Title: Gender factors in the Mayarema Project, Guatemala, March, 1990
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00091054/00001
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Title: Gender factors in the Mayarema Project, Guatemala, March, 1990
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Schmink, Marianne
Subject: Caribbean   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: South America -- Guatemala -- Caribbean
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Bibliographic ID: UF00091054
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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Full Text


Consulting report submitted to:

Tropical Research and Development, Inc.
PPC/WID, A.I.D. Washington
Mayarema Project Paper Design

Marianne Schmink
Center for Latin American Studies
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611
(904) 392-0375


March, 1990


Terms of reference defined by TR&D included: "1) Assist Dr. Parker in preparing the
Social Soundness assessment addressing particularly gender issues related to
implementation of the MAYAREMA project; 2) In collaboration with the Team
Leader, provide guidance to all team members in how to effectively identify and address
gender issues in forestry, agroforestry, natural area management, and environmental
education; 3) Assess the present participation of women in the economy of the project
area. Assist all team members in the identification of ways women can more effectively
participate in, and contribute to, the regional economy and the well-being of themselves
and their families."

PPC/WID's draft scope of work instructed the consultant to work with other team
members to integrate gender considerations into all major components of the Project
Paper (Protected Areas, Sustainable Income Generation and Human Resource
Development, Research and Policy), and spelled out specific concerns for each
component. USAID-Guatemala's WID Action Plan (April 1989-March 1991) mandates
the identification and assessment of WID constraints and opportunities, as well as
establishment of a basis for measuring progress in the development and implementation
of all projects. The Action Plan also specifies objectives, indicators, and timetables for

From March 5-17, 1990, the consultant worked closely with the Project Paper team
members in Guatemala to identify gender concerns and integrate them into initial
design. Based on the initial Project Paper profiles presented at the March 20
Roundtable meeting, she. specified where and how gender issues should be incorporated
(see attachment). Team Leader Dennis McCaffrey agreed to send her complete drafts
of the project components for comments regarding the integration of gender issues and,
more generally, of socioeconomic considerations.

Second, the consultant developed this summary report containing a brief justification for
integrating gender concerns, a general diagnosis of gender issues in the MAYAREMA
project, and strategies for addressing these issues in the project.


WID policies and practices have evolved rapidly within A.I.D. over the past fifteen
years. In 1973 the Percy Amendment first mandated that A.I.D.'s development work
incorporate attention to women's roles in economic development. The WID office was
created to establish and implement that policy. The office developed a training program
based on the Harvard Business School case study method, and offered it to A.I.D. staff.'
In 1981, the Agency published a policy paper on Women in Development. At the end of
the United Nations Decade for Women (1975-1985) the Center for Development
Information and Evaluation (CDIE) carried out an agency-wide, cross-sector assessment
of A.I.D.'s Women in Development experience.2 The new 1988 congressional mandate
demanded greater attention to gender issues in development work, and provided new

resources to support expanded WID activities. Each USAID field office developed a
WID strategy such as the USAID/Guatemala WID Action Plan for April 1989-March

The A.LD. approach to gender analysis is not limited to concern with "equity" (e.g.,
addressing the question, "what is A.I.D., or development, doing for women?"). Since the
very beginning, A.I.D.'s approach has also appreciated the significance of gender as a
key variable in determining the "efficiency" of projects and their development success.
The assumption is that improved analysis of gender will benefit the project's overall
potential for reaching its objectives and goals.

The major finding of the 1985 CDIE study was that: "mainstream projects that ensure
women's participation in proportion to their roles and responsibilities within the project's
baseline situation are more likely to achieve their immediate purposes and their broader
socioeconomic goals than are projects that do not" (emphasis added). Projects with high
female participation were more likely to achieve their short-term objectives and their
broader development'goals, whether or not these goals and objectives specifically
referred to WID.

