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From Hoes to Hoes: State Policy, Agricultural Mechanization, and Women's Work Under Central Planning


  • Mieke Meurs

    (Department of Economics, American University, Washington, DC)


In this paper, I reexamine the finding that the collectivization of agriculture in Eastern Europe resulted in its feminization. Using Bulgarian data, I find that, despite an increase in women's formal labor force participation, women remained concentrated in the least-mechanized, low-wage jobs. I argue that the Bulgarian state did little to break the pattern of women's responsibility for household labor and weak income opportunities. Despite its claim of promoting gender equality, the Bulgarian state incorporated women's subordinate role into a development strategy based on the extraction of surplus from agriculture.

Suggested Citation

  • Mieke Meurs, 1994. "From Hoes to Hoes: State Policy, Agricultural Mechanization, and Women's Work Under Central Planning," Review of Radical Political Economics, Union for Radical Political Economics, vol. 26(4), pages 99-117, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:reorpe:v:26:y:1994:i:4:p:99-117

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