps at the highest
levels are the most noteworthy, with women totally absent from
the top salary categories in some countries.
Women receive lower salaries than men in most cultures,
regardless of type of economic activity, occupation, rural/urban
residence, or educational attainment. Even though, as a whole,
women in the labor force are better educated than men in Latin
America and the Caribbean, this does not serve to eliminate wage
differences. The gaps in men's and women's wages are greatest
in service occupations, particularly in domestic service, and
smallest in commerce and manufacturing. Women who are 25
to 29 years of age receive salaries more nearly equal to men's
than either younger or older women (ibid.).


ing countries includes a detailed analysis of the situation in Haiti.
Articles by Blumberg (1981), Chaney, Simmons, and Staudt (1979),
Chaney and Lewis (1980), and Tinker (1979, p. 11-24) pull together
information on women's agricultural activity in many world areas. There
are annotated references in early bibliographies edited by Buvinic (1976)
and Rihani (1978). Rogers (1980) and Zeidenstein (1979) are other good
sources for references. An excellent collection of some classic sources
on women in agriculture (in Spanish, although not all the selections deal
with Latin America) was edited in 1982 by Le6n with the assistance
of Deere and Rey de Marulanda. Nash (forthcoming) is a recent review
of the issues and Wilson (1982) a review of the literature. Dixon's 1978
study was a pioneer, and still unique, study of rural women and work,
which also touched on women in rural industries. Her 1983 review of
women in the agricultural labor force recalculates the female share for
most Latin American countries.

3The current activities of the U.S. Census Bureau's Center for Inter-
national Research in creating the WID Data Base and the publication of
these handbooks respond to the USAID Office of Women in Develop-
ment's early preoccupation with this issue, dating from 1977. Another
early effort to discover the problems involved in measuring women's
economic activity was included in the United Nations Statistical Office's
1977 survey of the situation on women in national data systems, pub-
lished in 1980. An excellent overview of the problem is Youssef's 1980
study, as well as one the International Center for Research on Women
published in the same year (1980c). Boulding (1983) adds some insights
not considered by other observers.
For Latin America, the most comprehensive appraisals of census and
household survey deficiencies in adequately reporting women's work
are Recchini de Lattes and Wainerman (1979 and 1982). The question
has been treated in two seminars organized by the Instituto Universitbrio
de Pesquisas do Rio de Janiero (see the general report published in 1980,
particularly the conclusions and recommendations of Torrado). Recent
papers from an expert seminar convened by the U.N. Statistical Office,
all issued in 1983, include those by Powers, Safilios-Rothschild and
Youssef. Le6n de Leal and Deere (1982, pp. 6-18) deal extensively with
measurement issues and census deficiencies in the Andean countries.

'It is important to note that these rates do not imply that the absolute
numbers of women entering the labor force will be greater than the


Women in Economic Activity 73


Women of the World






74 Women in Economic Activity Women of the World


numbers of men; the projections are calculated, of course, on much
smaller bases of already active women. So far as overall projections are
concerned, according to the Centro Latinoamericano de Demograffa, the
rural labor force will grow about 15 percent between now and the year
2025, resulting in an increase of 41 million economically active in rural
areas in 1975 to about 50 million by the year 2000, and 55 million in
2025 (cited in Fox, 1982a, p. 9).
In light of Latin America's rapid urbanization, it is not surprising that
numbers of the economically active population in urban places are
expected to grow much more rapidly than in rural areas, if present trends
continue. The urban labor force in the region as a whole, numbering about
51 million in 1975, will increase to 142 million by the year 2000, and
to 259 million by 2025. As Fox ibidd., p. 10) notes, the figures for the
year 2000, barring catastrophe, are firm, since the population which
will seek entrance to the labor force already is born. This means that
some 3.6 million persons will enter the labor market each year until the
end of the century, then increase'to 4.7 million per year between 2000
and 2025.

'There are good reviews of the literature on women in migration in
Chaney (1980); Migration Today (1982); Orlansky and Dubrovsky
(1978); and Youssef, Buvini6, and Kudat (1979). SuBrez (1975) con-
siders the issue specifically for Peru. Studies documenting the disad-
vantaged position of women in both urban and rural areas are covered
extensively in the articles and bibliography of the volume on women and
poverty edited by Buvini6, Lycette, and McGreevey (1983). Jelin (1982)
reviews the general theoretical literature on women in the urban labor
markets.

