The Impact of Structural Adjustment on Women: A Governance and Human Rights Agenda
It is now well-established that structural adjustment and stabilization policies (SAPs) undertaken in developing countries to receive condition-based loans from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have exacerbated conditions of poverty and deprivation for large sections of the population. 2 Several commentators have also shown that these macroeconomic policies are not class-neutral or gender-neutral. The [End Page 630] World Bank's emphasis on "safety nets" to cushion the poor from the impact of orthodox stabilization and adjustment policies is an admission that these policies do not affect all sections of the population equally.
The human and social costs of adjustment have evoked growing concern and unease at the United Nations, among governments, and among some donors. These concerns arise out of the institutionalization of the market model of economic growth that has made such growth synonymous with the dominant view of "development," although it does not favor equity, sustainability, or redistribution of wealth and resources. 3 Recent UN conferences, most notably the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen in March 1995 and the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in September 1995, have highlighted the ways in which such economic policies have focused on debt repayment by developing countries at the cost of human development. 4 Specialized UN agencies, such as the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), have also pointed to the growing human and economic inequalities caused by market driven growth and stressed the need to protect the vulnerable, women in particular, from marginalization. 5 [End Page 631]
These criticisms and the deterioration in economic and social conditions in the majority of adjusting countries during the "lost decade" of the 1980s have occasioned much introspection at the international financial institutions. In fact, recent World Bank evaluations of the results of SAPs acknowledge that while macroeconomic stabilization policies are necessary for growth, they are not sufficient in reducing poverty or income inequality in all countries. 6
In recent years, gender analysis and feminist economics have provided a conceptual framework for understanding the differential impact of macroeconomic policies such as structural adjustment on men and women. There is now a vast and growing volume of literature that not only shows how the gender bias in neoclassical economic theory renders the effects of SAPs on women invisible in any standard measures of policy evaluation, but that also provides empirical evidence of the heavy transitional costs of adjustment on women. 7 [End Page 632]
In fact, recent poverty assessments by the World Bank show that women respond differently to the opportunities afforded by economic growth due to constraints on the access to productive resources such as land and credit. 8 Some of these findings demonstrate that extreme poverty affects women differently and often more severely than men. While the gender impact of SAPs is not uniformly negative throughout the reform process and across countries and economies, it is clear that it is women who, as workers, producers, consumers, wives, and mothers, are the shock absorbers of adjustment efforts at immense cost to their well-being. 9 There is now growing awareness of these effects of adjustment within the Bank.
These findings, along with the emphasis on sustainability and equity in recent UN conferences, have led the World Bank to recognize the relevance of gender issues to poverty alleviation and economic growth. The Bank approved an operational policy on gender in 1994. 10 It also set up an external gender consultative group (EGCG) composed of fourteen members [End Page 633] who are selected for their wide-ranging policy and research experience in gender issues and familiarity with international development. 11 Taken together, these initiatives provide a promising basis for an assessment of the gender impact of adjustment policies from the economic and human development perspectives. They also lay the groundwork for closer and concerted interaction between those who design and execute SAPs and the advocates for human development.
This article examines the disparate impact of SAPs on women and the resulting unacceptable feminization of poverty in many countries with economies in transition. It argues that the disproportionate cost of adjustment borne by women violates their rights to development guaranteed in national and international conventions, and makes these economic reforms unsustainable in the long run. It also argues that the Bank and IMF, as well as national governments, must bear responsibility for the erosion and/or suspension of the rights of large sections of the poor, of whom the great majority are women, over an indefinitely extended period.
The focus here is on the human rights implications of adjustment efforts and the questions they raise about the responsibilities of governance. In particular, the Bank, which has initiated its own debates on the subject, is analyzed. From the standpoint of policymakers as well as NGOs, a coherent policy debate on the interplay between human rights, development, and economic policies is timely given that, notwithstanding current trends within the international financial institutions toward reappraisal and openness, economic growth driven by liberalization of markets remains the "development" formula for the foreseeable future. 12 A focus on the human rights implications of such growth is necessary also to challenge the current trend in industrialized countries to undermine the role of the UN in human [End Page 634] development while ceding greater power and authority to the Bretton Woods institutions (over which they possess voting control) in deciding the course of the global economy.
This article begins by providing a brief background to feminist work on structural adjustment which has introduced gender as an analytical category ignored in mainstream economics. Some of the literature on feminist critiques of SAPs is reviewed, along with some illustrative examples, to show how adjustment policies especially affect women. This article argues that such effects of adjustment policies are not sustainable from either the human rights or economic development perspectives. Approaches utilizing good governance and human rights principles to achieve gender justice and equality in economic restructuring are also reviewed. Finally, consideration is given to some strategies which the international financial institutions (the Bank in particular), governments, and NGOs can use to build frameworks for equitable and gender-responsive development.
II. Feminist Critiques of SAPs
A. The Gender Bias In Macroeconomic Policies
SAPs are presented in language that appears to be gender-neutral, but in fact has a male bias. SAPs are analyzed in terms of gross national product, balance of trade, tradeable and nontradeable goods, and so on: all seemingly with genderless implications. "Women are not 'visible' in this analysis; but then, neither are men. It is a depersonalized analysis dealing only with abstract suppliers and consumers of resources." 13
The typical components of an orthodox stabilization and structural adjustment program are macroeconomic policies of fiscal austerity, monetary contraction and devaluation at one level, and sectoral and microeconomic policies at a second level. The second set of policies is characterized by the deregulation of labor markets, financial markets, and agricultural prices, and by the removal of trade barriers. The policy of liberalization is aimed at using all resources in the most efficient manner to produce the maximum quantity of output. A related goal is to minimize governmental involvement in the economy, based on the rationale that the state is not the most efficient producer. Accordingly, parastatal organizations [End Page 635] are privatized, public expenditure is scaled back through lay-offs and reductions in public sector wages, and food and health subsidies are reduced or eliminated. These moves to "streamline" the economy are important aspects of SAPs.
Feminist economists critique economic reform at this macro level on three counts. First, it focuses overwhelmingly on the "productive economy," on making profits and covering costs. In the process, it takes for granted the "reproductive economy," which meets needs and sustains human beings. 14 Macro models of mainstream economics assume that the process of reproduction and the maintenance of human resources will continue regardless of the way resources are reallocated. These models conceal the large contribution to the economy provided by the production and maintenance of the labor supply through childbirth and childcare, shopping, cooking, and housework. Economic reforms such as structural adjustment policies that call for cutbacks in state services and the free play of market forces fail to consider how such changes affect the relation between the "productive economy" and the "reproductive economy."
Because the latter is sustained by unpaid nonmarket work mostly undertaken by women, macroeconomics also assumes an unlimited supply of female labor. It expects this labor to adjust to and compensate for any changes in the "reproductive economy" brought about by macroeconomic policy measures such as withdrawals in state subsidies and services as well as rises in prices and taxes. By rendering unpaid household labor visible and treating it as a produced input, feminist analysis redefines the conditions necessary for the functioning of the paid productive economy. 15 This analysis challenges the theoretical basis for women's "invisibility," demonstrating how it obscures the economic and social costs of structural adjustment in women's work and lives. The feminist critique does this in at least three ways.
In the context of SAPs, male bias that does not count women's unpaid work is reflected in terms like efficiency and productivity. A public sector unit--a hospital, for example--may become more efficient by streamlining its costs and sending patients home early. But, in effect, the efficiency is achieved by transferring costs from the productive to the reproductive economy, where women's additional and unpaid work in caring for convalescing patients at home compensates for the shortfall in hospital care. 16 [End Page 636]
Second, feminist analysis introduces gender as an analytical tool by making gender a category of social and economic differentiation (like race and class) that influences the distribution of work, income, and wealth as well as the productivity of work and the behavior of agents in the economy. 17 Feminist economists have argued that gender, like race, class, and ethnicity, is a basis for division of labor between productive and reproductive activities in most societies. Productive or income generating activities relate to the market, while reproductive activities such as caring for the young and old, maintaining health and sanitation, and taking responsibility for food, fodder, fuel, and water are unpaid and usually female activities. Feminist economics makes a distinction between these two types of activities and argues that both have to be considered in analyzing macroeconomic outcomes.
Third, feminist economic analysis leads to an understanding of the gendered nature of the economy itself and of institutions such as households, governments, firms, and markets that contribute to macroeconomic outcomes. This analysis shows that economic institutions and processes reflect and perpetuate existing gender biases by failing to recognize the gender-based divisions of labor and of access to resources underlying economic growth rates, balance-of-payments, and budget deficits. 18
B. Direct and Indirect Effects of SAPs on Women
It is widely documented that adjustment policies such as currency devaluation, price deregulation, privatization, export-led growth strategies, and the removal of subsidies on food and health services leave large sections of the poor in adjusting countries poorer in the short run. 19 It follows that women, who form the great majority of the world's one billion absolute poor, 20 are overwhelmingly affected by these policies. Some features of orthodox [End Page 637] reform packages, such as the shrinking of public enterprises, state sectors, and traditional industries that employ large numbers of women, affect women wage earners directly. Other aspects, like cutbacks in public health care, food subsidies, and social security programs, affect women indirectly. 21 Given their inferior standing in the home and family in many societies, women have even less access to these services when they are reduced.
