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Essay: Industrial Development Programs and their Impact Upon Women

Jeanice Banttari

Integration Paper / GS410

Professor Beata Stawarska

    Industrial Development Programs and their Impact Upon Women

      Industrial development programs have been promoted as a means of

strengthening the economies, improving the health of the undernourished, and

raising the standards of living while emphasizing the importance of modernizing

in technology. However, with the implementation of these programs, women

and their interests have been for the most part limited in many areas. As a

consequence, this has left women's social and economic security deteriorated

which has led to the contribution in the decline of women's status in areas such

as Africa.

      One example of the decline of women's social and economic security as a

result of the implementation of industrial development programs is evidenced

with the use of free trade regulations in Uganda, East Africa. "Free trade

regulations, established by the largest countries of the world, (has) allowed

large corporate fishing outfits to come into Uganda and vacuum the fish from

Lake Victoria. Now as a result of free trade, women who for generations

fished to feed their families, no longer have a livelihood (there)" (Women From

Around the World Speak Out on How Free Trade Affects Them). The

women's activities of fishing Lake Victoria had great social and economic

significance, whereas the activities of the corporate fishing outfits are of pure

commercial significance. As a result, the gender roles of these women are

impacted in a negative way as well. In order to sustain themselves and their

families, the women will have to find other roles to perform or turn to illegal

fishing practices which are increasing at an alarming rate. The practice of illegal

fishing as a result, will have serious negative impacts on the resources and the

ecosystems on which these women depend in order to survive.

      In East Africa, the commercialization of agriculture and the expansion of

industrialization has shifted the trend of subsistence farming to cash cropping.

This has resulted in the deprivation of women to access of land and of

productive roles in household subsistence. Development programs in

agriculture have had a tendency to limit women's ability to participate in the

new technologies and patterns of landholding "and instead relegate women to

subsistence farming, which becomes devalued in a cash-and income-oriented

economy" (Women and Men, page 224). The introduction of cash cropping

often leads to a greater concentration of landownership and to increasing

landlessness among former subsistence farmers. With shrinking plots, the

women's husbands are forced to migrate to large cities to seek work which is

paid in wages. Many of them never return. This has resulted in a rapid increase

in the number of rural households that are headed by women who will have an

even more difficult time than their husbands did, in trying to provide for their

households.

      The implementation of industrial development programs has had a serious

impact upon women's social and economic security for the worse in areas such

as Africa. These programs have led to the contribution in the decline of the

women's ability to be able to support themselves and their households. More

efforts need to be in place to ensure that womens roles are remedied and that

they do not continue being repressed as they are today. Industrial development

programs must consider implementing an increase in women's control over

income and household resources, their legal and social rights, and an increase in

the social and economic choices they are able to make.

 

Works Cited

Bonvillain, Nancy. Women and Men: Cultural Constructs of Gender. Prentice-

      Hall, Inc. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. 2001.

"Women From Around the World Speak Out on How Free Trade Affects

      Them". Jan 20, 2002.

      <http://gbgm-umc.org/umw/newsreleases/finance.html>.

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Jeanice Banttari, Global Studies Program, National University, La Jolla, Ca.