In the proposal submitted for this project, a fairly substantial amount
of time (six weeks) was set aside for the revision of the primer borrador. I
suggest that the due date be moved forward once more to the end of December or
January to enable Dra. Ferrando to take full advantage of the time allowed and
to present an informed final that will be at once a credit to her and her agency,
and a useful document for census bureau personnel, policymakers and planners,
funding agencies and researchers.
First of all, I think that we all recognize that Dra. Ferrando has put a
great deal of effort into the production of the primer borrador. It is in the
spirit of improving this document and building on the work already completed that
the following suggestions are offered. Recommendations will be in three parts:
1. the original proposal, and departures from what was promised;
2. critique of the informed, and
3. expansion of the section on factors influencing women's participation.
If she agrees, Dra. Ferrando probably should give first priority to addressing
the omissions in what originally was proposed; then to improving the document
as it stands and finally, if time permits, in making some judicious additions.
I. The Original Proposal
As the proposal's five pages are not numbered, I will refer to the topics
to be considered by the proposal's headings.
I.I. Bibliography. As suggested in the proposal (Part III, Objectives),
the first task to be completed under terms of this contract was "to compile all
iThere are three key documents: the original INE proposal, Dra. Ferrando's
informed, and my essay. For clarity, I shall try to refer to these three documents
under these titles.
2The INE proposals does not have an author's name; I am presuming that
the author is Dra. Ferrando.
that exists in Peru in terms of statistical information on women, as an impor-
tant contribution to national planning and in elaborating indicators that add
to its utility and pertinence." No such bibliographical review is provided,
nor does Dra. Ferrando make references in her text to the analyses that are
available on women's situation in Peru, based on census and other statistics.
This is doubly puzzling since the proposal indicates that an attempt already had
been made "to review bibliography for the elaboration of the proposal," and
5 1/2 months are allowed for the bibliographical search. I do not agree with
the author that statistical information on women in Peru is "dispersed and in-
complete." Dra. Ferrando's efforts have been preceded by those of several col-
leagues who have done good to excellent work on women's labor force participation.
Even if she does not agree with them, Dra. Ferrando needs to take these analyses
into account, pointing out their strong points and deficiencies -- not simply
dismiss them without any discussion. Good scholarship always tries to build on
what others have done to avoid beginning every research project at "zero."
Recommendation: I suggest that it would be worthwhile to provide an annotated
bibliography for the benefit of planners and researchers -- perhaps not "todo
lo existente en el Peru" as originally promised, but a review of the key works.
Such a review could be accomplished in two weeks, not 5 1/2 months. The informed
also will benefit from the author's careful perusal of these documents, parti-
larly the following:
1. Delma Del Valle, Factores determinantes en la participaci6n de la
mujer en el mercado de trabajo. Lima: Ministerio de Trabajo, Direcci6n General
de Empleo, Oficina Tgcnica de Estudios de Mano de Obra (OTEMO), 1976.
This study, based both on census and labor force survey data, sets out
eight hypotheses on the influence of women's marital status, education (self and
spouse), child care and household help available, income and age on women's
labor force participation in the total country and in metropolitan Lima. This is
a fine piece of work, offering not only a description of women's labor force
participation from 1961 to 1975, but also an excellent and detailed analysis
of what the data mean and their implications for female labor force activity
in the future. The study is based on the censuses of 1940, 1961 and 1972, as
well as on OTEMO's various labor force surveys. The author continues her work
at OTEMO, and can be reached at the Ministry of Labor. If the publication is
agotada, Delma can provide a xerox, or you can consult the OTEMO files.
2. Flor Suarez, Vilma Vargas and Joel Jurado, Cambio de la economla
peruana y evoluci6n de la situaci6n de empleo de la mujer. Lima: Ministerio
de Trabajo y Promoci6n Social/UNICEF, 1982.
This is an interesting analysis of how the participation of women in the
labor force has responded in the most striking fashion to changes in the economic
cycle (as measured by the changes in GNP each year), i.e., women's participation
accelerates in times of economic crisis, and diminishes when the over-all
economy improves. The authors discuss the impact of economic crises on the way
women are incorporated into the labor force, on family income, on the extended
family as a survival mechanism. As well, they discuss the implications of women's
work for the family economy, the overall wage level and income distribution, and
on development. The senior author has transferred to the Concejo Nacional de
Poblaci6n, Camilo Carrillo 114, Lima 11. She can provide you a xerox, or you
can use the extensive library which the Concejo inherited from the Centro de
Poblaci6n y Desarrollo when it closed.
3. Flor Suarez, La movilidad ocupacional en Lima Metropolitana.
Lima: Ministerio de Trabajo, OTEMO, 1975.
This study offers some interesting insights on women's work, underscoring
3presentado en el Seminario, "Anglisis y Promoci6n de la Mujer en la
Actividad Econ6mica," 2-5 Marzo de 1982, Lima, Perd. The full sent of ponencias
from this seminar should be available by now; query UNICEF at ParqueMelit6n Porras
350, Lima 18.
the implications of their subempleo in domestic service, street vending, and
antisanal sectors of industrial manufacturing. The study, besides providing a
good sectoral analysis of women's participation, concludes that while there is
some upward mobility for migrant men in the labor force (comparing present em-
ployment with occupation at time of arrival in Lima), there is, in contrast,
little mobility for women. When they move at all, women generally move laterally --
from domestic service to street vending, for example.
4. Gabriela Villalobos de Urrutia, Diagn6stico de la situaci6n social y
econ6mica de la mujer peruana. Lima: Centro de Estudios de Poblaci6n y Desa-
A very useful compendium of statistical data on women's demographic,
educational, social, occupational, political and organization activity in Peru.
The publication also provides extensive analysis of the data. As the author
has gone to Chile, and the CEPD is no longer in existence, try the libraries at
the Concejo de Poblaci6n, the Ford Foundation, or at Creatividad y Cambio.
