Rural Women and State Policy: The Latin American Agrarian Reform Experience


Deere, Carmen Diana. 1985. “Rural Women and State Policy: The Latin American Agrarian Reform Experience.” World Development 13 (9), 1037–53.

Author: Carmen Diana Deere


This review of thirteen Latin American agrarian reforms shows that most have directly benefited only men. It is argued that this is largely because of the common designation of "households " as the beneficiaries of an agrarian reform and the subsequent incorporation of only male household heads to the new agrarian reform structures. It is shown that a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for rural women to be benefited on par with men is that they too be designated as beneficiaries. Women as well as men must be given access to land or the opportunity to participate within the agrarian cooperatives or state farms promoted by an agrarian reform. This comparative analysis of the Latin American agrarian reform demonstrates that this has happened only in countries where the incorporation of rural women to the reform is an explicit objective of state policy.

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Women, Men, Households, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Americas, South America

Year: 1985

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