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GENDER ISSUES IN FARMING SYSTEMS
RESEARCH AND EXTENSION
RURAI IlOMEI AID AGPAPIANI PPODICTION I'.
Pilar Campania 2%1.
This NorY is the result of several field studies on riiral Nomen
carried out by the author in different regional conte-ts, from 1978
onwards. In the beginning m, main interest Mas directed towards the
peasant household economy in the central sierra of Peru, but, "err
soon, I realized that wonen were one of the most important economic
props of the peasant society, and that they were certainly worthwhile
as a subject of more specific research. This was in sharp contrast to
what had been taught and written about the peasantry in Latin America.
This paper discusses the situation of rural women and their
participate ion in agricultural production in different conte'ts of
capitalist expansion in Latin Anerica, taking as a sample three
regions, two in Chile and one in Peru. These present different
features, both in relation to the inol"ement of capitalism and in
terms of the characteristics of their regional economies.
11 The variouss research on which this paper is based has been
accomnpl ished thanKs to the support of Wlenner-Gren Foundat ion, Ford
Foundation and International De"elopment Pesearch Centre of Canada.
2)> Pesearcher of Grtipo de In,.es isgaciones Agrarias, GTA, Santiago de
Tie (it I is time ff iUi cI uiiig Iegit.4I uf ChI le. Th is I eqj1iw,
pi uk) is sit e .. aimpla ur eaa Iv.' ata, iI al Is d euei igqtiienI. II. Iiia .. be
ulot idei ad a pi ju ileged eg eis i (ui l eg i cu tuie a ra as i ii c i iwA tc-
anrd if i ijai kiii at a .abiscei tied fil j.Ji Ii83 I l *I. if,
ii fr as t tic tui a atid Iu to ihiceases iht pi udc I u iti, aiod i rea'eflue c' 1f ali
Mls t pi tic !oil ao:l: Ju ies ate cari led ti. 1w -:0gadnsl L lai (ari3 tll!] St.
peasals t oflfi It a, a o (s eLOldbi I ilikul [&alice* L.Ul a led it, I lie cegiti al1
filed I let alieali Cl a a be ueeu I the ALtig: agita aii Id Iattle Jall ev3 I. is iz
L'v rag thie be sI Ciseats aeg icUol tui aI egiugs atod cicttla ahis Ile if esalei
p i. 1)r lie P.3PuI at. i u1 Ilie t:.41111 V 1u1i 1 hag aiml Ilaqu hIe
TiMe ecuisd i ej huii a1 su hio Cii ii. I is t. r fi eirj 3-j i, ii 1tiw, a3
P1 (JUL 1. kill agii SC ives a. al e-.. ags*1e o(f tie iacoiu, pug a iug. r Uu lnCIs im,
a pea allt lie 4 s a aial lsug ulsei Iliae impaa o a, 1a i-3 1 i Fal ls dis
agi icul tui e is ueal anid ulacueli. l1ii2 Igeg lug.. tihutpil l t. g Ie a- tie
:oIlAIi jik io)i3 (e-i [he de Iiell f o, api ii I: a l is i atgi !ii III a e Ias
cai talim I irigitatlows soiI atid cI iguale Iltiacti adveels se 1 CarcI I lime
vci .1I pei acie teoi pi idiuce ail-i Usle eai al'ii liis TMoe gilv itav fCi mIi 3
Iiave a t. ihici e j gag sile If iiccowe is Witen tim i a a a up I i iiulsi Pi ice
jili ji I. kqig atid 3 tslld c tir tv ls tie pij tidiic I sisd 1 about fliotcl je Th s if
Ifle liial kea i s raucitig able it is pctitele i i*f. cap. I tl Il eileg [lie
r eTd, 14 i I:h ii aij slag aga ht5 wiieis _3ood i 1: l oEl sIec-aite adei se Time 1 .i0
pIlated tov tie State in1 time developiseleei or Ilihee i eg ici3 i -z all
If t[he Lot] [ jojaalI j ol f :a I -ahIi ti ..p is sidj isi 1ie. I .I
appears to be instired b,' the 0t tea I iu %jg sciii gquaiaI cI ee ofl ices
Farmers w i 11 iniuest in them. Ou the o3theu hanidl I Ibhcl is 3ii., he I p
fI cons the State and also eri l.elt pi ices al e olu, coiuiel, i1ll I ou ienlled
agi ic :l ti al enl:ei p i e uill lei d I l 14 il:1h, a ua ile peasaill I ii-isee i ul
units will tend to increase. This counterbalance between co cijel ial
and peasant p odiluc : ioln il i ts seems tIo chai a': Iel ize l eg i uil ulei e
capital ist poss ibilities aie l ignited .
Th iid l the ceitri al l eg ion of Per u has been sel ec. ted ill ii djel t:
derlaiisltr ale and anlalyse the deuelopnien I or uronrse 's Hbl K alnd the
ho useho ld e:onom) in an agl ic:u i tLil a sel:lt i19 whei e capital il
agr icul ture is lar gel absent preferring, instead to in",est in othei
acti it ies, s.ch as minllingl Ill this legiloni, capital. inluoluclnel ll iil
agl icul tule is of a secoidai marginal nature. bothL i l l ll i ela ju tlo
the iepr odiuct ion of the labour fo' ce. of the household and in the
development of the region as a whole. Mteertheless euen +h. lgh
capital is usiarginal agr i:jul till al pi o3,luctin,:l is lailnt aied b'. peasant
units, which taKe ouei also the responstibil it I fu, the i epli (lduictioii of
l abous because the dominant capitalist sector is incapable bV itself
of reproducing the labour force it needs.. As a result, most labourers
worKing in mining, industry and conmmerci i al act i i ties a I e al so
peasants, who Keep their plots of land in lar der to complenmen I theil
wages ,and pett commodity activities. The main characteristic of this
situation of capitalist deuelnpment is the close relationship between
marginal Forms oF agr icul tuial product ioni anld the other economic
sectors, which come together in the household which maintains its
.1ar iolus members in several economic sectors.
In the last ten tears systematic s-tudies haue been conducted in
these country ies on the position and condition of uomen arid theii
contribution towards development. Though there is still inuch research
to be done, there is no doubt that substantial progress has been made
in the empirical and theoretical stijud, of this subject. As rai as
rural nomen are concerned, the discussion has focused upon tno ma in
issues: that of anal'sinig and clarifying the role of "omen in agrarian
conte+xs, and that of achieving their full involvement in society+
through increasing participation in the economy and iin political
organization, and thus removing them from their present subordinate
position in society.
Ilithin this. context, the present paper aims to contribute to the
study of rural women by analysing the different types and foi izs (if
their worK in agriculture and by studying the extent to which their
participation in agricultural production has importance and'or
relevance to the wider development of regional and national economies.
I start from the hypothesis that the participation of uomen in
agricultural production depends, above all, on the type of development
offered by a given region? and that, in its turn, the agricultural
development of different regions will depend on historical processes
and, especially, on existing natural resources such as soil. climate,
and irrigation. Because of this, agricultural de-elopment in Latin
America, and within each country, is very heterogeneous. T+ is
possible to-Find regions 1ith a high degree of capitalist development
ne.t+ to regions in uhich capitalist enterprise is less significant in
the national economy. Regions uar, in economic conditions depending
on the pr ice that their cash crops fetch or, the irnternat ion l IriaI,'e
and on s late pol i:cy. There ale also regions in im ich a. icul tu e is
essentially subsistence-oriented and where capital peneti ratiui has
produced little impact on the structure of agriculture and production.
Such differences are plain to see: Me might sa,. sel f--eu ident.
Furthermore, among them there is a "aried range of composite
situations. A great deal of research has been done on "peasant
economies" in most or the different regions in the continent, hibt they
hae mostly failed to grasp properly the internal dynamic of the rural
economy as a Hhole. Tn mr- ,iew this failure is partly a result of a
methodological approach which taVes men as "the peasant", and which
consequlentl- is u-nable to comprehend the complexities of internal
peasant household dynamics. I.hat is needed at this stage of research,
then, is to study the peasan+ry from a different point of "iew, giving
attention to the other members of the household, in order to reveal
the conditions of peasant agricultural production and isur"i"al, and to
understand the role of rural uomen and their contribution to the
The second hypothesis concerns the relationship between changes
which affect agriculture and women's participation in agricultural
1or1V. Garret 1l'317G and DOn eritp 1'70' agree thai the ii~.dea n, izl. ion,
of agi icil ltur e the itn ti odtic t ic n of Ir ta h inei .; arnd of racidei n
te:chiiolog ic-al systems, 4 irectl:.' displace nuu neii iln agi icial ti e. tly of w
' ,ie however is that this does rnot happen of rn:eessity-. Onr the
I,:oaln 3 sly, i t is pn- s ihle to fil d agj icul i al a eas i i th is l'ved
cap j191 i t I Fperetr al i.i ill mtifch all 3 illpaol [al1 F al I co Ihte Fli codiac t i,,e
pl. oces a a v in the hanids ci f lamea a lthei a- z mage earlie g ill iop itil 1 I
991 at i ar er Iter p- i a 3 c0i in itaceis etolI d pi odiic t loim Ilil i t1. It seemna t hait
the tila ei It reasolns fi th i i dea i''e f r om tihe tp-a o f I albiiii aiss
pi odaiict i''e cl%,r a ial c eas I ab i aed b-', tile ':i 1)r pia cceddmac ed i3 t IjI a 1 e ill
cap i tal is t de"el opieeat. leis I: ao thea a aae a-I rp V)rf all 7 iiidMa ti
wh ich d splF ace wousrer, aach as the itochartizalion ol [l I v F: i i-ildsc 1 10i1
others attract fremal e labooir, ai ill the c:ase o f iiiit JI "H il .