5. Maria del Carmen Feijo6, La mujer, el desarrollo y las fendencias de
poblaci6n en America Latina: bibliograffa comentada. Buenos Aires: Estudios
Commentaries on 86 key articles on women in the labor force, with the
relationship of labor force participation to population, development, family
life, migration and urbanization. Available from the Centro de Estudios de
Estado y Sociedad in B.A. (xeroxed for you, and coming in pouch).
There are other references that should prove useful to the informed, and
they are in the bibliography. Where publications are agotadas, the authors
who work close to Dra. Ferrando in nearby ministries and offices can be asked
to make xeroxes.
1.2. Census Data from 1940. In Part III, Descripci6n del Informe, it
is promised that the analysis will be based on the censuses of 1940, 1961, 1972
and 1981. As the proposal argues, "these sources will provide a more complete
vision (the past evaluation and the present situation) of women's situation."
While the first chapter of the informed (Marco de Contexto Econ6mico y Demogrifico)
does take us back -- in some cases, 40 years using 1940 census data, and in
other cases 30 years, using projections carried out by the INE in collaboration
with the Centro Latinoamericano de Demografia (CELADE), the second chapter on
women's participation in the labor force is based solely on the three latest
censuses, and thus covers only the last 20 years. We are deprived of the benefit
promised also in the informed's introduction of a review since World War II.
As the introduction notes, "during the past forty years, Peruvian society has
passed from an eminently rural and Andean focus to a predominantly urban and
coastal one, highly concentrated in the cities." Such a transformation indeed
has had profound repercussions on the economically-active population as Dra.
Ferrando notes. I therefore do not understand the truncation of the section
on women in the labor force to cover only 20 years. If we were able to
compare women's situation in 1981 with their status in 1940, the whole report
would be considerably enhanced.
Recommendation: I strongly recommend that 1940 data be included also in the
section on women's labor force participation, as promised in the INE proposal.
1.3. Labor Force Participation Data from Other Sources. Part III,
Descripci6n del Informe, proposes to use data from specialized surveys -- the
most pertinent would be the various OTEMO encuestas and the World Fertility Sur-
vey. Again, much of this data has been "worked" by others, so its inclusion
would not involve a great deal of effort. The comparison of censal information
and labor force survey data also is essential in unravelling several controver-
sies over the interpretation of census data. The author does allude to one
of these problems in Fn. 14, p. 37 and Cuadro 18, the only places she
makes any comparisons of census and labor force survey results.
Recommendation: My suggestion would be that data from other sources be brought
into the discussion, at least wherever it is pertinent in explaining the discre-
pancies in the census figures.
1.4. Succinct Description of the Socio-Economic Situation. The proposal
promises a succinct description of the socio-economic development process in
the country, and a review of its demographic situation (Part III, Descripci6n del
Informe). I do not find Chapter I of the informed in any way "succinct" -- it
takes up 36 of the 90 pages, or more than one-third of the space (in contrast,
Del Valle's description of the demographic/economic situation is confined to 16
of 179 pages) Indeed, the author makes no attempt to link this chapter to the
rest of the informed. In itself, the chapter no doubt is a good review of the
economic situation, but unless it is carefullyconnected to the rest of the informed,
it remains superfluous to the main theme of women's participation in economic
activity as reflected in the census statistics. It would take a great deal
of effort to link several of the topics, i.e., agrarian reform and the situation
in mining (pp. 31-34) and inflation (pp. 34-36) to women's labor force activity
although there are, of course, connections. Other topics do lend themselves to
such linkages. Should the author wish to pursue this approach, there are some
good references available:
(a) pp. 7-9, population growth and distribution. The author does link
women's labor force participation to similar data in the next chapter (pp. 41-42),
but she does not refer to this earlier section. Some references making the
link include Anker 1982; Inter-American Development Bank 1980-81, Chapter 5;
4There are some references: a thesis -- Edissa Villena Pierola,
"Participaci6n de la mujer campesina en el process de Reforma Agraria,"
Universidad Cat61lica, Facultad de Letras 1974, as well as Deere and Le6n de
Leal 1982**;: Bourque and Warren 1982, and Garrett 1978.
Jelin 1978; Programa Regional de Empleo para America Latina y el Caribe
(PREALC) 1978 ; Sara-Lafosse 1980; Standing 1978 ; Standing and Sheehan
Youssef, Buvinid and Kudat 1979.
Besides questions on numbers and proportions of working-age women and
their urban/rural residence, another important topic is the distribution of
women in various ethnic, linguistic and religious formations. The fact that
this paper does not ever refer to the urgent question of rural indigenous women --
52 percent of whom, according to the 1970 census, spoke only Aymarg or Quechua --
in contrast to so many of the men who learned Spanish during their army service,
is a serious omission. It is interesting to outline the various geographic
divisions of the country, as the author as done, but it is the ethnic divisions
that have much more relevance for women's labor force participation.
(b) pp. 10-11, mortality decline and "aging" of the population. What is
interesting here is the effect of declines in mortality on older women's labor
force activity. In Peru, over-all numbers of older women in urban places are
increasing in each census period, while their labor force participation as regis-
tered in the census is declining. We can speculate, as Ferrando does later,
that this phenomenon (generalized throughout Latin America) is an effect of
improved social security pensions (I doubt it!), but there are others who
would argue that the insignificant amounts received do not permit older women
to retire voluntarily; rather, they are being forced out of the formal labor
force (and into the informal sector) by younger, better-qualified women (PREALC
1978: 39). For many other pertinent considerations on mortality declines and
their effects, see United Nations 1982.