The distress signals resulting from the "invisible" impact of adjustment policies can be acute, especially in the area of health and reproduction. SAPs worsen the conditions in which women have to perform their family and community tasks. In many countries, they have led to a crisis in human reproduction, made worse by shrinking public health sector spending. In Tanzania, for example, seventy-one mothers died in the first thirteen weeks of 1988, when economic reforms were in force--four times the maternal death rate of previous years. 22 The deaths were attributed to poor hospital conditions as well as a shortage of blood, drugs, and transport facilities; more tellingly, they were an indication of the deteriorating physical conditions in which women carried out their reproductive roles. 23 These indirect effects of SAPs pose the greater challenge because they are not easily measured and cannot be analyzed in purely economic terms and are therefore harder to resolve politically.
III. Gender Dimensions of SAPs
A. SAPs and the Household
Macroeconomic policies view the household as a single decisionmaking unit, where the head of the household makes decisions on behalf of the entire family. The differing levels of capability and well-being within the [End Page 638] family make this assumption unrealistic. 24 Economists, sociologists, and anthropologists have taken apart this neoclassical economic construct to reveal the household as a place of cooperation and conflict, and of very unequal treatment along gender lines. 25 The family is rarely a collective entity making decisions based on common interest. Rather, it is controlled by the will of the head of the household, usually male.
The macroeconomic view of the household as a unified, welfare maximizing unit that pools and shares resources leads designers of SAPs to assume that this is an institution which can safely absorb the transitional costs of adjustment. In reality, however, as a number of case studies show, SAPs place additional burdens of household management on women, exacerbating their position of responsibility without power. 26 In times of poverty and inflation--both effects of adjustment--household resources decline. Evidence from several countries shows that austerity is a female responsibility: men tend to maintain their social and personal expenditures, while women are expected to make ends meet with fewer resources, by working longer hours within and outside the home.
Economic stagnation and decline exacerbate gender inequality in household nutrition as well. In societies where anti-female discrimination is endemic, as in South Asia, women usually eat the last and least, and girl children are also poorly fed. 27 In times of poverty and in subsistence crises, their already poor nutritional status is worsened because women have to reduce their share of food to maintain that of their husbands, and girls get even less food than they normally would. 28 Poverty, compounded by the [End Page 639] reduction in or withdrawal of food subsidies under an adjustment program, thus disproportionately affects female consumption within the household. 29
The promotion of cash crops to improve the efficiency of the agricultural sector is another aspect of SAPs that accentuates intrafamily inequality. In several adjusting countries the introduction of cash crops for export, such as cocoa in Ghana and groundnuts in Senegal, has led to a new sexual division of labor, with men taking over the cash crop and women being pushed to subsistence agriculture, often on marginal and less fertile lands. Cash crops have come to be seen as "male" crops and subsistence crops as "female" crops. 30 This sexual division of labor that characterizes agricultural tasks and crop cultivation affects women within an adjustment program in at least two ways. For one, it leaves women with little or no income of their own because earnings from the cash crop go into new crop investment or general household needs. 31 Second, supportive measures such as access to inputs and credit, technological training, and supervision do not reach women. At the same time, the mechanization of farming tasks has led to a strong preference for male labor. 32 Even where the expansion of labor-intensive export crops such as fruits and vegetables has enabled women to become wage earners, there has been an accompanying deterioration in women's living and working conditions. 33 Cutbacks in public spending, [End Page 640] changes in credit facilities, and constant migration between agricultural producers, combined with a lack of childcare support, have worsened women's health and increased their workload. 34
Cash cropping in rural economies with patriarchal traditions can have profound gender implications. In many instances it heightens conflicts of interest within households by increasing male privileges and access to new opportunities represented by cash crop cultivation (because of male mobility), and gives men greater control of household resources as a result of the enhanced role of cash in the household economy. 35 Throughout Africa, cash cropping has also imposed a double burden on women, who bear full responsibility for food crops and help their husbands in cash crop cultivation without any share of the income. In an adjusting economy, the systematic promotion of cash crops combined with a shrinking labor market and existing gender biases in land ownership and household division of labor and consumption works to worsen women's economic, family, and nutritional status. 36
B. SAPs and the Export-Manufacturing Sector
The shift from import substitution to export-led growth strategies, which is a central feature of SAPs, presents new opportunities and new challenges for women workers. In Europe and Central Asia, the transition from a command economy to a market system has had, by the Bank's own admission, debilitating effects for women, who have suffered disproportionately from rising unemployment, poor pay, and reduced childcare services. 37
In many adjusting countries, however, women have gained new employment opportunities in the large export-processing zones (EPZs) that have developed in response to the globalization of production and the reconfiguration of the international labor market. From a policy perspective, the EPZs represent a commitment to employment generation in urban areas to meet the needs of the rural and urban skilled and semi-skilled underemployed and unemployed workers. [End Page 641]
The primary goal of the EPZs, however, is to increase foreign currency earnings and help governments in adjusting countries meet debt service payments. To do this, governments have to respond to the needs of multinational corporations and their subcontractors for cheap labor, primarily in the garment, textile, and electronics industries. Currency devaluation makes investment in the EPZs attractive for the firms by reducing capital and labor costs. This collusion between state and commercial interests has resulted in a gross exploitation of workers in many countries. 38 In the Dominican Republic, the EPZs are characterized by strict discipline, sexual harassment, low pay, occupational health hazards, excessive and forced overtime, and arbitrary suspension and dismissal for protesting or organizing. 39 The gender, human rights, and economic implications of the role of EPZs in an adjusting country are well summed up in the following analysis:
The high rates of female employment in the export sector in adjusting economies are often interpreted as a positive outcome of SAPs. However, the fact is that the international and local demand has been for cheap [End Page 642] female labor to perform repetitive tasks and dead-end jobs. This gendered demand for labor arises from the vulnerability, docility, and dispensability of young single women, who are made to work without security or safety of employment. In Sri Lanka, where literacy and education attainment levels are among the highest in developing countries, the nature of employment in the EPZs has led to considerable loss of skills among women workers, many of whom have ten to twelve years of education. 41 In fact, the high rates of female employment in the punishing conditions of the export manufacturing sector are distress signals from the economy. They indicate increasing male unemployment and a shrinking of women's employment opportunities in the public sector and traditional industries.
In summary, several features of the adjustment process, such as trade liberalization, agricultural reform, and privatization have exacerbated social, economic, and gender inequalities. While SAPs have opened new avenues of employment for women in the informal sector and in export processing, this feminization of employment has come about mainly because of employers' preference for low-cost and docile female labor that can be used in repetitive jobs without minimum guarantees. The cutbacks in food subsidies and in public expenditures on education and health have hit women the hardest in adjusting countries that must strive to meet fiscal austerity requirements. The integration of women in the global economy attributed to SAPs has occurred on unequal terms, worsening the working and living conditions of millions of women and deepening gender oppression and subordination.
IV. The World Bank
A. The World Bank's Response Analyzed
In the face of sustained and continuing criticism of the social and gender impact of SAPs, the Bank has in several recent statements focused attention on the various programs it has initiated since the late 1980s to mitigate the adverse effects of SAPs. Despite its assertion that structural adjustment remains the cornerstone of economic development and poverty alleviation, the Bank has taken note of the exclusionary nature of such development in many adjusting countries. Further, it has acknowledged the need to protect the poor, not by treating them as targets of add-on policies and programs in the short run, but by integrating them in the long-run growth process as [End Page 643] active agents of growth. 42 Bank lending for "investments in people" has risen in adjustment years, 43 reflecting an awareness that SAPs do not automatically promote human and social development.
Additionally, the Bank has targeted many of these investments specifically at women and girls and stressed gender related programs in its operations, although it maintains that, so far, there is little quantitative evidence of the effects of SAPs disaggregated by gender. 44 Thus, while the Bank acknowledges the negative impact of adjustment policies on education, for example, by providing education sector adjustment loans and setting education targets as part of loan conditionality, the Bank does not provide conclusive evidence that gender parity has been protected. 45
In recent assessments of the social impact of SAPs, the Bank points to two particularly disquieting trends: "the continuous decline in infrastructure spending, and the fall in per capita social spending." 46 It notes that public expenditure reform, a critical part of adjustment programs, did not result in a reallocation of public expenditure geared to longterm poverty reduction. 47 Although social spending (as a percentage of gross domestic product) fell less than other discretionary expenditures, per-capita social spending fell in real terms in almost two-thirds of the countries studied. 48 This was [End Page 644] especially so in African countries where, the Bank states, the per-capita cuts were felt sharply because of population growth. 49 In particular, the composition of social spending on primary (as opposed to tertiary) education, and preventive (as opposed to curative) health worsened in many countries. 50
To some extent, social adjustment initiatives, like the Social Dimensions of Adjustment (SDA) Project, initiated in 1986 with the goal of undertaking activities in ten African countries, and Ghana's Programme of Actions to Mitigate Social Costs of Adjustment (PAMSCAD), represent attempts by the Bank to address some of the criticisms directed at structural adjustment. 51 In 1990-1992, the Bank's share of adjustment lending for social concerns increased to 50 percent; this was up from 5 percent in 1984-1986. 52 But the theoretical and conceptual bases underlying the programs have generated much controversy, pointing to the shortcomings of the approach as applied in Africa and elsewhere.