On the other hand, the i cle of 3ga icuil tire alnd of Fart iciilar cr ops
w i th il the o'er all econoalmi' of the coinltr-, ia a] i 1 bas ic to the
pr eseice ca d isp l acenernt of MuO wIe i ill agr icil tl nlil- 0 ol I-. IT a
a itual io ioll II) hich I agr ic ll: ti al pi i-oiict ion is s lb i d1 iis l.e tu olhea
.ectoi S ot the ecornon,, -rMir inig, ildiil ti ; sel so ices the 3ar 31 i is
sectol iil geiieral a lid e"els Iisi e o- the peasallt ecolio iiim i i l rel; to
a suffer saich a cr is is tiat the ithcle household is forced into tavlring ar
ac t iPe pal t in the aji icill ti'i al pr odiic f iwol Fr oces a aind inll th i 14-
iicinle are preernted fi ohi dedicating theliseles e c Ins iel y to daomes tic
choi ae In fact, it obl ige them ,t taKe a miai, i ole ill pi idii t iuli.
It is gener allt accepted thIa it it s inot pcss ible to I l derstmnd lthe
sitliuatioll ')o peasanllt olonell in ist olatioin fionin the social co.lte t alnd
the process of change within 14hich the. l ise. Fori this reason, eeai
time it beco-iei ece;ssa i- to naal e their role ill ag icul ti e this
Hil] be done irtn elaetico to the charges Ih ich h a'e t sver F luae in
agr icul ture and iln ociet-, as a nhole. it. Chile, the s t, ii,:.ti al
changes which htoae tl'en Floace its the sei ar i l selctul ils the I at 20
y'ea a h ae beeln "eri irporni lDrt and bL:th the Feia ii t eccissi, s ildJ tihe
peas ant- thetimsel ,es ha oe been affected b; them. Ela I or'lent p atter in
and tetonancy of land haole subs tarnt isl y charged. Possess in of r most
agr icisl iti al land b'y l large -scale i anadomeiiae has beeinl placed b:
rmed ism and small holdings Ad, firal 11 neu, t'ypes of cr op F are being.
hair es ted and haee inci eased the li ilminor t 9.:e consid er abi i ithi the
agr ar i ar econorne'. Onr the other hand, in the cenltr al reg ioni of Pe ii,
though thel e haoe been il snii tant changes ii, the last 20 years, iich as
the e;:r' orni iat ionl of the large f ar s s na t iornali;ati a of the muines
located out idoe the boo der s )of the peasant aieas, these ha"e not
penetr ated the ba ic ecorominc ia I lc tll e of pea3-3at soc ie"ty, Ilnr the
pa tte a n or household ec nisiii: oi gan izat ion, e stabl ished be I:teein
agr icul]tur l e and other ecorcionsic sectori These s tiil i ll ei ee In.l haoe
a pel Inalielce o*,er : im ee Ii assi a i_ able by siiclh c:haige; wh i ch ha-,e
bl ought change inot so niucht iit the leaiimcy of the land oi it1 the
ploce-sses of enp lo.'nie t but., merely; in, the foi mal c : ditionl 2 of
ouner si ip' In fact, the r effects of a ll th is or the sse of
conmin i iie- has been not ,e,'y cons ider able.
The f irst them ar ised is the 'ghost character of Hmonsenr'; I aboi
inll 3 ic i.ul tu e wh i:ch is ot ec, n ized by s u: iety. a ind IJhos e
itil icn t icat is are not I fully real ized by rpeasaait Hoiilei themsel N es; As a
result, firl oi the point of ,ieN of society;, uoinel n aie lnot ItaVels iniito.
accoIuit e either as HoiV Fer m as produlceri I-komrel 's I aboli is tiot
included in official stal istics, a,nd selde in gi' eie a place inl the plans
and pi ogir anies for de'el aopisiit. Thi i si F ar I icul ai l c tic cial its L.atin
Amer icani country ies where e in spite of the inci ease of I:nowledge abomt
the r l e or HI olell i ll i oP dul I inri l, ce Ig, e al d e tilel S oull cei3 o(
statistical data ha",e inot .'et ilic:o i-. a ted t:he neces i ary chai-J e s
needed to collect reliable information on the p i tic ipStioU, of H)lle
ill pi oduit:t ion.
In Latil Anmer ic a a gi9eat lmana a ecoiuiaoiii: It alo ai t I ioi, at e niade
outs ide the 'formal ecorso b, bu' fasjil a based en tei r iaes ,coth ill the
cities and rur al areas, in w which ioier l p la a ,:eltlr a ll; il:ol I taint
role. Also, peasant agr icult Ir l pl odul c ticr,, handict afts asiall scale
i)ani ac: l in g and tr aie of tenl incl: l ide fe Ial e I abouii as iunll
Seiminera ted part of the HOl v for ce. In this r espec I the arl jlluen-t
ad"aino:ed by Pogeri is ii ter es t is. She points ouil: t that "lhe less
developedd' the national ecolnor the aori e cr ucial is the on il aal-'et
p oductiC in which oi ael pla;' uch ain il lal l tua l. part" '1910:G1>.
Their e fo e the present practice co taV'in jg lno set iotis accountft of the
role of omlen within the economic st ructliite, p odulces a 1pa tal nd
false picti e of hou society recall;' ~oi ls anid becailie of this eff'o, t
to promote development are l ivel;' to be Iniaj3uided or aborl: ie.
G i,,era the lacK of adequate Kriouledge about the pos ition of uoisti e ir
the economic a tructulre, ni a il was to collect field data to rill this
gap, and to relate this to geere al processes of ecciiclanic dee elopmlent.
An iJlpor tanlt point itn nI. approach ws nlot to :concentrlatt e e.-cl.is i"e ly
on Muolme's bluor, to the extent of foi getting th te;y rae l ticiaIle ir,
Nider faml11 nletwol-Iv acld il specify i: htous ehold uni its, luhoue nleibei
decide together on usarys of achies ing bet er life Luldiliorns. Thus
the resul ts of the -study r elate to olmeaill iln iu i al so:ieL ;, hut I i ron
the point of liet of their par ticipatioli anrd conitr iblUotiill to holusel,.ld
and famil ie1 elihood.
2.- The Pole of Wkomeni in the Thi ee Diffetent Pejiouial Conte.;t.
a) Rurn ti lonaen in the r i it Ci no irg Region in Chile.
The expanis ion of al ge -scale e.-por t ing of fresh fi i t inl the
Region, betueern the roi c irces of Car rel ire aid Ciir ico ill Chile, iass
fuJndaienital 1l ;, and pei haps iIr e,,ei ibl;' ti aiis for ited the pi ,odlictionl and
social r el at ions iln these t eg ions I conitr 3ast to Doselrup 's
general izat ion r 19701, the incorpo action of oiuanenl iInto If: i i I
production on a r ia ilse scale has beer a s ignJ iicfant featll e or
impleneant ing neo -1 liberal pol iciees from the begillnings of 197TC, when
'the gooier ralen t created new f iralhc I a 1 and It(ranageuiIerl t condi t jotns
necessary' for the e p ans ioln of production aind the e..por t of f-ruit.
The need to mnaKe rfluit prodluctionr higfhl efficient irn ol des
conmete in| the imer I: icn and Euiropean Minitei maril -et a-a accw san i Jed
the intr odiict ion of high technology new h;-br id Plrants, the use
hornmoies to speed up the miattir ilg process, fer tili zer s and spec
r uit rtanr agersenrt technr iiques required dur irng the ,'eai l c:-cle.
this has necessitated a nsi e specialized and s Killed l abuii foi. :e.
A-t the same tiinl, the lr wanting of fruit trees has beer irnters ified:
between 195G and 1901 in Santa lar ia (1) alone the hectasie3ae planted
with irnes for table grapes- increased fi,"e-fold. All 1 thi has l esist
that a 91 eat iiiigt r a I riew ra il a I Not rei i t a beels igicC ii F ld o I el ill Ito
the 1 abomir ro, ce ThI eaI oI a-1ell t pat tei ii 'geiaer a teei bV tf i t
Ptociidc-t ic is aho nri ira Table i1
Pe- aiaimeis t
hll!s eml i fe
Domei t ic
Cr11 I oiee
Tnidiua t. L
UseieF I e o; e
OCCUPATIOIIAL DTSTRTDUTJTOI or MIIC ADUILTS
t lo 110
Labotir 5 4-1.4 s7 4 ,2
Labour le 15.0
ire 93 CO. 24 19.0
90C i W.C
I 0.01. 0.
Sei ll oill t .
C 5.0 7 5.c
abour. 1 0.0
A, lovo'1 0.i
I20 100.0 I2C 100.0
TAn, sul "eycit 79 rg tur a hciul ehel da ire 'as
HI Sn MIT R1A.
T-) t a I
90 11. I
t a Hlat ia, 190-4.
There has been a clear change froill pel malnenlt tonalrs tienol ar;-
ernp loIa),rne, with a preference for tensor ar ; femaale 1 abom. Anr ong the
rur al Oimen in the all I e there was not one Wuolllas in pel mal1nent
agriculture al ernpl O'rment 'see Table 11.
In the ho.i. eholds in ter", iewed, uere founJ 57 ternpo ra iy amollen
uor er out a total of 127 f45 per cenrtl. In fact, termor ar- lIabour
is the naos t coinnlo activity in the whole san ale. The majoli t:- of the
Moilerl r N th 'ternpolar i *3 Hl o corlie firol hotiehold d shich, fc.l "a jioll
iea ison, are 1ithouit land. Solne of them a e wi thout 1 adil because the-
did root equal ified for a Flot dmi ing the ai a' iar, efouii pIei iod, and
other s bec aus-ie the; haioe a since -old their land IL'. Othel s ones ai e
ii Jisi are It fri Qou pcor ei agr 3rJ i a r eg ioei .
ror a pr el iinjl aryi arsals'y is cof Homlers int termpor a l a 14o t, T irn. clouded
only those e -14 women from households 1lithllo t lai1d. The age of rnlot of
these landless Noiners ilt telrorl ar y labor i between 2 ancd 'l41 -ea s.