(c) pp: 11-13, fecundity and the effects of population growth on economic
development: the arguments presented on p. 12 are outdated (references are from
1960 and 1967!), and moreover are irrelevant to the discussion of women in the
the labor force. Arguments should center on the relation of fecundity/population
growth on women's economic participation and contributions to economic develop-
ment. For references, see Anker 1980; Cochrane 1983; Curtin 1982; Elizaga
1974 and 1977; Oppong 1982; Population Reports 1979a and 1979b; PREALC 1978;
Standing 1978; Standing and Sheehan 1978; Suarez 1981; Youssef 1982.
(d) pp. 13-16, effects of changes in GNP on women's participation
See Sugrez, et al., noted above. Also UNICEF 1982 and the compilation of
publications from the UNICEF seminar of 1982. The wrong question is being
addressed here, i.e., we are not interested in the growth of GNP/total population,
but the effects of changes in GNP rates of growth on women's labor force parti-
(3) pp. 17-24, migration, situation in agriculture and urbanization. Again,
arguments here should be centered on how these events affect women's labor
force participation rates. Some references include Boserup 1970; Chaney 1982 ;
Checa, et al. 1981; Heyman 1974; Jelin 1978; Standing 1978; Standing and Sheehan
1978; Youssef, Buvini6 and Kudat 1979. For discussion on the female-headed
household, one of the results of male out-migration, see Buvinic, Youssef and
Von Elm 1978 ; Tienda y Ortega Salazar 1972; Youssef and Hettler 1983.
(f) pp. 24-28, redistribution of economically-active population among
agriculture, industry and services. Again, the author should point to the effects
on women of changing sectoral distributions of the working population, i.e.,
women's concentration in services and declining participation in agriculture,
as well as the parallel growth of the informal sector. Some citations include
Bourque and Warren 1980: Bunster 1983; Deere and Le6n de Leal 1982; Jelin 1976;
Le6n 1982; Le6n de Leal 1980: PREALC 1978; Safa 1977; Sara-Lafosse, et al.
1981, Cap. 1. On the growing numbers of women in the informal sector, and the
relationship between formal and informal labor markets, see Arizpe 1977; BuviniC,
Lycette and McGreevey 1983; Schmink 1982 ; Standing 1978; Standing and Shee-
Recommendation: That this section be cut to no more than 10-12 pages, and
that information on Peru's economic and demographic development be linked
to women's participation in economic activity. Or that this section simply
be dropped, and the informed begin with Part II, p. 37.
1.5. Critical Analysis. The proposal promises "a critical and analyti-
cal exposition of the basic information on Peruvian women's participation in
the development of Peru" (Part III, Descripci6n del Informe), and "to analyze
the participation of women in the labor force." I find that, in general, the
informed offers very little analysis; Part II is principally description and,
moreover, mostly description of what is in the tables. The informed needs much
more discussion on what the statistics mean.
Recommendation: A critical analysis might be assisted by putting the data in
a theoretical framework derived from attempts to explain women's incorporation
in the labor force. Two current explanations, both based on aggregate data,
are that women's increasing participation in the labor force correlates with
increasing modernization, or that women's incorporation follows a U-shaped curve,
i.e., participation rates in agriculture and rural artisan industries fall
as women move from countryside to city, then gradually rise as women join the
urban labor force (a process that occurs approximately two decades after the
first waves of rural migrants arrive in the urban areas). See Standing 1978
(pages xeroxed)for a discussion of these two approaches and their shortcomings.
1.6. Income Levels and Socio-cultural Factors. Finally, also missing
are any references to women's income or to the socio-cultural factors influencing
women's labor force participation, promised for Part III, now Part II of the
Ferrando and Chaney 10
informed. Income data is extremely difficult to obtain (the best source is
is PREALC 1978). A recent study of women workers in Lima (Medina 1981) in-
cludes salary data. The virtual absence of any socio-cultural considerations, par-
ticularly the influence of ethnicity on labor force participation, is a more
Recommendation: Omit income data, but add a section on socio-cultural factors and
labor force participation. In the absence of available census data, consult the
many available studies and surveys.
II. Critique of the Informe
As I have covered Part I of the informed in detail above, I shall begin
the critique with Part II, p. 37. Before going through this chapter page by
page, there are four over-all observations that I should like to make:
1. In the first paragraph of Part II of the informed, p. 37, Dra.
Ferrando does recognize in one brief sentence that census data gives only a
partial view of women's economic and productive activities. But if the purpose
of the present exercise is to improve the capability of the statistical office
in the collection, tabulation and publication of census data on women, then the
Informe "should also include an analysis of the accuracy of women's data and
should discuss census practices in each country regarding the collection of data
on women" (DUALabs 1980).
The inadequacies of the "labor force" concept, and the sexual bias in
the administration of censuses are discussed in detail in Standing 1978 (pages
xeroxed), as well as in several other articles and books cited below and sent
via the pouch. So as not to give the impression that women who are not regis-
tered in the census as in paid employment, or as unpaid family workers, are
therefore necessarily idle, careful analysts now distinguish between women's
participation in the formal labor market and other kinds of economic activity
(which may be paid or unpaid) that produce use values as well as exchange
values. The whole question is a complex one, and no one has yet arrived at
a satisfactory conceptual resolution of what economic activity should be
counted, or how the counting should be done. However, this key issue should not
be ignored in the present informed simply because it is difficult to address.
The sections 2.1.1 and 2.2 would be excellent places for such a discussion,
particularly since these sections, as they stand, fall into an uncritical accep-
tance of the conventional census definitions of economic activity, classifying
those who dedicate themselves to domestic tasks as inactive and therefore non-
productive, along with old people, invalids, recluses, etc. This is exactly
what the present project was supposed to question and critique!
