Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of tables and charts
 Section 1: Facts to consider in...
 Section 2: Suggested roles and...
 Section 3: General guidelines for...
 Section 4: Sector-specific...
 Back Cover

Group Title: The gender manual series
Title: Integrating women into development programs
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00080043/00001
 Material Information
Title: Integrating women into development programs a guide for implementation for Latin America and the Caribbean
Series Title: The Gender manual series
Alternate Title: Gender issues in Latin America and the Caribbean
Physical Description: iv, 88 p. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: White, Karen
United States -- Agency for International Development. -- Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean
United States -- Agency for International Development
Publisher: U.S. Agency for International Development
Place of Publication: Washington D.C
Publication Date: l986
Subject: Women in development -- Latin America   ( lcsh )
Women in development -- Caribbean Area   ( lcsh )
Genre: federal government publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Statement of Responsibility: by Karen White ... et al. ; tables prepared by Roxana Moayedi.
General Note: Cover title: Gender issues in Latin America and the Caribbean.
General Note: "Prepared for the Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean."
General Note: "May 1986."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00080043
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001824819
oclc - 15356371
notis - AJP8854

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Title Page
        Title Page
    Table of Contents
        Page i
    List of tables and charts
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Section 1: Facts to consider in the integration of women in LAC Bureau development projects
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
    Section 2: Suggested roles and responsibilities of mission staff in integrating women into AID projects
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
    Section 3: General guidelines for integrating women into project design, implementation, and evaluation
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
    Section 4: Sector-specific guildelines
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
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        Page 87
        Page 88
    Back Cover
        Page 89
Full Text

The Gender Manu~al Series

I i


Karen White. Maria Otero,
Margaret Lycette and Mayra Buvinic

International Center for Research on Women
1717 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036

Prepared for the Bureau for Latin America
and the Caribbean
U.S. Agency for International Development
May 1986

Tables prepared by Roxana Moayedi


Section Page


Rationale for Policy Changes
Increased Labor Force Participation
Undercounting the Female Labor Force
Occupational and Wage Differentials
Growth in the Formation of Woman-Headed Households
Women's Dual Responsibilities:
Productive and Reproductive


Constraints to Integrating Women
into Mission Portfolios
Responsibilities by Office
LAC Bureau
Mission Director and Deputy Director
Program Office
Program Development Office
Technical Offices
WID Officer or Committee


General Guidelines for PID and PP Preparation
General Guidelines for Project Implementation
General Guidelines for Project Evaluation
Existing Resources on Women that Can Be Obtained
through AID/W

EVALUATION .................................................... 39

Vocational and Participant Training

5. SOURCES .......................................................... 85




1. Labor Force Participation Rates by Sex,
Latin America, 1950-2000

2. Rates of Female Labor Force Participation
in Chile by Family Income Level for
Selected Years

3. Median Monthly Income in Panama by Sex and
by Educational Level

4. Percentage of Woman-Headed Households among all
Households in Selected Cities, by Class

5. Distribution of UEF Borrowers by Activity and
Sex, Lima, Peru, 1982

6. Performance of Microentrepreneur ADEMI Participants
in Six Business Parameters, Santo Domingo, 1985

7. Women's Role in Farm Household Decision-Making
by Size of Land Holding, Cajamarca, Peru, 1976

8. Responsibility for Categories of Expenditure
by Sex, St. Lucia

9. Courses and Graduates by Sex and Economic Sector


Advantages and Disadvantages of Three Types of
Women's Project

Resources on Women that Can be Obtained through AID/W

Project Design and Implementation Alternatives:

Project Design and Implementation Alternatives:

Project Design and Implementation Alternatives:
Vocational Training

Project Design and Implementation Alternatives:



In 1973, the Percy Amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act gave
a mandate to USAID to integrate women into the national
economies of developing countries, both to improve women's
status and to assist the total development effort. The 1982
Women in Development A.I.D. Policy Paper built on this mandate
by stressing women's economic contributions to the development
process. WID concerns now are addressed mainly as an economic
issue that can increase the success of many AID projects.

The LAC Bureau has consistently been at the forefront of the
effort to implement the WID mandate. The Bureau's recent
establishment of a Task Force to address women in developing
concerns throughout the Bureau and missions marks a milestone
in this effort. One of the Task Force's early recommendations
was the development of specific guidelines to assist AID LAC
missions in designing and implementing projects that raise
women's productivity and incomes. In 1985, the International
Center for Research on Women undertook the development of these

I am pleased to present this guidebook and believe that it will
contribute to the Bureau's goal of integrating women into
development programs and projects.

Dwig Ink/ Date
Assistant ministrator
Bureau fo atin America
and the aribbean


The purpose of this guidebook is to help mission staff--especially
Project Development Support Offices and Technical Offices--integrate
concerns regarding women's economic participation into project design,
implementation and evaluation. It responds to the need for practical,
applicable guidance that can help the LAC Bureau to address the agency's
stated policy on women in development. AID's 1982 Women in Development Policy
Paper emphasizes that because women are important contributors to the
development of their countries, "for AID to undertake an effective strategy
that promotes balanced economic development, a focus on the economic
participation of women in development is essential."

This guidebook was commissioned by LAC/DP. The International Center for
Research on Women (ICRW) developed an initial draft which was then
reviewed with staff in three LAC missions and LAC/W. ICRW interviewed a total
of thirty-five mission staff in Ecuador, Guatemala and the Dominican
Republic. The interview material was also used to develop the second section
of the guidebook, which identifies the constraints to improved performance in
the area of integrating women, suggests roles and responsibilities of each
mission office and outlines measures to provide accountability in this area.

The remaining sections of the guidebook present facts regarding
women's participation in the region that are relevant for program and project
design, general guidelines to assist in project design, implementation and
evaluation activities, and a sectoral presentation of concrete suggestions on
how to integrate women into micro-enterprise, agriculture, housing, and
vocational and participant training projects. These sectors were selected
because of the importance of women to the successful development of these
sectors, both as consumers and producers.

The major goal of the guidebook is to present information in a succinct,
straightforward manner that can be easily incorporated into established AID
project preparation and review procedures. The guidebook is regional in scope
and therefore lacks country specificity; guidebook users will need to assess
the applicability of the content to a particular country's economic context.
Users who require statistics or information on women's socioeconomic
activities for specific countries may wish to consult the country-by-country
list of sources at the end of the guidebook.



Objectives of this

Who can use this


1. To provide background contextual information on
women's economic activity.

2. To place facts related to women in the context
of broader development issues, especially
employment creation and income growth among the

1. Project officers as they formulate project
development documents, in particular the Project
Concept Paper and the Project Identification
Document (PID).

2. Project teams composed of AID personnel and
contractors in the preparation of Project Papers
(PPs). This material should be useful particularly
in the elaboration of Economic and Social Soundness

1. Summary of five factors to take into account
regarding women's economic activity in the LAC

2. Information, in table form, on women's labor
force participation, income levels by sex, and
woman-headed households for selected countries.


Rationale for Policy Changes

AID carries out its development policy in the Latin America and
Caribbean region through projects. One can safely say that two goals
underlie nearly all LAC projects: raising household income and creating
employment. Because women contribute significantly to household income and
are increasingly present in the labor force, their effective integration into
development can increase the chances of reaching these goals.

Development policy in the Latin America and Caribbean region needs to
consider women's economic participation and include measures that will
improve women's productivity and income for the following reasons:

Women's integration into the economic life of the region is a
stable rather than an ephemeral trend;

Women's economic participation in the region is largely a result of
increasing poverty and the need of women to work to contribute to
household income. Improvement in women's productivity and wages
will therefore result in improvements in family welfare and
economic progress for families in the region;

Increasing the productivity and income of women in the labor force
should not backfire in terms of reduced child welfare but will help
break the vicious circle of household poverty and child
malnutrition that results from women's low productivity and

These measures will substantially improve the utilization of human
resources in the region for economic development; and

In the short term, these measures may ameliorate the regressive
effects of recession/austerity policies on the poor, and help
economies emerge from the debt crisis with fewer significant social
and human costs.

As project officers begin the project design stage, it is suggested that
they consider the following factors that relate to women's economic activity.
Depending on the project area, each project officer can determine the
relevance of each of these factors and identify which information regarding
women should be obtained at the earliest stages of project design.

I. Increased Labor Force Participation

In Latin America and the Caribbean, the participation of women in the
labor force has increased more rapidly over the last 35 years than in the
rest of the world. For example, while women's share of the total labor force
increased by 10 percent between 1950 and 1980 for the world, it increased by
23 percent for the Latin American region.

A. Increased Supply of Female Labor. Aside from female educational
attainments, three less-known factors are related to the increased supply of
female labor:

1. Substantial streams of women have migrated to the large
cities since the early 1960s.

2. Declining economic standards and significant reductions in
real wages in recent years seem to have pushed women into the work
force. High inflation rates, accompanying austerity measures, and
unacceptably high external debts have resulted in cutbacks in public
expenditures and have eroded the purchasing power of poor households.
These factors seem to have prompted women to seek employment or
engage in income-generating activities in order to supplement
household income.

In response to the household impoverishment and real wage
reductions of the head of household brought about by recent
recessions, low-income women have joined the urban labor force in
greater numbers in Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica and Uruguay.

In Costa Rica, which reached the height of the economic
crisis in 1982, the refined female labor force
participation rate rose from 21 percent in 1980 to 26
percent in 1982, and only slightly decreased to 25 percent
in 1983.

3. High rates of rural to urban migration, marital abandonment,
and high male mortality due to civil war in certain countries
contributes to the formation of woman-headed households and to
women's need to work for wages.

Women's entrance into the urban labor market is a main factor behind the
high growth in the urban labor force in the region, which increased between
1950 and 1980 at a rate of 4.1 percent annually. The supply of women workers
continues to increase in the region as a result of the above factors. Many
of these new women workers have joined the informal and service sectors.
Tables 1 and 2 give some general statistics in this area.


LATIN AMERICA, 1950-2000

Between 1980 and 1985 the Latin American female labor force
was projected to grow by 3.8 percent and between 1985 and 2000,
it is projected to grow at a rate above 3.5 percent annually.
If these projections are correct, the number of women working or
seeking jobs will double every 20 years in the region, to over
55 million women in the labor force by the year 2000.

fnn .


IIIII Female


m Male

SOURCE: Projections to year 2000 by ICRW based on Inter-
national Labour Office, Labour Force Estimates and Projects,
1950-2000, 2nd ed., vol. V, World Summary (Geneva: ILO, 1977)
and information compiled by the ILO Bureau of Statistics, 1984.


B. Increased Demand for Women Workers. The demand for women workers in
the region has increased with:

the expansion of the service and informal sectors in the urban
labor force;

the need for low-wage workers in labor-intensive export industries
in Central America and the Caribbean;

the seasonal demand for workers in export-oriented agriculture.
It is important to note that seasonal demand for low-wage workers
breaks down the supposedly rigid sexual division of labor in
agriculture. For example, the need for bricklayer assistance in
Brazil and for coffee pickers in Colombia at low wages has led to
the hiring of women and the breakdown of the culturally sanctioned
sexual division of labor.

Suggested Questions for Project Officers:

What are the labor force participation rates for women (rural,
urban, or regional, depending on the project)?

In what sectors and occupational groups are women concentrated,
including seasonal occupations?

o Is there any information on women's participation in the informal



It is probable that the economic recession and austerity
measures will increase the labor force participation rates of
women in the LAC region, particularly in informal sector jobs.
In Chile, the austerity measures of the mid-1970s increased male
unemployment as well as the participation of low-income women in
the work force. These measures had the reverse effect on mid-
and high-income women, who tended to withdraw from the labor




25 -
30- ---- ,-- ----- ...-----._-----.

1972 1974 1975 1977
1972 1974 1975 1977


I Lower-Mid

- Upper-Mid

1 Upper

SOURCE: Osvaldo Rosales Villavicencio, "La Mujer Chilena
en la Fuerza de Trabajo: Participacion, Empleo y Desempleo
(1957-1977)," Santiago, Universidad de Chile, 1979.


II. Undercounting the Female Labor Force

In most LAC countries, the availability of socioeconomic information
necessary for project design is limited. Reliable data on the labor force
participation of women is particularly lacking. The statistics underestimate
women's economic participation.

A. Underestimation of Female Workers in the Urban Informal Sector.
Nearly 20 percent of the urban economically active population in Latin
America and the Caribbean operates in the informal sector, which is
characterized by lack of employment stability and regulation, and overall low
earning for women workers in the sector.

Surveys report that in the 1970s, the informal sector in large
cities, such as Belo Horizonte and Lima, engulfed from 63 to 69 percent of
the urban working population. Female workers and those who did not complete
primary education were disproportionately represented in the sector.
Conservative estimates for the region indicate that in the 1981-83 period,
the informal sector expanded by 18 percent and average earnings in the sector
declined by about 21 percent.

B. Statistics substantially underestimate women's participation in
agricultural production. Agricultural labor force participation statistics
undercount women for at least three reasons:

o They use the concept of principal activity (and women define
themselves as housewives);

They miss counting seasonal workers (a large proportion of seasonal
workers in agriculture are women). During the coffee harvest in
Costa Rica, for instance, women work as wage laborers for three
consecutive months of the year six days a week, and up to ten hours
a day, beginning in November each year;

They do not record activities in the informal sector that
constitute a significant source of women's employment and household
income in the rural economy.

Suggested Questions for Project Officers

Project officers should decide in the early design stage of a project
which kind of data the project will rely on, depending on availability. They
should also be aware of the limitations of these data in terms of women's
labor force participation rates. The various alternatives are:

Census or national-level data from government agencies or national
women's bureaus;

Sample household surveys and studies that may be done by
international agencies. One can access these through PPC/WID or

* Data gathered by local research/action organizations that
concentrate on women's or poverty issues, such as Peru-Mujer
and Asociacion para el Desarrollo e Integracion de la Mujer, Peru;
Centro de Investigacion para la Accion Femenina, Mujeres en
Desarrollo Economico and ADEMI, Dominican Republic; WAND, Bar-
bados; Centro para la Mujer and Oficina Juridica para la Mujer,
Bolivia; Centro de Desarrollo Industrial and ASEPADE, Honduras;
Grupo de Technologia Apropriada, Panama; and Centro Feminista de
Information y Accion in Costa Rica;

* Social science research institutes or university research centers
such as the Institute of Social and Economic Research, University
of the West Indies, Barbados; Asociacion Colombiana para el Estudio
de la Poblaci'n, Colombia; Centro de Estudios sobre Desarrollo
Economic, Universidad de los Andes, Colombia; Instituto de
Investigaciones Sociales, Ecuador; and the Institute of Nutrition
for Central America and Panama, Guatemala.

National Statistics Undercount Women

An experimental population
census carried out in the district
of San Juan, Costa Rica in 1983
assessed the extent to which the
1973 population census and the
national household surveys had
underestimated women's economic
participation. All women 12 years
and over who had been categorized as
inactive in the experimental

population census were reinter-
viewed. The resulting data showed
that 41 percent of the so-called
"inactive" rural women had worked
for the entire year. With these new
figures, rural women's labor force
participation rate would be adjusted
upward from 23 percent to 45

III. Occupational and Wage Differentials

Women tend to be paid less than men for comparable jobs and are often in
occupations that are not as productive and/or lucrative as those of men.

It is mostly women from low-income groups who are economically active
and undertake low productivity, low paid jobs in largely sex-segregrated
labor and product markets.

