Home-immediately access 800+ free online publications. Download CD3WD (680 Megabytes) and distribute it to the 3rd World. CD3WD is a 3rd World Development private-sector initiative, mastered by Software Developer Alex Weir and hosted by GNUveau_Networks (From globally distributed organizations, to supercomputers, to a small home server, if it's Linux, we know it.)ar.cn.de.en.es.fr.id.it.ph.po.ru.sw


South Asia

Individual countries
Individual countrie


CHEN, Martha (1995)

"A Matter of Survival: Women's Right to Employment in India and Bangladesh", in: NUSSBAUM Martha and GLOVER, Jonathan (Eds), Women, Culture and Development: a study of human capabilities, Clarenden Press, Oxford, 37-57.

DIXON, Ruth B.(1978)

Rural Women at Work: strategies for development in South Asia, John Hopkins, University Press, Baltimore,

RAJU, Saraswati and BAGCHI, Deipica (1994)

Women and Work in South East Asia, Routledge, London.

Gender and Education

BHOG, Dipta et al (1994)

"Concreting Concepts: continuing education strategies for women" in Convergence. 27 (2/3), 126-137.

JEFFERY, Roger and BASU, Alaka M. (1996)

Girls' Schooling, Women's Autonomy and Fertility Change in South Asia, Sage, New Delhi.

KHAN, Shahrukh, R. (1989)

Barriers to Female Education in South Asia, World Bank, Washington DC.

NARAYANAN, Aparna (1996)

A Critical Analysis of Literature on Gender, Education and Development: Selected Writings on India and Bangladesh, MSc Dissertation, University of Oxford.

NAYAR, Usha (1988)

Women Teachers in South Asia: Continuities, Discontinuities and Change, Chanakya, Delhi.

UNESCO (1985)

Towards Equality of Educational Opportunity: inter-country exchange of experience (Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan), PROAP, Bangkok.

UNESCO (1992)

Promotion of Primary Education for Girls and Disadvantaged Groups: PROAP, Bangkok.

Individual countries

Sri Lanka



CHRISTENSEN, Hanne (1990)

The Reconstruction of Afghanistan: a chance for rural Afghan women. United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, Geneva.

DOUBLEDAY, Veronica (1988)

Three Women of Herat, Cape, London.

LINDISFARNE, Nancy (1991)

Bartered Brides, politics, gender and marriage in an Afghan tribal society, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

UNESCO (1990)

Status for Women: Afghanistan, PROAP, Bangkok.

WOLFE, Nancy Hatch (1992)

The Present Role of Afghan Refugee Women and Children, Bernard van Leer Foundation, The Hague.

Gender and Education

MAHMOUD, Mohammad Naim et al (1978)

Study of the Differences of Curricula for Girls and Boys: Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, UNESCO, Paris.



ABDULLAH, Tahrunessa A. and ZEIDENSTEIN, Sondra A. (1982)

Village Women of Bangladesh: prospects for change, Pergamon, Oxford.

CAIN, Mead, KHANAM, S.R. and NAHAR, S. (1979)

Class, Patriarchy and Women's Work in Bangladesh, Population Council, New York

CHAUDHARY, Rafiqui Huda (1980)

Female Status in Bangladesh, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, Dacca.

CHEN, Martha (1986)

A Quiet Revolution: women in transition in rural Bangladesh, BRAC, Dhaka.

ELAHI, K. Maudood (1993)

Gender Relations in Rural Bangladesh: Aspects of Differential Norms about Fertility, Mortality and Health Practices, in: MOMSEN, Janet, and KINNAIRD, Vivian (eds), Different Places, Different Voices: Gender and Development in Africa, Asia and Latin America, Routledge, London, 80-92.

KHAN, Salma (1988)

The Fifty Percent: women in development and policy in Bangladesh, University Press, Dacca.

LEWIS, David J. et al (1993)

Going it Alone: female-headed households, rights and resources in rural Bangladesh, Centre for Development Studies, University of Bath.

MAJUMDER, Pratimer Paul (1986)

Women, Work and Home, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, Dhaka.

SCOTT, Gloria L. and CARR, Marilyn (1985)

The Impact of Technology Choice on Rural women in Bangladesh: problems and opportunities, World Bank, Washington DC.

SOBHAN, Salma (1978)

Legal Status of Women in Bangladesh, Bangladesh Institute of Law and International Affairs, Dacca.

SULTAN, Minus (1994)

"Women's Struggle Against Tradition in Bangladesh" in Convergence. 27 (2/3), 79-85.

WHITE, Sarah C.(1992)

Arguing with the Crocodile: gender and class in Bangladesh, Zed Books, London.


Bangladesh: strategies for enhancing the role of women in economic development, World Bank, Washington DC.

Gender and Education

AHMED, Monzoor et al (1993)

Primary Education for All: learning from the BRAC experience, Academy for Educational Development, Washington DC.

ISLAM, Shamina (1982)

Women's Education in Bangladesh: needs and issues, Foundation for Research on Educational Planning and Development, Dacca.

LOVELL, Catherine H. and KANIZ, Fatema (1989)

BRAC: non-formal primary education in Bangladesh, UNICEF, New York.

UNESCO (1987)

Universal Primary Education for Girls: Bangladesh, PROAP, Bangkok.

UNESCO (1994)

In Our Own Hands: the story of Saptagram, a women's self-reliance and education movement in Bangladesh, Paris.

WARNER, Rachel (1991)

"Bangladesh is my motherland" in English and Media Magazine, 25, 12-15.


Gender and Education

BURINGA, Joke (1992)

Education and Gender in Bhutan: a tentative analysis, SNV, Thimpu.



ABRAHAM, Taisha (1995)

Female Empowerment: impact of literacy in Jaipur District, Rajasthan, Har-Anad Publications, New Delhi.


The Girl Child and The Family: an action research study, India University, New Delhi.

DEVASIA, Leela and DEVASIA, V.V. (eds) (1990)

Women in India: equality, social justic and development, Indian Social Institute, New Delhi.

