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Development planning for women. The case of the Indonesian transmigration program

Dawson, G. (1994) Development planning for women. The case of the Indonesian transmigration program. Women's Studies International Forum, 17 (1). pp. 69-81.

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In the 1970s, evidence of the detrimental effects of many development schemes on women and the conclusion that this was linked to their neglect in policy and planning led to efforts to ensure that women were included in development programs. However, most policies to integrate women into development have had little effect on improving their situation. This paper discusses the case of the Indonesian transmigration scheme. Planning in this program, whether it is within the women's section or the mainstream planning bureaucracy, is still based on orthodox economic and statistical concepts which devalue women's economic contribution and anchor them firmly in the domestic arena. A number of projects specifically for women provide skills training in areas which are overwhelmingly domestic-centered, and family welfare and subsistence-oriented. They offer women meagre and uncertain benefits. In mainstream planning, there has been an upsurge of interest in harnessing women's potential labour because of concern with low productivity in the settlements. However, there is no consideration as to whether, or how, women themselves will actually benefit if they increase their labour. To understand the outcomes of development projects for women it is essential to question the development planning process, its underlying premises, and the ways in which women and their activities are perceived and defined in planning practice.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Social Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
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