Women provide cheap labor in the urban economy. They are
concentrated in low-level occupations in the services and the informal
labor market, earning significantly less than men who participate in the
urban labor force.

Women have been relegated to low-income occupations because,
among other things, they must combine household and productive responsibili-
ties, have lower levels of education and training, and tend to undertake
economic activities that are an extension of household work, such as
candymaking or sewing.

In addition, evidence suggests that occupational and wage discrimination
has not lessened with women's high educational attainments, and may
actually have worsened rather than improved over time. (See Table 3.)

Suggested Questions for Project Officers

The issue of wage and occupational differentials may be particularly
relevant to projects in the areas of vocational and participant training that
seek to expand women's economic activities and in agribusiness production and
export processing plants, which tend to rely on low-level female labor. It
is suggested that project officers consider the following questions:

Do occupational and wage differentials exist in the sector that the
project addresses?

Do they exist in vocational and mid-level management training?

In which areas are women trained in vocational training programs,
as compared to men?

Wage Differentials by Sex
Data from household surveys in the 1970s for six Latin American
countries (Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Uruguay, Panama and
Venezuela) show that, with the exception of Colombia, women predominate among
the lowest-income wage earners while men predominate in the highest-income
wage-earning categories.

Wage differentials by sex also seem to have increased between 1970 and
1980 in Brazil and Costa Rica. In Brazil, the income of the active male
population was 54 percent higher than that of the active female population in
1970 and was 60 percent higher in 1980. This income gap persisted despite
the fact that in 1980, active women had a level of training 33 percent higher
than that of men.

In the case of Santiago, Chile, the greater the educational level the
greater the income that men receive in comparison to women. In 1979, the
median income of men with no education or basic education was 71 percent
higher than that of similar women. This proportion increased to 84 percent
with a high school education. In the category with university education, the
median income of men was 191 percent higher than that of women.



The 1980 Panama census shows that while median monthly
income of both men and women increases significantly with the
educational level, the disparity between the monthly incomes of
men and women increases rather than diminishes with the level of
education. This data is- relevant to projects in vocational
education and training.

Total Male Female---
Total Male Female

Without education
Primary incomplete
Primary complete
Secondary incomplete

Secondary complete = 5
University 1 to 3 = 6
University 4 & more = 7

SOURCE: Oficina Internacional del Trabajo, Panama:
Situaci6n y Perspectivas del Empleo Femenino (Santiago, Chile:
OIT, 1984, Table 7).

IV. Growth in the Formation of Woman-Headed Households

High rates of female rural-to-urban migration, marital abandonment, and
high male mortality, especially in areas experiencing civil strife, have led
to the disintegration of the traditional nuclear family and to an increase in
the number of households headed by women. Compared to households headed by
men, woman-headed households have a higher dependency ratio, less access to
basic urban services, and fall more often below the poverty line.

Recent data show that woman-headed households are overrepresented
among the poor in four out of five Latin American capitals.

i--- -- ------- -- ________



Recent data for five Latin American cities shows that, with
the exception of Bogota, woman-headed households are much more
prevalent among lower than higher income groups. In the lower
income groups, the percentage of households headed by women
ranges from a low of 22 percent for San Jose, Costa Rica to a
high of 38 percent from Lima and Callao, Peru. This pheno-
mpnonis -common -to-a -of the LAC region.



San Jose Panama Lima-Callos Caracas

Lower Income

-SOURCE: United Nations, La Mujer en el Sector Urbano:
America Latina y el Caribe (Santiago, Chile: UN-, 1985)---Table

For example, in the Caribbean, it is estimated that one-third of all
households are headed by women. A 1981 household survey in a low-income area
of West Kingston, Jamaica found that 40 percent were headed by women. These
women had more dependents and were less often employed than were male heads
of household.

Suggested Questions for Project Officers

In analyzing the characteristics of the target population of nearly all
projects, it is crucial to know the number and proportion of households
headed by women and how these households differ from those headed by men.
Some important variables to consider are:

household size and dependency ratio (ratio of dependents to adults
of working age in the household);

household income (including income of all family members and
remittances or transfers from absent family members);

employment status and income of head of household; and

family arrangements and social support networks.

Why Are Woman-Headed Households Poor?

Almost 17 percent of a repre-
sentative sample of 2,287 households
in Belo Horizonte, Brazil in 1972
were headed by women. They showed a
relatively higher incidence of
poverty, with 45 percent of them
falling below the poverty line as
compared to only 27 percent of the
households headed by men. Although
one in every six households in Belo
Horizonte had a female head, females
counted for one in every four of the
poverty households. Why is it that
these households were poorer than
male-headed households? Comparative
analyses of the earnings of male and
female household heads in the study
showed that, although human capital
variables such as age and education
are important determinants of the
general level of earnings, labor

market structure and principally the
jobs opened to women explained most
of the differential earnings between
male and female heads. Male and
female heads in the study did not
differ markedly in either age or
educational characteristics. They
only differed in the type of employ-
ment: 53 percent of the female
heads had jobs in the informal sec-
tor, as compared to 13 percent of
the males, and the differential in
the informal sector earnings for
female heads of households was
large. While education in general
affects opportunities, in this case
simply being a female increased the
likelihood of being in the informal
sector and having low earnings,
regardless of educational attain-

V. Women's Dual Responsibilities: Productive and Reproductive

Economic necessity forces a significant number of married women and
single mothers to work outside the home. Many of these women work in the
informal sector, which may allow work responsibilities to be combined with
child care and other household responsibilities but often has the
disadvantage of low and irregular income and no benefits (such as paid
maternity leave). Married women and single mothers who work for wages
develop strategies for combining their dual responsibilities based on formal
and informal support services, such as day care centers or use of relatives
as substitute caretakers.

Most studies have found that, contrary to accepted wisdom, it is
mother's leisure time rather than child care time that is sacrificed when
mothers work away from home. Women who take up work outside the home do so
to increase household income. A recent review of empirical studies does not
support the widely held belief that women's work outside the home has a
detrimental effect on child nutritional status. On the contrary, the studies
show that the effect of women's wage employment on their children's
nutritional status is positive to the degree that women's wages are high.

Women's Work and Child Welfare

A 1981 study in Cite Simone, Haiti, showed that children of women who
earned the lowest wages or had no income had the poorest growth performance
overall. Income appeared to be the major factor responsible for better
nutritional status after the sixth month. During the first six months,
however, the amount of time women spent with their infants was of relatively
greater importance in establishing satisfactory growth.

Suggested Questions for Project Officers:

What percentage of women in the target population both work and
have small children at home? How will this affect their ability to
participate in the project?

Would more women be able to participate in project activities if
child care services were made available?

What minor changes in the timing of project activities could be
implemented to make them more accessible to those who combine
productive activities with child care responsibilities?




Objectives of
this chapter:

1. To analyze the institutional structure of USAID missions
in order to make recommendations about the integration of
women into development projects that are congruent with
mission procedures and ways of operating.

2. To suggest the roles and responsibilities of mission
management, program and technical offices regarding
integration of women into the project portfolio.

3. To suggest accountability
progress that can help
performance regarding the

Who can use
this chapter:


measures and indicators of
each mission to assess its
integration of women into its

1. Mission management and staff to define each office's
responsibility in the area of women and development.

2. Mission and LAC Bureau management in evaluating missions'
performance in this area.

1. Summary of principal constraints that mission staff
believe hinder the integration of women into development

2. Suggested roles, responsibilities, and performance
indicators for the integration of women, by position
within each USAID mission.

3. Discussion of the WID Officer position and suggested

I. Introduction

As varied as AID projects and the institutions involved in them are, the
commonality among AID projects is that the ideas originate at the mission
level, and that all projects undergo an established process of
conceptualization, design, review, approval, and implementation. USAID
missions initiate the project process and then play the key role at each step
of the project's development--generating the idea, developing the PID, writing
the PP, and implementing the project. Therefore, suggestions regarding the
improved integration of women into the project development process have to be
made in a way that:

S recognize the constraints to integrating women that are present
within AID, and identifies those that can be addressed;

Reflect an understanding of how, and by whom project decisions are
made within an LAC USAID mission during the design and implementation
stages; and

are easily incorporated into the established operating procedures for
project development that are in place at every LAC mission.

This section of the guidebook addresses USAID institutional and
management questions because institutional structure, decision-making
processes, reward and accountability mechanisms present in a mission are key
variables that affect the impact and applicability of any suggestions that are
made in this guidebook.

II. Constraints to Integrating Women into Mission Portfolios

This part records, according to categories, the constraints to
integrating women that were most often voiced by mission staff and that exist
within the AID system. It does not include contextual constraints, such as
limited interest on the part of host governments and institutions, cultural
biases regarding women, and others, which exist at the country level.

AID Policy Level Constraints:

1. While there is an AID "Women in Development Policy Paper," there is
no clear, practical guidance or directive from top management within
the LAC Bureau, or within the mission, that enables mission staff to
address the issue in a substantive and systematic way. In light of
the many mandates that missions must comply with, the lack of
attention management gives to the integration of women signals to
mission staff that AID's interest in and commitment to this issue are

2. Most missions lack a defined strategy for integrating women in a way
that fits within the mission's goals and objectives and overall
action plan.

3. There are no incentives to motivate staff to address the issue.
Instead, there are disincentives based on the assumption that the
integration of women should be left in the hands of the WID Officer
or the female mission staff.

4. There are no accountability or reporting mechanisms established by
the LAC Bureau that enable each mission to monitor its performance in
the area of integrating women.

Aid Institutional Constraints:


1. Mission staff that understand the importance of this issue and wish
to address it in project development often lack institutional support
to garner the technical, analytical, and "how to" tools needed to
integrate women into projects.

2. The role of the WID Officer at the mission level is vaguely defined.
Often this person is outside the project cycle process, has little
clout, and lacks access to decision making. In other cases, the WID
Officer has many other responsibilities and can only give the issue
cursory attention. In both cases, the role of the WID Officer is
perceived as reactive--responding to AID/W requests--rather than as


1. Handbook 3, the main guide to project design and implementation for
all missions, provides no concrete, practical guidance on how or
where the issue of women should be addressed.

2. The tight obligation schedule that missions must follow makes it very
difficult to go back and address an issue after a Project Paper has
been written.

3. Contractors and consultants who participate in PID and PP preparation
(the use of outside contractors varies widely from mission to
mission) are seldom guided, instructed or directed to consider women
in development issues.

4. In the internal review of PIDs and PPs, at the mission and LAC Bureau
level, the issue of women is seldom, if ever, brought up for

AID TechnicallInformation Constraints

1. Office directors in general lack policy background in the area of
women, especially regarding their productive activities.

2. Among some mission staff, there is resistance to integrating women
into development projects because they do not realize that, in many
projects, there is a relationship between integrating women and the
long-term success of the project.

3. There is the perception that the WID mandate implies that women must
be integrated into every project, whether it is relevant or not.
There is resistance to straitjacketing all projects to a mandate, and
a need to search for more analytical ways to determine if inclusion
of women in a given project makes sense.

4. Women are seen as a "social issue" rather than as an economic one
that requires technical knowledge and financial resources. Mission
staff generally do not recognize the economic importance of women,
especially in agricultural production, and in poor urban households.

5. Lack of available base-line and census data disaggregated by sex is a
problem for nearly all projects, but is more severe in the case of
gender specific data.

6. There is a lack of information about available resources from AID/W:
technical expertise, documents and funds.

The next section suggests the roles, responsibilities, and performance
indicators for the integration of women for the following positions: the
LAC Bureau, the Director and Agency Director, the Program Office, the
Project Development Support Office, the Technical Offices, and the WID
Officer or Committee.

III. Selected Roles and Responsibilities by Office

1. AID/Washington (LAC Bureau)

Selected Responsibilities Regarding the Integration of Women:

Ensures that all policy statements of AID are adhered to within
the Bureau and LAC missions, including WID Policy Paper.

Provides guidance to missions in the preparation of planning and
project documents.

Provides backstop to missions on technical issues, including the
integration of women.

Suggested Initiatives

Bureau management demonstrates interest in improving the Bureau's
performance in this area by:

sending missions guidance cables that suggest concrete ways in
which the mission can address the issue of women more

establishing accountability measures for the Bureau;

including discussion of women's integration in mission directors'
meeting, agricultural officers' meeting, private sector meeting,
program officers' meeting and other forums where mission staff
gather to meet and plan with AID/W;

recognizing staff's efforts in integrating women by considering
performance in this area for a foreign service performance award;
by acknowledging in guidance cables, when mission planning and
project documents address women effectively;

including the participation of women in the agenda for discussion
during a senior staff meeting;

communicating to the administrator specific ways in which the LAC
Bureau is attempting to improve its performance in this area;

including the integration of women in a detailed way in LAC
Bureau planning documents, accountability systems, and other
management systems used to determine missions' priorities and
modus operandi.

2. Mission Director and Deputy Director

Selected Responsibilities of Mission Director

Degrees of delegation vary from mission to mission. In some
missions, these responsibilities are shared by the director and
deputy director.

* Makes determination on the USAID country program and project
levels for submission to AID/W.

* Makes management decisions at the mission level.

* Directs USAID staff in monitoring approved country programs and

* Works with the highest senior level officials in the government
and private sector.

* Advises AID/W of programs or problems which require their
attention, and provides AID/W with all required program and
reporting documentation and special reports as needed.

Selected Responsibilities of Deputy Director

* Reviews all PIDs and PPs and ensures that all directives are
properly addressed.

* Chairs review meetings.

* Maintains an overall view of mission portfolio and ensures that
there is congruence between mission projects and overall

Suggested Initiatives for Integrating Women
into Mission Projects

In the context of overall responsibilities the Mission Director and
Deputy Director can facilitate the integration of women into mission
projects by:

* Assessing the effectiveness of the WID Officer in affecting
project design and implementation and considering options to the
existing structure (e.g., placing WID officer in the Project
Development Support Office; instituting a WID committee with a
clear mandate; defining in detail the role and responsibility of
a WID office or WID committee (see below for suggestions in this

* Creating a WID task force to develop a strategy for action for
the mission that would improve mission performance in integrating
women. Task force can identify most appropriate projects that
should focus on women; suggest institutional changes; identify
information gaps; suggest mechanisms to secure expertise in this
area; detail costs; develop a simple MBO approach to the issue;
establish mission on targets.

* Providing all mission staff with a clear mandate in this area
including roles and responsibilities of each office and
accountability measures.

* Identifying with staff, success stories for dissemination,
preferably in video form, to LAC/W and other missions.

* Sensitizing mission staff and improving capacity in this area by
bringing up issues in project and planning document meetings.

Indicators of Progress

* Mission staff receives clear guidelines in this area, which can
include specific sections of Handbook 3 in which women should be

* The WID officer is integrated into the project design review
procedures. The WID officer's mandate is clear to everyone in
the mission and he/she receives management support in raising
issues and helping find solutions to the integration of women.

* Project Officers and others are rewarded for improved performance
in this area (rewards can come in the form of verbal recognition,
acknowledgment, memoranda, communication to AID/W, mention in
PER, etc.

* Mission "institutionalizes" internal mechanism to address issue
of women in an ongoing, systematic and mission-specific manner.

* Planning documents reflect an overall mission strategy in the
area of women.

* Mission staff perceives that management considers the issue
important and responds accordingly in design and implementation
of projects.

