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Development intervention and women's participation: A case study in rural Egypt

Posted on:1997-01-31Degree:Ph.DType:Dissertation
University:University of Missouri - ColumbiaCandidate:Abdel Rahman, Soheir MFull Text:PDF
The global tendencies along with the failure of conventional development model as manifested in the increasing poverty in the Third World in general and in meeting women's aspiration in particular, have challenged the existing development system of thought and provided a new vision of an alternative development model. For women, this new vision represents a shift from the integrationist approach to the agenda-setting model in which women are involved as decision-makers concerned with empowering all women in their various life situations. For development planners, this alternative development means increasing recognition of the value of beneficiaries input in development planning as well as placing more importance on the inclusion of gender issues into the development process. Correspondingly, women's participation, as decision makers as well as beneficiaries has become, central in rural development planning in many Third World countries.;This study examined women's participation in one of the development projects targeting rural women in Egypt. It's primary objectives were to assess the effectiveness and relevance of the project with regard to the extent and nature of beneficiaries' participation, their characteristics and the factors that facilitate or hinder their participation. Additionally, it aimed at providing a framework for effective participation of Egyptian rural women in development programs. Towards such an end, a mixed-methods approach combining both qualitative and quantitative data was used to obtain the needed information about women's participation.;The most important findings of the study indicated that building the participation capacity and fostering women's participation in the different stages of project planning were very limited. The project under study had an administrative structure that controlled program development, implementation and evaluation. Women's participation did not go beyond receiving the loans for their income-generating ventures or attending the training sessions offered through the project activities. Not surprisingly, project activities did not deal adequately with the immediate needs and concerns that were expressed by the women's respondents. Although, the project was designed to influence the economic status of women beneficiaries, the earned income was low, supplementary in nature, and not sustainable. Even though, the project provided a built-in skills training, the training offered has not been adequate or systematic enough, particularly in areas that develop women's management and organizational capabilities. The most important constraints to women's participation in project benefits were mostly related to project policies and procedures. Respondents' profile showed that the project was not successful in effectively reaching it's targeted population, the poor, illiterate, and unskilled women. On the contrary, it included the wealthier and skilled women.;The study concluded with a suggested framework that can be utilized to promote effective participation of Egyptian rural women in development programs. Implications and recommendations for Egyptian policy makers, program planners, and researchers, are offered.
Keywords/Search Tags:Development, Women, Rural, Project
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