6So far as Latin America is concerned, Buvinic (1981, p. 11) points out
that recent household surveys carried out in several South American cities
report labor force participation rates for women anywhere from 14 to
30 percent higher than the respective national censuses. The Institute
of Development Studies recently published an issue of its bulletin on
women in the informal sector, edited by Young and Moser (1981).
Several articles with a comprehensive review of the issues are Arizpe
(1977b), Jelin (1977 and 1982), Safa (1977), and Schmink (1982).
Pioneering studies on urban women were carried out by Arizpe (1977a)
on indigenous migrants to Mexico City; Bolles (1981) on working-class
women in Kingston, Jamaica; Bunster and Chaney (forthcoming) on
market sellers, street vendors and domestic servants in Lima; Garcra,
et al. (1982) on households in Mexico City; Lomnitz (1977) on survival
strategies of poor households in Mexico City; Moser (1981) on women
in Guyaquil; Piho (1975) on textile workers in Mexico City; Safa (1983)


on factory workers in New Jersey and Brazil; Schmink (1977 and 1979)
on urban women in Venezuela and Brazil; Scott Kinzer (1975) on Buenos
Aires professional women, and Smith (1975) on domestic servants in
Lima.
7Bourque and Warren (1981) also have done extensive work on
women's productive work in the Peruvian Andes. Other pioneering field
studies are Garrett (1978) on Chile and Rubbo (1975) on Colombia.
Knudsen and Yates (1981) report on their study of women in agriculture
in St Lucia. Blumberg's 1981 article in the WID/USAID collection has
a section on women in agriculture in Latin America.

eBoserup (1970) was one of the first to draw widespread attention
to the detrimental effects of modernization on women, particularly in
rural areas. Tinker (1974 and 1976) widened the discussion of how
Western concepts of development have undermined the position of
women in many traditional societies, as did two early articles by Nash
(1975 and 1976). Many other researchers and women in development
experts have joined in the critique; the most recent extensive treatment
is Rogers (1980). An early, still valuable, classic is Youssef (1974).

'The two theories are critiqued in Standing (1978, pp. 10-15) and
Recchini de Lattes and Wainerman (1979, pp. 4-11). The Inter-American
Commission of Women (1975) extensively analyzes women's participa-
tion in the labor force, using the U-shaped curve hypothesis. See also
Elizaga and Mellon (1971, p. 33).

'Olt should be acknowledged that this situation is not peculiar to
developing countries. Educated women, in fact, often may have more
opportunity in developing economies and polities to embark on and
progress in a profession or career than in highly industrialized societies
where the overall number of trained persons creates keen competition.
Their absolute numbers, however, are small (for an extensive discus-
sion, see Chaney, 1979).

"The ILO standard refers to persons in the labor force on the date
of the census or survey, or during a brief specific period such as the
week immediately prior to the census or survey date. Groups generally
considered not to be economically active are students, women occupied
solely in domestic duties, retired persons, persons living entirely on their
own means, and persons wholly dependent upon others.

12n some social science usages, life course is called life cycle, but
the preferred term now is span or course, a more accurate term since
a person's life does not unfold in circular fashion.


74 Women in Economic Activity


Women of the World






Women of the World Women in Economic Activity 75


Figure 5.1. Ratio of Female to Male Labor Force Participation Rates
for the Population 10 Years of Age and Over


F/M ratio
(male-1.0)
1.4


1.2


S1.0 -----


Caribbean and Middle America


F/M ratio
(male-1.0)
1.4


- 1.0*


Cuba Dominican El Guatemala Haiti
1970 Republic Salvador 1973 1972
1970 1971


Honduras Jamaica
1974 1978


-0.4


0.2

0.0
Mexico Nicaragua Panama
1970 1971 1970


F/M ratio
(male=1.0)
1.4 ---


South America


*1.0


0.8


0.6


0.4


0.2


u.u --
Argentina Bolivia Brazil Chile Colombia Ecuador Guyana Paraguay
1970 1976 1970 1970 1973 1974 1970 1972


* Female rate equals male rate.
Note: See footnotes to table 5.1 for


Peru Venezuela
1981 1979


nonstandard age groups.