ENGINEER, Asghar Ali (ed) (1995)

Problems of Muslim Women in India: Orient Longman, Bombay.

JAIN, Devika and BANERJEE, Nirmala (eds) (1985)

Tyranny of the Household: investigative essays women's work, Vikas Publishing House, New Delhi.

JEFFREY, Robin (ed) (1992)

Politics, Women and Well-Being: How Kerala became a 'Model'.

KRISHNARAJ, Maithreyi and HANANA, Karuna (eds) (1980)

Gender and the Household Domain: social and cultural dimensions, Sage Publications, London.

MAZUMDAR, Vina (1979)

Symbols of Power: studies on the political status of women in India, Allied Publishers, Bombay.

MENON, Indu M.

Status of Muslim Women in India: a case study of Kerala, Uppal, New Delhi.

MUKHOPADHYAY, Maitrayee (1984)

Silver Shackles: women and development in India, Oxfam, Oxford.

NUNA, Sheel C. (1990)

Women and Development, National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration, New Delhi.

RATHORE, B.S. and CHHABRA, R. (1991)

"Promotion of Women's Entrepreneurship: training strategies" in India National Bank News Review, 7 (8) 31-36.

SEBASTI, L. Raj (ed) (1991)

Quest for Gender Justice: a critique of the status of women in India, T.R. Publications, Madras.

UNICEF (1990)

Children and Women in India: a situational analysis, New Delhi.


Identity, Gender and Poverty in Rajasthan: experiences of a tribal community, Berghahn Books, Providence.

VARMA, Rameswari (1993)

Assessing Rural Development Programmes in India from a Gender Perspective", in: MOMSEN, Janet and KINNAIRD, Vivian (eds), Different Places, Different Voices: Gender and Development in Africa, Asia and Latin America, Routledge, London, 120-130.

VISHWANATH, Leela (1993)

Social Mobility among Scheduled Caste Women in India: a study of Kerala, Uppal Pub. House, New Delhi.


Gender and Poverty in India, World Bank, Washington DC.

Gender and Education

AGARWAL, Nandita (1993)

Women, Education and Population in India, Chugh. Publications, Allahabad.

AGGARWAL, Anil (1992)

"Who will help her learn?" in Down to Earth, November 15, 1992, New Delhi.

AGGARWAL, J.C. (1987)

Indian Women: education and status, Arya Book Depot, New Delhi.

AGRAWAL, Suren and AGGARWAL J.C. (1992)

Women's Education in India, Concept Pub. Co. New Delhi.

AGWAN, Abdul Rashid (1993)

"The Educational Profile of Muslim Women in India" in Muslim Education Quarterly, 10 (1), 7-33.

BHASIN, K. (1984)

"The Why and How of Literacy for Women: some thoughts in the Indian context" in Convergence, 17 (4). 37-43.

CHANANA, Karuma, (ed)

Socialisation, Education and Women: explorations in gender identity, Sangam Books, London.

DIGHE, Anita (1995)

Women and Literacy in India: a study in a resettlement colony of Delhi, Education for Development, Reading.

ESKSTAAND, Lars-Henri (1992)

The Future of Non-formal Education for Women in India: problems and suggestions, Lund University, Sweden.

GHOSH, R. (1986)

"Women's Education in the Land of the Goddess Saraswati" in Canadian and International Education, 15 (1). 39-52.

GHOSH, Ratna, and TALBANI, Abdulaziz (1996)

"India", in: MAK, Grace C.L., Women, Education and Development in Asia: Cross-National Perspectives, Garland, New York and London, 165-186.

GOELA, Usha (1989)

Training Schemes for Women in the Government of India, National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development, New Delhi.


Critical Issues on the Status of Women: suggested priorities for action, Indian Council for Social Science Research, New Delhi.


Women, Education, Employment: family living: a study of emerging Hindu wives in urban India, Gian Publishing House, Delhi.

JAIN, Anrudh, K, and NAG, Moni (1987)

"Importance of Female Primary Education for Fertility Reduction in India", in: GHOSH, Ratna and ZACHARIAH, Mathew (eds), Education and the Process of Change, Sage, New Delhi, 157-177.

JEJEEBHOY, Shireen J. (1993)

Women's Education and Fertility Behaviour: a case-study of rural Maharshtra, United Nations, New York.

JHARTA, Bhawana (1996)

Women and Politics in India: impact of family and education on women political activists. Deep and Deep Publications, New Delhi.

KABRA, Lalita (1991)

Scheduled Caste Girls: educational backwardness and prospects, Mittal, New Delhi.

KANWAR, Asha S. and JAGANNATHAN, Neela (eds) (1995)

Speaking for Ourselves: women and distance education in India, Manohar Publications, New Delhi.

KANWAR, Asha S. (1991)

"Distance Education for Women's Equality: an Indian perspective" in Journal of Distance Education, 5 (2), 49-58.

KURRIEN, John (1992)

Providing Basic Education for Poor Girls and Women in India: issues and prospects, Centre for Learning Resources, Pune.

MAJUMDAR, P.K. and CHAUDHARI, Buddhadeb (1983)

Faltering First Steps: reasons for disparity of sex-ratio in primary education level, Cosmo Publications, New Delhi.

MATHUR, Y.B. (1973)

Women's Education in India 1913-1966, Asia Publishing House, London.

MAZUMDAR, Vina (1987)

"Education, Development and Women's Liberation: Contemporary Debates in India", in GHOSH, Ratna and ZACHARIAH, Mathew (eds), Education and the Process of Change, Sage, New Delhi, 198-211.

MAZUMDAR, Vina and PANDEY, Balaji (1988)

National Specialised Agencies and Women's Equality; NCERT, Centre for Women's Development Studies, New Delhi.

MIES, Maria and SARKAR, Saral K. (1980)

Indian Women and Patriarchy: conflicts and dilemmas of students and working women, Concept, New Delhi.

MUKHOPADHYAY, Carol C, and SEYMOUR, Susan (eds) (1994)

Women, Education and Family Structure in India, Westview, Colorado.

NAIK, Chitra (1987)

"Educating Rural Girls: a review of an action-research project" in International Review of Education, 33 (4), 495-501.