Thet e is a pronounced tendenc: for uoinien oaier 35 years tu be repl aced
by' womerin younger -than 20. This carn be er lainred by the fact that
romen iwho are 35 and more usual 1 hIae ;'yoJ,13 dauighteir w4ho can Iep ace
therm uhich alla los them to retire e fl ou the 1 abouir isl Ye t.
Fri om the 43 landles- temporalt y -, oinenr si .. a. e ri- Ol1 ho.sehlul dJ that
]acl< male heads of househoold. Itr such a household, it is the nol v'irag
Momalnn tho acts as head, and u sual ;' has child enl aid "Jui ot1hel
I el at i"es I ing 9 u ith her r.s; t brother:. othe f the ui rale at e
marr ied and, together with their husbands, forin i:;p pi,:ca nucleaI f anil;y
households. 11 of -the Mo ingir ulwoen are les a than C1 years old and
1 ise Mith their pat r i ent where in 1,s. t cases the not.hel of these gir ls
is no t inol ied in tempor ary' abotur. Finally. there are two tealf-cl ar
t4orl ers 14ho are Honlenl o1f y-oung I asl ii ages whho 1 ie tog~hevii i th theii
husebaneds and children ill the house of one the latter 's Fa-entIs. The
incomes of these households depend basically' Ipoln 14ages Onl onie
uornrnr has a Kitchen garden, i4hile 1-1 o"f ttiem ais-e poul tr' for horme
cotisLunr tion and for the occasional sale of eggs.
If we tin tr noW to the total Ioblllrer of Moiienr in terf~-ori a 1 aboll a
total or 57, we find that G3.2 pel cenlt 1ot1K onl'y four i.l onflths du.l ing
the Slimmer, and the rest a total of si n onr-ths a -,ea Elern where uorriern
manage to obtain, Hoi- each year fort a certain a tnul.ber" f Ion i ths, theil
en u lo''rie nt is unstable, due to the fact -that couralinieis riiti acl theis
for spec i it: per iods depending on the t.iiie it: t aVes to co:ouple te
specify ic taaKi. Ibaoren Mill pass fi orn one such| job to another bi-l fitr
each she must sign a ine contract. ora eo"eer, her trIansfer froms jub to
job cannot be taVen for granted. The intend i"e per iod ftai nHoren
MorlVing on fruit begins at the end of Octobel with the thinking out o
the excess blossomr and yourog fuiIt, and finishes tcw, Hds the middle of
Apr ii with the pacVing of the fruit.
In 1904 the dail] wage recejiled was )O00 (L SL2.2', paid cn a weeY1-
bas is from Monday, to S3atuirda In 1900 the daily; iage of a tenipol r'
wor er was $ 125 ul ich, a-tht that ti, was Nor th LIS. I ('rBarda, 190CC.
Thus in real tennis, wages hale, during the last four yeari been
desallated by about a third in ,"alue.
The aier age Surliier nonthil wage for Holnen in tenqolrary; labour in
190- 0 uwas 11.000. Th is is rnach higher than the iiiinidiuuit legal wage
for a permanent agriculture a labourer Hhich was SG.500. One nilIst also
contrast this wage 1 th that paid by' the Ilate to the Nuot ei s on
unen~loymenit subsidy ieis 'Pr ogr amai de Empleo liniilio, PEN), l:hiich was
ornl;' $.000 a ri.ra-th. The-e coinpar is on help us to IIiederi st and why it
is that Mloien ha,,e been incorporated in sti.h I arge niiitbelr into
terr~porr ar er l o;,iern t .
If we consider that, in general, Homen a e in ol ,,ed in n foii months
tempo a l labour then T calculate a y'earl ;' wuoroi's irncoiie of at least
3 .G00. I sa; at least, because in the months of Febi ar" and Mao ch
p3ac'King is paid for b' the boh : and not by the day:, an d thus sir'tse ulit ier
earn more than t300 a day;. Al io, iince the frt it p icred ill the
morr nina g usnit be pacKed on the sarse day;, it is comlnurhs for otiseln to In Iolv
e. ti a hours dJul ing Fe'bruar y soinetiime-s sta 'ing as l9ate a- 2 or 3
o'clocK in the mo nirng. Irn 190-4, each e.: tr hLia o ear ned therm ~5Ce. If
we asL suIe that a woman e3r1n-s onl:' 2 etxtrl hours per da" no141 then,
her monthly' will be fll. 800, which br irng her total annaial income to
some t37.G00, eqjui'1 alen t, that is, to an a" er e iiiothlyI income of
3.1-10 (LISS21). Also, if we consider that some husbands 1'3.5 rei cent
in Table 1) of wonen in temrpol:ar y emnlopl,'islen, are themasele-- motl v iiar
as pe mranent Mot Ket -, then one cars calculate that lHulrle bir hia irt,
theory et ical 1 the eu ui"alent of about 35 per cent of their total
This 1 at ge scale inllol]ling of womenl in to the a'3 Icutl tur al abolur
force (45 per cent of adult worseae were in lter'os at- e I oyr,-entt ,
suggests a direct relati onship aNith I boui demands created b Ithe
expansion or ri it t plodulctionr, which has beer i ein forced bI; the reo-
liberal pol icy in the whole country y'. The sample of uomaeln inl tenvoi sa
laboulr indicates that onl;' 12.3 per cent of them iere uorrinag beror e
19710 in agriicul tural labour. From the beginniing of 1079, the ;'eai ill
which the planting of fruit trees and modern "iner earids e'pai a o nales '"
ti ipled in Santa Mar ia, the inccorpo at ion of Mom en into the l abeur
Imaret doubled. Of those ircnol, ed in terror bri emrl lo'raes I 2C. pet
cent Heere incorporated between 1'77 and IO00. This matter a 'esai II Kmed
a tlin ning point in terror s (of capital ireles tr ser t i the i egion. I-ks t of
this iniestllen t went into fruit prui .idct ion, lith no less thalt ten neI
pac ing stations becoming opel national. According to Ar ands '190 '31. iin
the last few years an ai ea of G.500 hectare- in the provinces of Sla
Fel ipe and Los Andes haie been planted withi new ,ar ie ieies of table
jr ape ,ines. Thi si unified a laboJur demand during the har -es tilng
per iod of appr o. iumatel 2.5.000 teopooi ai ;' lo 'el 3 Ilence 1 abour
requ ir elene ts in th is area ha"e au gmented conis ide ably, aind is
reflected in the fact that 51.4 per cent of the ter. or ary Huraen
woliKers entered the labour marKet onll' y oim 1301 amnHar ds ihich
coincided mi'th a growing econousic cr is is inr other r eg ions f the
coullnti r .
There is no doubt that the liole of this region, is -oe of the few
centres of attraction for uage earner; in the counti:y. This has meant
that the region has suffered a heba"; process of in migr ation,, with
41.1 per cent of the women in terpor ary emplo~-1ment ai r i" ing in Ianta
Mar ia0 onl' in the last ten years. This is due to the special
character of fruit production which created a se. ual di"is ion of
labour in which Honien pla yed an inpor tant role. As I ha"e shHlin, the
e:xpans lon of capital iism de-eloped with great iumpetuis in the flu lit -
producing a-rea especial l; since the beginning of the present nieo
liberal economic model of de-el ophment. Su tmsar izing the rmain changes
that hI,,e occurred in this region, we can identified the following:
1) A clear trend towar ld the specialization of fruit p oductiun for
e:.por t. Fresh fruit is e.-ported, whichh, due u o the lon g ,ditanmce to
destination severalal weeKs by shipN, t equities careful handling.
2 S S itulI t anueousl 1 : there has beel a st1 Erlog pr'l ocess of
depeasan3tization, both arouig land ref ormn holdings and ti aiditi ,Il
peasants;, uith the transfer of land to capital is enltei p ise aid witth
the inlcrea sng in"ol ,llemen t in tempor air-, Mage abour.
3 ) There has also been a notable ti end tonal ds conrlelr irnig periiaiernt
into tempor ar-; labour. This has been reinforced b; the seasonIal
pattern of ermpl or'nent requ ired b,' fruit pr odiiction.
1 Fruit production has per'nIitted the full iniuol "emen t of Monlen iln
wage ]abOl .
5) Tl the case of landless uolien their 1 inKsE ith wage I bour
ob"iiiosly result from l cr of resources, difficulties of obtainingr
enmp lo5ment in other economic ares-, as well as the rel at i"ely good
wages paid to tenporar' worl eri. As I e-.plpiried in the diacu i ion of
the landless, the nomen's contributions to the household income is
between one and two -thirds.
It the region, women cairy; out a double set of acti',itie- on the
one hand, organizing -the i liarning of eer'vde duie- tic duties and or
the other, being in,'ol"ed in production NouIK. Also a se.;al di",ision
of abour ii clearly ap-areIn' but itit iS nr t -imrpl,' a d il-icion between
dome stic abomur ss9 poured by' Homenl, anid pi .lductioi ac: ti" ities carr ied
out by; rmren. Ellen though domestic I boiir is c ar ied olut ornl by woulien,
produce t ion and gener at ing i ncone of the hoiu hold l o foi li ani
irtpor t ant parl of the ir r esponsi ib il it ies A econrd initel ea irig
dimensions is that the organization n of i boall fol frl itit prod ctdict ica
folloui a sexual diii ion between male and female tas:.S
Smllming Fp, one ca Bt an of capital ist e:xp ansion itn the fi uit-
gr ol ing reg io ,, that al though it ha; ijncoi pomi ted nomien ilito
product i"e labour outside the horse, it ha-s eio cut ofrf the 1 invi' the;
ha,,e Nith domestic act I itlea. T hi impliea that Himien are iio- engaged
in a number of actis.itie-s, both product ie anrd repioduic ti,"e, wh ich
result in an additional crucial contribution to household income.
bI The Pole of Iobnen irn the Peasant Ecursoimy.