3. Program Office

Characteristics: Vary in number; may include an economist or other
specialist. Involvement in design of projects varies from mission to
mission but often focuses on developing project ideas.


* Has major responsibility for developing mission planning and
strategy documents--Action Plan, CDSS, ABS, others. These
documents are used to plan overall mission activity in the short
and long term and to communicate with LAC Bureau/W.

* Participates in project design by reviewing PIDs and PPs,
discussing original ideas, consulting with the Project
Development Support Office and technical offices.

Suggested Initiatives for Integrating Women into Mission Projects

* Assures that the issue of women is addressed properly in planning
documents. Avoids boilerplate "add-ons" to Action Plan and
CDSS. Instead:

S In the Action Plan, identifies portfolio projects for which
issue of women is most relevant and discuss each project
separately, specifying project targets, activities or

S In the CDSS, identifies sectors within the mission portfolio
which will give special attention to the integration of
women's economic activities and outlines strategy for
accomplishing these tasks, e.g., selection of 2-3
agricultural projects, or private sector initiatives where
the issue of integrating and considering women is relevant.

* Raises the issue of women in project review meetings as a point
of information and analysis from the beginning of the design and
review process.

* Encourages technical offices to seek outside contractors to
assist in this area.

* Ensures that project evaluation reports include impact of
projects on women.

Indicators of Progress

* Project Plans begin to include concrete descriptions of how women
will participate in new and ongoing projects.

Mission details a strategy for action in area of WID which may
include institutional changes (establishing a WID committee with
the mission for example) cross-sectoral gender activities (data
collection, improved knowledge in related areas), portfolio
review, and target setting.

AID/W acknowledges improved performance in this area through
guidance cables.

Mission begins to develop its own resources and data base in the
area of women which can be tapped in future project design.

More discussion of the issue as it relates to quality project
design and implementation takes place during project review

4. Project Development Support Office

Characteristics: Varies in number; internal structure and division
of labor determined at each mission; may include a variety of
disciplines (economics, anthropology, social science), involved in
most project development activities.


Assumes primary responsibility for coordination, preparation and
compilation of PIDs and PPs.

Works closely with technical offices in the stages of project
planning design. Tasks may include:

SScheduling preparation of project document.

Making annotated PID and PP outline.

Making assignments for project preparation.

Assuming that PPs address and respond to all required
questions as outlined in Handbook 3.

Writing part of all of the analysis sections (Economic,
Social Soundness, Financial Viability).

SPreparing agenda for project review meetings.

Assisting in preparation of scope of work for outside

Writing issue papers on drafts of PIDs and PPs.

Developing the log frame.

Suggested Initiatives for Integrating Women into Projects

* Include consideration of women's concerns in the PID and PP
outlines in order to make an educated determination of whether
women should be integrated into the project.

* Specify analysis by sex when making assignments. In general,
women should be included in the economic analysis and social
soundness analysis.

* Include women's concerns in review meetings from the start to
identify gaps (data, expertise, technical inputs) and address
them as the design phase unfolds.

* Build the integration of women into the scope of work of outside
contractors and require some expertise in this area.

* Access resources available from the LAC Bureau or PPC/WID to
obtain technical expertise.

* Include women-related objectives, indicators, etc. in the log

Indicators of Progress

* Has established control structure to make sure women are
integrated into projects (e.g., where in PP women should be
discussed, what points should be addressed).

* Project Development Support Office secures, through an IQC or
other arrangement (a retainer basis) the services of local social
scientists, including economists, who can assist in the
integration of women at the project design and implementation

* Improvement in the technical quality of discussions during the
project review regarding women and their potential contribution
to and benefit from the project.

* Degree to which outside contractors, as a result of building
gender into their SOWs, provide useful and viable design
suggestions for integrating women.

* Ability of mission staff to choose between integrating women into
a project and designing a women's component within a project.

* PDS Office has information regarding the resources available from
AID/W and how to access them.

5. Technical Offices

Characteristics: Vary in number and sector; staff comes from a
variety of disciplines and technical expertise; project design
responsibilities differ from mission to mission; major implementation

Responsibilities in Project Design

Develops original concept paper for review and approval prior to
preparation of any document

Prepares technical analysis and design

Conducts technical feasibility studies

Seeks assistance from other technical offices

Prepares other sections of PIDs and PPs in coordination with
Project Development Support Office

Determines TDY assistance

Prepares scope of work for outside contractors

Participates in log frame preparation

Present at all project review meetings

Responsibilities in Project Implementation:

Develops a project implementation schedule

Plans implementation functions, e.g., monitoring, reporting and
tracking systems

Reviews SOW for contracted support services

Assesses adequacy of technical inputs and, where relevant, of

Informs USAID management of problems, etc.

Takes the lead in revising the project's scope of redefining
targets, benchmarks, etc.

Develops SOW for project evaluation

Suggested Initiatives for Integrating Women into Mission Projects

* Especially in those sectors where women's economic activity is
essential, such as agriculture or microenterprise, consider the
issue of women from the outset. This does not necessarily mean
that one knows at this point what women's role and participation
will be. It may mean identifying gaps in data and information
regarding women (how they spend their time, use of technology,
what decisions they make, percent of labor force) which must be
addressed before determining how to integrate women.

* Include women-related issues in every PID, specifying which
factors in particular will be looked at (refer to the sectoral
charts in this guidebook for some ideas).

* Include gender issues as one area that outside contractors will
study. Include the integration of women as an item in the SOW of
a contractor.

* Consult with other technical offices or mission staff with
knowledge in the area of women.

* Call on PPC/WID with requests for names with expertise in this
area, questions about available funds, resources and documents.

* Conduct an evaluation or assessment of how an ongoing project or
group of projects is integrating or affecting women (this effort
can be low-cost, short-term, conducted in part with PPC/WID
resources and designed to yield concrete suggestions on how the
projects can be modified or revised to address this issue).
Central to this assessment should be a concern with increasing
the project's effectiveness and success.

* Assure that from the start project monitoring and tracking
systems disaggregate the information by sex. Disaggregation of
information by sex is crucial for understanding how the
ingegration or exclusion of women affects a project's outcome.

Indicators of Progress

* Technical offices raise questions regarding the integration of
women at the beginning of the project design process and identify
ways of getting answers to their questions.

* Technical offices take the initiative in considering women's
issues because they see them as important to effective project

* Technical analyses, when relevant, discuss women. This is
particularly important when a project involves the introduction
of a new technology.

Project documents reflect a better understanding of the
constraints that women face that may keep them from participating
in a project.

PIDs, logframe and other documents contain gender-specific
objectives and targets.

Increased use of this guidebook and other tools.

Willingness to consider revisions in an ongoing project in order
to improve the participation of women.

Suggested Job Description for USAID Mission Women in Development Officer

After a mission has appointed a WID Officer, and decided in which mission
office to place this person, it can consider the following as possible areas
of responsibility. A mission may also choose to form a WID Committee to
assume these functions and to work with the WID Officer. It should be noted
that the primary function of the WID Officer is to act as a backstop or
resource to project officers and the WID Officer should not be considered as
the sole person responsible for integrating women into the mission portfolio.

1. Coordinates the development of a mission strategy for integrating
women into projects.

2. Serves as a resource to offices involved in project design,
implementation and evaluation.

3. Reviews PIDs and PPs and contributes to the drafting of issue papers
in the area of women.

4. Assists project officers to develop SOWs for contractors that include
examination of the gender issue.

5. Backstops project implementation in selected projects to ascertain
that women are integrated.

6. Gathers all available material related to women in one place that
serves as the mission's resource center on women, for use in project

7. Responds to all cables and requests from AID/W on women in





Objectives of this

1. To provide guidance for the
integration of women into PIDs and PPs.


2. To provide project officers and mission
with a summary of gender-related tools
facilitate the integration of women into
project cycle.

Who can use this


1. Staff in USAID Project Development
Offices and Technical Offices as they
PIDs and PPs, and carry out
implementation and evaluation functions.


2. USAID contractors as they participate in the
design and evaluation of USAID projects.

3. LAC Bureau for the review of PIDs and PPs, and
for preparation of issue papers.

1. Key factors to consider at the beginning of
the design process which will facilitate the
effective integration of women into a project.

2. Factors related to women that should be
considered during the implementation and
evaluation stages of a project.

3. A listing of AID resources on women in
development and how missions can access them.



The following section provides general guidelines for effectively
including women in project design, implementation, and evaluation. These
guidelines can be applied to all projects whether they are women-specific,
involve women's components within a larger project, or are fully integrated.
However, the guidelines are focused particularly on integrated projects
because the experience of the past decade has shown that integrated projects
offer the greatest potential for maximizing women's participation in

I. General Guidelines for PID and PP Preparation

This section discusses some of the broader factors in the project
environment that should be considered in the project design stage. Each
project officer should decide whether each factor is relevant at the PID or PP

A. WID projects, WID components and Integrated Projects

Over the past 10 years, AID has implemented three types of women in
development projects:

1. Women-specific projects, which are designed exclusively for women.
These projects are often designed to test new approaches to reaching women, to
help women "catch up" to men, or to strengthen women's research/action
organizations. They have been implemented particularly in situations where
cultural constraints act as a barrier to integrating women into mainstream

2. WID components of larger projects, with their own budgets and
personnel. An example of a WID component occurs in a housing project in which
women receive access to credit from a special fund designed for women
applicants only.

3. Mainstream projects that include women without a separate component.
Microenterprise credit projects, which are able to reach women because of
the project's unique collateral requirements, availability of small loans, and
target group, exemplify an integrated approach. Of the three, this
alternative seems to have the most potential for raising women's productivity
and incomes.

The decision regarding the type of WID project to be implemented must be
made very early in the design stage. The following chart shows the advantages
and disadvantages of each type of project.


Type of Project


Women's Component in
a larger project

Integrated Project



Women receive all of the project's
resources and benefits. Beneficia-
ries may acquire leadership skills
and greater self-confidence in a
sex-segregated environment. Skills
training in nontraditional areas may
be much easier without male competi-

The project as a whole enjoys more
resources and higher priority than
.WID-specific projects, which can
benefit the WID component. Women
are ensured of receiving at least a
part of the project's resources.
Women can "catch up" to men through
WID components.

Women can take full advantage of the
resources and high priority that
integrated projects receive. If
women form a large proportion of the
pool of eligibles, their
participation will probably be high,
even without detailed attention
given to WID issues.

These projects tend to be small-
scale and underfunded. Implementing
agencies often lack technical
expertise in raising productivity or
income. WID-specific income-
generation projects rarely take
marketability of goods or services
into account and thus fail to
generate income. Women benefici-
aries may be required to contribute
their time and labor with no compen-
sation. Women may become further
marginalized or isolated from main-
stream development.

The WID component usually receives
far less funding and priority than
do the other components. These
components have tended to respond to
women's social roles rather than
their economic roles; for this
reason, domestic activities may be
emphasized to the exclusion of any
others, Awareness of the importance
of gender in the project's other
components may be missing.

Unless information on women's
activities and time use is
introduced at the design stage,
these projects may inadvertently
exclude women through choices of
promotion mechanism, location and
timing of project resources, etc. If
women form only a small proportion
of the pool of eligibles, they may
not be included in the project.
Women may be competing with men for
scarce project resources and lose
out because of their lack of
experience in integrated group
settings and their relatively low
status in the family and community.

B. Sex Disaggregation of Data

In general, all project designs should be based upon knowledge and
consideration of women's roles relevant to the project. Erroneous assumptions
regarding "male" and "female" roles and activities are one of the key factors
not only in the failure to reach women but in overall project failure.

Ideally, project design should be based upon sex-disaggregated data. In
many cases, this can be collected by simply adding a question on gender to the
standard baseline data questionnaire. Project officers in the microenterprise
area who include gender as a variable in their baseline data collection, for
instance, will be able to answer the following questions:

Do women predominate in certain informal sector occupations? Are
their incomes and savings lower or higher than those of men? Are their
businesses smaller or larger? Do women have lower or higher fixed assets
and sales? Do women have differential access to credit and technical

In other cases, the project planner may wish to add more detailed
questions on gender. For instance, project officers in the agricultural
sector might want to add questions on the following points to their baseline
data collection:

sexual division of labor

daily and seasonal time use by sex

income sources and expenditures by sex

access to productive resources such as credit, land, etc.

Sometimes, however, such detailed data collection will not be practical
and less precise or complete information will have to be relied upon. In this
case, it may be possible to locate microstudies by local research institutes
on the participation of women in various sectors.

Use of Sex-Disaggregated Data

Sixteen percent of the
borrowers of a loan fund for
microenterprises in Lima, Peru in
1984 were women. Analysis of a
random sample of loans to 148 women
and male borrowers in the program
revealed that 62 percent of the
loans in the bottom quintile of the
loan distribution were awarded to
women, while 62 percent of the
largest loans were granted to men
borrowers. Additional analysis
revealed that it was the nature of
women borrowers' occupations,
rather than the fact that they were

women, that explained the variance
in the loan sizes granted. Women
borrowers received smaller loans
because they predominated in low-
earning occupations, such as com-
merce or sewing that are related to
small loans, not because the loan
institution discriminated against
women borrowers on the basis of sex.
Men, on the other hand, predominated
in the higher earning occupations of
bakeries, leather and shoe repair
services, and nontraditional manu-

C. Institutional Selection

Choice of implementing agency is one of the most important elements in
project design. One may assume that women's organizations are the best suited
to implement projects that include women. However, experience with projects
designed to reach women indicates that the failure of productive programs can
often be traced to lack of technical expertise on the part of the implementing
agency. That is, agencies with the capacity to reach women are not
necessarily capable of implementing successful productive projects for women
due to lack of technical expertise.

On the other hand, technically proficient implementing institutions may
be incapable of reaching women and may not even consider the participation of
women to be important. These institutions may not have the expertise to
recognize which aspects of their programs potentially pose problems for
women's access. Even with the best intentions, such institutions may still
exclude women from opportunities to significantly improve their economic

Project designers can enhance the chances of reaching women by choosing
implementing agencies with appropriate technical expertise, as well as a
commitment to developing or recruiting expertise on women's issues relevant to
the project. Naturally, the choice of an institution will not be made on the
basis of its expertise in reaching women in their productive roles. In cases
where the best technical institution lacks experience in reaching women,
project design should make provision for technical assistance from outside
consultants or organizations in regard to improving women's participation.

The Importance of Technical Competence:
The Bolivia Ulla Ulla Rural Development Program
The purpose of the Ulla Ulla Rural Development Program, undertaken by the
World Bank in the late 1970s, was to raise the productivity and incomes of
Bolivian peasants by modernizing all phases of alpaca and wool production.
Through baseline research, project planners discovered that peasant women are
heavily engaged in herding and shearing; the project design therefore
included a specific productive women's component. During the implementation
stage, however, the implementing agency hired a female coordinator with no
technical qualifications to run the women's component. Under her direction,
the component consisted of "traditionally feminine" activities, such as
cookie-making and papier-mache, with no productive potential. This project
demonstrates the importance of using technically qualified staff to implement
women's components in integrated projects.

D. Target Population

Project designers should consider the following issues:

1. Possible constraints to women's participation in project activities
should be considered in the design of all projects. Projects designed in such
a way as to minimize the restrictions that the poor face in gaining access to
resources will increase the chances of reaching poor women as productive
agents. Additional project features to be considered in order to enhance
women's participation include the location of activities and services and the
timing and duration of activities. If, for instance, agricultural training
programs involve long-term, residential training, there is little chance that
women will be able to participate, given their household responsibilities and
societal norms that typically restrict rural women's travel away from home.