NAYAR, Usha (1989)

Universalisation of Elementary Education for Girls in India: some basic issues, Women's Studies Unit, NCERT, New Delhi.

NAYAR, Usha (1995)

From Girl Child to Person: a resource material for teachers and headteachers of primary schools in India, UNESCO, New Delhi.

NAYAR, Usha (1995)

Planning for UPE of Girls and Women's Empowerment: Gender Studies in DPEP

PRASAD, Janardan (1995)

Women, Education and Development: a new perspective, Kanishka Publishers, New Delhi.


Higher Education of Women in Modern India: a study of the socio-economic and political aspects of higher education of Tamil women, Criterion, New Delhi.

REDDY, Redepppa M.C. (1991)

"Women's Education in India: problems and prospects" in Convergence, 24 (4), 35-41.

RHODE, Jon E.(1987)

"Health, Nutrition and Education of Girls in India: an integrated approach" in Journal of Education and Social Change, 1 (3), Pune.

SALDANHA, Lynette (1988)

Information Technology and the Training and Career Development of Women: the case of India, Discussion Paper No. 30, International Labour Office, Geneva.

SHARMA, Prem Lata (1988)

Rural Women in Education: a study in under-achievement, Sterling Publishers, New Delhi.


Employment of Educated Married Women in India: its causes and consequences, National, New Delhi.


Women's Education and Occupational Aspirations, Discovery Pub. House, New Delhi.

TALESRA, Hemlata (1989)

Higher Education among Women, National Publishing House, New Delhi.

UNESCO (1982)

Education for Disadvantaged Women, PROAP, Bangkok.

UNESCO (1987)

Universal Primary Education for Girls: India, PROAP, Bangkok.

UNESCO (1989)

Simultaneous Education for Women and Girls: Report of a Project (Uttar Pradesh), PROAP, Bangkok.

UNESCO (1991)

A Study on Access of Women and Girls to Technical Vocational Education in India, Paris.

VARGHESE, Mariamma A. (1990)

Women Administrators in Education, Har-Anand Publications, New Delhi.

VLASSOF, Carol (1994)

"Hope or Despair? Raising Education and the Status of Adolescent Females in Rural India" in International Journal of Educational Development, 14 (1), 3-12

VOHRA, Roopa and SEN, Arun K.(1989)

Status, Education and Problems of Indian Women, Akshat Publications, Delhi.

WADDIN, J.C. and GOANKAR, V. (1993)

"Educational Status of the Rural Teenage Girls and Some Associated Factors", in: Journal of Education and Social Change (India), 7, 46-52.



ACHARYA, Meena and BENNET, Lynn (1983)

Women and the Subsistence Sector, World Bank, Washington DC.

ALLEN, Michael and MUKHERJEE, S.N. (1990)

Women in India and Nepal, Sterling, New Delhi.

DEVKOTA, R.C. (1991)

Policy Approaches of NGO's for mobilisation and interest representation of rural women in the Nepalese context, CESO, The Hague..

REID, Holly (1984)

Women and Resource Conservation and Utilisation in Nepal, Centre for Women in Development, Washington DC.

SUBEID, Prativa (1983)

Nepali Women Rising, Women's Awareness Group, Kathmandu.

Gender and Education

ANDERSON, Jean and JOSHI, Govinda Prasad (1994)

"Female motivation in the patriarchal school: an analysis of primary textbooks and school organisation in Nepal and some strategies for change" in Gender and Education, 6 (2), 183-199.

BAIDYA, Bhuchandra P.R. (1991)

Women and Training for Rural Gainful Activities, I.L.O., Geneva.


Equal Access of Women to Education Programme in Nepal: an evaluative study.

MANADHAR, Udaya (1994)

"Empowering women and families through literacy in Nepal, in Convergence, 27 (2/3), 102-110.

SCHULZ, Linda Zelda (1994)

"Your daughters are not daughters but sons: field notes on being and becoming a woman teacher in Nepal and in Canada" in Gender and Education, 6 (2) 183-199.

SHRESHTA, Pushpa (1995)

Educated Women in Urban Nepal, B.R. Pub. Corp., Delhi.

TEAS, Molly Maguire (1993)

Increasing Women's Participation in the Primary School Teaching Force in Nepal, The World Bank, Washington DC.

TULADAR, Sumon (1994)

"Participatory video as post-literacy activity for women in rural Nepal" in Convergence, 27 (2/3) 111-118.

UNESCO (1981)

Access of Girls to Education: a review of Nepali experiences with suggestions regarding regional imbalances and socio-economic disparities. Paris.

UNESCO (1987)

Universal Primary Education for Girls: Nepal PROAP, Bangkok.

UNESCO (1990)

Women's Participation in Higher Education: China, Nepal and the Phillipines, UNESCO PROAP, Bangkok.



ANWAR, Seemin and BILQUEES, Faiz (1976)

The Attitudes, Environment and Activities of Rural Women: a case study of Jhok Sayalm. Pakistan Institute of Development Studies Islamabad.

HAFEEZ, Sabeeha (1981)

Metropolitan Women in Pakistan: studies, Renissance Publishing House, Delhi.


Female Labour Participation in Rural Economy of Punjab, PERI, Lahore.

KHAN, Nighat Said (1985)

Women in Pakistan; a new era? ASR, Lahore.

KHAN, Nighat Said et al (1988)

Income Generation for Women: lessons from the field, Applied Socio-Economic Research. Labore.

MOGHADAM, Valentine (ed) (1994)

Gender and National Unity: women and politics in Muslim societies, Zed, London.

PATEL, Rashida (1991)

Socio-economic Political Status and Women and Law in Pakistan, Faiza, Karachi.

SATHAR, Zeba A, (1993)

Women's Status and Fertility in Pakistan: recent evidence, United Nations, New York.

SHAH, Nasra M. (ed) (1986)

Pakistani Women: a socio-economic and demographic profile, Pakistan Institute of Development Studies, Islamabad.

ZAFAR, Fareeha (ed) (1991)

Finding Our Way: readings on women in Pakistan, ASR, Lahore.

