Women in rural development: report of a discussion group
Pala, Achola Okeyo
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This paper was prepared as the report of a discussion group participating in the Conference on Assembling and Collecting Data on the Participation of Women in Kenyan Society, held at the Nairobi School on August 11 to 15, 1975. It was agreed that the search for improvements in agriculture and in extension to rural women must take into account the complexity of rural society, the diverse activities of rural residents and the variety of their economic and nutritional needs. The principal concern of the group was to underscore the need for systematic and standardised collection of data which will more genuinely reflect women's participation in the economic activities which are the principal target of rural development. Five priority areas were identified in which the need for greater information on the role of women is especially urgent: accurate representation of the household unit, wage differentials, and their consequences for rural incomes, the sociological context of communal labour activities, access to extension and credit, and diversification and upgrading of non-farm activities. Finally, the need for an action-oriented research programme was stressed, in which work is carried out on several levels, coordinated and presented to a wide audience.