2. When there is a low proportion of women in the pool of eligibles,
women's participation tends to be low, in spite of active efforts to include
them. If this is the case, three steps can be taken:

Expand the eligibility criteria;

Consider developing a special women's component designed to respond
to the constraints that render women ineligible;

Institute an active recruitment program for women (particularly
effective when implicit exclusion, on the basis of cultural
perceptions, has reduced the number of eligible women, rather than
explicit exclusion).

3. The distinction between increasing women's activities or work and
improving the returns to women's activities or work must be considered when
planning project components and expected outcomes.

In agricultural projects, for example, the involvement of women in
soil preparation and weeding of certain crops increases the demands upon
women's time and labor, yet women may not share in the proceeds of crops
sold through male-based cooperatives.

Women may refuse to participate in components that increase their work
without increasing their returns; this factor enormously increases the
potential for project failure if such components depend on women's labor for
their viability (see box below).

4. Targetting resources to women has advantages and disadvantages which
should be weighed in the design phase. In some sectors, such as agriculture
and energy, targeting does seem to ensure that project benefits reach women
and introduces an element of accountability in the project. In other areas,
notably microenterprise development and credit programs, resources are usually
delivered to women without targeting and targeting may, in fact, create
tension within the project, result in lower quality of services to women, and
further segregate women from the mainstream. Overall, the broader approach of
relying on knowledge of gender roles to determine whether women are likely to
participate in each project component is a more useful strategy.

Women's Labor/Women's Returns

5. Cultural mores, determined by tradition and religion, may affect such
behaviors as the gender-based division of labor, and can have a critical
impact on project success. There are wide variations in behavior across
countries and even from community to community. Some cultural constraints can
be addressed through program or project interventions. Resistance to
involving women in new productive programs seems to decrease when the program
increases household income.

In a village in rural Guatemala, women were accustomed to helping in
the fields only during the planting season. However, the introduction of
contract farming on horticultural crops, with its promise of increased
income, influenced women to contribute 2-3 days/week of labor on the
vegetable crops.

6. In most LAC countries, women--particularly those who are the sole
economic support of their households--are over-represented among the poorest
low-income groups. Project interventions that identify the poorest of the
poor as the target group will therefore automatically include a great many

The Guatemala ALCOSA Agribusiness Project provides insight into the
importance of the distinction between increasing women's labor and increasing
women's returns. In one of the project sites--Chimachoy--the town's (male)
farmers heeded the ALCOSA processing company's calls for larger amounts of
vegetables by cutting back on traditional food crops to increase the
production of cauliflower. Women, who previously had helped in the fields
only during planting, were pulled into 2-3 days of horticultural labor each
week on top of their normally overburdened schedules. As a result they had
to cut back on their marketing trips to town, the source of their only
independent income. (ALCOSA payments came in the form of a check made out
solely to their husbands.) Women's financial independence was therefore
diminished as their workloads increased.

In another project site, San Jose Pinula, the ALCOSA processing plant
provided women the opportunity to work for wages paid directly to them.
Shifts were long during peak periods--up to 16 hours--but female employees
made 100 to 300 percent as much as they could have made in market selling and
domestic work, their two main alternatives. Women retained ultimate control
over their incomes and gained in self-reliance and financial independence
from their husbands.

II. General Guidelines for Project Implementation

Project designs that successfully incorporate women do not in themselves
guarantee successful implementation. A number of features can be built into
project implementation that will help ensure that women will receive project
benefits and resources as planned.

1. When sex-disaggregated information is provided by the monitoring
system and the project allows for revisions in the design, it is more likely
that project benefits will successfully reach women. Ongoing evaluation teams
should have scopes of work that explicitly include the gathering of sex-
disaggregated data. Project planners cannot always foresee and make
provisions for obstacles to women's participation that may arise during
implementation. Therefore, the greater the flexibility of the design and the
adaptability of the implementation process, the greater the chances that
implementors can adapt the project to unforeseen circumstances.

2. Consideration of the degree to which women retain project benefits
should be undertaken during the implementation phase since effective
evaluation of the impact of the project may require such information.

One of the goals of the Solanda housing project in Quito, Ecuador,
for example, was to provide equal housing opportunities for households
headed by women. Project designers decided to lower the down payment
requirement, which meant that many more women would qualify as applicants
to the project. However, the selection process, if left unchecked, can
still favor men over women within any income category since there are
likely to be more men than women applicants in all categories. This
situation exemplifies the need for monitoring during selection of project

III. General Guidelines for Evaluation

Indicators of progress are important in keeping the implementation of any
development strategy on track. In the case of a women in development
strategy, the best indicators of progress can be gleaned from sex-
disaggregated data on the nature of women's participation in programs and

Levels of Analysis

Indicators at three levels can be used to evaluate whether projects have
included women. Project officers must decide on a case-by-case basis which
level of evaluation is warranted, given the funds available and the importance
of including women in the project.

1. At the first level are overall indicators. A technical office may
want to look at its project portfolio to determine whether it is likely
reaching women or not. Use of overall indicators is the simplest and cheapest
way of evaluating a project portfolio, as it relies on data that is already
available. It should be noted, however, that these indicators can demonstrate

only the potential of the project portfolio to reach women. Determination of
whether the projects actually include women can be reached only through sex-
disaggregated project data.

An overall picture of the likely opportunities a strategy is providing
for women can be obtained by assessing whether the strategy focuses on areas
likely to benefit women.

Three main indicators can be used in these comparisons:

First, what are the percentages of projects focused on areas likely to
benefit women?

Second, what are the budgetary allocations to areas likely to benefit

Third, what are the relative numbers of consultants' and contractors'
scopes of work that explicitly require the consideration of gender roles in
the areas of concern?

2. The second level of indicators are sector-specific indicators. These
require little or no sex-specific data yet can increase our understanding of
whether the necessary conditions exist for reaching women and provide more
depth than the overall indicators.

In the microenterprise sector, for instance, analysis of certain features
of the project, such as the target group, average loan size, collateral
requirements, and financing mechanism can give a fair indication of the extent
to which women are being reached. Analysis of these project features is
relatively inexpensive and easy.

3. At the third level of analysis, sex-disaggregated indicators can be
used to pinpoint problems in implementing a development strategy for women or
to highlight areas in which successful approaches have been found. These
indicators are the most difficult to collect and the most costly; however, it
is only at this level of analysis that the participation of women in a
particular project can come to light. Sector-specific and sex-disaggregated
indicators are suggested at the end of each of the four sector sections.

In preparing project design documents, project officers frequently need
information that is unavailable in the mission. The following section
provides information on resources on women that can be obtained through

IV. Existing Resources on Women that can be Obtained through AID/W

All missions should have copies of the following documents, which can be
ordered from the Office of Women in Development:

1. Elsa Chaney, Women of the World: Latin America and the Caribbean.
Washington, D.C.: U.S. Bureau of the Census/USAID, 1984.

2. Catherine Overholt, Mary B. Anderson, Kathleen Cloud and James E.
Austin, eds., Gender Roles in Development Projects: A Case Book (West
Hartford, Connecticut: Kumarian Press, 1985.

3. PPC/CDIE, Women in Developm
(tentative title). Washington, D.C.:

ent: The AID Experience,

USAID, forthcoming.

In addition, resources on women necessary for project design,
implementation and evaluation can be made available from a variety of sources.
The following chart specifies types of resources USAID missions can tap, and
how to obtain them.

1. Informational

Project Material:
Reports, evaluations,
research documents,
PPs prepared on a given
topic or country.

Statistical Infor-
mation (regional or

Gender disaggregated
data on various socio-
economic factors per-
taining to women

Regional meetings,

2. Technical Assistance

Preparation of PIDs and
PPs; review of mission
portfolio; revision of
existing projects;
project evaluation.

3. Funding Resources

Grant money for projects,
studies, etc.

Contact LAC Bureau WID Officer, currently Jack
Francis, LAC/DP; PPC/WID; WID officers in other
missions; PPC/CDIE.

Women of the World: Latin America and the
Caribbean (see above).

Can be obtained through PPC/WID, PPC/CDIE, or
the Resource Center of the International Center
for Research on Women (ICRW) through PPC/WID.

Request information from PPC/WID.

PPC/WID has signed a cooperative agreement with
ICRW to provide missions with T/A on women.
USAID missions can request such assistance
through a cable request to PPC/WID.

PPC/WID receives unsolicited proposals. Prefers
to co-fund with mission.




Objectives of this

Who can use this


1. To provide project officers and other project
designers with concrete suggestions on how to
integrate women into projects, by sector.

2. To highlight the most important factors
pertinent to women in each sector presented.

1. USAID project designers (including contractors)
in the preparation of Project Papers.

2. USAID project officers in the monitoring and
evaluation of each project.

1. Material to facilitate the integration of women
in four sectors: microenterprise development,
agriculture, vocational and participant training,
and housing.

2. Summary of constraints women face in each
sector, as well as examples of solutions to these
constraints and successful projects.

3. Suggested alternatives to standard project
features which can assist in the effective
integration of women, by sector, in chart form.

1. Microenterprise Development

Women Microentrepreneurs

In most Latin American and
Caribbean countries, women consti-
tute a sizable percentage of those
working in the informal sector. In
Haiti, a UNICEF study revealed that
women do 91 percent of all trading.
In Bogota, 43.7 percent of informal
sector workers are women, while
women are only 36.2 percent of the
formal work force.

Informal sector activities are
attractive to women because they
require little education, few
skills, only a small capital invest-
ment, and are often compatible with
household responsibilities, espe-
cially if operated out of the home.

Women's participation in
informal sector activities differs
from that of men in a variety of

(1) it is often concentrated in
areas representing extensions of
women's work in the home, such as
dressmaking or food vending;

(2) it is often based in the
home, which facilitates the handling
of household responsibilities; and

(3) it is concentrated in
areas that have less growth poten-
tial and produce less income (see
Table 5). For more detailed
information, see the list of sources
at the end of the guidebook.


The following policies can have
an important impact on the degree to
which women can participate in
microenterprise programs and should

be considered in project design:

Financial Reform. Women
are typically small borrowers
strongly affected by transactions
costs, collateral requirements, and
loan application procedures.
Deregulation of interest rates
reduces the lender's need to rely on
these features and increases the
small borrower's chance of receiving

Intermediary institutions
and programs. Financial reform may
be necessary to improve women's
access to credit but is unlikely to
be sufficient. An important
contribution can be made by
intermediary credit institutions
designed to "graduate" women and
other inexperienced borrowers into
formal sector borrowing.

Legal reforms. In many
Latin American countries women still
cannot borrow in their own names,
but need the permission or co-
signature of husband or father.
This requirement represents a major
obstacle for the growing number of
women who are widowed, divorced, or
single heads of households. In
other countries, there is no such
prohibition but women are, de facto,
barred from borrowing.


Women entrepreneurs face a
number of constraints in gaining
access to formal sources of credit.

1. Women may not have access
to information about credit
programs. Promotion may rely on
written mechanisms and community



A survey of borrowers in the Urban Small Enterprise Fund of
the Industrial Bank of Peru showed that women predominate in the
low-income areas of services, commerce, and garment-making,
while men predominate in the higher-income area of manufactur-
ing. This trend applies across the LAC region. Therefore,
projects focused on microenterprises will tend to reach more
women than those focused on small or medium enterprises.

1 2 3 4 5
Commerce Services Sewing Carpentry/ Nontraditional
Leatherwork Manufacturing

Loan size






1 Female Male

SOURCE: Mayra Buvinic, Marguerite Berger and Stephen
Gross, "Una Mano para la Mujer que Trabaja: The Participation
of Women Microentrepreneurs in the Urban Small Enterprise Fund
of the Industrial Bank of Peru," report prepared for USAID/Peru
(Washington, D.C.: ICRW, 1984), p. 15.

organizations to which women do not

2. The transactions costs
involved in applying for a loan,
such as lengthy application proce-
dures and the necessity of travel-
ling to the lending institution
several times, may constitute yet
another drawback for women. If, for
instance, the credit facility is
located at a distance from the
woman's home and is only open in the
mornings, business and household
responsibilities may interfere with
the ability to apply for a loan.

3. Because they tend to be
less educated and literate than men,
women are less likely to be able to
fill out application forms for
loans. In addition, rural women in
the Andean countries and Haiti may
know only indigenous languages and
rarely know how to write.

Data from a project in
Honduras showed that 39 percent
of the market women involved
had never attended school and
were probably illiterate.

4. The types of work in which
women are engaged are often not
recognized as credit-worthy. While
men tend to engage in lucrative
services such as welding or
carpentry, women predominate in
areas requiring few skills, such as
food or clothing vending.

In Haitian small manufac-
turing enterprises, women
constitute only 1-3 percent of
the employees in metal working
and the repair of shoes, cars,
and machines.

5. Women often need their
father's or husband's consent in
order to be eligible for loans, and

Project Design Inadvertently Includes Women

The microenterprise credit program run by the Association for the
Development of Microenterprises (ADEMI) in Santo Domingo has two components:
a solidarity group credit mechanism for extremely small businesses, and an
individual microenterprise component, which reaches slightly larger
businesses. Women were not specifically targeted as beneficiaries, but many
aspects of the project design proved to be conducive to women's participa-
tion. These were: eligibility requirements that include informal sector
work, elimination of collateral requirements, loan sizes and interest rates
appropriate for marginal businesses, and opportunities to develop skills.
ADEMI's weaknesses in regard to reaching women entrepreneurs include
limited management supervision and business assistance, overly short repay-
ment periods, and a shortage of female field staff for the solidarity group
component. Nevertheless, by Spring 1984, women accounted for one-third-of
the participants in the ADEMI program--14 percent of the individual
microenterprise component, and 43 percent of the solidarity group members.
During the fall of 1984, ADEMI chose to suspend the solidarity group
component, thus eliminating 77 percent of the women participants. In the
light of the deteriorating economic situation in the D.R., the staff felt
that future loans would be risky, even though defaults were no higher among
the solidarity groups than among the individual microentrepreneurs.
Fortunately, a 1985 policy review led ADEMI to reinstitute the component.

may lack awareness or experience
with formal credit institutions.

6. In addition, collateral
requirements based on land or
property ownership may exclude
women, who seldom hold such titles.
In programs that accept business
ownership as collateral, women may
experience constraints because their
businesses are either too small or
are not formally registered.


Because of these constraints to
access to formal credit channels,
women have often borrowed from
family members or moneylenders, who
charge interest rates up to 500
percent a year. However, when women
have participated in credit programs
designed to reach microentrepre-
neurs, their repayment rates are
generally as good as or better than
those of men (see Table 6).

Recently, a number of programs
that combine credit and technical
assistance for microentrepreneurs
have succeeded in reaching large
proportions of women as benefici-
aries. These programs generally
incorporate the following features:

1. Promotion through
organizations to which women belong
or through word-of-mouth in the
marketplaces where women work.
Information on microenterprise
projects can be disseminated through
women's religious organizations and
family planning and maternal/child
health clinics, for example.

2. Little or no collateral.
One mechanism frequently used to
reach extremely small businesses is
the solidarity group. Each group
member is responsible for paying
back the loan, which takes the place

of a material guarantee.