ZIA, Afiya Shehrbano (1994)

Sex Crime in the Islamic Context: rape, class and gender in Pakistan, ASR, Lahore.

Gender and Education


The Primary Education Development Program: Pakistan, AED, Washington DC.

AFTAB, Tahera (1994)

"Fighting litteracy: what works and what doesn't: a case study of female literacy in Pakistan" in Convergence, 27 (4), 25-34.

ANSARI, Z.A. (1980)

Scales for Measuring Attitude of Women towards Male and Female Education, National Institute of Psychology, Islamabad.

BEHRMAN, Jere R. (1995)

Low Schooling and Large Schooling Gender Gaps in Pakistan: market failure?. Centre for Development Economics, Massachusetts.

BUKHARI, M. Maqsud Alam (1986)

Demand and Supply of Primary and Middle Schools Female Teachers in Pakistan (1981-1990), Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad.


"Pakistan", in: MAK, Grace C.L. Women, Education and Development in Asia: cross-national perspectives, Garland, New York and London, 187-216.

FARAH, Iffat (1991)

School Ka Sabaq: literacy in a girls' school in rural Pakistan, PENN Working Papers, 7 (2) 59-81.

GHAFOOR, Abdul (1990

Primary Education of the Girl Child in Pakistan, Academy of Educational Planning and Management, Islamabad.

IJAZ, Kishwer (1980)

An Assessment of the Problems of Health, Nutrition, and Education of Rural Mothers and Children, University of Agriculture, Islamabad.

KHAN, Nighat Said (1988)

"Educating Each Other on Women's Development: report of a workshop and development in Pakistan" in Convergence, 21 (4). 35-44.

KHWAJA, Sarfraz (1989)

Basic Education for Females: situation analysis, PanGraphics, Islamabad.

KHWAJA, Sarfraz (1985)

Promotion of Girls Education in the Context of Universalisation of Primary Education, Academy of Educational Planning and Management, Islamabad.

KLEIN, Heinz Gunther (1992)

Women in Pakistan: general conditions, approaches and project proposals for the development and vocational qualifications of women in the province of Punjab, Vanguard Books, Lahore.


Papers: National Conference on Critical Issues Concerning Women in Education, Women's Division, Govt. of Pakistan.

O'GRADY, B. (1994)

Teaching Communities to Educate Girls in Balochistan, Academy for Educational Development, Washington, DC.


Workshop on Female Access to Primary Schooling in Pakistan: Programme Materials and Recommendations, Islamabad.

UNESCO (1978)

Universal Primary Education for Girls: Pakistan, PROAP, Bangkok.

WARWICK, Donald P. and JATOI, Haroona (1994)

Teacher Gender and Student Achievement in Pakistan, in: Comparative Education Review 38 (3), 377-399.


Sex Discrimination in Education: content analysis of Pakistani school text books, Institute of Social Studies, The Hague.

Sri Lanka


KIRABAMUNE, Sirima and SAMARASINGHE, Vidyamali eds) (1990)

Women at the Crossroads: a Sri Lankan perspective, Vikas Publishing House, International Centre for Ethnic Studies, New Delhi.


"Women's Roles in Rural Sri Lanka", in: MOMSEN, Janet and KINNAIRD, Vivian (eds) Different Places, Different Voices: Gender and Development in Africa, Asia and Latin America, Routledge, London, 159-175.

Gender and Education

JAYAWEERA, Swaran (1991)

Diversification of Women's Employment Through Training, I.L.O. Geneva.

JAYAWEERA, Swarna (1996)

"Sri Lanka", in MAK, Grace C.L.. Women, Education and Development in Asia: cross-national perspectives, Routledge, London, 217-244.

SIRIWARDENA, Subhardra (1973)

"The Education of Girls and Women in Ceylon" in International Review of Education, XIX (l), 115-120.



CHEN, Martha (1996) A matter of Survival: Women's Right to Employment in India and Bangladesh, in: NUSSBAUM, Martha and GLOVER, Jonathan (eds). Women, Culture and Development: a Study of Human Capabilities, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 37-57.

Martha Chen's contribution to this important volume is a very special one, as it forms a Case Study located as a preliminary to a range of systemic and theoretical discussions on the issue of gender and human capabilities. The wise reader will take the opportunity to digest the realities described and analysed in this case study and set them against the wider discourse.

In the author's own words: 'This paper explores the predicament of poor women in poor economies, like Saleha Begum (Bangladesh) and Metha Bai (India), who must break with tradition and act independently because they lack the security the tradition is supposed to offer. "In communities where women are secluded, perhaps the most conspicuous and yet necessary way for women to break with tradition is to leave their courtyards or homesteads in search of work". Despite the fact that the constitutions of Bangladesh and India guarantee women equal employment opportunities with men, for many of them the system of seclusion denies them such opportunities.

Martha Chen describes how the 1974 famine in Bangladesh prompted some women to defy tradition and join the work force. The focus is on the increasing phenomenon of female-headed households and their interaction with the wider community and international aid activities. The Indian case is further complicated by immense variety as between castes, where aspiration to (social) status forms an additional constraint on gainful employment outside the home. The author analyses these situations in respect of four issues: the survival imperative; female mortality rates; women's status; human justice. She concludes that: "The demand that women be allowed to abandon seclusion and seek gainful employment outside the home should not be seen as an outside challenge to local culture and tradition but as a local response to changes in local culture and tradition".

Consequently, all women should have a right to gainful and just employment, especially in marginalised and developing economies. This is an essential human good and should be seen positively by insiders and outsiders alike.

Individual countries

Sri Lanka


CHEN, Martha, (1986) Quiet Revolution: women in transition in rural Bangladesh, BRAC, Dhaka.