B. Limitations of the World Bank's "Social Safety Net" Approach
A primary problem of the safety net approach is that it addresses social dimensions as a postscript to structural adjustment. The SDA project, for example, prescribes a set of policy interventions, such as employment generation, retraining, and credit schemes that are aimed at alleviating what are seen as adverse but short-run social consequences of structural adjustment policies (SAPs). 53 Given the reality of longterm social deterioration and poverty consequences of SAPs, there is now increasing concern with the need to integrate social variables into policy analysis at the time loans are negotiated. [End Page 645]
However, both in its compensatory and transformative strategies, the Bank's social safety measures are premised on the assumption that structural adjustment will increase output. In reality, it is not possible to enable the poor to participate in the growth process if the economy is stagnant; nor can temporary employment be justified if there are no prospects of increasing employment as a result of adjustment policies. The SDA project thus leaves unquestioned the efficacy of the price mechanism 54 in bringing about equitable economic and social changes. 55 Furthermore, by focusing on protecting only certain core public sector expenditures, such as in health or education, the SDA project ignores the question of the centrality of a viable and efficient public sector in the development and recovery process. For example, while food is typically purchased in the market (even when influenced by rationing or subsidies), it is public institutions that usually provide medical, education, or related facilities. The role of the state is even more direct and immediate, even in industrialized countries, in ensuring general health, eliminating infectious diseases, and providing clean water. 56
A final contradiction in the SDA project is the centrality of the World Bank's role in it, which precludes a more fundamental critique of structural adjustment. In the eyes of some senior economists involved in it, this makes the project a figleaf that enables the Bank to deflect criticism while basically continuing with the same approach. 57
C. From WID to GAD
The social impact of SAPs on women cannot be softened by safety net measures that tend to be ad-hoc, piecemeal, and compensatory in nature. Such measures aim at protecting the vulnerable by trying to avoid excessive costs to poor households through supplementary programs that can be added on to existing SAPs. Because these programs do not confront the structural causes of inequity and oppression which have placed the poor in a position of disadvantage in the first place, they cannot result in genuine empowerment. Many supposedly ameliorative schemes for women, such as income generation, fail to address the sexual divisions of labor and ignore the economic value of women's unpaid work, instead imposing on women the additional burden of generating income. [End Page 646]
In fact, structural adjustment programs run counter to the Bank's own sectoral policies aimed at social development. Its programs on reproductive health and nutrition, for example, are undermined by macroeconomic policies that erode investments in public health and education. These contradictions cannot be addressed through tack-on projects. 58
The Bank's Women in Development (WID) projects, initiated in 1987, signaled official recognition of the special needs and concerns of women during the reform process. The proportion of projects with specific WID recommendations rose from 11 percent in 1988 to 45 percent in 1993. 59 But overall, the WID dimension is a disappointing tack-on to projects rather than a basic rethinking of macroeconomic and development policy. 60 Critiques of WID strategies contend that WID projects retained the fundamental neoclassical economics worldview with its failure to evaluate women's traditional roles in society. WID projects have tended to reinforce pre-existing values that restricted women's roles to domestic and childbearing activities. 61 These constraints are becoming apparent within the Bank, which has moved from a WID to a Gender and Development (GAD) approach to identify the reasons for differences in access to resources, services, and opportunities between men and women, and their consequences on the household, the community, and economic development in general. 62
Following the Beijing women's conference, the Bank has, often with the direct involvement of its President, James Wolfensohn, instituted various measures to "mainstream" gender issues in its operations. It seeks to do this by building women's economic capacity by investing in their human capital, helping improve their economic conditions and opportunities, and [End Page 647] improving institutional capacity to advance women's welfare and status. 63 The rhetorical commitment to gender equality and participatory processes with NGOs notwithstanding, serious concerns remain about the Bank's willingness to put these principles into practice. 64
V. Transformational Remedies
A. Gender and the Governance Approach
Through the 1970s and 1980s, the Bank tended to maintain a cautious and hands-off stance on gender issues, labeling them complex, sensitive, and culturally defined. 65 Both the Bank and the IMF argue that they are bound by their Articles of Agreement to be nonpolitical in their approach. 66 However, such a position is not sustainable on three counts.
First, in order to create market oriented economies, SAPs redistribute wealth and power in society by fixing prices through the removal of economic distortions. 67 By acknowledging the need for protection of the vulnerable, Bank officials admit that their prescription for economic transition creates winners and losers, which is a political act. Women constitute a disproportionate section of the losers because of the additional burdens imposed on them as a result of decline in real wages, rising unemployment, dramatic increases in prices of household goods, and [End Page 648] changes in the level and composition of public expenditure. Macroeconomic policies, especially SAPs that seek far-reaching changes, are not conducted in a political and social vacuum.
Second, through the tool of conditionality, structural adjustment permits the Bank to function as a lawmaker in countries that seek loans, a role that Bank officials themselves acknowledge goes beyond the realm of macroeconomics. 68 In the process of adjustment, Bank officials and consultants often redraft not just the fiscal policy of a country, but its labor laws, health and educational expenditures, energy and environmental regulations, and civil service rules. 69 Through these activities, the Bank far exceeds its role as a lending institution, operating on the rationale that such legal, structural, and institutional changes will influence the outcomes of its economic policies.
Third, the integration of gender analysis in the formulation of adjustment policies can be supported as an economic proposition. The Bank's policy papers and guidelines over the years have recognized the importance of women's roles in economic development. Of particular value is girls' education, which the Bank sees as an investment that yields the highest rate of return in a developing country. Gender differences are critical to planning imperatives in alleviating poverty, increasing agricultural productivity, changing trade patterns, decreasing demographic growth, and preserving the environment. 70 The Bank's cautious stance on addressing the gender dimensions of SAPs at the policy and planning stages is therefore untenable both on political and economic grounds. Nor is it justifiable in the context of its evolving role as a governance institution or as a self-defined development agency, the largest in the world. 71 [End Page 649]
B. Gender and the Human Rights Approach
Any attempt to deal with the social impact of adjustment in a transformative agenda must address the human rights that are implicated in the conduct of SAPs. Although according to international law, the fulfillment of human rights obligations is primarily the responsibility of individual state governments that have accepted these obligations, other institutions cannot entirely escape their share of the responsibility. This is especially so in the current economic and political context of globalization that has made for an interrelated and interdependent world. As powerful development actors deciding the fate of millions, the World Bank and IMF have governance obligations; as specialized UN agencies, they are international legal personalities bound by international law and human rights obligations. 72 Moreover, human rights are not restricted to the domestic domain. Under international human rights doctrine, both agencies come under the ambit of international law.
Regarding the sociopolitical and human rights implications of its policies, the Bank has again tended to seek cover under its Articles of Agreement which prohibit it from intervention in any areas that are the domain of national actors. 73 While stating that human rights concerns fall beyond its mandate, the Bank has also said that economic and social rights are addressed through its poverty alleviation programs, in provisions which address health and sanitation services and water supply. 74 But as with its WID schemes, most such programs are flawed in that they are compensatory and palliative in nature rather than transformative.
In recent years, the Bank has to some extent responded to sustained criticism of the social impact of adjustment policies by emphasizing good governance, even if only as a factor related to economic performance. 75 It [End Page 650] has also constituted internal monitoring bodies such as the inspection panel to review allegations of failures to observe its own rules and regulations. However, the restrictive nature of the procedures followed in the panel's operation, the panel's narrow jurisdiction, its lack of transparency, and the fact that the Bank's board of directors remain the final arbiters raise questions about its independence and credibility. 76 The pervasive human rights dimensions of structural adjustment have received critical comment from the UN Special Rapporteur on the Realization of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, who also identified income and debt as having an impact on the realization of these rights. 77
From the standpoint of human rights and economic development, the Bank's hands-off approach to the human and political dimensions of its policies can be countered on three grounds. First, structural adjustment results in a shift in the distribution of wealth and power in a nation. Adjustment programs, in the short and medium term, have worked to increase the economic opportunities and welfare of the few at the expense of the majority. By the Bank's own admission, SAPs have worsened [End Page 651] inequalities even where they have promoted economic growth. 79 These inequalities of wealth and power endanger, even nullify, the entitlements guaranteed under the concept of rights, especially economic and social rights.
Second, through its policy of structural adjustment, the Bank imposes a suspension of the rights of large sections of people on the basis of pain now, gain later. The Bank has presented the economic and social costs of its programs of orthodox reforms as necessary features of a period of difficult but temporary transition, as a short time of hardship before overall prosperity. 80 However, the promise has not been fulfilled after a decade of structural adjustment, and the temporary suspension of fundamental economic and social rights has become a permanent deferral. Nowhere do international covenants or national laws on these rights sanction such an abrogation on grounds of economic growth or any other societal goals.