3. Minimal transactions costs.
Transactions costs can be minimized
by locating the credit facility near
the entrepreneurs' place of business
or home, making applications short,
and requiring few trips to the
facility for loan negotiation and

4. Technical assistance in
record-keeping, management, and
marketing. Many women lack
knowledge of any record-keeping
system. In Jamaica, the dressmaking
and crafts industries (both domina-
ted by women) have less than a 2
percent rate of record-keeping.

5. Flexible repayment require-
ments. Options that give the
borrower the choice of repaying the
loan in frequent small payments or
fewer larger payments reduce the
rate of default on loans.

6. Availability of small
loans. The smaller the loans, the
greater the chance of reaching women


This section lists factors that
should be part of the project evalu-
ation framework. If the evaluation
plan is developed at the time of the
PP (through the log frame, for
example), these factors should also
be included in the scope of work or
in the material the team gathers
during the design process.

Whenever possible, the evalua-
tion should disaggregate project
data by gender. However, a variety
of indicators that do not require
sex-disaggregated data can be used
to monitor the likely degree to
which a microenterprise development
strategy includes women:



Evidence from various LAC microenterprise projects shows that women entre-
preneurs appear to be as good credit risks as are men. Women microentrepre-
neurs working in the areas of clothing, pottery and food who received loans
from the ADEMI program in Santo Domingo were able to increase their sales,
profits, savings, salaries and employees at a similar or higher rate than did


Fixed Assets








M -26
F 71

M 10729
F 12045

M 990
F 363


M -3%
F -19

M 33
F 7

M 80
F 28

M 1904
F 3308

SOURCE: ADEMI data, April 1986.

Target group. What is the
average loan size? Are low-income
women likely to have incomes this

Average Loan Size. What
is the average loan size? Is it one
that women are likely to demand?

Collateral. What is the
collateral requirement of the loan
program? Do low-income women
typically have access to this type
of collateral?

Financing Mechanism. Is a
creative financing mechanism being
used to reduce monthly payments
and/or guarantee requirements of

Further analysis can be
undertaken with the use of sex-
disaggregated indicators. The
following list includes indicators
that each project officer can adapt
to the specific project.

What percentage of loan
beneficiaries are women?

What percentage of
technical assistance beneficiaries
are women?

What is the average size
of loans to women versus loans to

For which uses are women
given loans? For which uses are men
given loans? Does this perpetuate
women's preponderance in small-
scale, less lucrative businesses?

What are women's repayment
rates? What are men's?

Are repayment schedules
flexible? Do they suit women's
business areas (especially if these
areas require small but frequent
amounts of working capital)?

A Project Success Story

PROGRESO is a microenterprise
credit project run by Accion
Comunitaria del Peru in Lima. Like
ADEMI, PROGRESO has a component
for individual microentrepreneurs
and another for group credit. The
program has been highly successful
in reaching women microentrepre-
neurs and vendors as a result of
innovative design features. A 1984
study revealed that 80 percent of
the beneficiaries of the group
credit component were women; 27
percent of these were the sole
adults earning an income in their
households. Women also constituted
14 percent of the beneficiaries in
the microentrepreneur component.
Since receiving loans from PRO-
GRESO, women entrepreneurs had
experienced a 25 percent average
increase in income and had created
an average of one job per business.

What project features contri-
buted to this success? First,
PROGRESO requires very few office
visits; 87 percent of the women
clients visit the office once a
month or less. During the initial
meetings, loan applications are
filled out and accounting and
managerial advice is offered. Se-
condly, no collateral is required.
Third, promotion for the program
relies on informal networks and word
of mouth. In addition, the program
offers social support for women's

A 1984 evaluation observed that
PROGRESO could reach even more
women if it offered courses in
literacy and accounting, dropped its
two-year requirement for business
elibibility, and dropped its liter-
acy requirement.

The following table shows which
kinds of design and implementation
features credit projects can adopt
in order to reach more microentre-


Project Feature

Collection of baseline
data on clients of micro-
enterprise projects


of implementing

Promotion through written
advertisement or community
organizations to which
only men belong

Collateral requirements
that demand ownership of
land, a house, or other

Design / Implementation

Gather sex-disaggregated
baseline data (see p. 32)

Provide technical assis-
tance to the implementing
agency in the area of
increasing women's parti-

Promotion activities can
take place through women's
religious organizations
and maternal/child health
clinics, and by word of
mouth through informal

Use the business's track
record and potential for
increased production; use
a low minimum savings
requirement; establish an
internal guarantee fund,
funded by borrowers' com-
missions and the lending
institution; use a solid-
arity group credit compo-
nent; use the incentive of
future access to credit as
a guarantee; use the bor-
rower's reputation in the


Enables AID to reach a
greater number of women in
accordance with LAC objec-
tives and to track the
differential performance
of women clients in credit

Many technically competent
implementing agencies have
little or no experience in
increasing women's level
of participation.

Women often do not belong
to community organizations
through which information
regarding sources of
credit and application
procedures are obtained.

Women often lack title to
houses, land, businesses
or other property.

Project Feature

Training in marketing,
record keeping, and mana-
gerial skills

Technical assistance

High transactions costs
(lengthy application pro-
cedures, credit facility
centrally located)

Lengthy loan approval and
disbursal process


placement criteria
include loans for

Design and Implementation

Require borrowers to at-
tend technical assistance
sessions before applying
for loans; schedule the
sessions at times and
locations convenient to
women; establish referral
services to vocational
education programs in the

Offer technical assistance
in -the loan application
process; assist borrowers
to form their own associa-
tions to increase their
leverage to institutions
and resources, such as raw
materials bought in bulk.

Make application forms
short (4-5 pp.); adminis-
ter loan program in a
decentralized setting,
near women's businesses or
homes, possibly through
mobile vans or neighbor-
hood offices.

Allow program staff to
approve loans rather than
just make recommendations;
make the local bank re-
sponsible for loan disbur-
sal, releasing staff

Make loans available for
working capital as well as
fixed capital; through
incentives in loan terms,
encourage women to move
into new, more productive


Women are more often defi-
cient in accounting and
managerial skills, parti-
cularly if illiterate.

Women more often require
assistance in filling out
applications, due to high
illiteracy rates and pre-
dominate in low-paying

Transaction time is too
cumbersome for women
borrowers, who must take
time away from their
businesses and household
activities to carry out

The nature of women's
businesses demands wor-
king capital on a frequent
basis with a short disbur-
sal period.

Women predominate in com-
merce and services, rather
than manufacturing, and
therefore need working

Project Feature

Interest rates

Repayment terms

Use of formal banking

Design and Implementation

Set at or above market
rates to avoid decapitali-
zing loan fund

Keep loan terms short and

Clients can be introduced
to banking procedures by
program staff; borrowers
can be required to open
savings accounts and save
a specific amount periodi-


Women are used to paying
interest rates of up to
500% a year to moneylen-

Default rates are often
lower if small borrowers
are given the option of
repaying the loan in fre-
quent small payments or in
fewer large payments.

Women, more than men, may
not be comfortable in for-
mal office settings and
may be incapable of com-
pleting forms that require
more than rudimentary rea-
ding and writing skills.


Buvinic, Mayra; Berger, Marguerite; and Gross, Stephen. 1984. "Una Mano para
la Mujer que Trabaja: The Participation of Women Microentrepreneurs in the
Urban Small Enterprise Development Fund of the Industrial Bank of Peru."
Report prepared for USAID/Peru. Washington, D.C.: ICRW.

Dulansey, Maryanne and Austin, James. 1985. "Small-Scale Enterprise and
Women." In Gender Roles in Development Projects: A Case Book. Edited by
Catherine Overholt, Mary B. Anderson, Kathleen Cloud and James E. Austin.
West Hartford, Connecticut: Kumarian Press.

Lycette, Margaret. 1984. "Improving Women's Access to Credit in the Third
World: Policy and Project Recommendations." Report prepared for USAID,
Office of Women in Development. Washington, D.C.: ICRW.

Otero, Maria. 1985. "Integrating Women into Small-Scale Enterprise Projects:
Guidebook for Project Design and Implementation." Report prepared for USAID,
Office of Women in Development, October 1985.

Reichmann, Rebecca. 1984. "Women's Participation in ADEMI: The Association
for the Development of Microenterprises, Inc." Cambridge, Massachusetts:
Accion International/AITEC.

1984. "Women's Participation in PROGRESO: A Microenterprise
Credit Program Reaching the Smallest Businesses of the Poor in Lima, Peru."
Cambridge, Massachusetts: Accion International/AITEC.


2. Agriculture

Reasons for Supporting Women's
Agricultural Activities

Agriculture is an important
source of employment for women in
the Latin America/Caribbean region
and though women's participation in
the agricultural labor force varies
widely across class, ethnic, and
community lines, micro-level studies
repeatedly confirm the wide range of
agricultural activities in which
women engage in the region.

1. Women play a critical role
in all aspects of agricultural
production. Women are particularly
active in certain activities, such
as weeding and post-harvest pro-
cessing, cultivation of subsistence
crops, small-scale marketing, and
the care of livestock.

2. Women play a major part in
household farm decision-making;
generally, the smaller the farm, the
greater the role that women play in
decisions about which crops to plant
and which inputs to use (see Table

A study in rural Peru
showed that women on smallholder and
near-landless farms were the princi-
pal decision-makers in regard to
location and timing of planting.

3. Women contribute substan-
tial proportions of total income in
farm and landless households.

A study in Cajamarca, Peru
found that on average, women
generate one-third of all household
net income.

4. Women form an important
part of the agricultural wage labor
force. Twenty-two percent of women
in the agricultural labor force are
wage laborers. In Costa Rica, women
are contracted more often than are
men on a seasonal basis for the
coffee and sugar harvests.

5. In poor rural households,
men and women often have different
sources of income and are
responsible for different kinds of
expenditures. Wives may spend their
income on the family's basic needs,
while men are responsible for buying
items related to the household's
long-term needs, such as agricul-
tural machinery or more land. It is
therefore important that women do
not lose their source of income (see
Table 8).

Typology of Women in Agriculture

Women active in the
agricultural labor force in the LAC
region can be divided into five

1. Farm "housewives," from
relatively wealthy families, who
generally perform activities related
to postharvest processing, seed
selection and storage, food gardens
and livestock, but do very little

2. Women in smallholder
households, who generally make
decisions jointly with their
husbands, who often work off-farm
for part of the year. Women
participate as unpaid family workers


Level of Participation:







(N =230)

Decides all Inputs

Smallholder Middle & Rich


i Mother or Mother and Father or
Mother and Father or Father and
Children All Family Children
SOURCE: Carmen Diana Deere and Magdalena Leon de Leal,
Women in Andean Agriculture: Peasant Production and Rural Wage
Employment in Colombia and Peru (Geneva: International Labour
office, 1982), p. 155.



Generally, women on smallholder or near-landless farms in
the LAC region play an important role in regard to location and
timing of planting and agricultural inputs and should therefore
be targeted for technical information in these areas. A study
in rural Peru showed that women on smallholder and near-landless
farms were the principal decision-makers in regard to planting
and seed and fertilizer inputs. On the wealthier farms,
however, only 27 percent of the women made such decisions.

in field work, as well as performing
their usual domestic duties.

3. Women in the near-landless
class, who may be engaged in
subsistence agriculture or
agricultural labor, while their
husbands are employed off-farm.

4. Women wage laborers,
usually young women, single
mothers, or widows. Due to the
commercialization of agriculture and
the current economic crisis, land-
lessness has increased. In many
cases, landless women have no choice

but to become seasonal agricultural
laborers. In Honduras, for example,
women make up 40 percent of wage
laborers in tobacco and almost 90
percent in coffee.

5. Farm owners and managers,
particularly in the low-income
groups. These women are the
principal decision-makers in
agricultural production, devote a
major part of their labor to
farming, and are responsible for
most agricultural tasks. In Peru,
21 percent of the peasant women in


In the LAC region, men and women in rural households are often responsible
for different kinds of expenditures. A survey of farm households on an
Eastern Caribbean island found that women were solely responsible for paying
for family food in 37 percent of the households, support for children in 31
percent, transport in 30 percent, medical needs in 29 percent and farm
supplies in 22 percent.

Farm Child
Food Supplies Transport Expenses Medical
Women 36.5 22.3 29.6 30.8 28.6

Men 29.6 46.5 32.9 23.9 31.8

Responsibility 27.7 24.8 30.3 39.3 30.5

Family 4.4 5.7 3.3 4.3 3.9

Nonrelatives 1.9 0.8 2.0 0.0 1.3

SOURCE: Barbara Knudson and Barbara A. Yates, The Economic Role of Women
in Small Scale Agriculture in the Eastern Caribbean--St. Lucia (Barbados:
Women and Development Unit, 1981), p. 52.

one study were farmers on their own
account, their husbands deriving
income from other sources. In
Guyana, 44 per cent of the women in
a rural sample were heads of
household and farmers, and in a St.
Lucia study, 25 percent of the farm
operators were women.


The following policies can have
an important impact on the degree to
which women's productivity can be
raised and should be considered in
project design:

Agricultural Pricing -
Pricing policies can have a major
impact on small farmer output. To
the extent that price supports and
tax incentives are oriented to the
production of crops in which women
are not very heavily involved or for
which women do not receive direct
remuneration, women's economic base
in rural areas may be undermined.

Agribusiness Promotion -
Small farmers, including women, may
benefit most from satellite or
contract farming agribusiness
enterprises. Policy choices regar-
ding the crops and production
processes will have an important
effect on employment and income of
women in their roles as participa-
ting farmers and wage laborers.

Agricultural Education and
Extension Current policies re-
strict women's access to training in
agriculture; training is often
limited to home economics, and does
not focus on areas of production in
which women are involved nor on
marketing and processing techniques
which are efficient and can be used
to compete effectively in the
context of growing modernization of

agricultural production and proces-
sing. This is critical not only for
women who are recipients of
agricultural extension but also for
women training as agricultural
extension agents.

Land distribution -
Legislation regarding land distribu-
tion must take into account women's
roles in agriculture, especially the
extent to which women may be part-
time or seasonal laborers who can be
easily disenfranchised by some land
reform schemes.


1. In some countries, such as
Brazil, Bolivia, and Peru, laws
limit the legal capacity of married
women to administer property and
hold title to land. Women's lack of
title to land negatively affects
their access to resources such as
agricultural credit, services, and
inputs. When women do have legal
right to land, their holdings may be
smaller or of lower quality than
those of men.

Land titling projects often
designate the household head
(usually a man) as the land owner,
which provides access to credit,
subsidized farm inputs, and exten-
sion services. In the case of
divorce, separation, consensual
union, or widowhood, the wife may
have no claim to the land. Similar-
ly, if the wife becomes the farm
manager as a result of male out-
migration, she is not eligible for
credit programs, since the land is
not in her name.

2. Studies on agrarian reform
and land tenure reveal that recent
national-level programs have had a
neutral or negative effect on
women's socioeconomic position.

In Honduras, the 1962
agrarian reform law gave widows and
single woman household heads the
right to own land (though not single
women without dependents). In prac-
tice, however, input into decision-
making and access to resources such
as agricultural credit depended on
membership in the male-dominated
collective organizations to which
women rarely belonged.

Further, most agrarian reform
programs fail to provide improved
agricultural practices for household
subsistence plots or technical
assistance for income-generating
activities of secondary family
workers. This is similar to reset-
tlement programs. Women's lack of
access to resources puts in jeopardy
the objective of making the most
effective use of state-subsidized
resources and land.