The role of peasant woonen and their participation in the household
econrco u;' in Chile is closely bound up with -the social and ecoCrnomic
changes that ha"ee tlaen place in the agi al ian sector dir ing the as.t
"5 year .
From 1'73OT ont a-rds the increase ing9 ilpoer i hiinent iand gener al
cr Itical situiation- of agr icul ture has obliged the household as a
whole, in the different peasa nt strata, to intteln ify" pr oduct ion
act it;it and, at the aire time, to search for rn eN and ,asi led
alterliat. i"e which permit them to reproduce theiimel ,es oi at least to
reach mnirnimum le"el s ot s u-bs itence I this conte t, wouei hee had
to double their efforts in production to a.:e a more actii"e pai t i,
the nor V of the peas ant Ihold ing, alnd in tetns- if I their eb; the ii
par ticipation in new directions.
Domest ic chor es, the Qupeep of the itcloen, gai dej alid the c e of
small 1 i.es- toc raill with in the scope of the dec is ioi:s and
response ib i it ies of women. The" ha",e also to cooper ate, as the
children also do, with the rest of the household, iln cleai nij alnd
selecting seeds and ca i r ing out sulpplenIenert ar t jobs isuch as t or ing
farm I pr oduce. To this mu t be added ai1 ous Inon a3g icultul t a as t Ka,
such as mrna ing cheese and bread for sale, woollen handicraft horiea'
production, aind engaging iin s iall -scale trade, which, ne"ei theles is
"er;' different to that carr led out by' the moriien in the central ie rra
of Peru. Ow ng to the cr itical sitr action that the hole ieg:io is
undergoing, these e:;itr a tasVsa ha3e become ba ic for the sriir'or t of the
household, since they; proi ide an important part of cash income.
All wotien breed foul and pigs. The production of ch i cVerns is
ma inll y for holime conasuiption, but small nuimbeirs ar e al so sold aIioing
e ighbours, and sometimes poul try; are sent to their ground -up childiern
who li "e in town. ChicKe-ns are e oe of the resources theta" ca n fall
bacK on at times of economic difficultl.
Pigs are i nlp ol. t ant because the,' produce a cash injcolme for the
household at times when earrings are low. Also they' pt rollides lad for
prep rati on of food dIuring a large pas t of the .-ear asnd bes ides,
together with LhicKenri and eggs, the;' suppF]' iear l 90 Fer cent of the
protein intaKe for household-.
In so far as the feeding of smaal animals is pro "ided b; the
hold ing itsel f the product iorn of ria ize, pota toes arid wheat
establi-hes a limit to the nulmer of a nimials th -t a rpe as t Honaln ca nr
raise. There fore there is a threshold beyond which a peasiant un it
cannot Keep iore. On holdings within less than a hectare of l and it is
difficult to find more than one pig and fi"e :h iVKeins per unit.
Therefore, within certain limits the ni'urber of chicienl is in"reri el
proportional to the amount of land the,' own.
The culti,,at ion of the garden and the raising of smirall aliirals hae
aluas- been associated with donmeti:c orK14 and are, there afore,
underestimated when consider Ing onmen's direct pr oduct ive Hor I. If
one e amines the details of the total pi oduct ion of both these
act ilit iei, it becomes clear, homeler that the- IlaVe care of a pF art
of the food consumed bt' the household, and are especialI' iiisr ltalnt in
Seapect to the s pplI' of animal proteins. In this sense, we can begin
to reconsi der both the product, e nature of these two acti,,ities and
the importance of women in agr icult rural bort V for the eproducti ion of
the peasant household. Later I shall looK at the ima3gnitude of these
in relation to household income.
In the region the par tic ipat ion of pea- asat women in n"a iou-
production act Iities is different according to the resources that the
peasant household has at its disposal.
In the case of land re for peas ats I par celeros ', who norr all;3 hase
between 10 and 20 hectares of land direct t I aoui on the holding is
inrtelsa i e foi Iouei i ince the' lae the ple ti of 1 bIs l r3ll ichl tihe"
aoull d other i E h ale to hi l At tile i sa t iie, pl isoduc: : oll lOila the
ga1 den and the mall aiimlaIls is itpor tairt because there hiae tsufficielnt
fle: :ib il ty to desote a easonahlyl; at ge p iace of land to the a j3ienu
and also cars obtain fodder for the aniis als fri l, the fai in holding.
ESTTIMTED MOtTrILY ECOMMIC VALUE PROVTDED BEY I1HInI'S IKIlORY' TII TMI
HOUSEHOLDS OF TIE MHT.IED FAP.Hil PEGTOIJiTn pesos of 19*02-
M iir if t d i a raI cele, a
Ioiaiian blo inan
OGiar de Pi oduc t loi 221 715
Ar, ian Pi oduc t iont 1 .0C0 I. 191
I'lor on IIoldin ig 00
Other '1 950 995
TOTAL 3.134 3.531
0OUPCEa OIA, fieldnoilV ins Ilitoiea 1902.
1' Titcludei isles of handicrafts asnd piocesii ng of food.
The s ituatioon is Iot the salme for ininiifiindia plot rl? to 5
hec tares because the l huiband'5 labol is sufficient. Dut,, tie fact
that Ineail; all of plodtuction is coniwined at home, males it imiiei ati-, e
to cor .Ileunent this b;i iuieati of somle cash produc ing act iit ies. Llidei
the pr esenlt c ir cusu tanices in t:hi is ej I ilo, Noieeii as e in the be st
pos ition to niaVe monre as the;- car dieri s i r the i ac t itil I ies. in a
"at iet; of Ma'.3. lleln' chance ai e hJii ted to dii ect a1 j icul tui sa
noilt, to occasional jobs either locally ol else lei e is a a last
I esoi t, to a place on a PE.I State pi ogi aaiie,, o1 if lucK;,1: to
recei" ing a retirement t perns iorn. Older pr eslent cold itionas the efo e,
nini ifudad i a toIen t proi ide a subs tantia l pait of the total income of the
peasan .t household.
It is iriter ei t r1 to calculate the appi ro inlte colat it Liut ol i Ialtde Ib,
peasiaot Noiitia of different social strata inl oidel to obtain a qualhtit3
ti,.le approach to the Insatter Iloii~ae 's eai rinJg11 colastit te arn ilnspo tait
part or the total illnone earned by both household f(see Table 3'.
lMOmiLY IIOUSEIIOLD ECOONIITC VALUr PEP PPODUCTOII UIIIT.
Minituisdia Unit Partcela Unit
Ilorr by Se;. Announit in pesof Asa; jrolit in pesoas
lein's 1-oi.K 2.033 39.5 22.000
IHomers 's Mil V 31. 134 41.7 3. 53
State Subsidles 1.203 1.0 401
TOTAlL. 7.170 100.0 25.9.32
SOURCEI.:ioT, fielddork in Iliqeiei, 19G12.
In the case of a min I fund i a omier l i th 1.3 he:t. .ai or land, the
.al ue obtained from agr icul tur al product iol was $2.000 a aiilnth andt the
ages earned froia teipoirary eiiloa1 oent by the head of household I$033 a
mrollth. Therefore, -the riorthl i ecoriornic ialiue pro,,ided b-" the manl u13a
2.0 33 pesos, wh ich nmalies up 33.5 percent of the total Ifo the
household. To this rmlt be added three State subs id ies for the
child en of 401 pesos each, forming 16.0 pei cent of the total for the
household. The remas ir irg 43.7 per cent of ,ialue las pr oi ided by
Tn the case of the paircelera with 13.4 hectaies, the lnet ecolnomlic
ial uie fti o agr icultur al alid 1 inestoctc: pr oduct loln uas appFi o. intiatel y
*22.000 a itsoi lh. To this was added *t101 a month for oilne child State
subs idy: and the remaining $3.531 ?or 13.t per cent. dei iled froml
Momiel'i s ior- .
It is e, ident, therefore, tha t a greateL r'i oFpc- ion of economic
,alue is pi-roided by uomenl in households whoie leel of ago icul tir a
production is low. Triier sely, the greater the lantd areas, the mallei
the proportion of ',alue proilided b,' Nolien'ls UorKi, although, -oisaehou,
pat ado:. ical 1', itn these latter farn iis iormerti's woiF is actiu ll] u ao e
in tens l"e, since they; ha",e a I ai gei and maore i.sa led Kitchen g1 a-den and
Isiae reore aniriala than do others.
A tniore detailed anal si- re quires- that we sepa-ate froil the total
economic valuee that part relating to the rent salee of the Ianid, that
is to sa the amount the household would ha"e to pay" if the; rented
all the land under cult i"at ior. I haa"e ta:rer this le'rnt valuee as equal
to the cui rent price for i ent ing land in the localit;'.
ItOhmTLY IIOUSEIIOLD ECOlHOMIC IALUE PEP PPODIJCTIOII UIllT.
in i funrdia iUn i t Parcela Un it
Arournt irn Se;.; n Aiolu t in -Se ..'
14an's IHor 2.2.49 31.4 13.250 51. I
Pent 292 4.1 r 3'5.5'3 4.37~ I1.9 M0O.0'1
lbuomsarn'a 1I-kb 3. 194 49.G 3.531 13?.
Pent 292 4.1 47.7' 4.375 1 .9 '30.5;
State Subsides 1.203 10.0 401 1.5
TOTAL 7.170 100.0 295.13 100.0
'30UPCE: Gin, field Nori 12 case studies in lliuteii, 1302.