The deterioration in social conditions cannot of course be attributed entirely to Bank policies of structural adjustment: many developing countries have had poor records in health and educational sectors before SAPs were instituted. During adjustment, recipient countries that have ratified the relevant conventions and covenants have pleaded lack of resources for their failure to implement them. The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) grants that the full implementation of affirmative rights may take time, particularly in the case of developing countries that lack the human and financial resources to implement them. 81 Enshrined [End Page 652] in the ICESCR and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, these affirmative rights include the rights to food and nutrition, health, education, and employment. 82 To this can be added the rights against discrimination, the right to organize, and the right to participation. 83 The right to organize, which can be interpreted as both a civil and social right, has been explicitly curtailed by national governments seeking to meet adjustment requirements of export strategies. 84
Insofar as Bank-supported adjustment affects a country's ability to meet its obligations under domestic and international law, both the Bank and the individual government are responsible. The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has emphasized that the effort must always be to hasten, and not lengthen, the process towards achieving the goal of full realization of the relevant rights.
The Committee also interprets the phrase "to the maximum of its available resources" as those belonging to a State, as well as to the international financial assistance available to it. 86 By implication, structural adjustment loans from the Bank cannot be used by the State or by the institution to curtail these rights.
Third, one cannot rely on economic growth alone to generate the rise in income among the poor necessary for the achievement of basic needs. In many poor economies, economic growth, with its presumed trickle-down effect, has been set as a precondition for achieving basic needs in the belief that no amount of redistribution of resources will secure minimum basic needs consumption. This has served as justification for not pursuing, or even dismantling, egalitarian policies in the interests of economic growth. In Nigeria, to cite just one example, such an approach has entailed an immediate setback in the fulfillment of basic needs to below the critical minimum in consumption levels. 87 The slowness or absence of the so-called trickle-down makes growth an unreliable means of general advance of a community. High growth rates do not necessarily ensure economic and social equality and quality of life, as the oft-quoted example of Brazil shows. 88
In the context of gender and SAPs, policies that affect the economic and social rights of the poor affect women disproportionately, for the reasons discussed above. While it is easy enough to define the rights undermined in the implementation of SAPs, it is difficult to implement remedial measures. There is now enough theoretical basis and empirical evidence to support the argument that all human rights are interdependent and indivisible and that it is not possible to realize one set of rights, whether civil and political (CP), or economic, social, and cultural (ECOSOC), in the absence of the [End Page 654] other. 89 However, the traditional neglect of economic and social rights is embedded in the fact that few states, both in the North and South, have incorporated socioeconomic rights in their constitutions or domestic legislation. This has rendered this set of rights nonjusticiable at the level of state policy.
Furthermore, the ambiguous nature of ECOSOC rights and the fact that they are aspirational and not legally binding in character make it hard to determine legal standards of minimum requirements. Some human rights experts have suggested that indicators of human development and social opportunity could play a useful role in their realization. 90 But given the difficulties in collection, interpretation, analysis, and sources of data, indicators are not a wholly reliable measure of the fulfillment of ECOSOC rights. Indeed, in the context of women and SAPs, the use of indicators could in fact be misleading and misrepresenting. For example, women's high labor force participation rates in the export manufacturing sector in adjusting economies could be presented as a positive indicator of their right to employment, without conveying the appalling conditions of work that violate their rights to health, organization, and equal pay for equal work. 91 [End Page 655] Indicators can be a useful measure only after the content of the various rights has been clarified, on the basis of principles such as non-discrimination, the right to information, equality in land rights, gender equality, and democratic participation.
Another difficulty in the realization of ECOSOC rights lies in the fact that enforcement mechanisms remain embryonic. The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights was established only in 1987 and is hampered by the lack of an optional protocol to the ICESCR that prevents individuals making direct complaints. Although states parties to the Covenant are required to comply with reporting obligations, they have not taken such obligations seriously, with some failing to submit even a single report. 92
Finally, the concern with socioeconomic rights is emerging at a time when some staunch supporters of these rights, who are also supporters of a strong state, such as India, Indonesia, and Malaysia, have given in to the dominant ideology of the market. These countries now emphasize ECOSOC over CP rights only at international forums (usually in response to Western or Amnesty International/Human Rights Watch-sponsored criticism of their political conduct), while systematically undermining ECOSOC rights at home by policies of omission and commission. The dominance of the market and the lure of foreign investment and capital have also caused the governments of many developing countries to be influenced and controlled by transnational corporations.
Apart from ICESCR and CEDAW, the human right to development also embodies norms that are violated in the context of SAPs' impact on women. 93 But a conceptual difficulty arises here in that the public/private distinction of macroeconomic policies is mirrored in the formulation of this right. Feminist critics have pointed out that although the right obliges states to ensure equal opportunities, fair distribution of income, and an active role for women in the development process, it is still written from a male perspective. Sex discrimination finds no place in it, whereas apartheid and ethnic discrimination do. The conceptualization of the right implicitly assigns women to the private sphere, which is categorized as unproductive, unoccupied, and economically inactive. This invisibility of women retards their right to development. 94 [End Page 656]
Overall, in adopting a human rights approach in the gender context of SAPs, it cannot be assumed that women's rights are automatically recognized or subsumed in the rights of men. This is especially the case with property rights. Access to land and land tenure is crucial to both development and human rights, more so when adjustment policies in agriculture work to deprive women of access to productive resources. However, binding human rights documents do not address land rights. Furthermore, statutory matrimonial conditions in many countries are incompatible with equal rights in inheritance. Women are doubly jeopardized in property rights, as women and as married women. 95
For all of these hurdles, however, there are good political and economic reasons for using human rights standards not only to improve the general human situation, but also to positively alter patterns of economic development. Statutes are of little worth unless people put pressure on courts, governments, and international organizations to realize them. The use of these standards to address the social dimension of SAPs would increase accountability on the part of the international financial institutions and national governments, enable participation by the intended beneficiaries of adjustment, and redirect these policies toward humane and sustainable development. 96
VI. Strategies and Recommendations
The institutionalization of the market model of growth, the gender-blind nature of international laws and economic policies, and the multitude of national and international actors in economic development make the task of formulating a meaningful approach to the social dimension of SAPs a daunting one. The call for international standards and for an adherence to the principles of cooperation, sustainability, equity, and community is [End Page 657] everywhere, as was strikingly evident at the Beijing Women's Conference. Unfortunately, there is far less clarity concerning the means to achieve these principles as well as on devising monitoring mechanisms (especially benchmarks to measure change), and on the paths toward alternative economic frameworks.
One of the first questions facing those working to transform economic structures is where they should focus their energies: on policymaking bodies such as the World Bank and IMF, or on implementing bodies such as national governments. Whether in the international or domestic arenas, it is imperative to increase women's opportunities for economic and political decision making. Although women constitute roughly half the populations of nations, they are practically invisible in public decision-making positions in government. 97 Despite this handicap, the directions for change within the international financial institutions (IFIs) and the growing role of NGOs as partners in development suggest several areas for action. Some of these areas follow.
A. Reform by the Bank/IMF
B. Mobilizing Governments
C. NGO Initiatives
The experiences of women as producers and reproducers, workers in industry and agriculture, wives, consumers, mothers, and crisis managers during adjustment programs show the unequal distribution of costs and benefits of SAPs. The gender-blind nature of neoclassical economic theory and gender biases inherent in societies and cultures have served to obscure the increased burdens imposed on women, which manifest themselves as deteriorating health and well-being in adjusting economies.
The differential impact of structural adjustment on women has just started to come to the attention of those who design and implement [End Page 663] economic reform programs. This awareness is due in large part to the sustained work of feminist economists at both theoretical and empirical levels over the last two decades. Together with the focus on issues of gender and development in the international women's movement since the 1980s, this has led to a greater visibility accorded to these subjects in international forums, especially at the United Nations.
As a result, references to gender bias, gender neutrality, and gender responsiveness are now commonplace in Bank parlance and government statements on structural adjustment. However, there is still a tendency to conflate "gender" with "women," to view gender analysis as the categorizing of society into men and women. This limited understanding, combined with the pervasive faith in market driven growth as a solution to all inequities, has led to a set of add-on responses such as safety nets and poverty alleviation schemes.
While such measures are clearly necessary to offset the devastating impact of SAPs on the poor and women in the short term, they do not go to the root of the problem. The goal of gender advocacy is therefore to transform economic policymaking so that the human rights dimensions of SAPs are considered at the design stage of the programs and not as a postscript. Insofar as economic reform policies change the rights of women, the international financial institutions and governments are accountable to the human rights standards enshrined in various international and domestic covenants. As feminist economists and rights advocates have shown, SAPs do this by transferring burdens from the paid economy to the unpaid economy, exacerbating existing gender inequities in the household and the workplace, and worsening conditions of poverty and deprivation for women.