Recommendation: Since it is the particular intent of the present project to
demonstrate the shortcomings of conventional concepts and classifications
(such as "labor force") in capturing the full extent of women's economic activity,
these should not be accepted uncritically. These issues merit much more than one
passing reference; the informed needs to spell out in detail the major factors in
the undercount of women in the labor force, and to gauge to what extent and in what
manner the Peruvian censuses have been deficient in this regard.
There is, by now, a large bibliography on this question, and I am
providing via the diplomatic pouch the following: International Center for
Research on Women 1980; Recchini de Lattes and Wainerman 1979; United Nations
Secretariat 1980 and Youssef 1983. So far as women in the agricultural labor
force are concerned, there is an extended discussion in Deere and Le6n de
Leal 1982, Chapters I and III (also xeroxed).
2. :There also needs to be much more discussion of the contribution of
women in the subsistence and artisan sectors in rural areas, and to the urban
informal sector. We need to see how the formal and informal labor markets are
related to each other in Peru, and the effects of women's increasing incorpora-
tion in both labor markets on development, and on their own lives. Otherwise,
the informed will reenforce the notion, which we are attempting to correct
precisely through such exercises as this Office of Population/DUALabs Data
Project, that most women do not engage in productive work, and therefore do not
contribute to development. The publication of page after page, table after
table, and chart after chart showing women's low participation rates is mislead-
ing if there is no critical anslysis of why the rates are so low and what the
female population that is technically "economicamente no active" might be doing.
Many are engaged in productive work and income-earning, sometimes in more than
Recommendation: I do not suggest an extended discussion on the informal sector,
since Dra. Ferrando's main task is to analyze census data. Nevertheless, we
should be given some notion of the numbers of women engaged in productive work
who are not covered by the census statistics; why they are not counted, and what
can be done to rectify this situation.
3. I want to reiterate here that it would be helpful to have the 1940
census data in all these tables, as promised.
4. In general, in what follows in the informed, we need much less discus-
sion on what is in the tables (which we can see for ourselves), and much more
interpretation on what the implications of the percentages and distributions
are for (a) statistical office professionals, who have to deal with the
collection and publication of data, and (b) planners and policymakers, who
need to interpret such data correctly.
DETAILED ANALYSIS BEGINS HERE.
Page 41, 2.1.2. We need in this section more discussion on what the sta-
tistics mean in female/male terms, as well as in relation to the two time periods
and to rural/urban residence. For example, while mano de obra disponible
(Cuadro 18) increased at equal rates for women and men overall, women in the
age to work are increasing somewhat faster in urban areas than in rural (in
some Latin American countries, this differential is much more marked) -- with
what implications? Moreover, sex ratios are decreasing slightly in urban areas,
and increasing in rural areas -- what does this mean in terms of women's labor
force activity? Why aren't we given any sex ratios throughout this informed --
an elementary statistical tool? And what about female/male ratios -- these also
can be very revealing.
SEX RATIOS OF THE URBAN AND RURAL POPULATIONS
1960 1970 1980
Total 100.4 100.3 100.3
Urban 101.9 100.4 99.2
Rural 99.0 99.8 102.5
Cuadro 18 also is difficult to analyze because it gives large absolute
numbers with no accompanying percentages (these are given later as part of
Cuadro 21 on p. 47, but this is too great a separation).
Page 41, Para. 1, line 6:-- not customary to write out 2,683,100 in
words -- use figures.
Page 43, Para. 2.2: As noted above, a good place to remind the reader of
the narrowness of the various definitions of economic activity, in relation to
women's actual participation in productive work.
here is some confusion in explaining dependency ratios. The author
comments (p. 43, final para.) on the great weight (42 percent) of minors less
51In my examples, I use 1972 because I happen to have on hand the raw num-
bers from the 1972 Peruvian census.
than 15 years of age, and "thus the elevated index of dependency." Yet her
own two dependency measures are calculated for all persons who are economically
active (regardless of age) in relation to all inactive persons (regardless of
age). This is a more realistic way to calculate dependency ratios, but the
explanation then should be a little clearer: i.e., specify that a labor
force activity status dependency ratio is being given, not an age dependency
ratio. The sentence should read: La relaci6n entire la poblaci6n inactive y
la active mide el grado de dependencia de la primera con respect a la segunda
y represent la carga que tiene que soportar cada persona active en la
producci6n de bienes y servicios (i.e., take out the phrase en edad, because
you are talking about all active persons regardless of age and giving ratios
for same). Two different ratios:
population 0-14 and 65+
x 100 = age dependency ratio
population 15 to 64 years
non-active of all ages
x 100 = labor force activity status dependency
active of all ages ratio
In general, I also find confusing Dra. Ferrando's jumping back and forth
from INE/CELADE projections (1960, 1970 and 1980) interspersed with actual census
data from 1961, 1972 and 1981.6 It is thus difficult to use the data in calcula-
tion one's own measures, or in checking the calculations in the informed. I have
a further difficulty with Cuadro 18, and subsequent Cuadros that consider 15
years of age and older as the lower limit for labor force participation, but
put no upper limit on age of mano de obra disponible or participants. This
makes for difficulties when we talk about dependency ratios and numbers of older
6This is done from pp. 37-51, after which Dra. Ferrando begins to rely
exclusively on unadjusted census statistics for 1961 and 1972 to make them
comparable with the 1981 figures which have not yet been evaluabed and adjusted
(p. 51, para. 1). I believe Dra. Ferrando would be well advised to follow this
latter plan throughout, using the same base numbers throughout the informed.
women in the labor force. As well, the constant changes in the age ranges
used in the tables (when ages are specified, which is not always done) are
confusing. Examples are the tables on the economically active and economically
inactive: Cuadro 17,/with an age range of 6 years old and over uses actual
census data to give us information on the economically inactive, while Cuadro
27, p. 60, with an age range of 15 years old and over, uses INE/CELADE projec-
tions to give us information on the economically active. All tables should
be standardized for age (whichever age range Dra. Ferrando chooses to use), and
age ranges should be specified on every table.
