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Gender related issues in international development assistance for agriculture and rural life

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In this paper, the author points out that although by-passed by international development assistance in many parts of the world, women have been providing skill and labor for agricultural production, as well as subsistence of food, water and firewood for their families. Some of the assumptions which have contributed to the marginal attention to women as agriculturalists in international development assistance programs are reviewed. Factors contributing to these assumptions, examples of achievements in development projects and persistent problems are discussed. Some issues which continue to challenge national policy makers in developing countries as well as donors are identified. The author notes that while various donors and organizations address bits and pieces of the issues intermittently, a systematic, organized and universally shared approach to the issues, within a nation state or on a global basis is lacking. She concludes that just as agricultural production inputs and information need to be modified to fit the unique constraints of any ecological niche, similarly, modifications must be made in development assistance programs to fit the specific needs of women in their agricultural roles and cultural settings.

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Nancy W. Axinn is a consultant on rural development in Third World Countries with particular emphasis on rural women. She has program experience in Africa and South Asia for FAO, UNICEF, IFAD and USAID. She is currently a consultant to the East India Farming Systems Research Network for the Ford Foundation.

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Axinn, N.W. Gender related issues in international development assistance for agriculture and rural life. Agric Hum Values 5, 69–76 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02217178

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  • Agricultural Production
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Development Project
  • Ecological Niche
  • National Policy