Gender advocacy in structural adjustment emphasizes that both human rights and sustainability are at stake in the economic reform process, which must aim not only at economic efficiency but economic justice. The overall negative social impact of adjustment in most countries is proof that policies that work to disenfranchise and marginalize one half of humanity cannot be sustainable in the long run. Having laid the ground for such debate, women's advocates must now build on the recent willingness shown by international financial institutions and some governments to address the gender dimensions of structural adjustment through greater involvement of women's representatives and other concerned sections of civil society. The emerging governance and human rights approaches at the lending institutions present real opportunities for policy reform and democratization of development through the principles of transparency, accountability, and participation. Today, there is a rhetorical consensus in all of these institutions about the need for equitable and gender-aware policies. The challenge [End Page 664] lies in putting these principles into practice in order to realize the possibility of shared economic development for all.
In the final analysis, it is women's collective strength and creativity that remains the basis for transformative politics and development. Despite the severe setbacks and crises of the 1980s, women the world over have demonstrated their resilience and resourcefulness through a myriad of networks of grassroots movements as well as formal and informal lobbies. The emergence of this global coalition of women's NGOs who have created a significant political space and voice for themselves has been a positive outcome of the Women's Decade. Together and individually, these groups constitute a vibrant force that has grown in strength and sophistication during the 1990s. Through sustained feminist scholarship and unflagging activism, women's advocates have gained the authority and credibility to influence UN documents, and thereby some national governments and international financial institutions, to reflect gender and poverty concerns in economic policymaking. For the choice can no longer be between the state and the market: women have to organize to transform both patriarchal entities to be responsive to their needs.
Bharati Sadasivam is program coordinator for women's rights at the Women's Environment and Development Organization in New York. She has written extensively on development, women's health, and rights issues as a journalist with The Times of India and other newspapers in Bombay, India. Ms. Sadasivam received her Master's Degree in International Affairs from Columbia University in 1996.
1. I wish to thank Professors Oscar Schachter, Stephen Marks, and Fionnuala Ni Aolain of Columbia University for their encouragement and helpful comments on an earlier version of this article. I also thank Diana Strassmann of Rice University and three anonymous referees for their many useful suggestions. I am especially grateful to Professor Melvin Mencher of Columbia University for helping me give it final shape. I alone am responsible for any errors or shortcomings that remain.
2. In this paper, the term structural adjustment refers to the economic reform policies promoted by the Bretton Woods and other financial institutions in developing countries since the 1980s. In exchange for structural adjustment loans (SALs), recipient countries are expected to restructure their economies, chiefly by dismantling protectionist structures such as tariffs, controls, and subsidies for local capitalism. The basic assumption of this reorientation is that an economy's health, efficiency, and productivity will improve if market forces are allowed to operate, without outcomes being influenced by government policies of protection, subsidization, and regulation. See generally Walden Bello, Dark Victory: The United States, Structural Adjustment and Global Poverty (1994); Fifty Years Is Enough: The Case Against the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (Kevin Danaher ed., 1994); Cheryl Payer, The World Bank: A Critical Analysis (1982); Cheryl Payer, The Debt Trap: The IMF and the Third World (1974).
3. See George Martine & Marcela Villareal, Gender, Population and Sustainability: Critical Problems and Unresolved Issues, consultants' paper submitted to the United Nations Expert Group Meeting on Women, Population and Sustainable Development: The Road from Rio, Cairo and Beijing, Santo Domingo, 18-22 Nov. 1996 (copy on file with author).
4. Chapter 2.27a of the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development urges governments to combat poverty by:
Analysing policies and programmes, including those relating to macroeconomic stability, structural adjustment programmes . . . markets and all relevant sectors of the economy, with respect to their impact on poverty and inequality, assessing their impact on family well-being and conditions, as well as their gender implications, and adjusting them, as appropriate, to promote a more equitable distribution of productive assets, wealth, opportunities, income and services.
United Nations, The Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action: World Summit for Social Development 57, 61, U.N. Doc. A/Conf.166/9 (1995). Paragraph 20 of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action of the Fourth World Conference on Women states:
Macro and micro-economic policies and programmes, including structural adjustment, have not always been designed to take account of their impact on women and girl children, especially those living in poverty. Poverty has increased in both absolute and relative terms, and the number of women living in poverty has increased in most regions.
Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, adopted by the Fourth World Conference on Women, U.N. Doc. A/Conf.177/20 (1995) [hereinafter Beijing Platform for Action].
5. An early and exhaustive critique of structural adjustment came from UNICEF's Adjustment with a Human Face, which called for a more "people-sensitive approach to adjustment." Giovanni Andrea Cornia et al., Introduction, in Adjustment with a Human Face 1, 3 (Giovanni Andrea Cornia et al., eds., 1987). In a follow-up assessment, Development with a Human Face (Santosh Mehrotra & Richard Jolly eds., forthcoming) (manuscript on file with the author), UNICEF documents the advances in human development that have occurred in ten developing countries since the latter half of the 1980s due to inter alia "greater attention given by the Bretton Woods institutions to education, health and human concerns, active engagement of NGOs and donors in this field and crucial low-cost, high-impact interventions." Id. The UNDP's Human Development Reports were conceived to highlight the need for indicators other than economic growth to measure human welfare. For example, the 1996 report characterizes the current model of market-driven growth as "jobless, ruthless, voiceless, rootless and futureless" and one that does not favor equity or redistribution, both between and within countries. UNDP, Human Development Report 2-4 (1996). It shows that the globalized market economy has, over the last fifteen years, deepened the economic polarization between developed and developing nations. Id. at 2. Only fifteen countries registered improved growth and income during this period, while nearly 100 have shown negative rates of economic growth and per capita income. Id. at 1. In seventy of these countries, average income was lower than it had been in 1980 and in forty-three countries, lower than in 1970. Id. The difference in income between the developing and industrialized world tripled from $5,700 in 1970 to $15,400 in 1993. Id. at 2. The United Nations Development Fund for Women, in preparation for the Beijing Women's Conference, stressed the need for a forceful call to action by the world's governments and international institutions to address gender inequity and women's advancement. See Noeleen Heyzer, A Women's Development Agenda for the 21st Century, in A Commitment to the World's Women: Perspectives on Development for Beijing and Beyond 1, 1 (Noeleen Heyzer ed., with Sushma Kapoor & Joanne Sandler, 1995).
6. See Social Dimensions of Adjustment: World Bank Experience, 1980-93 at 2, 54 (A World Bank Operations Evaluation Study, 1996) [hereinafter Social Dimensions]. The study tracks poverty and income distribution in fifty-three adjusting countries during the period 1980-1993. Id. at xi. Only 60 percent of the adjusting countries that adopted the right policies and reduced poverty also reduced inequality. Id. at 1. The Bank, however, refutes charges that the 1980s were a decade of deteriorating human welfare, pointing out that poverty declined in twenty-three out of thirty-three countries and increased in ten. Id. at 54.
7. See generally The IMF, the World Bank and the African Debt, Volume 2: The Social and Political Impact (Bade Onimode ed., 1989); Engendering Adjustment for the 1990s: Report of a Commonwealth Expert Group on Women and Structural Adjustment (Commonwealth Secretariat, London, 1989) [hereinafter Engendering Adjustment]; Women and Adjustment Policies in the Third World (Haleh Afshar & Carolyne Dennis eds., 1992); Unequal Burden: Economic Crises, Persistent Poverty, and Women's Work (Lourdes Benería & Shelley Feldman eds., 1992) [hereinafter Unequal Burden]; Male Bias in the Development Process (Diane Elson ed., 1991); The Strategic Silence: Gender and Economic Policy (Isabella Bakker ed., 1994) [hereinafter The Strategic Silence]; Women Pay the Price: Structural Adjustment in Africa and the Caribbean (Gloria Thomas-Emeagwali ed., 1995); Mortgaging Women's Lives: Feminist Critiques of Structural Adjustment (Pamela Sparr ed., 1994) [hereinafter Mortgaging Women's Lives].
8. See The World Bank, Implementing the World Bank's Gender Policies, Progress Report No.1 at 5 (Mar. 1996) [hereinafter Bank Progress Report]. However, the Bank maintains that very little quantitative data is currently available on differences between the impact of economic reform on men and women. In two countries where statistical data is available, Peru and the Philippines, the Bank cites studies that show that in the former, "female-headed households appear to have fared better on average than male-headed households during the economic reform of the 1990s," while in the latter, "welfare indicators for women during periods of economic reform seem to be at least as favorable as for men." Id.
9. In 1989, a Commonwealth Expert Group summarized the impact of adjustment on women as follows:
Women are at the epicentre of the crisis and bear the brunt of the adjustment efforts: it is women who have been most severely affected by the deteriorating balance between incomes and prices, and who have desperately sought means for their families to survive. It is women who have had to find extra work to supplement family income; it is women who have rearranged family budgets . . . and it is women who have been most immediately affected by cuts in health and educational facilities, and by the rising morbidity and deaths among their children. Women are at the frontline of the crisis in the developing world--and it is they who have been most severely affected and have had the greatest responsibility for adjusting their lives to ensure survival.