The annual price for renting land uas $7.000 per hectaiie in lali ch
1932. At this rate, the parcel has a rent "alue of $105.000 a rea ,
or 90.750 a smronth. Itf e subtract this losaurint fr orn the econouiic
retu-rn of the parcel, then, the economic "allue produced by; uhat is
regarded as unen's work: is reduced to 1 3.250 a riiiothl;-ly see Table 4-'.
If subsequerntti' we di., ide this jionthl i rent inrto two par ti t to Ite
account of the that both husband and wife ha'.'e, under Chilean land l a
equ is.alent r ights to proper ty and then add these amounts to both
men'ls and Nolmen's worVr, the ,.alue of the conltrlibu tion o f male and
female members of the housieholda are subs tantial differe nt.
Al though this t-,pe of anal '1 is h1a buil t in methodolog ical
pr oblemin especially ui'th regard to hou one "alor izes laboulr lwhichi is
unpaid r in this cases co"er ing both male and femaal e 4orl N anld hoii one
2ass ignrs ,aues to 1and and property' the eer c ise, hoMe"er bi i9gs
into relief the inepul tance of cee tain toc io -economic factors that tend
to under es timate the contr ibit ion orf wornen to the household income.
In iimost peas ait studies returns on prodructi oni anld I and renl ts aie
automat ical i' assigned to the income of the manr, ao that his
contribution to the total peasant ecolnomua is o"eir valued.
Sturnring up, inr a peasant situation the con-tr ibit ior of niou(eir toI the
orf and income or households is coins derable, although the Vind of
NorL. v omeri tlnder taKe siar ies according to their social statois. Aiiorng
the mor e prosper pei ous pea ants NOlenl' e ffor t arte d irec: ted imuia t i
toart ds agr cultural aon- fara wo K, While armng usin ifu tdiia Feas ants
the,; engage in a diverse set of agi icul tll al a1 nd oc a-sional nun -
ag- icul t1lr 1 actit ies associated with their oIwn lholsehold and farum
Under the press ent geieralI agi ic:ul ti al cr :i is, peas-int house eholds
of the region theiefor e tieln their hand to ,"a led pr oducc I ion and
economic sEtr ategies 9 ired at meeting their Iepi r odIlct ic(l needs. Iluisei
are in ol"eled ill a ,air et:.' or acti,,ities, .whilst I enlj chanilnel the ir
effror ts mainoI' to alrds- direct agr ictul tur al product iotn together i ith
casual N age NorK oi nIearby fiarms. This teinds to reinforce the NorIl:
uornern do Nithin the househlocld unit. This. irciease iln arpaid i nouera'a
world in jobs which ale not trictl, domestic mises a contribute ion
aithou-t coast to the social reproduc tioln of manual IIbour. Tlr this mai -
the participation of uomlen helps to reduce the costs of agl cultural
bage abor- Hence, an irmortarnt pr t of the =subsI id- pro ,ided by
pea ant- to the econoE, or the region and to the c ounl t ry is
necess;r il based on Homer 's nos Y.
cN Ialonen's Pole in the De"elopnment of an Ejicla,"e Pegiont3l Econonr;".
In the central Pern ian s1 ie r tihe par ticipFa iio ofr Holuiae it, the
peasantI economl'y has not gone IIIunnoticed alond, af a Iresul t, msanl reseaerch
stud ies con ta in r emar l< on or irmpress ions of the par t icipation o f
Homeii in the economy' or their contribution to the development of the
Of the 140 cases san sled in 1no. study of the peasan l coigla iln i ties and
toNns and cities of the Mtirstasro ,aller I ae, ronrl;' o f un Holmeu dec lared
theimsel"es to be e;.cla iuiel I houseniaies: and there; happened to be the
Si"les or publ ic erplr oy.ees tr ans fet red fr ors L.iois lI Il ie s iei I a.
The ac t ine I ole pl aed b' Iru i l NHoaon ei iin 39, icul tui e 1111 other
f c1 iia of HMos(i is clear ly' ,is ible. Desides Oscl' ing iln dcomest ic cho es,
they pla', 3 crucial role in the de eelopiierst of the peasant ecolsiion il
diff erent types of trade, in craft ts, in domestic ell i yinei, t land, in
susbsist ence-or jieated agr icultulre. This is not a recent phersanolenloni,
but :corl esponds to the tendencies of the econon ii as a Hhole. The
changes wh ich ha"e taKVerl pl ace ill the last trio decades, u i it the
intrlioduct Ion of modern technology, to the coumtiryside and the cleationl
of new needs, ha'se accentuated rather than diminihished these pattHerris
of social organization and sexual diis iion of labour.
The first factor -that has to be taVenr into account its order to
under tand the degree of par-ticipation of motoenl in the deeelopneenlt of
the reg ional eco-noum is the worl of isers. The coslin it ies of the
region are fundamentally agrar ian and.'or pastoral, with a'high degr ee
of land fr agrrentat ion, so that fen of them offer an-l, t:'pe of pa id
seasonal labour, let alone permanent Noril. Afs e ha"oe seeii, paid i~Ial:
is fourld outs ide the communit ies in the ir ban and nuir inng cenit es ,
which is wh; nmigrant labour has been, and still is, a constant eleenr t
in the de"elopmen t of the central legion.
DURATTIOI OrF ILIUSDAID' ErPL.O's1.E IT.
Pesl lanent Se as on al To t ia
IIoiners Categor Ho "* Iok : I1o
Colmrrser a lloen r 1 -1-14 C2.7 37. 7 70
Urba n Iknne) > 57 01.4 13 1.GC 70
TOTAL 101 7".1 S9 27.9 140
SOURCE: Field wor K, Pe i, 1979.
f'I By "conmuner a I refer to omen lii"ing in peasant coiie.n it ties and
by "urban" to those l i"ing in tourin and cities.
The sample questionnaire showed that 72.1 per cent of nomen had
husbands ira pernarsent emplosymrent, and the reicenitage ias greater among
0Iuren hl bo I i"ed in toiniss 06 1.4 per cent tr oun tth i f gui e Ue iayI
deduce that a high percentage of pernimnent morlVers I i"e outside the
comnulnit ies because of the nature of their jot's.
Research on peas ant women in other regions of the Permi" i an
hi ghlands such as the zones or Cajarneric, Cuzco and A-,acuicho indicate
a situation in which peasant women are in charge of agr culture and
li "estocK product ion ihile menr looK for paid ru Iv outside e4.. Also
in the central highlands but in coniuwnit ie- at a higher 31titude at
more -than 3.800 rmetresb- where resout cei are imni-ted arid cormmuniraicat i
uith the Mantaro 1s alle ; and the toumn is difficult, the porul ation
Str ucture con is ts of couitinities ,ir tual 1,,' without llers at all because
they are all MorK ing in distant places and onl:' "is it their fanil ie-
once or tw ice a year .Cainparoa and Ri"ei a, 19C4.. In these puria
conmun it ie-, the adult male population seel-s permanent or tempoir a;'
ermloy'rent in the mining centres or in Lirma.
RESIDEoC E OF i ILISEIDS HITFI PERtIcIrtIT IORY
lomen Categor; Distant Location(.l) leatb-. Location Total
Comunera Iomrrn 45.5 5-14.5 -1-
Urban WMoeni 2. 1 71.9 57
TOTAL 35.7 G .3 101
SOURCE: Field-work, Peru, 1979.r 1 "distant location" indicates that
men currently; do not sleep at home.
In the ,"alley coimujn lit ies 27.9 per cent of the nmen ar e temIpo arl''
mor Kers so that they, only' spend par t of their time at home. Anid it
can be seen from Table G that of the husbands in permanent iuorK, 35.G
per cent of thensu wor at some distance froimn their hones_. For thia
re3aon they' too, ,is it their households onl- once or twice a yea .
generally' on the Conmrun it','s Sainit's Day9 or for the IHew Year.
If to the number of husbarInd ira seasonal enrlo'menrt we add those
who uoi K auay' for longer periods, then. e obtain the percentage of mien
,GS.C per cent) who remain i ara,' from their househol d f ot a large pait
of the year. Thee f igures show that peasant comnidtmiit ie continue as
supply' centres of labour for the capitalist sector. They. also iugjgeIt
that connudnit 1, resourcesi are incapable of retaiiinig the hole of the
labour for ce and reproducing it on the bas3 i or the ]ocal economy.
Thii economy develops with in the coiairun itieS Hhere there are nrore
aonmier than men. le can therefore a;y that in the iesi ia woisers do not
-iniply cooperate with their husband- in a3r icul tui e, but, oni the
contr at', it is the' who carry the m sir bulrdens of Uwa V both fi oai the
point of ,nies of production and Iasanagemelnt. ThiS is ntot, howen"e the
pattern onl for ormen l i,.ing in the commurniities but also fcor those
who i".e in the towns of the "al le;, who pos=-e- l31and iln their
comnr unitie- of origin. tA is clear fr om Table 7, wornen from the tourw!
or cite= continue to practice ags culture and the fact that the; li ie
in an ur ban place is no obstacle to them. l.il t is ror e, both
conminl i ty structure and faniily; organizations are well adapted to this
type of rural-urban relationship.
PARTICIPATION OF HOINEt III AGRCULTURAL ACTIVITY.
Owner of Land lHor V Directl e )
Iomnen Categor 'st3 IO '' t0 i 0
lb : ul o: Iio : flo ':
Comunier a WHomen 59 04.3 11 15.7 5-1, 915 5 .5
Urban rirsen 49 70.0 21 30.0 37 75.5 IC 2 4.5
TOTAL 100 77.1 32 22.9 91 84.3 17 17.7
SOUPCE:Field -wor, Pe u 1979. f' I Ioispen who uM.In the l andi directly,.