Page 46, Para. 2.2.1: Here is a good opportunity to mention that
mano de obra disponible also is very much influenced by the large indigenous
population, as well as such considerations as urbanization, prolongation of
schooling, labor legislation, etc. Testa-Zappert's 1975 study attests.to
the added difficulties indigenous women have in securing employment --
not only because of their lower educational qualifications, but because they do
not exhibit the "buena presencia,!' i.e., the proper appearance demanded not only
for office jobs (where indigeous women do not have much opportunity because they
lack training), but for clerking in stores, working in the post office or other
petty bureaucratic positions, etc.
Page 47, Cuadro 21 and the accompanying chart are very interesting.
Cuadro 21 should note that the data are for person 15 years of age and older.
Female/male ratios of participation rates could be calculated from this chart,
to show some interesting tendencies:
1960 1970 1980
Urbana 0.35 0.38 0.40
Rural 0.42 0.37 0.36
Page 48, Para. 2: A more accurate characterization of women's labor force
participation would be: "en el Peru, se reduce mayormente al servicio dom6stico
y comercio independiente (vendedoras ambulantes y negociantes en el mercado) y a
la producci6n domiciliaria para la industrial de confecciones ene 1 area urbana,
y a la agriculture y la artesania en el area rural." (See Sara-Lafosse,
et al. 1981, segunda parte). "En los dos areas, muchas mujeres tambign
trabajan en el sector informal, y por lo tanto, no estgn enumeradas como
econ6micamente activas en los censos."
Page 49, Para. 2.2.2: We badly need some percentages in Cuadro 22.
We do: get a percentage distribution (m/f) in Cuadro 23, but calculated on
differentbase numbers, i.e., the actual census figures again, whereas Cuadro
22 is based on adjusted INE/CELADE numbers.
Page 50: Dra. Ferrando has noted the male/female differentials in labor
force participation rates in this section. Good!
Page 50, Para. 2, line 2 should read Cuadro 22, not 26.
Page 52, Cuadro 23: What are the age ranges for percentages in this table?
This would be a good section in which to comment on the undercount of women's
economic activity in rural areas. From other studies, we know that the indices
of participation for rural women reflect a large undercount. The latest article
detailing what we know on this underenumeration (and recalculating the figures)
is Dixon 1982.
I do not agree with the comment that "this behavior [the slight increases
in urban women's labor force participation] would be in accord with the observa-
tion .Li..that feminine participation tends to increase in relation to the mascu-
line economically-active population in the measure in which the economy develops
and diversifies." That may have been true in the countries of early industriali-
zation, but the increases in women's urban participation rates in Latin America
have been registered principally in women's traditional work (street selling,
for example) and in the service sector, not in those sectors of the economy
that are developing and diversifying. These sectors are capital intensive and
do not offer much employment opportunity to women whose participation rates are,
in fact, declining in industrial manufacturing.
Page 53, Cuadro 24. I find this manner of showing women's labor force
participation by age quite interesting, as an alternative way of looking at
the data. The finding that the female labor force is so much younger than the
masculine is an interesting one. Dra. Ferrando does not, however, analyze what
the effects on women might be of the younger age structure of the female econo-
mically active population. There are, for example, implications for women's
lesser access to education (the differences tend to be greater among 15-19
year olds, and much greater for urban than for rural women) Perhaps the youth
of urban working women, as a group, is accounted for by the large numbers of
girls and women (from 12 years old, or sometimes even younger) who migrate to
the cities because they can be easily absorbed into the labor force by becoming
N.B. There are a series of errors in Cuadro 24 (consistent in the entire
table) of the 25-29 year olds across, i.e., the percentages are all on the order
of 40+ which is, of course, an impossibility. For 1972, for example, the percent
of 25-29 year olds in the PEA in relation to total female PEA is 14.6 percent,
not 48.5 percent.
Page 54, Para. 1: The discussion in this paragraph is strange. The
percentages in Cuadro 24 are quite consistent with what we know about women (and
men) of younger ages migrating to the city for jobs and education -- thus the
rural/urban differentials shown are not "contrary to what is affirmed about
youth of the labor force in relation to lesser-developed economies." Such asser-
tions, in any case, do not apply to rural/urban differentials within countries,
but to comparisons among countries.
Page 55, Para. 5: The assertions are not certain. The reason is an
elemental one which the author does not ever advert to, i.e., for those nominal-
ly single, we do not know how many are mothers who head their own households
and who cannot "retire." Suirez (1981: 53-54, using WFS data) shows a greater
percentage of labor force participation by women of alta fecundidad, especially
if they belong to lower socio-economic groups -- they need to earn cash. Other
variables that determine women's labor force participation, according to the
Suarez analysis, are education, type of economic activity prior to marriage and
degree of urbanization. We need to be careful in making "obvious" deductions,
particularly when there are existing studies that reveal the complexities. The
higher percentage of solteras among those who work does not tell us anything
about the influence of marriage on workforce participation, because of the
large numbers among them who are single mothers and work to support their child-
ren. The author contradicts her own assertions on Page 64, Para. 3.
Page 56: Observations on working children, and the greater numbers of
female children at work, are interesting and very much to the point.
Page 57, Para. 2.2.4 (a): Dra. Ferrando correctly defines Tasa Bruta de
Actividad as the relationship between the size of the labor force and the total
population. However, in Cuadro 26 and discussion, she refines her measure by
controlling for age, and thus by definition she isn't presenting crude measures.
Crude activity rates are calculated by dividing the total economically-active
population of all ages by the total population of all ages.