0.8


0.6


0.2


F ~-


Costa
Rica
1973


F/M ratio
(male-1.0)





-- ---- ------


I n F I .....


Women of the World


Women in Economic Activity 75


n 11











Figure 5.2. Labor Force Participation Rates for the Population
10 Years of Age and Over, by Sex


Women Men
Women Men


Percent


Caribbean and Middle America


Percent


100

90

80

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

0







100

90

80

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

0


Argentina Bolivia
1970 1976


Brazil Chile Colombia Ecuador
1970 1970 1973 1974


Guyana Paraguay Peru Venezuela
1970 1972 1981 1979


Note: See footnotes to table 5.2 for nonstandard age groups.


Costa Cuba Dominican El Guatemala Haiti Honduras Jamaica Mexico Nicaragua Panama
Rica 1970 Republic Salvador 1973 1972 1974 1978 1970 1971 1970
1981 1970 1971



Percent South America Percent


76 Women in Economic Activity


Women of the World




Women in Economic Activity 77


Women of the World


Figure 5.3. Labor Force Participation Rates for Women 10 Years
of Age and Over, by Rural/Urban Residence


Rural Urban


Percent


Caribbean and Middle America


Percent


40

30

20 i

10
,----- ------- 'i
0 _
Costa Cuba El Guatemala Haiti Honduras Mexico Nicaragua Panama
Rica 1970 Salvador 1973 1972 1974 1970 1971 1970
1981 1971


South America


20

10

0
Bolivia
1976


i





Chile Colombia
1970 1973


Note: See footnotes to table 5.3 for nonstandard


100


90

80

70

60


Percent


100


80 -


40 h


Percent


I


Paraguay
1972


Ecuador
1974


Peru
1981


age groups.












Figure 5.4. Female/Male Ratios of Labor Force Participation Rates,
by Rural/Urban Residence


F/M ratio
(male-1.0)
* 1.0

0.9 -

0.8 -

0.7 -

0.6 -

0.5 -

0.4 -

0.3

0.2

0.1

0.0


Caribbean and Middle America


Rural Urban

F/M ratio
(male-1.0)
1.0

0.9

-0.8

-0.7

-0.6

0.5

0.4

-0.3

0.2

0.1

0.0


Costa Cuba El Guatemala Haiti Honduras Mexico Nicaragua Panama
Rica 1970 Salvador 1973 1972 1974 1970 1971 1970
1981 1971


F/M ratio
(male-1.0)
*1.0

0.9 -

0.8 -

0.7 -

0.6 -

0.5 -

0.4 -

0.3 -

0.2 -

0.1

0.0 -
Bolivia
1976


South America


Chile Colombia
1970 1973


Ecuador
1974


F/M ratio
(malel1.0)
1.0*

-0.9

-0.8

-0.7

-0.6

0.

0.4

0.3

0.2

0.1

0.0
Paraguay Peru
1972 1981


*Female rate equals male rate.


Women of the World


78 Women in Economic Activity




Women of the World


Figure 5.5.


Percent


Percent Economically Active, by Sex and Age,


Percent Economically Active, by Sex and Age,
for Argentina, Brazil, and Guatemala






Percent


Women in Economic Activity 79


I I I I I I I I I I 0
15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65
Age





80 Women in Economic Activity Women of the World


Figure 5.6. Labor Force Participation Rates of Women 20 to 29
Years of Age in Rural and Urban Areas


Rural Urban

Percent Caribbean and Middle America Percent


Costa Cuba El Guatemala Haiti Honduras Nicaragua Panama
Rica 1970 Salvador 1973 1972 1974 1971 1970
1981 1971



Percent South America Percent


Bolivia Chile
1976 1970


Colombia Ecuador
1973 1974


Paraguay Peru
1972 1981


80 Women in Economic Activity


Women of the World






Women of the World Women in Economic Activity 81


Figure 5.7. Female Share of the Rural and Urban Labor Force
Under 20 Years of Age