Martha Chen describes and evaluates the efforts of one agency in Bangladesh to reach poor village women with projects designed to increase their material and social resources. The book details the social and economic roles of these women and conveys with immediacy the empirical base of the BRAC (Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee) experience. The growth and development of BRAC's approach to community development are described. The early approach was based on the assumptions that a) the rural masses are passive and need to be conscientised; b) their attitudes can be changed through education and training; c) the village communities, although not homogenous, can be organised to work cooperatively. The lack of success of the programmes prompted BRAC to conduct research analysis based on their collective field experience. Their findings led to a transformation in their approach to community development and to a radically new set of assumptions. It began to understand that the village is not a unified community but a set of sub-groups with conflicting interests. The rural power structure affects access to power and distribution of resources. The most important policy change in the light of these new findings was that in order to address the rural power structure, the capacities of and institutions for the poor and powerless must be developed through collective socio-economic action. The selection of poor and marginal women as the target group for a particular BRAC project led to the realisation that education is an essential, but not the most crucial, factor in improving the status of these women. Yet the critical importance of education is acknowledged. The changes that the women experienced in their lives after joining BRAC's program are described by the women in informal interviews with the author. These include changes in relationships, in attitudes, in the resources they have access to or control of and, most critically, in their access to and exercise of power. Chen concludes by trying to identify the reason for the poor results of the development efforts of the past two decades. The fact that women were overlooked and that women's work was not valued may explain the relative lack of success of these efforts. The actual and potential contribution of women to national development should be addressed in development planning and practice.

This remarkable book describes a particular programme of an NGO that has now gained international recognition for the efficacy of its development efforts. Its great strength is the author's own involvement in the designing and implementation of the projects that are described. The BRAC experience is conveyed with immediacy, and this is reinforced by including the women's opinions on key issues in the course of informal group and individual interviews. We are given an insight not only into programmes that succeeded but into earlier approaches which had to be modified because of their shortcomings. The conclusions of the evaluation of the early approaches, most importantly, that the concept of a unified village "community" may have no basis in reality, is of great significance to future development practices. The author makes an impassioned argument for incorporating a gender perspective into all development planning. There is little doubt that this extremely readable book is useful to the academician and practitioner alike.

WHITE, Sarah C. (1992) Arguing with the Crocodile: gender and class in Bangladesh, Zed Books, London.

The issue of social stratification is exhibited by gender and by class, and its relevance to development policy. It is based on field research in a village called Kumirpur in Bangladesh including case studies of thirty households. The book involves a comparative study of men and women's contribution to households' socio-economic relations. Aspects of the daily life of the people are examined, including women's relationship with men and other women, employment relations between women, the organisation of the family household, and other forms of interaction. The principal argument of the book is that it is untrue that gender relations are set, as many "women and development" approaches assume. Rather gender is a "contested image". This approach to gender shifts the focus from women as an exclusive group, to the actual ways in which women and men manipulate definitions of identity according to their own interests. An important outcome of this approach is that women are no longer conceived of as passive victims, and the study of gender relations is opened up to examine women's exercise of power. The study of access to, and exercise of, power is critical to an understanding of social relations. White's research looks in detail at what happens in the home, how women conceive of their own interests and how notions of gender figure in interpersonal negotiations of power. Relationships between classes and between gender groups are not always based on conflict but show complex negotiations of mutual gain and shared interest. The notion of flexible identities is most clearly seen in family household and patron-client relationships. The family household gives people a common identity and common interests, but also divides them into specific roles and places in the hierarchy. Similarly, patron-client relationships (between men, between women, and between men and women) show elements of contradiction and solidarity. The implication of this is that future gender-oriented research requires a more sensitive comparative approach that includes both sexes in its analysis of social relations. White emphasises that it is not enough to simply classify societies as more or less equal depending on the status of women, but to explore the complexities of the nature of differentiation:

White's book makes important contributions to the gender and development discourse. Her field work in Kumirpur and detailed case studies of thirty households gives her a unique perspective on the subject of gender relations in rural Bangladesh. The stereotype of a monolithic female identity is undermined, and the fact that relations between members of the same class or gender group are often characterised by conflict is highlighted. The most critical insight that this book provides is that future gender-oriented research cannot look at the question of female status in isolation from that of males. Her observations relating to "the flexibility of identity" show that women have the room to manoeuvre around cultural prescriptions relating to gender norms. A comparative approach that integrates the relative position of men and women in the social order will help us to identify not only the differences between gender norms, but between norms and practice, and within gender identities. Such an approach reveals that women are not always the passive victims they are often depicted as. The issue of gender identity and its impact on socio-economic relations cannot be understood through convenient generalisations. It is a noteworthy addition to the literature on gender and development.


AGGARWAL, J.C. (1987) Indian Women: Education and Status, Arya Book Depot, New Delhi.

Aggarwal relies on political documents to trace the history of women's education in India. This historical survey focuses on central government efforts in the post-dependence period to tackle the issues relating to women's education. Thus, it describes the findings and recommendations of centrally appointed committees on women's status and education, including the National Committee on Women's Education (1959); the Committee on Differentiation of Curricula for Girls and Boys (1961); the Committee to look into the Causes for lack of Public Support particularly in rural areas for Girls' Education and to enlist Public Cooperation (1963); Committee on the Status of Women in India (1971); and the National Committee on Co-education (1974). Lastly it examines the chapter of the National Policy on Education and Programme of Action (1986) devoted to education for women's equality. The National Policy on Education envisages that education will be used as a strategy for achieving a basic change in the status of women. The national education system will, therefore, play a positive interventionist role in the empowerment of women; contribute towards the development of new values through redesigned curricula and textbooks; promote women's studies as a part of various courses; and widen the access of women in programmes of vocational, technical and professional education.

Aggarwal's book gives a factual account of government policy towards women's education in the post-Independence era. The title of the book is, however, rather misleading. A descriptive review of the reports of various committees cannot be said to discuss the issue of Indian women's education and status. The book does not explore the interaction between the educational levels of women and their socio-economic status. This is a complex issue with important consequences for policy-makers but the book fails to address it. It offers no real insight into how the status of women determines their access to educational pursuits, or into how access to education has influenced their position in society. It is not within the scope of a historical survey of committee reports to address issues of such complexity. The choice of title for the book is, therefore, perplexing. A less factual and more analytical approach would have illuminated the issue of female education in India in a more meaningful way. As it is, the book only serves the purpose of familiarising the reader with governmental reports relating to Indian women's education.

