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Looking at Economies as Gendered Structures: An Application to Central America

  • Jasmine Gideon
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    The economic reform programs implemented in Central America have failed to meet their stated objectives. Although this failure can be attributed to a number of causes, an analysis of the economy as a gendered structure can help explain it, by looking not only at the impact of structural adjustment programs (SAPs) on women, but also at the impact of gender relations on SAPs. Integrating the productive and the reproductive economies provides a broader perspective from which to analyze the determinants of sustainable economic growth and development. Using empirical evidence, this paper examines both the way in which gender inequalities act as constraints on well-balanced development in the region and at outcomes in terms of the overutilization of women's time and the underutilization of men's time, gender differences in access to infrastructure and gender differences in income distribution. The paper also examines the gender balance in economic decision-making and investigates the tradeoff between the increase in exports and the improvement in food security that has occurred in the region. Finally, some conclusions are drawn.

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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Feminist Economics.

    Volume (Year): 5 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 1-28

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:5:y:1999:i:1:p:1-28
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    1. Funkhouser, Edward, 1996. "The urban informal sector in Central America: Household survey evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(11), pages 1737-1751, November.
    2. Walters, Bernard, 1995. "Engendering macroeconomics: A reconsideration of growth theory," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(11), pages 1869-1880, November.
    3. Bina Agarwal, 1997. "''Bargaining'' and Gender Relations: Within and Beyond the Household," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(1), pages 1-51.
    4. Duncan THOMAS, 1993. "The Distribution of Income and Expenditure within the Household," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 29, pages 109-135.
    5. Hamilton, Nora & Thompson, Carol, 1994. "Export promotion in a regional context: Central America and Southern Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(9), pages 1379-1392, September.
    6. Anna Tibaijuka, 1994. "The Cost Of Differential Gender Roles In African Agriculture: A Case Study Of Smallholder Banana-Coffee Farms In The Kagera Region, Tanzania," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(1), pages 69-81.
    7. Saito, K.A. & Spurling, D., 1992. "Developing Agricultural Extension for Women Farmers," World Bank - Discussion Papers 156, World Bank.
    8. M. Anne Hill & Elizabeth King, 1995. "Women's education and economic well-being," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 21-46.
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