The inher it ance of land has been aDi imror I tant factor in the
par ticipation of Moneii in subs is tence oriented ag) culture and also iln
the process of capital accumulation outs ide agr iculture. Under the
bilateral system of land inheritance, daughter rece ie the same share
as soln, so that e'.'eriy uoman coasiiner a or daughter of a coirirea a is
legal1' an owner of a plot of land. In practice, a household holds
se.,er al plots of land, bh ich inma be located in one or .se"e, al
communities because of e::oganous smani' lges.
Among the richer conuner o rsl t i age is the uwa, in wh ich men acql ir e
more land in order to increase p-oductioni and, at the arne time, to
obtain the help of a wife uho ill control agr icultl Hotr al uhile he
dedicate- his time to other activities rf-lallon, 1'303. Alng i3 the
middle and poorer strata, martr iage, be- ide- pr o,,id ing access to
additional prope rty if only by a third of a hectare ImaKes it eas-ier
to become a wage labourer without ha'.ing to g i"e tip agr culture, which
remains in charge of the wife. For those men foreign to the region,
marr iage with a daughter of a comunera means access to ]and. As Laite
points out, sometiines "These outsiders ueei e viewed with suspicion by'
the residents, who JoKed cagsil about these Iseia bho had r rs lied their
sisters and captured their land" 1100A3:19).
According to Deere (1978', the social status of a woman is a
decis i"e factor in the way she is related to agriculture. Iomen oF
higher social status are in control of production bult they do not
directly; uorY the land. I-hen the holding is small the woman, a; well
as taking or one or two worvren for the heaviest worV and other odd
jobi, her se f O 1 o d ir ec t i l' on the land. This is courtgsols afmi.ro
fanmil ies with scarce resources and little I and, but I1 ith huZsbanids
wor ting in secure errmloI'ment.
COOPERATIOtl or HtUSE1NDS IIl AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION.
Category or loman Helps Spome times Helps Does not Ilelp Total
i0o t: o Iio
- - - - - - --. .-. .-.- . .. .... . . .
Comunera Homen 25 43.9 15 2c.3 17 29.0 57
Urban Women 19 4G.3 IG 33.0 G 14.G 11
TOTAL 44 40.7 31 20.7 24 22.2 100
SOURCE:Fieldworr, Peru, 1978.
Table 9 shous that urban women rece ie more help froiii their
husbands than women li,'ing in peasant corrnn it iei. The explanation
for th ii is that men whose families l i"e in the conimnit, generally
worIl outs ide the region or far from the corriitinit,, which mages it
difficult for them to tira"el to the conmmun it,' when needed. Th i is
not the case with -the families who l ie in the lourls of the -aller,
s since mania of the husbands HorK in the alne area and at the
appropriate t ime they, can return to cult alte the faniil Fpl6t. For
them agriculture ai a weeKend tasK. This is especially, the case iln
certain corrun it ies cosel ,, iinKed ith the mir ing centres, ive
Ataura, de-cribed b;' Laite 13903).
The product ion conditions are e:. treinel] :. pool due to the
mrini fundia s--tern, low v'ields anrd low pr ices for agricultural p odaucts
in the marKet so, agriculture cannot easily generate nuich capital for
re inies tuien t. On the contract', an impor tant par t of the cap i tal which
is inles-ted in ag 9 icul tui e is produced outside this sector Tit
practice, in ordei to de,,elop agl cultural produce tion, f arsilie.s 'eat I l
mobil ize different t source of income for the necessary capital, tfrom
mine- salr ies, commerce nd trades.
Of commun i ty, hou-eholds, 52 per cenlt eep animiaal ilhile for I:ill
faiail ies th is pel centage dr opt to 92.9 per cent. -lonelae ar e
responsible for the animal, but they are cared and pastured with the
help of children, depending on the tiiae each has a ailable. Of the
women who 1 ile in towns, 23 per cent lea"e herding in the handia .of
community Kirtamer or hired hands.
Herding is one of the most marginal of actiI"ities-. Animals are put
out to grass in the countr-yside, on the roadsides, rand on the alo pes
too step to be tilled. To Keep the animals fed in these condition! is
a tasK without end and without rest which mruot be combined with the
gather ing of wood for the Kitchen sto,"e. -b or begins ,eri eli 1,' in
the morning. If children ha,,e to go -chool, they- tave the animaals hole
and shut them up in the corral or fold. At midday, when the- return
from school, they let the arnimials out again to gr ass util it gets
Hloweer when one talKs of childlt en in gener al one is nIut
descr ibing the situation e;:actl ,'. It is usually the gi rl who folloN
the aniimals in to the countr rsi deI it is the;' a o who, whenl the another
is absent, are responsible for the don'eatic chores, for the case of
the younger children, worK on the land, etc. Meanwhile the bou -- can
pI ar and de'.'ote thermel"esa to their school tas F_=. Aiiong the. pcor er
family ies, many' gir l are ne"er sent to school. In the liididle and
tipper strata families, girls are tareen oit ofr achuol whenever theta e is
an occasional domestic responaibiliit;, to be raced.
The rural uomren or the central region, are riot cirlls direct i]
in,,ol,,ed inl agricultural production but the' also participate inl the
commerce of the area. Place of residence ur il or t(i ban- does not
seems to be a limiting factor for this type of actilit; `see Table 9'.
IH-0EI DEVOTED TO COtItERCE.
Categaor' or Illomen 'ES 11
lbo : lHo :
Coniinieras llonen 43 GI. 27 3-0.
Urban's Wbomen 44 G6.C 2, '37.1
TOTAL 97 62.1 53 37.9
SOUPCEI Field -NorK, Peru, 1-379.
The e:..pans ion of small -scale trading is a s tri iing feature of the
regiJon. Ilundreds of ormen travel ecer;yday; between the coluntri y ide and
the touns, carrying small quaintities of rarn produce -,egetables,
eggss, alfalfa, fodder rabbits, heen, muilY, etc.- Uhich the' sell
from house to house or from street stalls. Other Mooneil prepare food
to sell in the maren marVets of the region and in the ti eeta of the
toinis. Often ni thin the frTameMor of large family structures., some
traders collect together products from the small producers of the
region, and others transport them to Lilma to sell in the large -cale
mar Kets. Hleither of these tIo taso: is specific call nr en 's or iHo ler,'s
bIorV, but small scale trading is certainly colnsidlered e.-clus iael;y a
NoIarl a's domna in. Among the 140 cases that uere intert Jiewed, 07 acOirenr
tool part in trading, that is 62 per cent, Nithout aiich diffeienitce
being noticed between the touwi es idelnts and the Homersn fi oi the
communities fsee Table 3).
Tr adding is orot necessar ily l imi ted to the sale cif agr icul thm al
products, but Spr eads out to taKe in imani other i tean such as
clothes prepared foods int the tr eets, housc, ehol d ir.pl elrents ard
accesor ies. Hor is this actilitt' limited to the area of the local it;
or the legion: it e.;tends as far as Limsa and the tr op ical loulawads.
S tost trading is small-scale and tares place in marIKet- and streets.
For poor uomen, trading .is a precar iouis actii it-'. It is iot
permanent and depends on the opportunities foIr -ale of pai ticula
produce -e.g. "ege-table or anirals- and on the flluctuation s in pr ice
uh ich occur in the marKets. Ob,, ious i;', at ha rl-es tt ihse the
agr cultural act i'. it, of Mowmern increases, as also does Ismall :ale
trading in farmn produce. In this respect anjd Ielated to the stabilit:y
of tr adding, it was found that onrl' seen per cent of Humoen engage in
manKetin g on an occasional basis, 4G.5 per cent are semi permnenailt,
and 4-.5 per cent do it per nmanentl'.
Another er, r importan r t actic it;' ibt the region, focused ia inl,' oan
the comMuni t i es, is handicraft production. These harndlilraft are
high' thought of, and there is a rIead,' maarKet in the region, ina Linia
and abroad, through in ter media les who often coine fi o011 the same
,illages. In con tr as t to the other acti, ities descr ibed, handicr afts
are not e cluii i"el' practised b;' ormen ard mios-t uften whole fam, jl ies
in each coniirun iit; specialize inl particular cr afts. Dut, a! the
spin ing an-d wea".,ing of wool is also a h andicr aft which is e. changed
inl the mar Ket and produces income for both the iural a 1 nd ui bian
famuil ies, it happens that alrsiot all uoinen int the region Far tiL irate
in hanrdicraft wor:.
From in for mat ion supplied irn the ir teil ies rror i other reseal ch
stud ie c arr ied out in the region, and frolm celansus 13t, we can sll
that the onlI acti'.'it}, in which women do not tave 1-al I itn g eat
number-r is formal urban eiipl o-'naie t. Tlue sample showed that altsiJij
ur ban uomen onl;' nine per cent of uorlen admitted to being earmloy'ed in
the toun and none of these owned land ? 12.0 per cent of ur-ban Homeno .
Howe'.er if we taKe into account the fact that in Peru the urban
sector amounts to 70 per' cent of the population and, if we e trapola-te
these figures proport ionatel-, the number of wornae earning a wage
would be around a figure of 18 pet cent. This fii'ue is iin line with
that gsil.en by the last national population census which shows that 20
per cent of the Peru"eian worK force is female.
The data that we ha".e analyzed on the part icFt iaon of wotisen in the
economic actiiitv of the central region of Peru and on the dispet sion
of resources and the general conditions presented b;, the diff erent
sectors of the economy. of the region, suggest that the onl wsa' open
to households to obtain sufficient income to meet their repr coduct ion
needs, is through the participation of woifren in different occUaitions.
The types of occupation practised, however, depend urt.cn the soc ial
le"el to which the, belong and on the wa: in which the;, or.janize and
reinforce their family relationships. L.i,.ving in peasantl corudsatu ities
or in urban areas is not an important d ist in gui. shingi f,: tl.i,
cund it ion ing economic or s-ocial act i. i tie-i Si i I ar I. tt Ier of
family organ izat ion and sexual d i is ions of I abour pi lo'id-j the
connecting bonds between the differ ett isil ieut and ij.e it ir. ..s ii le
to "iew them as separate economic spher-es.