The author has arrived at her percentages in Cuadro 26 by dividing, in each
case, the economically-active population that is 6 years old and over,
'and the economically-active population that is 15 years old and over, by the
total population of all ages (incorrect for yielding a crude rate). She has
arrived at her percentages in Cuadro 27 by dividing the economically-active popu-
lation that is 6 years old and over, and the economically active-population that
is 15 years old and over by the total population in each age group (correct for
yielding an activity rate, except that I don't understand the rationale for
calling it "global," i.e., it simply is a table that should be labelled something
like TASA DE ACTIVIDAD ECNNMICAPOR SEXO Y EDAD (6 AROS Y MAS, y 15 ANOS Y MAS)
EN EL PAIS; Y POR AREAS: 1961, 1972 y 1981).
I don't understand the intent of Cuadro 26, and suggest that it be dropped.
Crude activity rates, even if correctly calculated, don't give us useful informa-
tion. So far as Cuadro 27 is concerned, it is very helpful to have the corrected
percentages from the 1972 labor force survey, particularly for the rural areas.
However, we then have some explaining to do: why the tremendous difference between
women's rural participation rates (for those 15 years old and over), going from
18 to 31.8 (1961-1972), then dropping back in 1981 to 22.58. Are these percen-
tages artefacts of the way the census was taken, and the questions asked about
primary occupation? As so many authors now have documented, women even when
they spend a lot of time in agricultural work, tend to say they are "housewives"
if there is a man present who defines himself as "farmer." Why, in fact, is
the 1961 statistic so low? It would be very helpful here to have the 1940
statistics for comparison.
Page 62-A, Cuadro 28: The format that has been followed for the tables,
until now, is abruptly changed here, i.e., the tables in Part IIwith only one
exception are laid out with years across and the total, urban, rural percentages
down. Now we suddenly get this scheme reversed (both formats require 9 columns
across, so it can't be space). I would redesign this table to match the others
EDAD 1961 1972 1981
Cuadro 28 also needs totals.
Page 64, Para. 1: The tasas of female participation in the rural areas,
as Cuadro 28 shows, do not descend, as the author asserts here, but in fact
grow larger. In Para. 3, Dra. Ferrando gives one explanation, recognizing that
this descenso is, in fact, pocoo important" after age 30. This analysis should
be compared to Page 55, because it contradicts what she says there. I think
part of a paragraph preceding Para.1 on page 64 may be missing. Once again, Dra.
Ferrando is making too great a distinction between being married and being single
as a factor -- many single women work because they have children to support,
and this is a more important variable for explaining labor force participation
rates in a country like Peru than whether a woman is married.
Page 64, Para. 3: should read "despu6s de los 30 aios de edad"; otherwise
we think time period is being referred to.
Page 64 should not be placed between the three graphs (pages 63,65 and
66), but should precede them, i.e., become Page 63, with the graphs as Pages
64, 65 and 66.
Page 67, Para. 2: Here the author first asserts that there has been a
slight diminution inrates u/school-age children and of older persons in the
labor force, and she explains the latter as due to "the perfecting of the
social security system that permits the retirement of persons after 60 years
of age, enjoying a monthly sum that assures their subsistence."
First of all, if such a diminution were in fact occurring, it would more
likely be the result of younger, better educated women forcing older women "to
"retire" to casual, informal sector jobs where they are no longer counted, as
happens in many Latin American and other Third World countries. Social security
in Peru typically pays an extremely small sum, and coverage is not extensive.
But, in fact, Dra. Ferrando has not examined Table 28 with sufficient
care. Rather than a diminution, there was in fact an increase in participation
of economically-active women 65 years of age and older in the labor force between
1961 and 1972, and again between 1972 and 1981, particularly in the rural areas
(there also has been an increase in the participation rates of older men, but
not as marked). There also have been some extraordinary increases in the parti-
cipation bf 60-64 year old women in the labor force (some of the effect pro-
bably due to undercounting in the 1972 census):
Ages Men Women Men Women
60-64 77.81 14.55 91.09 12.00
65+ 52.93 8.62 70.91 8.32
60-64 82.44 21.29 97.15 26.53
65+ 52.70 10.19 18.34 16.22
As in several other instances, the author apparently has taken what she thought
to be the case for her text, without sufficiently consulting her own data.
Nor is it true either that the rates of children 6-14 years of age
who are counted as working Havediminished; in fact, Table 28 shows a slight in-
crease between 1972 and 1981 in participation (slight, and again, may be the
effect of undercount in 1972). But Dra. Ferrando should not say that partici-
pation has diminished unless she corrects the table for undercount.
Page 67, last para.: The shift in "peak" age at work (of working women
20-24 years as percent of all women in that age group) to those who are 25-29
is significant, and deserves some comment on its implications.
Page 70, Para. 2: The author apparently has forgotten her caveats that
the diminution in female participation in agriculture in 1972 is a result of
census undercount in the rural areas. In Para. 2, she contradicts what Cuadro 29
shows us, i.e., rather than the PEA among females in agriculture continuing
to descend, there was an increase / (This increase may be more apparent than
real if the 1972 undercount is corrected, but it should not be called a diminution
unless the percentages are recalculated and a decrease actually is shown.
Page 70, Para. 3: The large drop in the percentage of women in industrial
manufacturing (17.4 in 1972 and 10.1 in 1981) needs comment. For one thing, it
refutes theories of women's greater incorporation into the labor force because
of "modernization." Because industrialization has been capital rather than labor
intensive, and because women in other times found their first work opportunities
in labor-intensive manufacturing in the textile and garment industries, moderniza-
tion does account historically for increases in women's participation rates.
But this is not happening in most developing countries. In fact, in Peru Chap-
lin (1967) shows that textile factories, where women made some inroads in earlier
times, did not hire a single woman after the onset of social legislation in 1954
related to women's work hours, maternity leaves, etc -- such legal "protections"
often have worked against women because it makes them more expensive to hire than
Page 71, Para. 1: In her explanation of the figures in Cuadro 30, Dra.