Rural Urban


Percent
100

90

80 -

70 -

60

50

40

30 ---

20

10

0
Costa
Rica
1981



Percent
100

90

80

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

0
Bolivia
1976


Caribbean and Middle America


Cuba
1970


II






I __ I
1 '1





El Guatemala Haiti Honduras Nicaragua
Salvador 1973 1972 1974 1971
1971


South America


Chile
1970


Percent
100

90

-80

70

60

50

40

30

20



--- 0
Panama
1970


Percent


Colombia Ecuador Paraguay Peru
1973 1974 1972 1981


t
100

S90

80

S70

60

50

-40

S30

-20

- 10

0


Women in Economic Activity 81


Women of the World











Figure 5.8. Latin America: Female Participation in the Labor Force
by Age: 1950, 1960, and 1970



1970
1960
1950




Percent Percent
50 50







40 -40







30 -30







20 20







10 10







0 II I I 0
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70

Age


Source: ILO, 1977, table 2.


82 Women in Economic Activity


Women of the World






Women of the World Women in Economic Activity 83


Figure 5.9. Percent of Nonagricultural Labor Force in Selected
Occupational Groups, by Sex Professional
and technical Services

Women Men Women Men


Percent


Caribbean and Middle America


Percent


- 30


1 20


Costa Dominican El
Rica Republic Salvador
1973 1970 1961


Guate-
mala
1973


Honduras Jamaica
1961 1981


Mexico
1970


Nicaragua Panama
1971 1970


Percent South America


Percent


- 30


S20


!10


Argentina Bolivia Brazil Chile Colombia Ecuador Paraguay Peru Venezuela
1970 1976 1970 1970 1973 1974 1972 1981 1971

Source: Inter-American Commission of Women, 1975, table 20;
and national sources.


Women in Economic Activity 83


Women of the World










Table 5.1. Number and Percent Economically Active Among Population Age 10 Years and Over,
by Sex, and Female/Male Ratio of Percent Active
(Numbers in thousands)


F/M ratio
Women Men of percent
Region and country active
(male =
Year Number Percent Number Percent 1.00)


CARIBBEAN

Cuba..................... 1970 482 15.9 2,151 67.4 0.24
Dominican Republic ....... 1970 319 23.7 922 69.5 0.34
Haiti................... 1972 1,128 69.5 1,124 76.2 0.91
Jamaica ................. 1978 437 64.3 502 80.0 0.80

MIDDLE AMERICA

Costa Rica2.............. 1981 210 26.1 585 74.6 0.35
El Salvador.............. 1971 252 20.8 914 78.4 0.27
Guatemala................. 1973 217 12.3 1,329 75.7 0.16
Honduras................. 1974 120 13.4 643 75.2 0.18
Mexico2.................. 1970 2,466 16.4 10,489 71.7 0.23
Nicaragua................ 1971 110 17.2 395 65.8 0.26
Panama................... 1970 125 25.8 363 72.9 0.35

SOUTH AMERICA

Argentina................ 1970 2,289 24.5 6,723 73.7 0.33
Bolivia .................. 1976 330 19.9 1,154 72.7 0.27
Brazil.................... 1970 6,165 18.5 23,392 71.8 0.26
Chile2............. ..... 1970 6.6 19.7 2,079 71.7 0.27
Colombia................. 1973 1,651 22.4 4,668 67.8 0.33
Ecuador2................. 1974 329 15.8 1,611 78.4 0.20
Guyanal.................. 1970 163 82.9 152 79.6 1.04
Paraguay2................ 1972 162 21.1 591 81.0 0.26
Peru.............. ...... 1981 1,336 22.1 3,926 66.2 0.33
Venezuela3................ 1979 1,090 27.8 2,911 75.6 0.37

1Refers to ages 14 years and over. Data for Guyana include persons who reported they were
engaged in home duties during all or most of the 12 months preceding the census.
2Refers to ages 12 years and over.
3Refers to ages 15 years and over.