3. Rural women tend to be less
literate and less educated than
rural men, a handicap that can
prevent them from receiving or
effectively using agricultural
information. The limited number of
schools in rural areas contributes
to girls' lack of education.
Moreover, many rural women in An-
dean countries speak and understand
only indigenous languages, while men
often learn Spanish through service
in the army or greater contact with
the city.

In rural Paraguay, 42
percent of women heads of household
had no formal education, compared to
19 percent of male heads of

4. Limited access to transport
restricts women's ability to market
surplus crops or other products.
Crop collection facilities are

widely dispersed, necessitating long
trips on the part of women farmers.
Market outlets are often located in
towns at a considerable distance
from the farm. In addition, women's
household responsibilities may limit
the time women have to make trips to
the nearest market town.

5. Women tend to experience
constraints in gaining access to
agricultural credit, extension
services, and training courses.

First, in the case of agricul-
tural credit, women are often
ineligible because of lack of
collateral and title to land.

In Brazil, 88 percent of
the funds distributed in
agricultural credit programs went to
large agricultural operators. Women
farmers in a 1980 St. Lucia study
received only 1 percent of the total
loans disbursed by the Agricultural
and Industrial Bank.

Secondly, women farmers and
family workers rarely have direct
contact with agricultural extension
agents. A major reason for the
neglect of women farmers by
extension agents is the lack of
vehicles to transport such agents to
the fields where women are usually
working. Also, rural women may
interact less well with educated
agricultural agents and may not be
able to interpret instructional

The assumption that information
or inputs that are delivered to the
man will be passed on to his wife is
a fallacious one. Men and women do
not always share information.

A study in St. Lucia found
that although one-half of the farm

population surveyed had received
some sort of agricultural extension
service, only 17 percent of women
farmers had received information
from extension personnel. In the
northern district of St. Lucia, only
1.5 percent of the farm visits
involved women farmers.

A study of six rural
Peruvian communities revealed that
88 percent of the women had never
been offered any agricultural
extension services or advice, while
67 percent expressed strong interest
in agricultural and livestock

Third, national programs tend
to exclude women from training

A 1981 FAO inquiry showed
that women made up only 8.5 percent
of the participants in national
dairy training courses in South
America, though they are very active
in caring for livestock.

6. Because of limited
resources and cash, rural women may
be unable to take advantage of
appropriate technologies that could
increase their productivity and

In Paraguay, a study
showed that 59 percent of the women
cultivated less than 3 hectares of
land as compared to 33 percent of
the men. Women who must provide for
the family's food requirements may
be reluctant to risk undertaking new
agricultural techniques or crops on
their small and perhaps less fertile

7. Cultural mores, which
differ across regions, countries,
and even communities, may determine

the gender-based division of labor
and limit the activities in which
women can engage.

Data from two villages in
Colombia shows that in one village,
32 percent of women participate in
transplanting activities, while in
the other, only 7 percent do so.


These constraints may seem
formidable, but a few basic changes
in project design can greatly in-
crease the chances that women active
in agriculture will be reached.

1. Target group. Since women
farmers in the LAC region are
concentrated among smallholders,
targeting small farmers for agricul-
tural credit, inputs, extension, and
training will automatically reach
more women farmers.

2. Promotion mechanism. Stan-
dard mechanisms, such as promotion
through cooperatives, small farmers'
groups, land distribution commit-
tees, and the like tend to bypass
rural women. Reliance on promotion
through women's already existing
productive groups or at places where
they meet, greatly increases the
chances of reaching women.

3. Training. Training programs
that take place near women's homes
on a non-residential basis will
reach many more women farmers.

4. Agricultural extension
systems. A system that offers
incentives for reaching small-
holders, trains agents in a farming
systems approach, and targets crops
with which women are involved will
succeed in reaching more women.

5. Agricultural credit. When
innovative collateral options are
allowed, such as crop liens or group
guarantees, women farmers, who sel-
dom have titles to land or property,
more often will be eligible for

6. Identification of cultural
constraints that can be addressed
through program or project interven-
tions. Resistance to involving
women in new productive programs,
for instance, seems to decrease if
the result is increased household

Project success stories

Very few models of agricultural
projects that have successfully
reached women farmers currently
exist. This is due to a lack of
such projects, rather than a lack of
adequate project documentation.
Though successful women-specific
interventions can be found, large
bilateral aid programs have not
apparently considered rural women in
other than their "home economics"


This section lists factors that
should be part of the project
evaluation framework. If the evalu-
ation plan is developed at the time
of the PP (through the log frame,
for instance), these factors should
also be included in the scope of
work or in the material the team
gathers during the design process.

Whenever possible, the evalua-
tion should disaggregate project
data by gender. However, a variety
of indicators that do not require
sex-disaggregated data can be used
to monitor the likely degree to
which an agricultural development
strategy includes women:

Crops. What types of
crops are being assisted? Are these
crops typically worked by women?

Extension. What type of
extension system is being used?
Will women be bypassed because they
tend to be small farmers or
temporary/part-time laborers?

Education. If agricul-
tural education curricula are being
formulated, are women's roles in

Link Found between Women's Inclusion
and Project Success

In 1985, the AID Center for
Development Information and
Evaluation (CDIE) conducted a desk
review of a sample of 101 field
projects out of 416 AID projects
that had referred to women in their

One of the goals of the review
was to examine the relationship
between overall project success and
the level of women's participation.
A preliminary study of agricultural
projects found that when women's
participation was high, project
success was high, and when women's
participation was low, project
success tended to be moderate or
low. The report makes no claims
about the causality of this.
However, it also points out that the
failure to reach women was generally
symptomatic of the failure to
consider the project's target group
and the dynamics of the local
farming system.

agriculture being adequately and
accurately covered? Is access to
agricultural education institutions
being provided to both sexes?

Training. Is training
conducted in the field or in central
training facilities? Are the
courses long or short? Does the
recruitment mechanism reach women?

Marketing. Is an effort
made to build up small, local
markets where women market their
surplus agricultural products, as
well as centralized markets?

Credit. Does the delivery
mechanism for credit reach rural
women? Does the project extend
credit for crops farmed by women?

Agribusiness. Is the type
of agribusiness system chosen likely
to include small farmers and women?
Is the chosen crop or crops labor-
intensive? Are agricultural proces-
sing plants located in areas where
women will constitute the majority
of the work force?

Further analysis can be
undertaken with the use of sex-
disaggregated indicators. The
following list includes indicators
that each project officer can adapt
to the specific project.

What percentage of farmers
receiving extension are women?

What percentage of farmers
receiving loans are women?

How do these percentages
compare to the overall percentage of
farmers who are women?

Do the length and
intensity of agricultural extension
services vary according to whether
the recipient farmer is male or

What is the average size
of loan given to female farmers?
male farmers? Is this related to
size of land holdings, type of crops
produced, or sex of farmer?

What percentage of reci-
pients of agricultural training are
women? What percentage of
scholarships or stipends go to
women? Are women enrolled in
courses with technical agricultural
information, or home economics

What percentage of women
farmers do agricultural extension
agents reach? What percentage of
all contacts made by extension
agents are women farmers?

Project Eliminates Women's
Source of Income

Data from a rural Guatemalan
community, where a U.S. agribusiness
firm operates with the help of AID
loans, show how women's direct
access to project benefits affects
their standing in the household and
the community. Women in the commun-
ity--a small mountain village--had
traditionally participated in
planting activities and marketed
surplus crops in a nearby town.
However, when their husbands became
contract farmers for the agribusi-
ness firm, women were forced to
contribute 2-3 days of agricultural
labor a week for the labor-intensive
vegetable crops. Moreover, they had
to forego their marketing trips,
which eliminated their only
independently-controlled source of
income. Payments from the agri-
business firm went only to the
husbands, eroding women's role in
household decision making and
diminishing their independence.

In the following case, the project managed to reach women farmers but,
because of a poorly conceived evaluation, failed to document this. success.

Evaluation Obscures Project's Success in Reaching Women

The Caribbean Agricultural Extension Project Phase I and II
(CAEP) was a large regional project that focused on improving the
economic and social wellbeing of small farm households through an
increase in agricultural production and generation of
agricultural employment. The project papers stated that
government targets for increased food production would not be met
unless women received more technical assistance in crop
production, and specified project components that would reach
women farmers. An evaluation that focused on WID concerns found
that the project had exceeded the minimal gender-specific
requirements established in the project papers, primarily because
the project staff recognized and operationalized key gender
concerns. The staff emphasized the creation of linkages with
agencies dealing with women and the training of women extension
agents. Two subregional training workshops on women and
agriculture were held, and a special WID component was added to
the Extension Diploma course of the University of the West

The original AID project evaluation, however, failed to
present systematic data on women's participation as extension
agents in in-service training or as farmers in extension
contacts. It focused almost entirely on women within the farm
household and women's traditional, home economics activities.
Since the project had successfully incorporated gender concerns
into the design and implementation stages, the lack of mechanisms
to document its progress was even more regrettable. Future
evaluations should include gender-disaggregated data on
participation in training and extension and on farmer contacts.


Agribusiness is and will continue to be a major programming area for the
LAC region in the years to come. Agribusiness projects have the potential of
substantially increasing women's employment and incomes.

In San Mario, Chile, a 1984 study found that 45 percent of the adult
women were seasonally employed in fruit production for export. Most of these
women were landless; they contributed one- to two-thirds of total household

Though project officers will naturally consider a wide range of factors
in the project design stage, agribusiness promotion projects should consider
additional issues in regard to increasing women's employment and incomes:

Collection of baseline data. Very little about the impact of
agribusiness projects on farm households is currently known, which may
make baseline data a valuable commodity. Data should be collected on
the gender of the household head, the gender-based division of labor,
income streams of various household members, and access to productive
In the project design stage, such data will allow project officers
to avoid eliminating women's independent sources of income and ensure
that project components are directed toward the appropriate household
member. In the evaluation stage, it will allow project officers to
determine if the goal of raising farm household income has been

Type of agribusiness system chosen. Since women's participation in
agricultural production is greatest among smallholders, an agribusiness
system that reaches small farmers, such as contract or satellite
farming, may be most advantageous in terms of benefiting women.
However, projects that depend on women contributing their labor to
agricultural production with no direct remuneration while eliminating
women's independent source of income may not be successful.

Choice of crop. Decisions on the type of crop to be grown are
primarily based on marketing considerations. However, project
officers should be aware that modern technology can either benefit or
hurt women, depending on the specific labor requirements of each crop.
Other things being equal, labor intensive crops such as fruits and
vegetables may be the most beneficial to women, since they provide high
incomes per hectare.

Location of agribusiness processing plants may also affect women's
employment and incomes. Existence of infrastructure and the
perishability of the crop are the primary considerations in the choice
of location. However, plants located in areas with high rates of male
out-migration or in areas where women lack off-farm employment can
provide women with a steady source of income.

The following chart provides some design and implementation features that
agricultural projects can adopt in order to reach more women agriculturalists.


Project Feature


of base-line

Targeting a specific group
of farmers

Choice of implementing

Promotion mechanism thru
production cooperatives,
small farmers' associa-
tions, land distribution
committees, etc.

Credit programs through
mechanisms other than the
formal banking system

Design and Implementation

Collect baseline data on
the sexual division of
labor and address activi-
ties with which women are
involved (see p. 32).

Use the farm household as
a target group rather than
farmers or heads of house-

Identify project consul-
tants who can provide
technical assistance in
increasing women's
participation; identify
staff of the local
implementing agency who
can attend training.

Promote programs through
women's productive groups,
such as cooperatives, or
at places where rural
women meet; use indigenous
languages in regions where
women know only these lan-

Use crop liens as colla-
teral; use a group guaran-
tee of repayment; target a
certain amount of loan
seed funding for small
farmers; offer small


Women's activities, inclu-
ding the care of live-
stock and vegetable
gardens, are often ignored
in agricultural programs.

Women play in important
role in decisions about
planting and agricultural
inputs. Targeting the
entire farm household
helps ensure that they
receive technical informa-
tion that will inform
their decisions.

Many technically compe-
tent implementing agencies
have little or no experi-
ence in increasing women's

Women rarely belong to
mainstream community or-
ganizations and therefore
do not hear of new pro-
grams; husbands rarely
disseminate technical in-
formation to their wives.

Because women predominate
among small farmers, they
often lack collateral and
tend to need small loans.

Project Feature

Land titling with house-
hold head only as benefi-

Resettlement schemes with*
components for head of
household or cash crops

Introduction of agro-
processing plants


of agribusiness

Choice of agribusiness

Design and Implementation

Where the law allows,
introduce joint ownership
of land for husband and
wife; reserve usufructory
rights for the wife in
case of divorce or widow-

Add components involving
subsistence crops and
activities of secondary
family workers where
pricing policy permits.

After considering the
availability of infra-
structure and financial
viability, consider loca-
ting the plant in a com-
munity where women lack
off-farm employment or
income-generating oppor-

Though marketability of
products is the first
priority, consider the
employment benefits of a
crop that is labor-
intensive rather than

Consider a satellite or
contract farmer operation.


Without title to land,
women who are left in
rural areas to manage the
farm do not have access to
credit and other resour-
ces. Divorced, separated
or widowed women may lose
their right to the land
and be forced to migrate

Resettlement programs
often deprive women of
their income-earning capa-
city by failing to provide
land for subsistence

Women predominate among
the landless and near-
landless; employment in
plants provides a steady
source of income for them
and their families.

Labor-intensive crops
generate more employment
for the landless than do

Satellite farming tends to
involve large numbers of
small farmers (which in-
cludes most women farmers)

Project Feature

Design and Implementation

Agricultural trail


ning Actively recruit women
into secondary or univer-
sity agricultural pro-
grams; offer scholarships
or stipends for rural
women; include girls in
training courses for
youth; expand training
facilities to local areas;
offer farmer training to
husbands and wives as
couples; give practical
field demonstrations ra-
ther than using class-

extension Hire more women who are
trained in technical sub-
jects; hire agents who can
communicate in indigenous
languages; create incen-
tives for agents to con-
tact small or women far-
mers; train agents in a
farming systems approach;
ensure that agents reach
the most remote parts of
their assigned areas.

Choice of technology for
planting, harvesting, and
processing crops

Through data on the sexual
division of labor, make
sure that new technologies
will not increase the
workload of one household
member or eliminate one
member's source of

Women may be unaware of
their eligibility for such
programs. They often can-
not afford to forego the
earnings lost while atten-
ding training courses.
Women's household respon-
sibilities may make
attendance at residential
courses impossible. Due to
limited access to trans-
port and lack of time,
field demos may reach more
women than classroom

The use of female exten-
sion agents alone does not
help reach more women far-
mers. A farming systems
approach is more likely to
reveal the activities in
which women are involved.
Lack of transport has
proven to be a greater
hindrance to reaching
women than the lack of
female extension agents;
farms owned by women tend
to be in the more remote

Some technologies can
actually increase women's
workload by increasing
production; others can
eliminate women's income


Project Feature

Marketing assistance

Small livestock component

Design and Implementation

Provide information on
crops and products that
women sell in the market;
make sure that information
is broadcast at a time of
day when women can listen;
upgrade regional or local
markets, where food crops
are usually sold; provide
credit for group invest-
ments in buses, bicycles,
and animal-driven carts so
that women can reach the

Target women to receive
technical information and
veterinary training.