MULTTPLIC ITT' OF ECOtOMIC OCCJUPATTOS AIOlMIGT I.rIntEll. I
tfi i.ber of Occuip. Nlo of Ikriene Perceirnt sje Totl t 2"
One Occupat ion 4 2.9 4
Two Occupations G3 45.0 126
Three Occupationsi 6 43.6 183
Four and more Occuip. 12 3.5 1G
TOTAL 140 100.0 31 I
SOUPCE: FieldworK in Perii, 1979.
(1 tNot including spinning and wea-,ing that all Momen perform.
'2) Total number of acHijities.
Lea,,inj as ide .social differences, a large majorit-, of women ca-rrt
out sei.'er a act i" it ies s imul taneouis l1 in order to accumrnul ate
sufficient income to enable them to co"er the daily expenses of food,
clothing, schooling, medicine, etc. for their households.
IIh ile the labouir opportunities open to tiien are scarce and insecure,
it is clear that, at least for an important sector of the population
of the region, the preservation of the family; is dependent primarily )
on women's worK, due as rmuch to the temporary absence of imen as to the
fact that women pros'ide a more certain source of income.
IJomen's act i, cities in the Central Sier-ra of Peru are earnestly
directed to ac-quiring income or drawing nore t i ghtl I together the
family ties that may promote the acculmuIlatiorn of an inal stoCc
business, land or whatever is li ely to produce the best profit at a
gi"en moment. But as this need for accrumul action is widely felt and,
as the econoutr as a whole is unstable, it is "er, diffi :clt to schiele
a process of capital concentration. On the contrary a, the terideinc is
towards the e pans ion of d i'.'ers ified acti, cities with in a s~'Y temis wh ich
embraces thous ands of iuns table small i or middle e ized fa ,isil
Doing fieldworV, one can obsere the constant effort of Nomens to
di"ersif' income sources, to consolidate family networ-:s, to cope with
variouss economic aren as, and to contr ibuite to household income
bringing more stability and, in some cases, supporting the household
alone. In order to taP'e on this response ibilit, women hae created
t"arious forms of extracting from family netNorKs the necessary means
of l ielihood, combining different resources. I, this conte,. it
seems that the basis of diversified fanrily; enterprise ones a great
deal to women, who in the face of certain historical proce--es halle
fought to maintain the iability of their houseeholds. As men left
home for worK, so women diers if ied act iit ies. This, in turn played
an important role in regional de,"elopment, as well as in the way itn
which capitalism has expanded. Capitalist enterprise has not fully
developed in agriculture, which has remained as a secondary acti,"ity
for many households. Howe".er, as capitalism developed in other
economic areas, particularly in the mining enclave, the "ar ioils
act iolt ies de'-eloped by women themseli.'es helped the deeloprme t of
cFaitalism itself, pros id ing cheap I abour and reduce ing the
reproduction costs of the household and therefore also the labour
force. This eI.pansion of capitalist enterprise in the Central Pegjion,
then, has in great measure been su pported by the "aat-liKe" act i. ities
carried out by women.
An examination of agricultural processes in Chile and Perui has
shown that most efforts to de,,elop a broad and dynamic agricultural
base in both countries ha"e been iuniucce- i s fu] ne either the
modernization of the haciendas, nor land reform, nor neo liberal
policies, ha"e achieved this. Indeed, in most cases they ha"e led to
greater poverty and marginalization of the rural popul action. It is in
the context of agrarian crisis that capitalist ex:pansiot has ta'enr
place, with une"en results in different regions. Peas ants ha"e
responded to this by d i.ers ify ing their production and incorporating
more household members into farm wor-K while, at the nme tirre,
corrmmitting themselves to a number of off-farm activities. Although
these processes ha oe occurred in different regional conte: ts women
haoe generally become progressiv.,ely more inol,"ed in production and in
all regions contribute substantially to household income.
The progress i"e in"ol"eent of women in incohie genert at ing
act I-ities is, I suggested, a direct result of the ,srg final sized
position of agriculture, and of the need to lower production costs.
It seems liKely that under better production conditions pea ant women
would tend to gi.,e up some of their present extra agr cultural tasKs
and become more in,"ol .ed in domestic activities whi ii t, in other
areas, where women taKe par t in wage 1 abour, such as irt fr u it
production, and where women can earn better wages than lheir husbands,
a major restructuring of economic roles between umet and wonen is
ocurring. The arrme can be said for the Peru" i an highlands, 1 here
women are becoming more independent through their trading act I ties.
Al though there e:ist a noltmber of iirmortiant differences between the
regional situations included in this study, there is, ne'ertheless,
one important and crucial similar ity with respect to the role of Nocl ler
in the economy' and that is that in all three --ses H, rtenn participate
to a large extent in production wor':, in trading or in cultii"ating
peasant plots, thus contributing in a sign ific:ant wMa, to the general
output of production. I.k~len combine these act i it ies with doiest ic
worV essential for the reproduction of labour'. Since in most cases
this worV is unpaid, the contribution of worsen remains unrrecognized or
taKen for granted.
In the fruit region of Chile women pla, an .i mpor tant part in the
expan sion of capital. Howueer, unl i'e other regions, their wort: is
seasonal but well paid. They enter the labour market only diiring the
peaK season, but this helps to maintain the ma-ss i"e unemp lorlment of
the rest of the worK force, .since the combined incomes of women and
men are sufficient to meet the basic needs of the household. This
pattern of employment, partly~ conditioned b, the labour requirements
of fruit, but also, and ma be more importan-tl, by male unenmploymer t
which is to a large extent a result of the neo-liberal model of
development. As men progress-i"el? earn less, women are obliged to do
overtime and became more and more in"ol"ed in wage labouti which suits
the specific errmployment requirements of fruit production.
The situation is different in the mi ed-cropping areas, where the
effects of neo-liberal policies are characterized by the redrawal of
capital from the agriculture with the r-esuilt that the I;easanti- has
now become the main ac-tor aof the agr ariant arena. This increases
women's in"ol "ement in agricultural production on peasant plots, as
well as increasing their commitment to Vitchen garden product ion and
to certa in handicrafts. Ic.mrnen ha"e also replaced wage leabolur on those
peasant holdings able to develop rar-ret-or iented product ion. Since
the major it- of Chilean population has no relation with gr icul tural
product ion only 18 per cent of the population li "es in the iur a
area), and a still smaller number, 12 per cent, own land, then,
women's worK in agriculture becomes of enormous imrrortance to the
Tn the central region of Peru. capital e.-pan ion ii seejmented.
Agriculture has become, to a large extent, marginal and has been taVen
oer by women. Agricultural production is unable, in rost cases, to
reproduce itself, requiring supplement ary inputs gener ated from
outs ide agriculture, mainly from mine worK. In this contet.. women
recycle a proportion of the mining wages into agricultural products,
both for home consumption and for the marKet Carmp ana, 1981'. Both
rural and urban women, participate in this process, being in"ol "ed i,
the production and trade of agricultural products. In this case, the
processes of change neither produce proletar ianization nor the
formation of capitalist family-Farmis. Comple family te twor :V eol"e
to cope simultaneously with the different economic fields, in which
worn seem to concentrate on agr icul fiire and men on migr ant labour
both within and outs ide the region.
In a First approach to the relationship between social strata and
women's worv one might suppose that fewer resources encoul age a
greater degree of women's participation in a3ar'icul tu.rl p1 roduIc: tion.
Howe,,er, w, research shows that the intensity of uorern' in,"o Ientert
tends to be rather similar for the different state, oh in the
amount of *time de"octed to product ion act i i t ies and int the
contribution to the common income household fund. IF we looK at the
cash contr ibut ion of minif undist s and parceler as in the isi ed-
cropping region, there is 9 great simil arit, between them. If we then
compare their incomes with those of the fruit region, we find that
also are similar, appro' matel%, V3.500 a irjiunth. The maiin difference
is the t'pe of wort., which "aries with the social strala from which
the woman comes. Thus those with large and better-tal lit; plots of
land intense ify their worr in agr icultiire, whilst those will poorer
resources dii"ers if their efforts in their search for subs istence.
Then, when the land owned is "er- s-mall and below the amcriint needed to
produce enough to maintain the household. Thus, the household menierts,
esreciall3 worn, di"ersify their acti.v cities ou side the holding, as
in the case of Peru. Finally,, when cond it ions for d i"ers i fy ing
sources of income through comb inig peas ant and trad ing acti cities do
not e- ist, then women tend to become wage labourers as we find ill the
fruit region of Chile.
At this point I would live to return to the aru'a3Lent F Boseit-i
S1970) and Garret (197G8 concerning Noraen 's Ho I| an d car i tl
e ns ion. Both Boser-up and Garre t point ot that w i th the
introduce ion of modern technologyy, the female labour force tend to
become di is -plac ed from prodic tion. This dis placement inc iJldes the
marginal izat ion of womer in the information of new technologies. Th is
argument seem "alid for the situ nations Ihey studied. Garret, for
example, shows how mi llIma ids are disl I aced by au tomrat ic r, il ing
machines in Chile, just as happens in South lWest England .asee Bouquet,
1984:142-143'. However, there are two aspects of this prohbleri, I would
l iVte to ansal yse further. The first concerns the heteroageneity1 of
agr icultur al s ituat ions, which raves it difFicult to F iltd in gle
overall trends in such processes of change. The second is concerned
with the specific crops and products through which capitalist
expansion actually occurs. The eq-pansion of frilit production in Chile
is in fact an e-..ample which contradicts the findings of Bo--erir,
Garret and Bouq-uet. It is a case where the introduce t ion of modern
technology combined with other factors, has entailed the incorporation
of women into the labour process. This leads us to conclude that,
depending on the specific labour re-qu irements of each crop, modern
technology can ha"e the effect of marginal izing or to incorporating
women into production. The fruit situation also under ines se,,eral
other factors, for e-ampl e differences in tre of land tenure,
product ion strategies, I aboCur .Patterni, household or: ganiza tion and
sexual di.,is ion oF labour. These last tfwo, T mi in ta in, are
part icil early important.