84 Women in Economic Activity


Women of the World










Table 5.2. Percent Distribution of Economically Active Population Age 10 Years and Over, by Sex


Region and country Year Total Women Men



CARIBBEAN

Cuba.......................... 1970 100.0 18.3 81.7
Dominican Republic............ 1970 100.0 25.7 74.3
Haiti ........................ 1972 100.0 50.1 49.9
Jamaical...................... 1978 100.0 46.5 53.5

MIDDLE AMERICA

Costa Rica2.................... 1981 100.0 26.4 73.6
El Salvador.................... 1971 100.0 21.6 78.4
Guatemala...................... 1973 100.0 14.0 86.0
Honduras....................... 1974 100.0 15.7 84.3
Mexico2........................ 1970 100.0 19.0 81.0
Nicaragua...................... 1971 100.0 21.9 78.1
Panama......................... 1970 100.0 25.6 74.4

SOUTH AMERICA

Argentina...................... 1970 100.0 25.4 74.6
Bolivia........................ 1976 100.0 22.2 77.8
Brazil ......................... 1970 100.0 20.9 79.1
Chile2......................... 1970 100.0 22.9 77.1
Colombia...................... 1973 100.0 26.1 73.9
Ecuador2....................... 1974 100.0 17.0 83.0
Guyanal....................... 1970 100.0 51.7 48.3
Paraguay....................... 1972 100.0 21.5 78.5
Peru............................ 1981 100.0 25.4 74.6
Venezuela3..................... 1979 100.0 27.3 72.7

IRefers to ages 14 years and over. Data for Guyana include persons who reported they were
engaged in home duties during all or most of the 12 months preceding the census.
2Refers to ages 12 years and over.
3Refers to ages 15 years and over.


Women of the World


Women in Economic Activity 85






86 Women in Economic Activity Women of the World


Table 5.3.


Number and Percent Economically Active Among Rural Population Age 10 Years and Over,
by Sex, and Female/Male Ratio of Percent Active
(Numbers in thousands)


F/M
ratio of
Region and country Women Men percent
active
(male=
Year Number Percent Number Percent 1.00)


CARIBBEAN

Cuba....................... 1970 92 8.6 874 68.2 0.13
Haiti ...................... 1972 909 73.3 971 80.2 0.91

MIDDLE AMERICA

Costa Rica2................. 1981 85 21.1 322 77.5 0.27
El Salvador................. 1971 84 12.6 587 83.6 0.15
Guatemala................... 1973 50 4.8 893 80.1 0.06
Honduras.................... 1974 39 6.8 470 80.2 0.08
Mexico2,3 .................. 1970 434 7.5 4,366 72.1 0.10
Nicaragua.................. 1971 25 8.2 236 72.3 0.11
Panama...................... 1970 30 13.5 204 77.5 0.17

SOUTH AMERICA

Bolivia...................... 1976 150 16.2 721 78.5 0.21
Chile2...................... 1970 57 8.9 602 79.3 0.11
Colombia..................... 1973 322 13.5 2,060 76.1 0.18
Ecuador2.................... 1974 107 9.4 1,023 84.6 0.11
Paraguay2..................... 1972 58 13.3 379 84.6 0.16
Peru......................... 1981 384 19.6 1,451 73.1 0.27

1Due to 1972 survey sampling and weighting errors, reported figures for rural and urban areas
show a slight divergence from total country estimates.
2Refers to ages 12 years and over.
3Available Mexican census data by rural/urban residence exclude 94,000 economically active women
and 165,000 economically active men in rural areas. Hence, sums of rural and urban figures in
tables 5.3 and 5.4 do not equal total country figures shown in table 5.1.


86 Women in Economic Activity


Women of the World









Table 5.4. Number and Percent Economically Active Among Urban Population Age 10 Years and Over,
by Sex, and Female/Male Ratio of Percent Active
(Numbers in thousands)


F/M
ratio of
Region and country Women Men percent
active
(male=
Year Number Percent Number Percent 1.00)


CARIBBEAN

Cuba........................ 1970 390 19.9 1,277 66.9 0.30
Haiti 1...................... 1972 237 57.5 169 59.0 0.97

MIDDLE AMERICA

Costa Rica2 ................. 1981 125 31.0 263 71.3 0.43
El Salvador................. 1971 168 31.0 327 70.5 0.44
Guatemala................... 1973 167 23.4 436 68.2 0.34
Honduras.................... 1974 80 25.6 173 64.2 0.40
Mexico2 3 ................... 1970 1,975 19.3 5,614 65.5 0.29
Nicaragua................... 1971 86 25.2 159 58.1 0.43
Panama...................... 1970 95 36.5 159 67.6 0.54