Women are very active in
marketing surplus agricul-
tural products and arti-
sanal products, but travel
to the nearest market town
may be prohibitive in
terms of time and money.
Lack of transport may con-
strain their ability to
earn extra income.

In the LAC region, it is
almost always women who
care for small livestock.


Ashby, Jacqueline. 1985. "Women and Agricultural Technology in Latin America
and the Caribbean." In Women and Agricultural Technology: Relevance for
Research. Volume II: Experiences in International and National Research, pp.
213-39. New York: The Rockefeller Foundation and the International Service
for National Agricultural Research.

Campana, Pilar. 1985. "Rural Women and Agrarian Production." Unpublished

Deere, Carmen Diana and Leon de Leal, Magdalena. 1982. Women in Andean
Agriculture: Peasant Production and Rural Wage Employment in Colombia and
Peru. Geneva: International Labour Office.

Dixon, Ruth B. 1982. "Women in Agriculture: Counting the Labor Force in
Developing Countries," Population and Development Review 8 (September 1982):

Knudson, Barbara and Yates, Barbara A. 1981. "The Economic Role of Women in
Small-Scale Agriculture in the Eastern Caribbean: St. Lucia." Report
prepared for the University of the West Indies, Women and Development Unit,

Kusterer, Kenneth C.; Estrada de Batres, Maria Regina; and Xuya Cuxil,
Josefina. 1981. "The Social Impact of Agribusiness: A Case Study of ALCOSA
in Guatemala." Report prepared for USAID, Bureau for Latin America and the

Leon, Magdalena, ed. 1982. Las Trabajadoras del Agro. Bogota: Asociacion
Colombiana para el Estudio de la Poblaci6n.

Palmer, Ingrid. 1985. "The Impact of Agrarian Reform on Women." Women's
Roles and Gender Differences in Development, no. 6. West Hartford,
Connecticut: Kumarian Press.

Schmink, Marianne. 1985. "The Caribbean Agricultural Extension Project."
Report prepared for USAID, Center for Development Information and Evaluation.


3. Vocational and Participant Training

Occupational structure

The labor force participation
rate of women in Latin America is
quite high, yet the occupational
structure of the female labor force
is heavily skewed toward lower
status job categories, mainly in the
service sector. For example, in
1970, 67 percent of the female labor
force was employed in the service
sector, versus 29 percent of the
male labor force. By 1980, 69
percent of women workers were
employed in services.

The industrial sector in Latin
America and the Caribbean has been
expanding fairly consistently since
the 1950s. Only 17 percent of the
female labor force in LAC is
employed in this sector, however,
and women's industrial occupations
are concentrated in factory work in
textiles, food processing, and other
traditionally female jobs associated
with low wages and few prospects for
promotion. In Haiti, women hold 51
percent of the jobs in manufacturing
but constitute less than 5 percent
of those working in metallurgy and
mineral products--the highest paying

Education and Training. Higher
levels of education for women do
improve their employment prospects
in Latin America (although even at
the highest levels of educational
attainment, wages are significantly
higher for men than for women).

Most low-income girls and boys,
however, cannot pursue formal
education beyond the primary level
and this limits their economic
opportunities. It is estimated that
average educational attainment in

Latin America is only five years;
urban educational attainment by both
men and women is considerably higher
than that in rural areas.

Vocational training provides a
potential solution to inadequate
formal education by developing and
upgrading skills and helping
trainees to become viable candidates
for higher paying jobs. Structural
and cultural factors have, however,
limited girls' and women' partici-
pation in training programs that
lead to employment in the modern
sector. Throughout the region,
vocational training for women has
concentrated on traditional, low-
productivity skills.


The following policies can have
an important impact on the degree to
which women can participate in
training programs and should be
considered in project design:

Allocation of education
funds. Policies that favor the
development of formal education at
the expense of vocational and
informal training programs will
exclude the vast majority of low-
income women in the LAC region who
are semi-literate and in need of
practical job skills. Budgetary
allocations to primary versus
secondary education will auto-
matically have a more beneficial
impact on rural and low-income women
(and men), given their tendency to
drop out of the education system
after 6 or 7 years of schooling.

Relevance of training.
Women will benefit from policies
that improve the overall quality and

relevance of technical training.
Particularly important are policies
that increase women's access to
productive and higher-paying, non-
traditional jobs.

Enforcing equal opportunity
legislation. Legislation mandating
equal access to educational and
training institutions is a necessary
condition for improving women's
likelihood of receiving training.
However, such legislation must be
enforced to ensure that women do
actually benefit from technical
training programs.


1. Women have difficulty
obtaining information regarding the
availability of training programs
and how to apply for the programs
for several reasons:

Women's literacy rates are
low so that most women will not be
reached by written announcements of

Due to women's high dropout
rates, young women most in need of
training will not likely be
attending secondary schools where
vocational training programs are
often announced and explained.

Women are not typically
members of community organizations
where information might be availa-

2. Low-income and rural women,
in particular, have difficulty
meeting the prerequisites of many
training programs because their
formal educational attainment is

The Difficulties of Providing Nontraditional Skills

The CENAM project in the Dominican Republic was designed to provide
intensive vocational training and employment advisory services to women in
poor areas of the city of Santo Domingo. One of the innovative features of
the program was to be an emphasis on nontraditional skills training that
would enable women to break out of areas of the job market that are heavily
saturated and thus low-paid, such as cosmetics and beauty arts, sewing,
embroidery, and handicrafts. Provision of nontraditional courses, however,
requires a high level of commitment by project staff to overcome the many
obstacles to women's participation in such courses; it is typically far
easier to fall back on training in fields that have- traditionally been open
to women.

Unfortunately, this is what ultimately occurred in the CENAM project.
Midway through the project, an evaluation found that only 25 percent of the
female participants had been trained in nontraditional areas--14 percent in
graphic arts and 11 percent in repair of small electrical appliances. As a
result, 89 percent of project beneficiaries were unemployed one month after
completion of training. The evaluation team concluded that two factors were
responsible for the limited effectiveness of the project: lack of an
aggressive guidance counselling program to help women overcome hesitations
regarding nontraditional training, and inadequate training of project staff
regarding the importance of technical skills for women.

3. The location and timing of a
training program can affect women's
participation in training.

Lack of cheap and efficient
transportation is a problem for
women trainees who have childcare
responsibilities or are also working
to earn an income while they train.

o Parents of young women may be
unwilling to send them to a training
program unless assured of safe

Women's "double day" (income
earning and household responsibili-
ties) may prevent women from
attending training sessions during
the day.

4. Many vocational training
programs in Latin America exclude
women purely on grounds of sex. A
1983 study in the Dominican
Republic, for instance, found that
several state-financed technical
schools with good job placement
records excluded women altogether.

Other schools, which are
theoretically open to both sexes,
offer all the available places to
male applicants only.

5. There may be reluctance among
members of the business community to
hire women who have completed
training courses in nontraditional
areas due to cultural biases and
unfamiliarity with the training

6. Finally, when women do gain
access to training programs, they
are often constrained from fully
utilizing the opportunity because
they are typically offered sex-
biased curricula.

Women predominate in
traditionally female areas, such as
cosmetology, hairdressing, and
typing, while men predominate in the
higher paying areas, such as machine
tooling and motor vehicle mechanics.

Vocational training in
traditionally female areas, such as
typing and child care, is seldom
linked to employment in the modern
sector. An investigation of
vocational training in Chile
revealed that it was the (male-
dominated) industrial schools that
prepared students for steady, well-
paid employment.

Women tend to choose courses
of short duration, which generally
do not lead to high-paying jobs. A
survey in Argentina, for example,
found that 95 percent of the
students in the short training
programs were women, while 92
percent of those in long-term
training were men.


Vocational training offers an
important tool for improving women's
employment opportunities. The
availability and quality of training
programs, however, as well s their
relevance to employment opportuni-
ties must be developed to take
account of women's dual economic and
household duties.

Promotion mechanism. Informa-
tion about training programs must be
made available to girls and women
and they must be encouraged to
overcome cultural proscriptions
against their partici-pation.

Prerequisites. Unnecessarily
stringent prerequisites must be

redesigned to ensure that women's
relative lack of formal education
does not entirely exclude them from
competing with men for training

Timing and location. Relatively
simple, yet critical, changes in
timing, location, and facilities can
enormously improve women's partici-

Nontraditional skills. Programs
should support women's training in
nontraditional skills areas that are
more highly paid; training of
program staff can be an important
element in this strategy.

Meetings with the business com-
munity. Resistance among members
of the business community to hiring
young women in nontraditional areas

can be reduced by group or one-on-
one meetings with potential
employers; the high quality of the
skills training and the dedication
of the women trainees can be demon-
strated in these meetings.


This section lists factors that
should be part of the project
evaluation framework. If the
evaluation plan is developed at the
time of the PP (through the log
frame, for instance), these factors
should also be included in the scope
of work or in the material the team
gathers during the design process.

Whenever possible, the evalua-
tion should disaggregate project
data by gender. However, a variety

Nacional de Aprendizaje, San



Vocational training programs should ensure that women are
integrated into nontraditional areas. In Costa Rica, women
constituted only 26.5 percent of the trainees graduating from
INA in 1984; the vast majority had received training in low
productivity commercial and service sector occupations.

Economic Sector No. Courses Graduates
Total Men Women

Agriculture 451 6588 5975 613 (9.3%)
Industry 396 4493 2644 1849 (41%)
Commerce &
Services 890 20970 14938 6032 (28.7%)

total 1737 32051 23557 8494 (26.5%)

SOURCE: Instituto
Jose, Costa Rica.

of indicators that do not require
sex-disaggregated data can be used
to monitor the likely degree to
which vocational training programs
will include women:

Prerequisites. Are the
educational prerequisites of the
program realistic for low-income

e Information. Is it likely
that the method of information
distribution/advertisement of the
project reaches women? Are verbal
rather than written methods used?

0 Accessibility. Is the
training location accessible by
public transport? Are cooperative
transport arrangements being made or
facilitated by the project?

Further analysis can be
undertaken with the use of sex-
disaggregated indicators. The
following list includes indicators
that each project officer can adapt
to the specific project.

What percentage of trainees
are women?

What types of skills
training are women most frequently
given? What types of skills
training are men most frequently
given? Are the returns to both
skills areas comparable?

o What are women's dropout
rates? What are men's dropout

o Are women's dropout rates
related to the number of children
they have? Their marital status?

Are childcare facilities
provided at the training location?

Jamaica Women's Woodworking and
Welding Project

The United Women's Woodworking
and Welding Project in Jamaica
exemplifies a WID-specific project
that can provide lessons for main-
stream, integrated development pro-
jects. Implemented by the Jamaica
Women's Bureau, the project aimed to
teach nontraditional skills to low-
income women in Kingston.

Why did the project work?
First, the Women's Bureau developed
the training program in collabora-
tion with the Vocational Training
Division of the Ministry of Youth,
which had prior experience in
providing training in welding and
carpentry. Second, the women trai-
nees received management and
accounting training which enabled
them to form their own production
and marketing cooperative. Third,
the prerequisites included the
attainment of a certain degree of
literacy, rather than formal

Additional project features that
might have strengthened the project
include the provision of child care
facilities, a better market feasi-
feasibility study (the original
decision to sell daycare furniture
proved unmarketable), and more
extensive training in bookkeeping
and cooperative management.

The following

chart lists

several options for improving
women's access to and benefit from
vocational training projects.


Project Feature


of baseline

Choice of implementing

Information on program
distributed through secon-
dary schools, public
notices, newspapers

Formal educational prere-
quisites not critical for
training offered

Curriculum for women
focused on traditional
female occupations; unmar-
ketable skills are taught

Design / Implementation

Collect sex-disaggregated
data on the pool of eligi-
bles (see p. 32).

Provide technical assis-
tance to the implementing
agency in the area of
increasing women's parti-

Use of radio, verbal
presentations in the
marketplace, more exten-
sive outreach via commu-
nity workers; special
presentations on non-
traditional training for

Prerequisites specific to
training being offered,
e.g., manual dexterity
tests for construction
training program, literacy
tests for data processing

Focus curriculum on mar-
ketable skills; institute
guidance program to
overcome misgivings/peer
pressure against non-
traditional training.


Enables AID to reach a
greater number of women in
accordance with LAC objec-

Many technically competent
implementing agencies have
little or no experience in
increasing women's level
of participation.

Women's functional litera-
cy rates are low, school
dropout rates are high.

Women's formal educational
attainment in LAC is low.

Traditionally female occu-
pations are associated
with low wages; guidance
counselling has been shown
to overcome women's hesi-
tations about nontradi-
tional and more lucrative
skills areas.

Design / Implementation

Institute formal or
informal transportation

Distant training location

Training during business

Facilities not equipped
for women; no child care
facilities available

Training and upgrading of

Follow-up activities

Parents of young women
want to be assured of
their daughters' safe
transportation; lack of
cheap and efficient
transport presents prob-
lems for women trainees
who have child care and
work responsibilities.

Provide flexibility in Women must work during
scheduling. business hours; short
sessions during the day
may be feasible for infor-
mal sector workers.

Provide separate toilet
facilities for women;
provide childcare or
assist with cooperative
childcare arrangements.

women in
skills areas.

staff to
of involving

Offer job placement ser-
vices and training in
interviewing skills.

Lack of separate facili-
ties for women may dis-
courage hesitant women
trainees; women may be
unable to arrange for
childcare in order to
attend training sessions.

Instructors play a key
role in reinforcing or
overcoming biases against
non-traditional skills for

Women are often unfamiliar
with procedures for obtai-
ning formal sector employ-


Project Feature


Participant training represents a priority area of activity for USAID
missions in Central America and the Caribbean. Through the Central America
Peace Scholarship Program (CAPS) and other programs geared to the Caribbean,
the missions identify local persons for short- and long-term training in the

LAC/W has established that 40 percent of the trainees identified by each
mission must be women. The following suggestions may help missions meet this
40 percent target:

1. Recruitment of Participants:

request candidates from local organizations that either have large
female staffs or that work with women's groups in urban and rural

indicate in written material and information about AID participant
training that women are encouraged to apply.

2. Course Characteristics:

offer short-term courses (one to three months) which are easier for
women to attend due to their household and childcare responsibilities;

include content areas in which women predominate, such as courses for
health promoters, nutritionists, community and social workers, and
community leaders;

include courses in content areas that are critical for women's
economic activities, such as microenterprise development, management,
accounting, and others;

contract U.S.-based organizations to design courses and curricula for
specific topics and with emphasis on the country's context and

3. Related Activities:

plan follow-up activities to strengthen the training and to form
networks among women, which can become a source for additional

disaggregate all monitoring and evaluation information on participant
training by sex.

program sufficient time for women trainees to meet with U.S. women and
women's groups, preferably on a one-to-one basis.


Antrobus, Peggy with Barbara Rogers. 1980. "Hanover Street: An Experiment
to Train Women in Welding and Carpentry." New York: SEEDS.

Buvinic, Mayra and Horenstein, Nadine R. 1986. "Women's Issues in Shelter,
Agriculture, Training and Institutional Development: Assessment for
USAID/Costa Rica." Report prepared for USAID/Costa Rica. Washington, D.C.:

Crandon, Libbet with Bonnie Shepard. 1985. "Women, Enterprise, and
Development: The Pathfinder Fund's Women in Development: Projects,
Evaluation and Documentation (WID/PED) Program." Report prepared for
USAID/PPC/PDPR. Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts: The Pathfinder Fund.