I hs,"e examined women's worry in different regional conte-ts i4 thin
the structure of households, trying to understand the role F.played b%,
worren as income pro",iders. Income is provided by different areas of
ac ti'.' ity which we may define as product i"e and reproduct i"e, depending
on whether they tave place within the domestic domain freproduct i"e
wort'' or outside. The se' u1al di" ision of Ilabout pl aces reproduct i"e
worK in the hands of women and product ie wore: in those of nien. This
div.,ision of labour, which is always,- defined bLt reference to srme ideal
cuIltlural pattern, does not operate in the same Eav in practice. It rmea
be true that a great number of women in the urban areas are more
concerned with reproductive worK, but in the rural areas this p picture
becomes much more comple- due to a number of factors, among them, the
lacK of clearly defined lines between domestic and producti,"e areas
In practical terms, peasant women consider their Kitchen gardens and
small animals as part of their domestic domain, and for that reason,
when asKed if they worK, the, usually reFply negatiel'.
There are also a number of other activities such as the selecting
of seeds,. processing of foods, establishing of leant nurseries, and
maY ing of commodities liKe cheese and handicrafts which, s since the-
are carried out within the "domestic space', likewise are cons idered a
part of women's domestic chores, lacking as a result the character of
product ie worK.
If production worK is defined as that which pertains to "ran" goods
vegetablesle s meat, legumes, as well as money, to bulY raw goods', and
this is separated from reproduction worK, which is defined as those
acti,.,ities which transform raw goods into eread,--to-eat meals, theti
the nature of "outdoor domestic wor'K 'garden in- and an imal
husbandry', and other similar worry carr led out in the "domes tic space"
(indoors and outdoors can be defined as product ion wor.. The serl
applies for clothes and hois ing. From this perspective the raising of
animals and the Keeping of a Kitchen garden are prodilctisle wor. and,
therefore, within the domestic sphere, Monen carry out both Production
and reproduction worP. Further s rmlre, NHoier alszo rlmae a siuistaitial
contr iblut ion in other spheres of production, such as obtaiining cash
income from wage labour or trade, and in contr ibut ini to the iurnn ing
of farming activities.
In simple terms, production norl' is that asso:ciated wi Eh labojur
that is, those activities which produce goods theoret icall
exchangeable in the marKet, and reproduction onrP with that which is
not subject to transaction. This definition operates fairly, clear-ly,
in the urban situiat ion, but in rural areas it i =s mo.ch more
complicated. In fact, what difference is there between wheat produced
on the farm for home consumption which is considered production NorNY
and chicken raised at home H'hich is not considered production norw'I,
when in fact neither of these products reach the marKet?. As a
consequence of defining worv in this wan, meru produce ing wheat for hour
consumption are included as part of the worKV force, agi, their worr'
forms as part of the National Product: whilst the produce ion of
chicKens is left out of e"ery one of these meas.urerments, e"en though
chicVens possibly need rmre tire and worK and pro, ide more protein.
This problem of definition and accounting has the effect of
considering the domestic domain as non e-;istent, and is for this
reason referred to as 'ghost' both by society and b;y women themselves.
For this reason Homen do not consider themsel les as 'woi ers '.
Capitalist society has implanted the not ion that only wor' done on the
farm or for wages is 'Hor while dom ces tic wHOIm is onl an
'act i'ity' Thus, Homen feel that they are performing ac ti cities, a
great number of them without time to rest, buit ornl nMen norit. The
conceptual division between worK and activities also maintain ns the
structure of subordination within the hoiisehold, in the setise that
only those who worf can command. IHomen, when asved about whether they
wory, usual I answered "I do not worV, I only help my husband". The,,
implicitly provide with this answer the leg itimation of power for
those who 'worY'. The transformations which occur when women begin to
*"orW" are also "ery interesting, as in the fruit region along the
temporary laborers, and in the central sierra of Peru-t both rl aces
where women feel that they can raise a household by themsel,.es. At
the same, however, at least in this last area, the rights of menr to
beat women still persist. It is possible that the reason for this is
the social effect of the separation of men from the ir homes by
beating women they are renewing their authority at home in front of
the community. In the case of the fruit-growing region, women perform
more sYilled worK and obtain better wages, and consequently also
demand for a major share of authority within the household. This in
fact entails a greater degree of democracy and discussion, and shared
responsib ility in the dec is ion-maY ing which concerns household
As household income is "ariable throughout the year, both from
wages and farming, it is generally assumed that women are responsible
for planning the best way of spending an irregular amount of income.
In circumstances where a man's income is insufficient to co"er all the
necessities then, it is the woman who is.-sluposed to loov foir ways of
obtain supplementary income. An it is in this cornte t that the
variouss e ist ing forms of dii"ersifica-ion at the ho.iuehold level nist
be located. And the reason that most diverse of economic actillities
are performed by women is based on the need to obtain IsurppI ementary
income. This is also the reason why women NorV for wages while
continuing to perform household chores, and wHh they, spend more time
worKing in the Kitchen garden or on the farm, or developing e-tended
Kin networks for trading and production, as in the Peru,,ian central
highlands. In this contest, although in the Chilean situation
extended Kin networKs are Iunusual, minor forms of inter-household
cooperation do e'ist, such as caring for.children among the temporary
female worKers, and sharecropping chicKens in the mi .ed-cropp ing
areas. To a large extent, the observed forms of inter-hou.sehold
cooperation are centered around women's activities aimed at obtain irg
sutpplementary income, in order to provide more seclur i t' than is
provide by the irregular income of the husband. Also, this suggests,
that differences in the economic beha",iour of men anld Nomen are the
result of two main trends: regional economic structure and histor-ical
background. As Long puts it, "differences between men's and women's
income and expenditure patterns can only be adequately e'-plained in
relation to specific socio-cultural and historical factors associated
with particular forms of household organization and se-'ual division of
labour, but the, are also related to the e"eryday objective mater ial
conditions experienced by men and women" (Long, 1984:15-16'.
From another dimension, testimonies of wnmen highlight a number of
more general dimens ions concerning the position and self-image of
Momenn i society. From several testimonies of Peru",ian and chilean
rural women, we can see that in spite of their strong comrrmitrrment to
production worK and wage 1 bour, these act ii ties are seen as
peripheral to their main concern, which is the household itself. All
of them ha"e similar interests in their children, as well as in ha-ling
a house, and establishing this as their domain. They e-press the idea
that men belong to the world of production, to the e-ternal world,
while women belong to the domestic world, that of preparing meals and
looking after children. This is a "ery strong cultural pattern, part
of the sexual division of labour. This is the reason why wouten accept
the double burden of worK double e jornada de trabbjo*', continuing
with the domestic tasKs whether or not the? worK in product-tion. For
most women who are earning income, their worKing days include both
domestic and production worv. These worKing days. e-tend to as many as
16 hours without rest, From sih in the morning to 10 ini the e-ening.
In the fruit area, women may worK longer hours during short periods,
finishing at 2 or 3 o'cloK in the morning, and in the early morn p ing
preparing breaKfast for the children and leading the lunch read,
before starting on the pacKing line again. In the countryside there
is little time to spend on leisure, and in fact women are so
accustomed to working all da, long that they, Fill their short periods
of rest with "resting acti." cities l ie ironing, Knitting, wea",ing,
mending clothes, and selecting seeds. IHomen maKe a distinction
between those act i, it ies which are performed stand ing 't ir ing'
act i"ities and those which can be carried out sitting down
''resting' actil cities .
Although women may li,,e in different regions, perform different
act i. cities, and ha".e different cullltral an d historical bacFVarolruds,
the" still present a number of similarities. This s i irrmortant for
understanding the role of women in society. I belie".e that worien, iil
this case rural women, all share a similar condition which is that of
'to be woman', by which I mean the fact that the position of wom'-en in
society is generally one of subordination. And this position seems to
be universal. Beneria and Sen f1982:89) point out that the problem of
subordination is not only that of a lac of participation as Boserup
(1970) argues, but consist a complex system based on -structural
inequality, resulting in a large number of snall aspects, such as, for
ex.'amp le, in o"erworl: and malnutrition of rural woiien when coartared
with men of the same class. Folbre '19841 says that in the
Philippines, e"en within the same household, women eat some 25. per
cent less protein than men. The subordinate position of wHoen is
located within a system which maless use of gender inequalit ies in
such a Nwa that intensify and moKe them change their form, w i th the
result that women tend to be located in a position of subordination
between class and gender"
the same for both affluent and poor wone..
In the testimonies, subordination meant that these wonen Norled
from childhood, and for nmch longer than boys, in the "domestic
space", which included a number of different activities which it was
said should be "learned" at home. Boys can rely nore for their future
aorV on formal training, and during childhood ha"e fewer dJuties or
chores to perform. lher a h6lusehold becomes rmotherless, the older
sister as :smes the role of mother, e"en where an older brother is
319silable. Because they were subordinated, all the worien in the cases
abandoned school "er early, or did not study at all. Because they
are subordinated they ha e to under-tare "ar ioais act iit ies
s imv.ll tneous ly, beyond those which theoret iial 1 they shoul d do"
gi"en their positions as houselMies and are able to create space for
these activities without abandoning those which the, are currently
responsible for and, finally, because they are subordinated they
en, isage a future life not so much for themsel, es but For their
family, children and husband.
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