Ferrando tells us that the greatest proportion of active persons in the service
sector work in "servicios comunales." I should like to have a definition. The
substantial numbers and percentage of women still in domestic service (where
absolute numbers are, in fact, increasing) ought to be commented upon.
Cuadros 24, 29- and 31: There is something awry with these tables. Com-
paring them for consistency, one discovers that the absolute numbers for 1961
are consistent in all three tables. There are, however, unexplained discrepan-
cies in the three tables as follows:
Cuadro 24, p. 53 (6 afos y mas)
1961 1972 1981
(000s) 3,124.6 3.871.6 5,281.7
Menor de 15 anos 2.5 2.2 2.1
Cuadro 29, p. 69 (6 aios y mas)
Total 3,124.6 3,572.3 5,281.7
Cuadro 31, p. 72 variouss afos)
Total 3,124.61 3,572.32 4,926.03
16 afos y mas.
de at y mas.
3PEA ocupada de 15 aios y mas.
-- in Cuadro 29 and Cuadro 31: absolute numbers for 1972 cannot be the same in
both tables since the first total is for 61' afos y mas, and the second for
15 afos y mas. Should the total for 1972 in Cuadro 29 be the same as in
Cuadro 24? (Note: total for 1981 in Cuadro 29 is the same as in Cuadro 24.)
-- Calculations between Cuadros 24 and 31 yield quite different numbers of
working children, i.e.:
Cuadro 24: children between 6-14 afos = 2.2% x 3,871.6 = 85.2 thousand
Total of working population 6 aios y mas (Cuadro 24) = 3,871.6
Total of working population 15 afos y mas (Cuadro 31) = 3,572.3
Working children between 299.3 thousand
There is a large discrepancy also between numbers of working children for 1981
in Cuadros 24 and 31.
-- why use totals with different lower limits in these three tables? And
for 1981 only, of those "ocupada" of the PEA (the balance are, by inference,
These 3 cuadros also throw the discussion on pp.55-56 (on the participation
of minors in the labor force) into some question. The figure for 1961 of 79,615
working children is consistent with what is given in the later charts, but
if tables 29 and 31 are correct, the statistics for 1972 and 1981 would be
quite different, i.e., the difference between
5,181.7 total active 6 years old and over, and
4,926.0 total active 15 years and over is
257.7, not 109.7 (see page 56).
Page 74, Para. 2: The large percentages of male agricultural workers are con-
trasted, once again, uncritically to the female agricultural workers (and no
reference is made to the 1972 undercount).
Page 74, Para. 5: The interesting statistic that shows proportions of women
among profesionales y t6cnicos greater than proportions among men needs some
commentary. Is this because teachers, health workers tend to be female? Is it
because once women are professionally trained, barriers to their participation
fall, i.e., in societies that lack trained people, it matters less whether a pro-
fessional is male or female? At this point, I was particularly struck again by
the monotony of reading in the text only a recitation of what is in the tables.
This section 2.2.7, for example, does not have one word of analysis; in some of
the preceding sections, there are at least a few instances where some interpreta-
tion is offered.
Page 77, Cuadro 33: There are several male/female comparisons in this table
that are not drawn out in the text. What is the significance that, so far as
educational attainment is concerned, women in the labor force show a greater
proportion.twith..university training.than men for both 1972 and 1981? What
is the significance of the fact that the proportions of women in the labor force
who had secondary level education are .diminishing in relation to proportions of
men with secondary schooling (proportions are the same in 1961, and women
slightly ahead of men in 1972). What explains the great discrepancy in propor-
tions of men and women in the labor force who have attained primary education --
a spread of 16.5 percent in 1972 and 13.2 percent in 1981?
This, by the way, would be another good place to introduce female/male:ratios
(number of women to each 100 men). Female/male ratio of those with highschool
education in the labor force in 1972 was 1.11 (that is, there were 111 women
with secondary education for each 100 men with secondary education in the labor
force), while in 1981 the female ratio had dropped to 0.88, that is, there were
only 88 women with secondary education to each 100 men with secondary education
in the labor force. So far as primary school attainment is concerned, female/
male ratios are improving slightly -- from 0.72 in 1972 to 0.74 in 1981.
So far as those in the labor force without education are concerned, the female/male
ratio is worsening: in 1972, it was 1.55, but in 1981, it had increased to 2.02 --
Sthat is, for every 100 men in the labor force without education, there were 202
women without education. Part of the reason for the latter ratio may be that
women often must work at something whether or not they have the educational pre-
requisites. The lower educational attainment of women in the labor force may also
be a partial explanation of why they tend to agglomerate in the lower levels of
the labor force in terms of job status and salaries.
Note: the notes on Cuadro 33 are awry. There are two Note Is; one in
the title indicating that the numbers and percentages are of the poblaci6n economy!
camente active ocupada de 15 afos y mas, and the other attthe title 1961 indicating
that, for this year, the percentages are of the PEA total de 6 anos y mas.