Dore, Elizabeth W.; Girling, Robert H.; and Reichmann, Rebecca. 1983. "A
Mid-Course Evaluation of a Training and Advisory Center for Women (APEC/
CENAM) in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic." Report prepared for
USAID/Dominican Republic. Washington, D.C.: ICRW.

International Labour Office. 1979. Conditions of Work, Vocational Training
and Employment of Women. Eleventh Conference of American States, Members of
the International Labour Organisation, Medillin, September-October 1979,
Report III. Geneva: ILO.


4. Housing

Women in Urban Areas

In Latin America and the
Caribbean, access to affordable
housing is a priority for low-income
women in urban areas where housing
costs can sometimes exceed 50
percent of a household's income.
This is particularly true for the
women who head 33 to 45 percent of
all urban households in the region
and who are typically amongst the
poorest income groups.

Low income housing projects have
the potential to provide a solution
to their shelter needs. In the
past, however, such projects have
been designed around the myth that
all households are headed by men.
Since an increasing number of
households are headed by women, the
design and implementation of housing
projects must take into account the
particular constraints that women
may face in access to housing.


The following policies can have
an important impact on the degree to
which women can participate in
housing projects and should be
considered in project design:

Mortgage Markets. Women
have difficulty in borrowing when
markets are regulated and not
vigorous. Financial reform and
policies that improve lenders'
incentives to lend to low-income
groups, including women, are an
important factor in women's access
to housing.

Government Policies.
Policies regarding slum upgrading

versus slum removal, as well as
building codes and zoming, are all
important for women. Slum removal
policies usually imply replacement
housing in peri-urban areas, far
from the marketplaces where women
must carry out their commercial
activities. New housing development
also may prohibit any commercial use
of residences, thereby removing
another option for women's economic

Legal Policies. Women's
rights to purchase housing and hold
title to land in their own names are
critical, particularly for the
growing numbers of women who are
heads of household in LAC.
Moreover, the degree to which such
policies are enforced must be taken
into account.

Problems with Access: Solanda

A study of applicants to the
Solanda low-income housing project
in Quito, Ecuador showed that a full
47 percent of the women heads of
household applying to Solanda in
1982 were single, while another 30
percent were separated or divorced;
12 percent were widows. These
single, woman-headed households had
monthly incomes that were signifi-
cantly lower than the incomes of
households headed by women in other
marital statuses and predominated in
low-level service jobs. Both
single- and woman-headed households
in other marital categories faced
major financial constraints in
gaining access to the housing


The constraints that women face
fall into three general categories:

Lack of information prior to
the project;

difficulty qualifying to
participate in the project;

problems encountered once
they have obtained access to the

1. Information regarding housing
projects may not reach women who are
low-income, possibly illiterate, and
who do not typically belong to
mainstream organizations where
information could be obtained.

2. Women may not qualify as
candidates for housing for a variety
of reasons:

Given their position in the
income and assets distribution in
LAC, many women will not have enough
savings to make the required down-

Women may not meet require-
ments that only a certain proportion
of income (e.g., 25 percent) be
allocated to housing. Studies show
that women heads of households
receive 25-66 percent of their
.income in the form of transfers
which are not included in the
definition of income; these
transfers provide a broader income
base and allow women to spend more
than average on housing.

Qualification may depend on
the economic status of a woman's
husband, even if the husband is no
longer a member of her household or
does not contribute to family

income. Since many women in Latin
America are abandoned and de facto
heads of households, this is a major

Urban Women and Poverty

Access to housing for women who
head households in Latin America is
severely limited by their inability
to meet income requirements:
In Chile, for example, 29
percent of of women who are heads of
households fall into the lowest
income brackets compared to only 10
percent of men who head households.

In Brazil, 41 percent of
women heads of households are at
poverty levels versus 26 percent of
male heads.

In the Caribbean, 54 percent
of male heads earn over $1000 per
month while only 13 percent of
female heads do so.

3. Even when women obtain low-
income housing they may face
difficulties with payments, loca-
tion, or participation in self-help

Studies show that many low-
income women have difficulty making
infrequent but large loan payments;
their repayment rates are high when
allowed to make smaller and more
frequent payments.

Peri-urban locations in which
low-income housing projects are
often developed restrict women's
access to their informal sector
markets; transportation is time

consuming and adds to their "double

Women have difficulty
providing the time and skills
necessary to complete core units or
participate in self-help and mutual-
help schemes because of their income
earning and household duties.


Development agencies have
recently begun to focus on the
potential differential impact of
housing projects on men versus
women. Some of the design and
implementation alternatives being
used to ensure women's access to
housing include:

1. More active outreach
mechanisms, and verbal promotional
presentations to supplement official
written announcements.

2. A variety of innovative
financing techniques, including
group guarantee mechanisms and
adjustable interest rate loans; and
allowing higher proportions of
income to be allocated to housing.

3. More flexible regulations on
self-help or mutual-help schemes,
and commercial use of housing.

4. Greater attention to
importance of transportation
community services.

of work or in the material the team
gathers during the design process.

Whenever possible, the evalua-
tion should disaggregate project
data by gender. However, a variety
of indicators that do not require
sex-disaggregated data can be used
to monitor the likely degree to
which housing programs will include

Title. Are women legally
allowed to hold title to land and/or
housing in the country in which the
project is being undertaken? Are
efforts being made to place titles
in the hands of women who are de
facto heads of households whether or
not they have spouses?

Affordability. What percen-
tage of income are beneficiaries
allowed to allocate to housing in
order to meet affordability stan-
dards? Is this amount realistic for
women who often have large transfer
incomes rather than wage incomes?

Self/Mutual Help. Can
recipients hire labor to fulfill
self-help or mutual-help require-
ments of the project?

Further analysis can be under-
taken with the use of sex-
disaggregated indicators. The
following list includes indicators
that each project officer can adapt
to the specific project.

What percentage of appli-
cants for housing are women?

What percentage of appli-
cants are women who head house-

What percentage of female
applicants receive housing?



This section lists factors that
should be part of the project
evaluation framework. If the
evaluation plan is developed at the
time of the PP (through the log
frame, for instance), these factors
should also be included in the scope

What percentage of women
heads of household receive housing?

What types of housing do
women most frequently receive?

Do women typically complete
core units themselves, or do they
hire labor to complete the units (if

What are women's default
rates on housing loans? Are they
related to wage income, or could
hidden transfer incomes be more

A Project Success Story: Ecuador

Women heads of households,
either single, widowed, or divorced
mothers of young children, consti-
tuted approximately one-fourth of
applicants to the Solanda low-income
housing project in Quito, Ecuador.
Among these women only 26 percent
had incomes high enough to qualify
them for project financed housing.
Even worse, only a small number
(15.4 percent) of women with quali-
fying incomes had enough savings to
make the originally required 10
percent housing downpayment. An
inexpensive sex-disaggregated sur-
vey administered by ICRW in 1983
revealed these problems. The
project was subsequently redesigned
to require only 5 percent down-
payment with low initial monthly
payments based on an adjustable rate
of interest. These changes in the
financing mechanism meant that over
30 percent of income-eligible women
heads of households who had applied
to the project could actually meet
the project's selection criteria.

Some examples of design and
implementation alternatives for
increasing women's access to and
benefit from housing projects are
given in the following chart.


Project Feature

data on



pool of

of implementing

Promotion through news-
papers, cooperative hou-
sing societies, business
councils, neighborhood

Requirement that
of income go to
payments; taking
of formal wage

only 25%

Downpayment 'requirements
of more than 5%

Design / Implementation

Collect sex-disaggregated
data (see p. 32)

Provide technical assis-
tance to the implementing
agency in the area of
increasing women's parti-

Use verbal information
dissemination (radio,
t.v.); use community
workers to make informa-
tion available; housing
"extensionists" can make
house visits during non-
working hours.

Allow more than 25% of
household income to be
allocated to housing
expenses; include some
estimate of transfers in
income calculation; use
innovative collateral and
guarantee mechanisms such
as group lending to take
the place of stringent in-
come stability measures.

Lower downpayments; uti-
lize creative financing
techniques such as
a.r.m.s. to make monthly
payments affordable
despite low downpayment.


Enables AID to reach a
greater number of women in
accordance with LAC objec-

Many technically competent
implementing agencies have
little or no experience in
increasing women's level
of participation.

Many low-income women are
illiterate; working women
must be reached during
non-work hours via house
visits, etc.

Low-income households
headed by women may re-
ceive substantial transfer
income (in-kind contribu-
tions from relatives;
remittances from relatives
who have migrated); poor
households typically spend
more than 25% on housing.

Women do not have enough
savings to make high down-
payments; lower downpay-
ments need not translate
into higher monthly pay-
ments if creative finan-
cing mechanisms are used.

Project Feature

Design I Implementation

Qualification based on
economic status of spouse

Detailed loan application,
lengthy loan processing
period, involving many
visits to lender.

Fixed repayment schedule

Requirements regarding
mutual or self-help acti-

Restrictions on commercial
use of housing

Base qualifications on
economic status of actual
head of household and
contributing household

Conduct interviews/loan
applications at a variety
of times; simplify appli-
cations and rely more on
the security provided by
group guarantees or recom-
mendations of community

Offer several repayment
schedule options to
accommodate the needs of
different kinds of

Provide loans to hire
skilled and unskilled
labor for self- and
mutual-help schemes.

Allow at least some por--
tion of the housing devel-.
opment to include use of
the home for commercial
purposes; allow homeowners
to rent rooms to boar-

Many women in Latin
America are heads of
household, single mothers,
or have been abandoned by
their spouses.

Women's dual household and
economic responsibilities
make it difficult to spend
time on loan processing;
simplying applications
will reduce time costs and
improve the access of
barely literate women.

Many low-income women
maintain high repayment
rates when they make fre-
quent small payments on
loans, rather than infre-
quent large payments.

Women may not have the
time and skills necessary
to complete core units,
join mutual help schemes,

Women rely on informal
economic activities such
as selling prepared foods
from the home; taking in
boarders is an important
economic survival strategy
among women heads of


Project Feature

Design / Implementation

Peri-urban location
housing project

Limited availability
community services

of Avoid suburban locations
if possible, make sure
locations are serviced
with cheap, efficient
transport (e.g., form
transport cooperatives).

of Provide space for commu-
nity child care centers,
laundry facilities,
perhaps market facilities.

Ease of access to markets
is crucial for women's
trading and small scale

Community services can
significantly reduce the
time women spend obtaining
water, shopping, and
locating childcare; these
time savings allow more
time for income-earning
activities and higher loan
repayments rates result.


Creative Financing

Two main methods of creative financing to be considered for use in low-
income housing projects are:

Adjustable rate mortgages (a.r.m.): These mortgages allow the lender
to increase (or decrease) the interest rate being charged to reflect changes
in a standard index of fluctuations in interest rates, usually on an annual
basis for an agreed upon period of time and up to an agreed upon limit. The
rates associated with these mortgages are initially lower than those
available for fixed rate mortgages; even when interest rates rise, borrowers
have typically saved enough money through the initially lower rate to justify
use of this type of mortgage.

Negative amortization: Under this option a market rate of interest is
applied to loan balances in order to calculate the amount of principal and
finance charges owed to the lender. The borrower's actual monthly payment,
however, is based on a concessionary rate of interest which is gradually
adjusted upward every year until it matches the market rate. Meanwhile, the
difference between actual payments (based on the concessionary rate) and
money owed (based on the market rate) is added to the loan balance. The
term of loan payments extends until repayment is achieved or, more typically,
refinancing is obtained. The advantage of this option is that it allows low-
income buyers to enter the housing market; it works best, however, for those
whose incomes are likely to rise fairly significantly over a three to five
year time frame.


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Preliminary Evaluation of the Panama Women's Self-Help Construction Project."
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II. COUNTRY-SPECIFIC (AID countries only)


English-speaking Caribbean

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Dominican Republic

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San Jose', Costa Rica: Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje, Programa Formacio'n
Professional para la Mujer.

Buvinic, Mayra and Horenstein, Nadine R. 1986. "Women's Issues in Shelter,
Agriculture, Training and Institutional Development: Assessment for
USAID/Costa Rica." Report prepared for USAID/Costa Rica. Washington, D.C.:

Pisoni L., Rodolfo. 1983. "El Trabajo de las Mujeres Usualmente Consideradas
como Economicamente Inactivas." San Jose", Costa Rica: Direccion General de
Estadistica y Censos.

El Salvador

Blayney, Robert. 1978. "El Salvador: Second Urban Development Project, The
Small Business Credit Component and Women Entrepreneurs." Memo to Gloria
Scott, Adviser on Women in Development, World Bank.

Nieves, Isabel. 1979. "Household Arrangements and Multiple Jobs in San
Salvador," SIGNS 5 (Autumn 1979).


Brooks, Mila. 1980. "The Status and Needs of Guatemalan Women: 1980."
Report prepared for USAID/Guatemala. Mimeo.


Danes, Sharon M; Winter, Mary and Whiteford, Michael B. 1985. "Informal and
Formal Market Participation of Rural Honduran Women." Working papers, no. 82.
East Lansing: Michigan State Univerity, Office of Women in International


Girling, Robert; Lycette, Margaret; and Youssef, Nadia H. 1983. "A
Preliminary Evaluation of the Panama Women's Self-Help Construction Project."
Report prepared for USAID/Panama. Washington, D.C.: ICRW.

Hernandez de Pitti, Ana. 1983. "Socioeconomic Survey of Women in Panama,
1980." Report prepared for USAID/Panama. Mimeo.

South America


Bourque, Susan and Warren, Kay. 1981. Women of the Andes. Ann Arbor:
University of Michigan Press.

Sautu, Ruth. 1982. "El Trabajo Femenino, en el Sector Agricola: Analisis
Comparitivo de Argentina, Bolivia y Paraguay." In Las Trabajadoras del Agro.
Edited by Magdalena Leon. Bogota: Asociacidn Colombiana para el Estudio de
la Poblacion.


Luzuriaga C., Carlos. 1982. Situacion de la Muier en el Ecuador. Quito:
Graficas San Pablo.

Moser, Caroline. 1981. "Surviving in the Suburbios," Institute of
Development Studies Bulletin 12 (1981).


Odie-Ali, Stella. 1982. "Women in Agriculture: The Case of Guyana." Paper
prepared for the "Women in the Caribbean Project Conference," Barbados,
September 12-16, 1982. Mimeo.


Laird, Judith Fincher. 1979. "Rural Women in Paraguay: The Socio-Economic
Dimension." Report prepared for USAID, Office of Women in Development.


Bourque, Susan and Warren, Kay. 1981. "Rural Women and Development Planning
in Peru." In Women and World Change: Equity Issues in Development. Edited
by Naomi Black and Ann Cottrell. Beverly Hills: SAGE.

Deere, Carmen Diana and Leon de Leal, Magdalena. 1982. Women in Andean
Agriculture: Peasant Production and Rural Wage Employment in Colombia and
Peru. Geneva: International Labour Office.

The Gender Mnual Series:

Gender Issues in
Latin America and the Caribbean-
September, 1986

Gender Issues in
Basic Education and Vocational Training-
September, 1986

Gender Issues in
Small Scale Enterprise-
September, 1986

Gender Issues in

Gender Issues in
Natural Resources Utilization-

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