The study examined the following set of relationships:

Gender Analysis (Baseline)

Project Adaptation

SWomen's Participation

Achieve Project Purposes

Impact on Women

Long-term Goals

Adequate gender analysis of the baseline situation (before the project) was found to be
essential, but not sufficient to have an impact on project outcomes. The study found
that gender analysis must continue throughout the lifetime of projects so that they can
adapt to the gender constraints encountered in specific activities. Even when there were
no formal barriers to women's participation, projects did not automatically adapt to
gender constraints. In some agricultural research and extension projects, it was
necessary to target women as a specific audience for project resources or activities
because they would be responsible for implementing the project intervention.

The CDIE study found that projects in the agricultural sector that delivered resources
directly to women in accordance with their productive and reproductive roles were more
successful than those that did not. "Understanding gender factors in agricultural
production is crucial to the successful transfer of technology into agricultural systems" --
because of gender differences in access to and control over productive resources;

gender-linked labor constraints; differential control over income; and different stakes
and incentives for women and men associated with increased agricultural output. These
findings are directly relevant to the MAYAREMA project.


3.1 Justification and Context

USAID/Guatemala's WID Action Plan calls for the integration of women as
beneficiaries and contributors into virtually all A.I.D. projects. This is in keeping with
the CDSS goal to "achieve greater participation of all Guatemalans, primarily the
historically disadvantaged, in generation and benefits of economic growth" through
sustainable activities that provide higher-than-present incomes. The GOG National
Development Plan explicitly includes the integration of women into development efforts.

The comprehensive MAYAREMA project provides an ideal opportunity to achieve real
progress towards these goals in Guatemala. Moreover, the project's innovative qualities,
and its visibility to an international audience concerned with new approaches to
conservation and development, make MAYAREMA a potential model for projects in
other tropical areas.

3.2 Gender Diagnosis

An adequate data base does not exist to allow a good diagnosis of the gender division of
labor in production systems in the Pet6n. The systems are complex, combining
extraction of various forest products with agriculture and other off-farm activities. There
are no published or systematic studies of the division of labor by gender in the region,
or how it is changing.

Women do play a major role in the management of natural resources, since they are
responsible for supplying water and fuelwood for their family's needs. Especially in
communities oriented to forest extraction, women's detailed knowledge of fuelwood
species could be an important resource for development and conservation efforts.3
Women are also actively involved in home garden production and in the processing of
agricultural and extractive products. Some women, especially those without children,
also work as xate collectors, as cooks in xate camps, or as contractors for xate collectors.
In other parts of Guatemala, women are active in seedling production for reforestation
programs. Women also participate in most agricultural tasks when necessary. These
productive activities tend to be invisible because of the prevailing cultural notions that
assign women to tasks around the house, not in the field or the forest.

Complex migratory patterns affect the gender division of labor in ways that have not yet
been analyzed. In unstable frontier settlements, especially those like the Pet6n with

of money or

in family health and the long-term future of their children, women can be important
allies in the effort to develop sustainable resource management activities in the Pet6n.

Activities to improve the gender sensitivity of the MAYAREMA project include:
building the institutional capability to address gender issues; research, monitoring and
evaluation plans; and special extension efforts. For some of these efforts, the project
should seek to draw in outside organizations and funds to supplement core project
resources. However, gender considerations should be considered an integral, part of the
overall project because of their central importance in achieving some of its objectives.

3.3 Institutional Strategies

Existing institutional capabilities for integrating women into the MAYAREMA project
are weak or nonexistent. Although there is interest in integrating women, the primary
executing institutions have little social.science expertise, no training in gender analysis,
and no access to published materials. Nor does the USAID/Guatemala WID office
have any publications or training resources to offer. Steps must be taken to build the
institutional capability to integrate gender concerns into the project from the beginning.

A program of training in the conceptual and analytical skills for gender analysis is
crucial to effectively integrate gender issues into project implementation. The training
program should be coupled with measures to provide leadership and coordination of
project activities related to women.