Engendering Adjustment, supra note 7, at 31-32.
10. See Josette L. Murphy, Gender Issues in World Bank Lending 21 (A World Bank Operations Evaluation Study, 1995) [hereinafter Gender Issues]. Although Bank strategies to include gender issues were formulated as early as 1967, management began to take a proactive stance only in the latter half of 1986. Id. at 22. The visibility of gender issues during the UN Decade for Women (1975-1985) helped in part to raise their profile in the Bank. Since 1991, more than a third of all investment projects include measures dealing with gender-related issues, although these still do not include structural adjustment and debt reduction lending. Id. at 21.
11. Set up by the Bank in April 1996 in response to demands made by women's organizations during the Beijing women's conference, the EGCG aims inter alia to provide a mechanism for implementing the Bank's gender policies, responding to the Beijing Platform for Action and providing a forum for discussing public concerns about the Bank's approaches to gender. The World Bank, External Gender Consultative Group: A Report on the First Annual Meeting, April 29-30, 1996 at 1 (1997) [hereinafter Bank Gender Group Report].
12. According to the World Bank, adjustment lending commitments have increased steadily since 1980, peaking at over $7 billion in 1991, during which period twenty countries began reforms of their financial sectors. The World Bank, Third Report on Adjustment Lending: Private and Public Resources for Growth (1992), cited in Pamela Sparr, What is Structural Adjustment?, in Mortgaging Women's Lives, supra note 7, at 1, 3. In 1990-1991, the loans averaged less than $6 billion a year. Id. By 1994, structural adjustment lending constituted about 30 percent of the Bank's loan portfolio. Id. at 2.
Adjustment lending is going to remain important in the 1990s . . . . It is already a major vehicle of assistance for formerly socialist countries, it is being used for the first time in India, and there are both old and new clients in most other parts of the world.
Id. at 6.
13. Diane Elson, From Survival Strategies to Transformation Strategies: Women's Needs and Structural Adjustment, in Unequal Burden, supra note 7, at 26, 33-34. Elson's pioneering critique of mainstream economics from the gender perspective has formed the basis of much subsequent writing on the subject. Argued within the framework of mainstream economics, it raises questions and challenges that the monetarist/neoclassical school has found difficult to ignore.
14. Diane Elson, Micro, Meso, Macro: Gender and Economic Analysis in the Context of Policy Reform, in The Strategic Silence, supra note 7, at 33, 41-42.
15. Nilüfer Çag=atay et al., Introduction, 23 World Dev. 1829 (Nov. 1995) (special issue).
16. Elson, supra note 13, at 34. Such a transfer can also affect overall economic output. For instance, a study in Zambia found that women farmers, who were especially hit by declines in health expenditure, had to spend more time tending the sick and less time farming. Id. at 44.
17. Çag=atay et al., supra note 15, at 1828-29.
18. See Diane Elson & Rosemary McGee, Gender Equality, Bilateral Program Assistance and Structural Adjustment: Policy and Procedures, 23 World Dev. 1991 (Nov. 1995) (special issue).
19. See, e.g., Madhura Swaminathan, The Impact of Policies of Orthodox Stabilization and Structural Adjustment on Women: Some Evidence from India (paper presented at the annual summer conference of the International Association of Feminist Economists, Tours, France, 5-7 July 1995) (on file with the author). Income, poverty, and inequality worsened in India between 1991, when structural adjustment reforms were introduced, and 1994. Id. The proportion of households below the official poverty line rose from 39.3 percent in 1987-1988 to 40.7 percent in 1992-1993. Id.
20. Beijing Platform for Action, supra note 4, ¶ 47.
21. See Adjustment with a Human Face, supra note 5, at 76 for a list of twenty-two adjusting countries which suffered the most severe cuts in health and education expenditure in the 1980s. Of these, Bolivia, regarded by the World Bank as a success in structural adjustment, peaked with an annual percentage cut of 77.7 percent between 1980 and 1982, followed by Guatemala (58.3 percent) between 1980 and 1984 and the Dominican Republic (46.5 percent) between 1980 and 1984. Id. These were also countries with high rates of decline in GDP, demonstrating the link between GDP per capita and expenditure on social sector per capita. Id. For the effects on child welfare of government cuts in real expenditure per capita on social services, see Giovanni Andrea Cornia, Economic Decline and Human Welfare in the First Half of the 1980s, in Adjustment with a Human Face, 11, 21-47. Expenditure on food subsidies declined in four countries studied by UNICEF: Sri Lanka, Chile, Peru, and Zimbabwe. Id. at 28.
22. See Ulla Vuorela, The Informal Sector, Social Reproduction and the Impact of the Economic Crisis on Women, in Tanzania and the IMF: The Dynamics of Liberalization 109 (Horace Campbell & Howard Stein eds., 1992).
23. See id.
24. See Amartya Sen, Economics and the Family, in Family, Kinship and Marriage in India 452, 452-63. As Sen puts it, "the family is a remarkable institution. And a complex one. Indeed so complex that much of economic theory proceeds as if no such thing exists." Id. at 452; see also Amartya Sen, Gender and Cooperative Conflicts, in Persistent Inequalities 123-49 (Irene Tinker ed., 1990).
25. There is a growing literature on feminist critiques of the neoclassical view of the household. See, e.g., Naila Kabeer, Benevolent Dictators, Maternal Altruists and Patriarchal Contracts: Gender and Household Economics, in Reversed Realities: Gender Hierarchies in Development Thought 95-135 (1994) [hereinafter Reversed Realities] (discussing the household as an altruistic entity and as a site of bargaining and conflict and high-lighting the implications for household welfare); Nancy Folbre, Cleaning House: New Perspectives on Households and Economic Development, 14 World Dev. 245 (1986).
26. See Diane Elson, Male Bias in Macro-Economics: The Case of Structural Adjustment, in Male Bias in the Development Process, supra note 7, at 164, 183.
27. See Jean Drèze & Amartya Sen, Nutrition and Capability, in Hunger and Public Action 51 (1989).
28. The female-male ratio (FMR) in South Asia, China, West Asia, and North Africa averages 0.93 or 0.94 to 1, in contrast to 1.05 observed in developed countries. Id. at 51-52. The higher mortality of women reflects serious anti-female bias in the division of food and health care. Id. at 51-53. Higher female mortality cannot be attributed to poverty: Sub-Saharan Africa's FMR is 1.02. Id. at 52. If the FMR in other developing parts of the world were the same as in Sub-Saharan Africa, the proportion of missing women would be 44 million in China and 37 million in India. Id. at 53.
29. Available evidence from Nigeria, for example, suggests that under the adjustment regime, it is women in poor households who bear the burden of rising prices, scarcity of essential commodities, and decreased income-generating capacity to sustain the household. See Carolyne Dennis, The Limits to Women's Independent Careers: Gender in the Formal and Informal Sectors in Nigeria, in Male Bias in the Development Process, supra note 7, at 83, 100.
30. In the eyes of some economists and anthropologists, however, this is an "overpowerful generalization." See Jean Drèze & Amartya Sen, Production, Entitlements and Nutrition, in Hunger and Public Action, supra note 27, at 175; see also Anne Whitehead, Rural Women and Food Production in Sub-Saharan Africa, in The Political Economy of Hunger 425 (Jean Drèze & Amartya Sen eds., 1990) (discussing the issues raised by the feminization of food production in the sub-continent).
31. See, e.g., Marie-Angélique Savané, What Next for African Women, in Structural Adjustment and the Crisis in Africa: Economic and Political Perspectives 77 (David Kennett & Tukumbi Lumumba-Kasongo eds., 1992) [hereinafter Structural Adjustment and the Crisis in Africa]; see also Elson, supra note 26, at 172-75 (discussing the evidence from several case studies on the gendered impact of cash cropping).
32. One African woman affected by the male orientation in agricultural policies described it as follows:
This one they call farmer; send in teachers to teach him to farm (while I'm out there growing the food); lend him money for tractors and tillers (while I'm out there growing the food); promise him fortunes if he'd only raise cotton (while I'm out there growing the food).
US Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, Africa Tomorrow: Issues in Technology, Agriculture and U.S. Foreign Aid 71 (1985), cited in Katarina Tomasevski, Women and Human Rights 37 (1993).
33. See Antonieta Barrón, Mexican Rural Women Wage Earners and Macro-Economic Policies, in The Strategic Silence, supra note 7, at 137, 138.
34. See id.
35. See Drèze & Sen, supra note 30, at 175.
36. In Zimbabwe, for example, structural adjustment policies instituted in 1991 have exacerbated iniquities in gender relations and the distribution of resources. Maternal mortality and access to education improved with increases in farming output but declined since 1991. Although it is difficult to gauge the extent to which SAPs and/or the drought of 1991-92 influenced this decline, structural adjustment had an adverse impact on health and education which suffered budgetary cuts as the government tried to service its debt. See Bank Gender Group Report, supra note 11, at 13.