CHANANA, Karuna (ed) (1988) Socialisation, Education and Women: explorations in gender identity, Sangam Books, London.

This is a collection of essays that explores the effect of education and socialisation on the changing status of Indian women. The various articles in the volume reveal that not only do Indian family and social structure socialise women in keeping with tradition, "patriarchal" norms, but that this socialisation is reinforced by the educational system itself. Leela Dube writes in "On the Construction of Gender: Hindu girls in patrilineal India", that Hindu rituals, ceremonies, language and practices inculcate in young girls the notions of self-restraint, self-denial, service of temporary membership within the natal home. Similarly, Zarina Bhatty's article "Socialising of the Female Muslim Child in Uttar Pradesh" points out that the legal and social inequalities of Muslim women in reflected in the socialisation of Muslim female children in India from an early age to the established norms and practices. This socialisation is often reinforced by the educational system. Karuna Chanana's essay "Social Change or Social Reform: women, education and family in pre-independence India", states that supporters of women's education promoted the idea of traditional role reinforcement through the curricula - women were to receive an education largely to be better wives and mothers. In "Women's Nature and Access to Education in Bengal", Malvika Karlekar shows how traditional notions on the constitution of "women's nature" have circumscribed female access to education from its beginnings in the 19th century up to date. There is a commonality of views among policy makers that there is a potential conflict between the demands of education and what they perceive as the "essential nature" of women.

This collection of essays by Indian writers is a valuable addition to the literature on gender and education in India. It not only analyses the sociology of female education in India, but also critically examines the contribution of education to improving women's status in India. The essays indicate that patriarchal structures severely retard the options and opportunities available to women. The point about the negative influence of patriarchal ideology and its attendant socio-religious customs on female education is made by virtually every writer in this collection of essays. Unlike many books on gender and education in India, it does not unquestioningly accept education of women as the panacea to the ills that beset Indian society. Rather than challenging the traditional socialisation of young women by family and community, education has often served to reinforce the status quo. There are, however, two noticeable omissions in the book. The observations on the socialisation of girls and young women would have been strengthened by some information on that of boys and young men. Secondly, more concrete micro-level data would have strengthened the arguments about the nature of socialisation of Indian women and the role of education in reinforcing traditional stereotypes. As it stands, many of the articles owe more to historical records and personal experience, and less to empirical research and case studies. The book, however, highlights the problematic nature of female education in India which makes it a valuable addition to the existing literature in this area.

MUKHOPADHYAY, C.C. and SEYMOUR, Susan (eds) (1994) Women, Education and Family Structure in India, Westview, Colorado.

This collection explores the linkages between women's participation in formal education and the fundamental institutions of family, kinship and marriage. They comment that there is in India an ongoing tension between pressures that increase the desirability of education for women and traditional structures that constrain women's education in order to preserve a set of social institutions that they term patrifocal family structure and ideology. This collection of essays reveals that male-oriented structures and beliefs profoundly affect women's lives and, hence, their access to education and educational achievement. They examine the reciprocal relationship between patrifocal family system and ideology, and women's educational participation and achievement. Steve Derme's essay, "Arranging Marriages: how fathers' concerns limit women's educational achievements" explores how Indian fathers' concerns with their daughters' marriageability effectively limit their daughters' educational aspirations. Carol Mukhopadhyay's article, "Family Structure and Indian Women's Participation in Science and Engineering", finds that the different obligations of sons versus daughters towards their natal families leads to differences in how families view educational achievements, especially in scientific fields, for girls and boys. In "Schooling for What? The Cultural and Social Context of Women's Education in a South Indian Muslim Family", by Sylvia Vatuk shows that women played a pivotal role in accessing education for other females in the family. In this family, cross-age and inter-generational female support networks promoted schooling for girls, whether supplementing the efforts of those males who also favoured education for women or providing opposition to those who resisted. The essay by Susan Seymour, "Women, Marriage and Educational Change in Bhubaneshwar, India: a twenty-five year perspective", shows that middle and upper status residents of Bhubaneshwar responded very positively to the new educational opportunities for women and men. Even among middle and upper status families change has been more dramatic where a more class-based system of social stratification exists. Residence in traditional caste-based neighbourhoods with large extended patrifocal families has kept the forces of change that female education could potentially produce, under control.

This volume provides remarkable insight into the ways in which variations in family structure influence the issue of female access to, and achievement in, education. Contributors explore the impact that the cultural norms of a patrifocal society have on girls' schooling. The male bias in patrifocal norms and ideology are translated into educational approaches that favour sons. The education of girls beyond a certain level is seen as socially problematic, and concerns about "marriageability" limit the educational choices available to women. The shortcoming of the book is that the ethnographic data is almost exclusively taken from urban and upper class/caste samples. The research findings would have been strengthened if data from rural and lower class/caste families had been utilised to see what light they shed in the linkages between family structure and female education. The anthropological-sociological approach, however, will be indispensable in informing future research on the issue of gender and education.

MUKHOPADHYAY, Maitrayee (1984) Silver Shackles: women and development in India, Oxfam, Oxford.

Mukhopadhyay makes the case that the definition and content of development programmes should be re-examined. Her analysis of development policies in India shows that with the attempt at rapid 'modernisation', and the neglect of integrated rural development, women have lost their productive role in the economy and have been displaced from the process of development. The issues that Mukhopadhyay discusses in relation to the status of women are social organisations, population ratios, access to education, economic contribution, non-governmental organisations and public policy. She argues that the social structure derives its resilience to change from the cultural norms that sustain it, and so there remains a gap between the changes that are planned and the changes that have resulted. The aspects of social organisation which have hindered the process of social change in the role of women are discussed; and these include patriarchy, the joint family system, socialisation of the young, marriage, marriage rites, dowry polygamy and religion. The book discusses at length the issue of women's education and employment, and their impact on women's status. Mukhopadhyay observes that the problem of illiteracy in India is primarily a problem of female illiteracy; and female illiteracy is basically a problem of illiteracy among rural women, particularly those from scheduled caste and tribal families. The majority of women are beyond the ambit of formal education, and the only alternative is to involve them in non-formal education. She criticises formal education as it exists in India today as elitist. In a critique of women's role in the economy, it is pointed out that lack of education and skill denies women access to employment which results in their displacement from the labour market. Also, the course of economic development in the past two decades has eroded the economic role of women. Technological innovation in both the organised and unorganised sectors of the economy has not been sensitive to women's roles and needs, and has instead tended to increase women's displacement from the process of development. Mukhopadhyay's analysis shows that public policy betrays an essentially middle-class bias which assumes women are primarily home-workers. Programmes to "integrate women in the development process" ignore the reality that most women already contribute a large amount to development but their contribution is not recognised.