Representatives of key institutions should form a small committee to coordinate
gender-related activities in MAYAREMA. Project executing institutions (e.g.
CONAMA, CONAP, DIGEBOS, and IDAEH) can work on this committee with
representatives of national and local organizations concerned with different aspects of
women's issues. The committee will pursue opportunities for working together with
women in the Pet6n (e.g. Fundaci6n Dolores Bedoya de Molina has a proposal for
grass-roots training in environmental education for women leaders, and Fundaci6n para
el Desarrollo de a Mujer is interested in expanding its women's credit program to the

A three-stage training program in gender analysis should draw on case study materials
relevant to natural resource management and MAYAREMA activities. First, a group of
15-20 representatives of key institutions should participate in a two-day training
workshop in Guatemala City. The objectives will be to sensitize project managers to
gender analysis, improve analytical abilities related to project goals, and provide a
vehicle for inter-institutional communications. Second, a group of 4-6 of the participants
in this training course should work with trainers in a three-day training-for-trainers
workshop immediately following the course. These trainers will provide the means for
multiplying the skills training provided in the course. Finally, the trainers will provide
short courses, throughout the life of the project, to extension workers and teachers
involved in project activities in the region. This field training is essential to improve the
effectiveness of interactions with the local population.

As support for the training program, MAYAREMA and USAID/Guatemala should
develop a small collection of WID materials for use in project implementation and in
training. PPC/WID should help identify and provide available materials, and the project
budget should include funds to purchase needed materials.

A WID specialist should be contracted to work with the project's WID committee
periodically throughout the project, in order to assist with adaptation of the WID
strategy to changing circumstances. These and other project costs should be included in
a special program of the MAYAREMA Human Resource Development component.
PPC/WID should consider ways to provide resources to support the MAYAREMA
project in this effort.

3.4 Research, monitoring and evaluation strategies

Research, monitoring and evaluation activities are essential to document and improve
the project's integration of women. A specific plan to carry out a diagnostic study of the
gender division of labor in the project region should be part. of the baseline proposal. A
quick-and-dirty survey approach will not suffice, since women themselves are apt to
define themselves as non-working "housewives" and the intricacies of seasonal and other
variations are difficult to capture with a one-time visit. However, project activities cannot
await a long, laborious data collection process to correct this lack of baseline

Part of the baseline study should include a "rapid reconnaissance" diagnostic survey that
would focus on the relationship between agricultural and extractive activities, and the
effects of migratory patterns on the gender division of labor. The diagnostic survey
should concentrate on poorly-understood socioeconomic aspects of production systems in
different parts of the project area. The survey should be carried out with the
participation of personnel from local institutions, ideally with the assistance of
researchers already trained in gender analysis. The teams trained during this initial
diagnostic exercise can help to monitor changes throughout the project. More in-depth
analysis of these and other changes could be produced by encouraging academic
researchers, including Guatemalan and foreign graduate students carrying out thesis

The baseline study should also establish indicators of women's participation and of the
project's impact on women, for use in the monitoring and evaluation plan. These
indicators should include, for example: the number of people trained in gender analysis;
the number of women trained by the project; the number of women employed or
involved in new income-generating activities; women's access to credit, technical
assistance, and other project resources; returns to women's unpaid labor and the impact
of new technologies on their time use; and the linkage between income gains and
improvements in nutrition and other measures of family welfare.

3.4 Extension activities

These institution-building and research activities will provide the basis for developing
extension strategies, such as those in agroforestry, designed to reach women. Ways
should be explored to strengthen women's participation through local organizations such
as cooperatives, village communities, and parents' committees linked to local schools.
The Fundaci6n Dolores Bedoya de Molina and the Ixchel group already have local
counterpart women's groups in the Pet6n.

Pilot programs in association with local processing industries can provide training and
employment for increased numbers of women. Entrepreneurs in the tourism and
processing industries, and public sector agencies, should be encouraged to experiment
with hiring of women in non-traditional occupations if suitable candidates can be
identified and provided with minimal training.

Women could play an important role in production, processing and marketing of
alternative forest products such as ornamental and medicinal plans, fuelwood and fruit
trees, and community nurseries. Project activities aimed at diversifying production and
extraction systems (e.g. community forest management and agroforestry) should develop
ways of working with groups of women to provide them with access to project resources
and ensure their control over project benefits.