37. See id. at 12.
38. See, e.g., Swarna Jayaweera, Structural Adjustment Policies, Industrial Development and Women in Sri Lanka, in Mortgaging Women's Lives, supra note 7, at 96. In 1987, 91 percent of employees in garments factories, 92 percent in food processing, and 83 percent in non-metallic mineral factories were women. Id. at 106. Although Sri Lanka had high male unemployment, the transnational corporations preferred to employ unmarried women between eighteen and twenty-five years old. Id. at 107. See also Nilüfer Çagatay & Süle Özler, Feminization of the Labor Force: The Effects of Long-Term Development and Structural Adjustment, 23 World Dev. 1829, 1883-94 (examining how structural adjustment policies have led to an increase in the feminization of the labor force through worsening income distribution and increasing openness).
39. See Helen I. Safa & Peggy Antrobus, Women and the Economic Crisis in the Caribbean, in Unequal Burden, supra note 7, at 49, 63.
40. Payer, The World Bank: A Critical Analysis, supra note 2, at 156 (emphasis added).
41. See Jayaweera, supra note 38, at 111.
42. See Social Dimensions, supra note 6, at 55. However, the Bank has emphasized, as have some independent analysts, that the deterioration in social conditions and declines in social sector spending cannot be directly attributed to structural adjustment, without a counterfactual analysis of what would have happened in the absence of adjustment. Id. at 86.
43. The Bank's lending for population, health, nutrition (PHN), and education has gone up in absolute terms and as a proportion of total lending over the last decade. Bank Progress Report, supra note 8, at 9-10. Lending for PHN projects went up from $200.7 million in 1985 to over $1,152.5 million in 1995. Id. at 10. Educational lending went up from $936.8 million to $2,150.7 million over the same period. Id. at 9. A significant proportion of projects in both sectors have a specific gender focus. Id. at 10. Bank lending for human capital development went up from five percent a year in the 1980s to 18 percent of all Bank lending in fiscal 1992-1996. World Bank Annual Report 47 (1996).
44. Independent studies have, however, provided some of this evidence. See, e.g., Pauline Rose, Female Education and Adjustment Programs: A Cross-Country Statistical Analysis, in 23 World Dev. 1931, 1931-49 (Nov. 1995) (special issue) (providing an examination of the data on female school enrollment rates in adjusting and non-adjusting countries). The study shows that, while the gender gap in school enrollment rates has narrowed in both groups of countries, this is due to the average male enrollment rate falling to the lower average female enrollment rate in adjusting countries. Id. at 1939-40. In contrast, the gap has narrowed in non-adjusting countries because of increases in both male and female enrollment rates. Id. at 1940.
45. See id. at 1932.
46. Social Dimensions, supra note 6, at 78; see also The World Bank, Adjustment in Africa: Reforms, Results, and the Road Ahead (1994) (providing a review of policy reforms in the second half of the 1980s).
47. See Social Dimensions, supra note 6, at 79.
48. See id. at 78.
49. See id. at 79.
50. See id.
51. See Sheila Smith, The Social Dimensions of Structural Adjustment: A Change of Direction or a Figleaf?, in Structural Adjustment and the Crisis in Africa, supra note 31, at 120. Ms. Smith is a senior economist at UNDP who was associated with the project. The World Bank is the executing agency for the project; the UNDP and the African Development Bank are the two other co-sponsoring agencies. As of 1992, thirty-two countries had asked to participate in the project, indicating the extent of the impact of adverse social repercussions of orthodox reforms, although activities had not begun in many of them. Id. at 123. PAMSCAD was discontinued in 1993. According to the Bank, the Program's unwieldy portfolio, complex bureaucratic procedures, and limited transparency and participatory procedures made it difficult to administer. Social Dimensions, supra note 6, at 110. With resources of more than $80 million, it reached only 50,000 people (0.3 percent of population), of whom only 3,000 got jobs. Id. at 110. Further, as women's advocates have pointed out, although PAMSCAD was often cited as a model program to mitigate the social costs of adjustment, the program hardly mentioned women. See Engendering Adjustment, supra note 7, at 89.
52. See World Bank Annual Report 38 (1993).
53. See Smith, supra note 51, at 122.
54. See discussion infra Part VI.A.
55. See Smith, supra note 51, at 130.
56. See Jean Drèze & Amartya Sen, The Economy, the State and the Public, in Hunger and Public Action, supra note 27, at 258.
57. See Smith, supra note 51, at 120.
58. The Bank has approved $425 million for 1997 for a primary education project in India, targeting districts with low female literacy rates. Bank Progress Report, supra note 8, at 10. However, the magnitude of the task of universal education calls for sustained state action and financial commitment, not merely through Bank loans that need to be repaid. According to a UNICEF estimate of 1991, India will need an additional 50,000 primary schools and 440,000 middle schools if each village is to have at least one school. Swaminathan, supra note 19, at 17. Central government outlays on education, however, fell in real terms in the early 1990s. Id.
59. See World Bank Annual Report, supra note 52, at 44-45.
60. See Pamela Sparr, Feminist Critiques of Structural Adjustment, in Mortgaging Women's Lives, supra note 7, at 13, 33.
61. See Naila Kabeer, Treating Cancer With Band-Aid? The Theoretical Underpinnings of WID, in Reversed Realities, supra note 25, at 22.
62. See Gender Issues, supra note 10, at 23. In November 1995, a plenary meeting of the Bank's Special Program of Assistance in Africa endorsed a proposal to systematically integrate gender concerns into the design, implementation, and monitoring of structural adjustment operations in Africa. Three pilot countries chosen for this exercise, as part of the Structural Adjustment and Gender in Africa Initiative, are Mali, Burkina Faso, and Mozambique. See Bank Progress Report, supra note 8, at 5.
63. These goals in gender equity are set out in several recent Bank publications. See, e.g., The World Bank, Enhancing Women's Participation in Economic Development: A World Bank Policy Paper (1994); World Bank Annual Report 50-51 (1996) (providing an overview of the Bank's efforts at mainstreaming gender issues in policymaking).
64. In a letter to Bank President James Wolfensohn dated 13 December 1996, the Women's Eyes on the World Bank, infra note 110, expressed concern about the failure of the Mexican Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) to demonstrate how the Bank plans to address gender inequity in Mexico. By not including gender equity issues in the Mexican CAS, the letter said, the Bank failed to comply with its own operational principle 4.20 which states that the "Bank aims to reduce gender disparities and enhance women's participation in the economic development of their countries by integrating gender considerations in its country assistance program." Abid Aslam, Mexico Finance: New World Bank Strategy Seen to Fail Poor, Women, Terra Viva, Interpress Service Daily Journal, 27 Dec. 1996.
65. See Gender Issues, supra note 10, at 3.
66. Article IV, section 10 of the Bank's Articles of Agreement states that:
The Bank and its officers shall not interfere in the political affairs of any member; nor shall they be influenced in their decisions by the political character of the member or members concerned. Only economic considerations shall be relevant to their decisions, and these considerations shall be weighed impartially in order to achieve the purposes stated in Article 1.
The World Bank, Articles of Agreement 12-13.
67. See Pamela Sparr, Banking on Women: Where Do We Go From Here?, in Mortgaging Women's Lives, supra note 7, at 183, 193-94.
68. See Jonathan Cahn, Challenging the New Imperial Authority: The World Bank and the Democratization of Development, 6 Harvard Hum. Rts. J. 159 (1993). Ibrahim Shihata, the Bank's Vice-President and General Counsel has said that "conditionality has thus evolved from macroeconomic measures to detailed reforms affecting the public administration itself." Ann Crittenden, World Bank in Shift, Lending for Trade Debts, N.Y. Times, 26 May 1980, cited in Payer, The World Bank: A Critical Analysis, supra note 2, at 154. According to another regional vice-president, S. Shahid Husain, "[t]hese loans do go to the heart of the political management of an economy. We will have to approach them with humility." Id.
69. See Cahn, supra note 68, at 159.
70. See Gender Issues, supra note 10, at 22-23.
71. The purposes of the Bank, according to the Articles of Agreement, are:
To assist in the reconstruction and development of territories of members by facilitating the investment of capital for productive purposes, including the restoration of economies destroyed or disrupted by war, the reconversion of productive facilities to peacetime needs and the encouragement of the development of productive facilities and resources in less developed countries.
The World Bank, Articles of Agreement 1.
72. The Bank became a specialized agency of the UN through a relationship agreement that came into force on 15 April 1948. Article 1(2) of the agreement states that the
Bank is a specialized agency established by agreement among its member Governments and having wide international responsibilities, as defined in its Articles of Agreement, in economic and related fields within the meaning of Article 57 of the Charter of the United Nations. By reason of the nature of its international responsibilities and the terms of its Articles of Agreement, the Bank is, and is required to function as an independent international organization.
Id. art. 1(2), cited in Payer, The World Bank: A Critical Analysis, supra note 2, at 16. Critics have described the agreement of liaison as "more a declaration of independence from than cooperation with the United Nations." Id. The Bank was fearful of political controls and insisted on a number of privileges that would enable it to keep the central UN bodies at arm's length. Id.
