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Structural Adjustment and African Women Farmers

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ISBN 10: 0813010632 / ISBN 13: 9780813010632
Published by University of Florida Press, 1991
New Condition: New Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Structural Adjustment and African Women ...

Publisher: University of Florida Press

Publication Date: 1991

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: New

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Synopsis:

In the 1980s, development experts and donor agencies agreed on the importance of macreconomic policies to development in sub-Saharan Africa. Policy reforms aimed at "getting prices right" were preconditions for structural adjustment loans and grants in many sub-Saharan countries. Recently, however, debates about structural adjustment lending programmes have ensued, and they are the topic of this volume. One side argues for structural adjustments - devaluation, increases in artificially low food prices and interest rates, an emphasis on exportables, a decrease in government spending, wage freezes, the removal of subsidies - as a way to invigorate stagnating economies. Another side argues that structural transformation of the economy - substantial shifts in the structure of demand and production - is needed in the development process, not just monetarist policies. Still others claim that adjustment policies ignore the reality of life at the micro-level, where up to 80 percent of the food consumed is produced by women farmers. For women, a decrease in government spending may mean exorbitant school fees and no available medicines; wage freezes may mean no remittances from sons and husbands; the removal of subsidies may mean that expensive fertilizers are priced beyond their reach; an emphasis on exportables may mean a decrease in the resources available to their food crops. The result may be at worst more African food crises in the 1990s and at best a more skewed income distribution in sub-Saharan Africa.

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