Mukhopadhyay's book is a small but nevertheless significant addition to the literature on gender and development in India. The arguments of the book are sustained both by statistical evidence and interviews with individual women. It details the causes of the deteriorating status of the majority of Indian women, discusses the reasons behind this and puts forward recommendations for the future. The major strength of the book is the critique of certain so-called development practices that have, in fact, had a negative impact on women. It emphasises that development programmes should be more sensitive to the needs of women. This slim text discusses in a thought-provoking manner the major issues relating to women's development in India. It also indicates the policy changes that are requires to rid women of the shackles that have bound them for so long.

GHOSH, Ratna and TALBANI, Abdulaziz (1996), India in: MAK, Grace C.L. Women, Education and Development in Asia: Cross-National Perspectives, Garland Publishing, New York and London, 165-186.

The position of women in India is complex because of regional, cultural, and religious differences and sharp socioeconomic disparities. A very small number of women are educated and visible in positions of power and prestige, while the vast majority, whose basic concern is survival, are illiterate, powerless and vulnerable. Despite a fair degree of freedom long ago in the Vedic age, it was not until the immediate post-independence period of 1947 that any modem impetus was evident in support of opportunities for women, whether economic or educational. Only about 8 per cent of females were literate in 1947. The Constitution of 1950 began to recognise human rights, but neither this nor the education system strikes at the structures of patriarchal subordination. It is not so much an issue of educational opportunity here as one of keeping women in their traditional social roles.

Despite the massive expansion of popular education since 1947, in 1990 the female literacy rate had only reached about 25 per cent nationally and 18 per cent in rural areas. This chapter goes on to detail the situation of gender and education in India according to standard indeces: enrolment at different levels, wastage, distribution by field of study etc. Very few women are in the workforce in official terms but a minority hold high and prestigious positions in academia. In the Civil Service, though, they represent only about 6 per cent of employees.

Although there are enormous disparities in respect of girls' education in India, it is generally the case that lack of special facilities is often a key factor in enrolment. Norms that disapprove of co-education lead to the withdrawal of girls, while lack of safe access constrains participation even when it is condoned. Within this generally negative scene there are areas of high participation and achievement where several factors (eg. matriarchy, mission legacies and socialism) come together (eg. Kerala, Meghalaya and North Punjab). Outside of these areas, the minority of women who have higher education use it to improve their social position in the present structure without changing the hierarchical structure itself. They go into the teaching profession in large numbers because, particularly at the lower levels, this is an extension of their traditional roles: a convenient combination of domestic and occupational spheres. The majority of women do not, or cannot, exercise their rights in education and society because social and structural changes produced by modernization and the egalitarian ideology since independence have not been accompanied by parallel changes in values and attitudes towards women.


THE BRITISH COUNCIL (1993) Workshops on Female Access to Primary Schooling in Pakistan: Programme, Materials and Recommendations, Islamabad.

This report arises from a national workshop convened by The British Council in collaboration with the Pakistan Ministry of Education and NORAD. It is organised under a number of sub-heads and sections: general papers; cultural and social influences on girls participation in primary education; co-education at primary level; appropriate infrastructures for the fostering of girls' education; the role of NGOs and the private sector in respect of female education. Overall there are 33 papers in this report, distributed fairly evenly over the five sections identified above. Of these 33 papers, only four are contributed by outsiders - all from the UK - so that the bulk of the report is indigenous and derives from the personal experiences and critical observations of the leading female scholars and professionals of the country itself.

It is not possible to summarise all the papers here, or even the key ones, but it is possible to identify major themes that are strongly represented or tend to recur. One of these is the issue of adult education and the significance of maternal literacy. While progress needs to be made in providing more schooling opportunities for girls, there must be a parallel effort to promote appropriate forms of literacy for mothers of today's young children. Ideally, as Fayyaz Bager's paper shows, there needs to be created a sustainable model for universal female literacy, and that the most crucial factor within this is the availability of local teachers. If this issue, and it is concerned with female teachers, can be successfully addressed then much of the cultural and social constraint will be overcome. This is linked with the contentious issue of co-education. Five papers discuss how far it can be applied to primary schooling in Pakistan. The paper by Humala Khalid argues for its promotion and therefore for reversing the current pattern of male teachers at this level - they represent some 70 per cent of the primary teachers in Pakistan.

Female participation in primary education is also constrained by inadequate infrastructures. For some of the papers in this section this also means the provision of appropriate teachers, but there is also discussion of such aspects as the state of the buildings, the provision of acceptable sanitation facilities, school walls, roads and forms of communication. With rural areas of Pakistan being among the poorest in the world, these physical factors are very influential one way or the other in affecting parental decisions. Finally, several papers outline interesting innovations and projects in specific areas, mostly involving NGOs but also the private sector.

With the size of the population of Pakistan being what it is, and the rate of increase being maintained, both private and public sectors must work together in addressing the problem of female participation, along with the crucial contribution of both external and local NGOs.

AFTAB, Tahera (1994), Fighting Illiteracy: What Works and What Doesn't: A Case Study of Female Literacy in Pakistan, Convergence 27 (4), 25-34.

This was one of the most significant papers presented at the Cairo Conference of 1994. The author states that since independence in 1947 there has been an underinvestment in people in Pakistan, and especially in females. She presents the paper ". to study the complex, often subtle, ways in which norms and traditions deprive women of the autonomy to which all human beings are entitled, and on which social and economic development ultimately depends."