SOUTH AMERICA

Bolivia...................... 1976 180 24.7 433 64.7 0.38
Chile2....................... 1970 559 22.5 1,477 69.1 0.33
Colombia..................... 1973 1,329 26.6 2,608 62.4 0.43
Ecuador2..................... 1974 223 23.3 588 69.6 0.33
Paraguay2 .................... 1972 104 31.3 212 75.3 0.42
Peru.......................... 1981 952 23.3 2,475 62.7 0.37


1Due to 1972 survey sampling and weighting errors, reported figures for rural and urban areas
show a slight divergence from total country estimates.
2Refers to ages 12 years and over.
3Available Mexican census data by rural/urban residence exclude 144,000 economically active
women and 344,000 economically active men in urban aeras. Hence, sums of rural and urban figures in
tables 5.3 and 5.4 do not equal total country figures shown in table 5.1.


Women of the World


Women in Economic Activity 87









Table 5.5. Labor Force Participation Rates, by Age and Sex
(In percent)


10 to 19 20 to 29 30 to 39 40 to 49 50 years
Region and country Year years years years years and over


Women

CARIBBEAN

Cuba....................... 1970 8.2 24.7 22.6 20.1 8.5
Dominican Republic ......... 1970 17.0 28.7 28.5 29.0 25.1
Haiti ...................... 1972 51.3 78.6 81.7 83.0 70.9
Jamaica1................... 1978 51.9 86.0 86.0 80.3 46.1

MIDDLE AMERICA

Costa Rica................. 1981 217.5 35.8 36.6 29.9 12.3
El Salvador................ 1971 14.8 32.1 23.6 21.1 14.6
Guatemala.................. 1973 9.2 16.4 14.0 13.8 10.4
Honduras................... 1974 7.9 20.1 18.2 15.2 10.3
Mexico..................... 1970 14.3 21.1 15.7 16.3 13.6
Nicaragua.................. 1971 10.0 24.8 22.9 21.5 14.2
Panama ..................... 1970 16.8 38.2 32.4 30.3 16.7

SOUTH AMERICA

Argentina.................. 1970 18.8 40.6 30.5 26.2 12.4
Bolivia.................... 1976 14.6 25.3 23.2 22.7 17.1
Brazil...................... 1970 14.9 26.1 20.8 19.6 11.9
Chile...................... 1970 210.8 30.9 25.1 22.3 12.4
Colombia................... 1973 19.4 33.0 24.0 20.2 12.9
Ecuador.................... 1974 212.3 21.1 17.4 16.4 12.2
Guyana3.................... 1970 455.5 96.7 99.0 98.3 75.5
Paraguay................... 1972 217.8 29.5 24.5 21.8 13.1
Peru...................... 1981 10.8 30.3 30.4 27.5 20.1
Venezuela.................. 1979 513.7 35.3 37.6 33.5 17.2


See footnotes at end of table.


88 Women in Economic Activity


Women of the World









Table 5.5. Labor Force Participation Rates, by Age and Sex -Continued
(In percent)


10 to 19 20 to 29 30 to 39 40 to 49 50 years
Region and country Year years years years years and over


Men

CARIBBEAN

Cuba....................... 1970 25.2 88.9 93.7 92.7 61.0
Dominican Republic......... 1970 37.8 86.5 93.7 90.2 84.4
Haiti...................... 1972 50.8 85.6 94.9 95.1 87.7
Jamaica ................... 1978 61.6 97.0 97.6 96.9 77.5

MIDDLE AMERICA

Costa Rica.................. 1981 246.3 89.5 95.3 94.9 66.1
El Salvador .............. 1971 48.2 95.5 98.9 98.9 88.0
Guatemala.................. 1973 46.5 92.0 95.6 95.2 84.6
Honduras................... 1974 48.5 92.1 95.7 95.6 83.3
Mexico..................... 1970 33.8 84.4 93.8 93.9 82.9
Nicaragua.................. 1971 33.8 85.0 91.8 91.4 77.8
Panama..................... 1970 33.8 94.9 97.4 96.5 77.6