\ (not 5,124.6, see below) /
Then we get a total for 1961 of 3,124.6/ indicating no adjusted figure from the
other tables activea ocupada vs. PEA total). Th@h the figure for 1972 is again
3,572.3 -- which cannot be at one and the same time of the PEA total de 15
afios y mas, as it is footnoted here, and of 6 afios y mas as labelled in Cuadro
29. A further difficulty in the table is that the numbers of women and men
for 1961 and 1981, when added together, do not equal the totals in these tables:
Total of 2,445.4 plus 679.2 is 3,124.6 Total of 3,726.0 plus 1,200 is
III. FACTORES....EN LA PARTICIPATION DE LA MUJER
I shall comment on the content of this section, even though it seems to
me that the author isiaddressing these issuessfrom the wrong perspective. Her
purpose in this exercise is not to explain women's participation in the labor
force, but to examine critically the extent to which census data accurately re-
fleets women's participation. The identification/those indices which correlate
with women's labor force participation is, of course, part of the exercise, and
some of the data here would be useful -- but the focus is, it seems to me, not
correct. For example, it is not her task to argue simply that urbanization is
linked to women's labor force participation rates -- she may have to make the
case for such linkage, but then she must go on to see if the census in :its
concepts, data gathering and processing gives us a good or bad picture of women's
labor force participation in urban areas. In the same way, it may very well be
that education is an important indicator (or prerequisite) for women's labor
force participation. However, the task is not simply to show the correlation
between education and labor force participation (which Dra. Ferrando does quite
nicely in her Cuadro 34), but to analyze whether the census is capturing the
kinds of statistics that are the most useful in explaining women's labor force
participation rates. For example, would it be helpful to have vocational education
statistics, in addition to the formal? And what about literacy rates as an indica-
tor linked to labor force participation -- would these be desirable to have in
addition to attainment? Or is attainment a better indicator? What about current
enrollment statistics in order to be better able to gauge women's future labor
force participation (since the two statistics do, indeed, appear to be closely
related)? Again, so far as estado civil is concerned, we are not interested, in
this exercise, simply in knowing the rates, but we want to know how well the census
has captured the reality, and we need other categories (madres solteras, female
household heads) to round out the picture.
The factors presented in this section are all important ones, but there
are some glaring omissions; women's labor force participation may be influenced
most by socio-economic status: mostwomen probably work because they need money.
Fertility and family size are ignored. Accessibility of family and kin networks,
as well as more formal childcare facilities, may be important. Already emphasized
several times is the probable influence of ethnic, language and religious affiliation
on labor force participation. Other important topics that have not been mentioned
unemployment, underemployment and income. MANY OF THESE INDICATORS SIMPLY
ARE NOT AVAILABLE, OR ARE NOT DISAGGREGATED BY SEX IN THE CENSUS. NEVERTHELESS,
AN EXERCISE SUCH AS THIS ONE SHOULD AT LEAST NOTE WHAT PERTINENT DATA (BEYOND AGE,
RURAL/URBAN RESIDENCE, EDUCATION AND MARITAL STATUS)ARE AVAILABLE, AND GIVE AN
ASSESSMENT OF THE QUALITY OF THE DATA.
Page 79, Para. 3.1: There again seems to be a difficulty here in not looking
at what the statistics tell us. In fact, women's participation in rural areas
is not, according to the sections cited, "significativamente mas baja en el gera
rural que en el area urbana." In .1981, the distribution among all women in the
labor force under 30 years of age was 49.4 percent in urban areas, and 48.4 in
rural, a difference of only 1 percentage point; among women 30 years of age and
over, the difference is only 2.4 percent -- neither statistics is "significant."
In both 1972 and 1961, more women in the 30 years and over age group worked in
the rural areas than in the urban; the fact that the proportions are reversed in 1981,
if not to any great degree, does show some diminution in the opportunities offered
by the rural in contrast to the urban areas. Some of this may also be the effect
of undercounting women's activity in the rural areas.
Page 80, Cuadro 84: Very interesting relationships shown. It would be good
to have masculine rates of participation by educational attainment in order to
compare male and female patterns.
Page 81, Cuadro 35: We need a definition of postulantes and ingresados
(ingresantes?), and also need to have pointed out that the matriculados encompass
4-5 years, while the figures for the first two categories are for 1 year only.
The figure 142,083 ingresantes for 1975 looks high, in that postulantes were
only 142,949 -- the percentage of those who actually arrive to take up classes
after registering averaged only about 37-45 percent of the postulantes to 1975,
and only 25% of the postulantes in 1980.
Page 81, last sentence: Should be noted that the "wastage" of women (as
measured by percentage of matriculados compared to ingresantes) has lessened steadily
over the years.
Page 82, Cuadro 36: The category "otras especialidades" is too large: 42.4
percent is too big a residual (1970), and so is 19 percent (1979). We need more
of a breakdown than this, considering that this is the intent of the table. The
question otherwise arises, particular in 1970: if 42.4 percent of all women
matriculated were not in any of the numerous categories given, what were they
Page 83, Cuadro 38: Should point out that while the percentages of women
graduating in education has dropped dramatically, the numbers have dropped only
slightly (from 841 in 1970 to 783 in 1979).
Page 85, Para. 3.3: Again, the author should explain that the category
solteras includes many (perhaps up to one-third?) single mothers, whose activity
rate is high in almost all age groups. The determining factor here is not legal
marriage, but socio-economic status and the number of children -- whether married
or not. Women with many children, in lower socio-economic groups, work at the
kinds of jobs where they can take their children along: dom6sticas puertas afuera
or, preeminently ambulantes and market women. Some notion of this effect can be
gleaned from looking at the high rates of the divorced and separated, particularly
in the ages when they might still have dependent children. Number of children is
a much more important variable than marital status as a factor in labor force
participation rates for women.
Page 86: the low rate of activity of women in married and consensual
unions is a function of the productive work they do at home. A woman who cooks
extra food to sell at her door is engaging in economic activity, whether or not
she is counted. The literature that I am sending makes this point again and
again, so I shall not belabor the point any more except to say that it IS a
major point of this exercise, and is never mentioned.
Page 87ff: This section on the legal situation of women is good. However,
the implications could be drawn out to a greater degree, i.e., the protectionist
tenor of so much legislation has made men more desirable to hire in many cases
Note: ** items have been xeroxed
and are coming via the pouch.
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Buvini6 and Nadia H. Youssef, Women's Roles and Population
Trends in the Third World. An ILO/WEP Study. London: Croom
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Susan C. and Kay Barbara Warren
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Susana, Virginia Guzmgn y Virginia Vargas
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