Illiteracy is highlighted as a major problem. For the women of Pakistan, illiteracy means segregation, the creation of a separate world doomed by poverty, deprivation and oppression. By 1990, the female literacy rate was only 22 per cent. A major cause, for male and female alike, of high rates of illiteracy is the accessibility of schooling, but for social and cultural reasons this constrains girls more than boys. Even once enrolled in primary schools, about 60-70 per cent of girls drop out in the face of the pressures of parental concern, economic need for their contribution to survival, and direct discrimination.

At the adult education level, the gender constricted position of women in Pakistan varies over an extremely wide range of programmes and skills, but it is always evident. Why is the growth of female literacy in Pakistan so slow? The author identifies the following factors by way of explanation: negative attitudes of the family at birth; low societal status; continued feudalism; patriarchy; an obscurantist view of Islam which supports male vested interests; restricted mobility; low perception of female potential leading to low enrolments in schools (where they exist) and high wastage rates; poor quality literacy materials, again, where they exist at all. Working from an earlier (1991) study of the causative factors of female illiteracy, the author illustrates that among the sample studied (c 1000) from low income localities in Karachi, most girls- c 76 per cent - had never been to school. Major factors were identified as: poverty; cultural blockages; the opposition of fathers to daughter's schooling; lack of interest among girls in education.

Despite this picture of widespread low self-esteem and low ascribed status the Karachi study showed that at least 70 per cent of the girls wanted to study and hope to do so one day through acquiring literacy skills. Clearly in Pakistan the combination of rural and the urban poor in one of the world's least developed economies represents a massive challenge for the young of both sexes, but in trying to respond they begin from different starting lines - the girls having to do more to reach the goal.

CHOWDHURY, Kowsar P. (1996) Pakistan, in: MAK, Grace C.L. Women, Education and Development in Asia: Cross-National Perspectives, Garland Publishing, New York and London, 187-215.

Like India, Pakistan inherited its modem education system on independence in 1947, by which time ancient traditions of educational opportunity for females had been drastically eroded. This situation has been further enhanced by increasing economic disparity between rich and poor, urban and rural and to some extent between ethnic groups. Within this generally worsening situation for the poorer sections of society the welfare and productivity of women in Pakistan rank almost the lowest in the world.

This chapter recognises four main categories of indicators of women's welfare, productivity and therefore, status: mortality rate and life expectancy; human resources development - including education; women's role in lowering the birth rate; participation in the economy and contribution to household income. In summary, and put together, these four indices show a picture of a strikingly negative sex ratio in female terms due to dire health circumstances; very low educational status, therefore virtually no human resource development; inability to help reduce the birth rate or to make any telling contribution to economic growth, even at local level.

The situation had not been addressed in any significant way until the Sixth Five Year Plan (1983-88) which officially endorsed the integration of women into national development. Targets were set to increase female participation in primary education to 60 per cent, and the female literacy rate to nearly 50 per cent. In practice these targets have not been achieved. Subsequent plans and measures have also, in general, failed to make a significant impact.

This chapter proceeds to detail the various areas in which female disadvantage is normally evident (enrolment, participation, wastage etc), and identifies negative socio-cultural attitudes and widespread grinding poverty as the main causes for the patterns of inequality that continue to exist. Some of the barriers could be overcome if culturally acceptable facilities existed that were accessible to girls. In short: "... girls do not enrol in schools because there are no schools for them" (p 119). It is the lack of schools rather than cultural inhibitions that is the single most important reason for the low rate of female enrolment in Pakistan. Negative parental attitudes (mothers as well as fathers), and poverty are cited as the next most important factors.

The chapter goes on to examine female participation in the labour force, in parenting and in politics, with evidence, not surprisingly of the constraining effect of lack of education in all areas. By highlighting this situation, the author is anxious not to undermine the importance of education, and concludes that female access and attainment must be enhanced. It is not only because women's education increases social and economic returns, but also because it is a fundamental human right.

Sri Lanka

JAYAWEERA, Swarna (1996), Sri Lanka in: MAK, Grace C.L. (ed) Women, Education and Development in Asia: Cross-National Perspectives, Garland Publishing, New York and London, 217-244.

This review of education and development in Sri Lanka from a gender perspective takes into account a number of social science theories by exploring three facets of the education and development interface as it affects women: gender based distribution of educational opportunity, the relationship between education and female labour force participation, and the impact of education on gender roles and relations within the family.

After a description of the phases of Sri Lankan development: traditional, colonial and postcolonial, this article details the progress of education in recent decades. Since the 1960s educational and social policies have been implemented without gender differentiation. For example, the percentage of women students in the universities increased from 10 per cent in 1942 to 44 per cent in 1970. By 1918 literacy rates for females were 83 per cent as compared with 90 per cent for males. Distance from school is no problem, and the vast majority of schools are co-educational. There is an absence of oppressive social practices, but poverty continues to be a barrier to educational opportunity, Structural adjustment policies have resulted in a deterioration in the quality of education in the 1980s and 1990s.

Although access and enrolment have remained relatively equal, there has been an increasing disparity in quality as between the rural and urban areas. District-wide disparities in education participation also underscore the disadvantaged situation of girls in remote and plantation locations. Social class is the major determinant of access but this in turn relates to gender. Nonetheless the participation of females at all levels has maintained an impressive profile wherever socio-economic circumstances permit.

Despite such a record there is one area of education where female disadvantage is evident, namely technical and vocational training. This derives from gender-specific curricular demarcation at school level and leads on to influence the labour market, so that high levels of achievement be girls do not relate positively to human resource development. Indeed unemployment rates among women have risen higher than those of men in the last two decades.

The author summarizes the current situation in the following terms: "A dichotomous perception of social and economic development has eroded some of the benefits of education that should have accrued to women in the labour force and in the family environment. Nevertheless, education has been perceived often in Sir Lanka as a basic human right as well as an instrument of gender equity and social justice."