SOUTH AMERICA

Argentina.................. 1970 36.4 91.7 98.3 96.8 62.1
Bolivia.................... 1976 32.2 88.8 98.4 98.3 89.6
Brazi l..................... 1970 38.8 91.1 96.1 93.2 73.2
Chile....................... 1970 228.8 90.5 98.0 95.5 68.5
Colombia................... 1973 38.0 87.7 93.0 91.6 72.0
Ecuador.................... 1974 245.0 89.3 97.8 97.7 89.1
Guyana3.................... 1970 451.8 96.1 98.0 96.8 67.6
Paraguay.................... 1972 254.6 95.0 98.1 97.1 83.4
Peru..................... 1981 19.1 83.1 98.1 98.6 83.7
Venezuela.................. 1979 540.0 80.2 92.7 94.5 78.6

1Age groups for Jamaica are 14 to 24 years; 25 to 34 years; 35 to 44 years; 45 to 54 years;
and 55 years and over.
2Refers to ages 12 to 19 years.
Data for Guyana include as economically active people who reported they were engaged in home
duties during all or most of the 12 months preceding the census.
4Refers to ages 14 to 19 years.
5Refers to ages 15 to 19 years.


Women in Economic Activity 89


Women of the World









Table 5.6. Labor Force Participation Rates for Rural Areas, by Age and Sex
(In percent)


10 to 19 20 to 29 30 to 39 40 to 49 50 years
Region and country Year years years years years and over


Women

CARIBBEAN


Cuba.............. .......
Haiti......................

MIDDLE AMERICA

Costa Rica.................
El Salvador................
Guatemala.................
Honduras ..................
Nicaragua..................
Panama....................

SOUTH AMERICA

Bolivia ........... ........
Chile......................
Colombia ..................
Ecuador................
Paraguay ..................
Peru......................


See footnote at end of table.


1970
1972



1981
1971
1973
1974
1971
1970



1976
1970
1973
1974
1972
1981


7.1
57.1


118.8
12.0
4.6
4.3
6.9
12.1



13.7
16.8
15.3
18.6
113.1
13.4


12.9
81.5



27.1
19.5
5.0
8.8
10.0
18.0



18.8
13.4
15.5
10.7
16.9
23.4


9.4
83.5



26.6
10.7
4.8
8.8
9.0
14.8



16.5
9.4
12.0
9.2
13.9
22.1


9.1
84.9



22.6
9.8
5.4
8.4
8.9
13.4



17.2
8.8
11.3
9.7
13.1
22.9


4.6
73.6


15.9
6.8
9.4
9.1
9.1
21.4


90 Women in Economic Activity


Women of the World









Table 5.6. Labor Force Participation Rates for Rural Areas, by Age and Sex-Continued
(In percent)


10 to 19 20 to 29 30 to 39 40 to 49 50 years
Region and country Year years years years years and over


Men

CARIBBEAN

Cuba...................... 1970 28.5 91.6 95.3 93.8 64.4
Haiti..................... 1972 57.8 89.0 95.9 95.7 89.2

MIDDLE AMERICA

Costa Rica.................. 1981 155.1 93.6 95.8 94.6 65.4
El Salvador................ 1971 60.2 98.6 99.0 99.2 89.9
Guatemala.................. 1973 56.1 94.8 95.8 95.5 86.9
Honduras................... 1974 57.3 96.4 97.6 97.1 86.4
Nicaragua.................. 1971 47.8 87.8 90.7 90.8 80.8
Panama..................... 1970 43.7 97.4 98.3 97.6 85.1

SOUTH AMERICA

Bolivia .................... 1976 39.5 95.6 98.8 98.9 94.5
Chile....................... 1970 143.4 97.2 98.5 97.4 81.0
Colombia................... 1973 52.7 94.0 94.3 93.1 79.6
Ecuador.................... 1974 157.1 95.3 98.1 98.1 93.4
Paraguay................... 1972 160.3 97.8 98.5 98.0 88.3
Peru........................ 1981 29.4 94.7 98.9 99.1 91.1

1Refers to ages 12 to 19 years.


Women of the World


Women in Economic Activity 91




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