Training programs for all project components, and environmental education and
awareness programs, should identify and address the specific constraints and needs of
women. These typically include: long work-days; child care responsibilities; limited cash;
low literacy rates; and inhibition in public settings, especially when men are present.


Guidelines of inclusion of WID/gender considerations in Project Paper

by Marianne Schmink
March, 1990

Based on: 1) preliminary document for Mesa Redonda March 20, 1990 and 2)
outline of project inputs section.

1.0 MESA REDONDA DOCUMENT (refer to sections in document)

1.1 Goal:

Integrate women as project participants and beneficiaries, because of their
economic and family responsibilities, their lack of access to employment, income-
generating opportunities, and productive resources and their long-term stake in
sustainable production for family welfare.

1.2 Strategy:

Baseline study of gender division of labor, access to and control over
resources, decision-making and forms or organization and communications
in the project region.

Identify untapped productive potential of women (including what they are
already doing and new possibilities)

Design productive activities appropriate for women's needs and constraints

Incorporate women's organization in the Pet6n into project activities (e.g.
Fundaci6n Dolores Bedoya de Molina; Ixchel; community groups)

Support the project with:

1. training in WID/gender analysis for project managers, and skills
training for women

2. applied research on the gender division of labor and access to
resources, and extension programs directed at women producers

3. development of new forms of industrial employment for women,
including small enterprises, and

4. public information and educational programs for women.

Seek immediate benefits for women and monitor project impact on women
in order to adapt later activities.

Monitor effects of gender sensitivity on project efficiency.

Reorient project to improve women's participation and direct access to

1.3 Integration and Interactions

Integration of local groups working with women and with outside consultants and other
sources of WID/gender expertise.

1.4 Economic Soundness

The project should provide sustainable income-generating activities, including new
opportunities for women, targeted at the improvement of family welfare and the
improved nutrition of the local population.

1.5 Institutional Analysis,

links with NGO's working with Guatemalan women

program of WID/gender analysis training and of small grants for women-
specific components of project activities

strengthening of gender sensitivity in executing agencies and local
organizations, including local industries and universities

1.6 Environmental Impact

Involvement of women as natural resource managers and as allies in search for
sustainable strategies.

1.7 Social Soundness

better analysis of women's roles in production and in family and
community social organization

design specific activities to involve women as participants and beneficiaries,
and indicate special resources needed

take advantage of women's knowledge (e.g. of medicinal plants) for natural
resource management

design formal/informal education programs accessible to women

monitor the gender impact and adapt the project accordingly

2.0 PROJECT INPUTS BY TYPE OF INPUT (refer to sections in document)

2.1 Technical Assistance

Project Administration: 6 months WID consultants (periodic visits by external
consultant to work with local counterpart and WID committee).

2.2 Training

Projection Administration: 2 day WID/gender analysis training course

(all four income-generating components)

Human Resources

Special training/extension activities for women, including linkages with local
organizations and with NGO's that work with Guatemalan women

2.3 Technical Studies

(All four income-generating components)

WID/gender analysis to identify:

Employment/income-generating opportunities for women

impact on women's labor, time use, and direct control over benefits of proposed


1. See C. Overholt, M. Anderson, K. Cloud and J. Auston, Gender Roles in
Development Projects: A Casebook. W. Hartford, CN: Kumarian Press, 1985.

2. See Alice S. Carloni, Women in Development: A.I.D.'s Experience. 1973-1985. Vol. 1.
Synthesis Paper. Washington, D.C.: A.I.D., PPC/CDIE Program Evaluation Report No.
18, April 1987.

3. Tere O'Rourke, 1990, MAYAREMA Project Community Assessment.

4. For example, see Judith Lisansky, Migrants to Amazonia. Spontaneous Colonization
in the Brazilian Frontier. Boulder: Westview Press, 1990.

5. Susan V. Poats and Sandra L Russo, Training in WID/Gender. Analysis in
Agricultural Development: A Review of Experiences and Lessons Learned. Gainesville,
Florida: Tropical Research and Development, Inc., 1989.

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