73. See The World Bank, Articles of Agreement 12-13.
74. See The Lawyer's Committee for Human Rights, The World Bank: Governance and Human Rights 65 (1995) [hereinafter Bank Governance].
75. In 1990, Bank Vice-President and General Counsel Ibrahim Shihata issued a memorandum reiterating that the Bank's Articles of Agreement required that only economic considerations be taken into account in its dealings with recipient countries. Memorandum of the Vice-President and General Counsel, Issues of Governance in Borrowing Members--The Extent of Their Relevance Under the Bank's Articles of Agreement, cited in Bank Governance, supra note 74, at 44-45. The memorandum, however, did acknowledge that "internal or external political events may have significant direct economic effects which, due to their economic nature, may properly be taken into consideration in the Bank's decisions." Id. at 44. The violation of political rights could become a Bank concern due to significant direct economic effects. Id. at 44-45.
76. See id. at 96-98. The report notes that although the Bank has in recent years included important human rights concerns through its consideration of governance and other rights-related issues, it avoids the use of human rights terminology. Id. at 99. Hence its use of terms like governance, participation, public sector management, and transparency. Id.
77. See The Realization of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Final report submitted by Mr. Danilo Türk, Special Rapporteur, Commission on Human Rights, Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, 49th Sess., at 11 U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/Sub.2/1992/16 (1992).
79. In a discussion on sustainable growth and poverty reduction, the Bank states that: "Except for a few East Asian [adjusting] countries, growth has been insufficient for sustained reduction in poverty--and high levels of income inequality persist." Social Dimensions, supra note 6, at 54.
80. But see The World Bank, The Social Dimensions of Adjustment in Africa: A Policy Agenda (1990), where the Bank itself has recognized that:
Once it was seen that the transition could well take longer than initially anticipated, public policy began to explore ways to assist the poor and vulnerable groups affected by the adjustment process. African governments and donors recognized that vulnerable groups could not wait for benefits of the adjustment process to accrue to them and that they would need various kinds of assistance during the process.
Id. at 4 (emphasis added).
81. Article 2 of the ICESCR, adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in December 1966, states:
Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to take steps, individually and through international assistance and co-operation, especially economic and technical, to the maximum of its available resources, with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of the rights recognized in the present Covenant by all appropriate means, including particularly the adoption of legislative measures.
International Convention on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, art. 2, adopted 16 Dec. 1966, 993 U.N.T.S. 3 (entered into force 3 Jan. 1976), G.A. Res. 2200 (XXI), 21 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 16) at 49, U.N. Doc. A/6316 (1966) [hereinafter ICESCR] (emphasis added).
82. See, for example, Article 11(2) of the ICESCR, which states:
States parties to the present Covenant, recognizing the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger, shall take, individually and through international cooperation, the measures, including specific programmes, which are needed [to improve methods of production, conservation and distribution of food].
Id. art. 11(2).
83. Under Article 2(e) of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), states parties agree "[t]o take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women by any person, organization or enterprise." Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, adopted 18 Dec. 1979, G.A. Res. 34/180, 34 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 46) at 193, U.N. Doc. A/34/36 (1980), reprinted in 19 I.L.M. 33 (1980) (entered into force 3 Sept. 1981).
84. Under SAPs, the abrogation of labor rights, especially in EPZs, has led to a legalization of sweatshops to benefit corporations. For example, Sri Lanka withdrew from the ILO's Convention on Night Work, which it had ratified earlier, to make cheap female labor readily available to investors. See Jayaweera, supra note 38, at 107. In the Philippines, certain export industries have been exempted from the minimum wage law. Women exploited by transnational corporations receive no support from their governments in their efforts for better wages and working conditions, and have no recourse to predominantly male trade unions who are not sympathetic to their concerns. See Sparr, supra note 67, at 192. A US Agency for International Development study in Jamaica revealed that American firms see unions as a major obstacle to investment. See Safa & Antrobus, supra note 39, at 62.
85. The Nature of States Parties Obligations, Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, General Comment No. 3, 5th Sess., ¶¶ 2, 9 (1990) (Compilation of General Comments and General Recommendations adopted by Human Rights Treaty Bodies, U.N. Doc. HRI\GEN\1\Rev.1, at 45 (1994)).
87. See Frances Stewart, Basic Needs in Developing Countries 45, 106, 118 (1985).
88. See Jean Drèze & Amartya Sen, Economic Growth and Public Support, in Hunger and Public Action 180, 189 (1989). The authors report that Brazil's gross national product per head in the 1980s was $1640, and its infant mortality rate was 67 per 1,000 live births and life expectancy sixty-five years. Id. at 180. In contrast, China, with a GNP per capita of $310, had an IMR of 35/1,000 and life expectancy of sixty-nine years, while Sri Lanka, with a GNP per capita of $380, had an IMR of 36/1,000 and life expectancy of seventy years. Id.
89. The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted June 24, 1993, Sess. 5, U.N. GAOR, World Conference on Human Rights, U.N. Doc. A/Conf.157/24, adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights, Vienna, 14-15 June 1993, adopted by 171 States at the World Conference on Human Rights, affirms that "[a]ll human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent and interrelated." Id. ¶ 5. It calls for, inter alia, equal opportunities for participation in political and economic decision making and elimination of discrimination by gender and violence against women. Id. ¶¶ 8, 18.
90. See The New International Economic Order and the Promotion of Human Rights: Realization of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, First Progress Report Prepared by the Special Rapporteur to the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, U.N. ESCOR Comm'n on Human Rights, 42nd Sess., Prov. Agenda Item 7, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/Sub.2/1990/19 (1990), cited in Mario Gomez, Social Economic Rights and Commissions, 17 Hum. Rts. Q. 155, 164-65 (1995).
91. A recent study of adjustment policies in Latin America and Africa provides an example of how analysis based on indicators can become a disingenuous exercise in getting certain sums right. See Elliot Berg et al., Structural Adjustment and the Poor in the 1980s: Trends in Social Conditions in Latin America and Africa (1994). The study contrasts Latin America's economic decline in the 1980s, when real wages and consumption fell and the ranks of the poor rose, with the fact that social indicators improved, signalling lower infant mortality and higher life expectancy. Id. This selective use of indicators glosses over the general deterioration in living conditions as a result of SAPs in Latin America. Moreover, indicators like child mortality have improved in many poor countries largely because of direct interventions by international agencies like UNICEF and WHO. Significantly, maternal mortality rates, which are a more accurate indicator of the far-reaching social impact of SAPs, have not shown an appreciable decline in some of the largest Latin American debtor nations. For the period 1980-1992, Brazil and Colombia registered a high maternal mortality rate (deaths per 100,000 live births) of 200, and Mexico and Argentina 110, although female life expectancy improved considerably. UNDP, Human Development Report 54-55 (1995).
92. ICESCR, supra note 81, art. 21.
93. Article 1 of the Declaration on the Right to Development, adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 1986, states that by virtue of this right, the individual is "entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development, in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized." Declaration on the Right to Development, U.N. GAOR, 51st Sess., Annex, Agenda Item 101, at 3, U.N. Doc. A/RES/41/128 (1986).
94. See Hilary Charlesworth, The Public/Private Distinction and the Right to Development in International Law, 12 Aust. Y.B. Int'l L. 190, 199 (1992).
95. See Tomasevski, supra note 32, at 37.
96. The Bank has recently made its most promising move to date in this direction by launching the Structural Adjustment Participatory Review Initiative (SAPRI). The initiative, to be conducted jointly with NGOs, labor unions, and women's organizations in at least six countries during 1997, will focus on specific issues such as trade liberalization and its impact on the informal sector, labor market deregulation, and the different ways in which SAPs affect men and women. See Abid Aslam, World Bank Faces Self-Honesty Test, Terra Viva, Interpress Service Daily Journal, 22 Dec. 1996. The Bank and NGO teams have agreed that a common goal of the initiative is to bring into the policy making process, along with the Bank and governments, those previously excluded segments of civil society that work with and represent local populations and that can provide in each country critically important input regarding the "real economy." See Wolfensohn Accepts NGO Challenge to Re-Examine Adjustment Operations, Bankcheck, Sept. 1996, at 14.
97. Women still occupy only 10 percent of parliamentary seats worldwide and only 6 percent of cabinet positions. In fifty-five countries ranging from very poor to reasonably affluent, there are either no women in parliament, or fewer than 5 percent. See, e.g., UNDP, Human Development Report 1995 (1995). Women in power and decision making was one of the twelve critical areas of concern in the Beijing Platform for Action.
Women's equal participation in decision-making is not only a demand for simple justice or democracy but can also be seen as a necessary condition for women's interest to be taken into account. Without the active participation of women and incorporation of women's perspectives at all levels of decision-making, the goals of equality, development and peace cannot be achieved.
Beijing Platform for Action, supra note 4, ¶ 181. The Platform for Action continues that: "The low proportion of women among economic and political decision-makers at the local, national, regional and international levels reflects structural and attitudinal barriers that need to be addressed through positive measures." Id. ¶ 186.
98. See Bank Gender Group Report, supra note 11, at 15-16. In the area of agriculture, for example, the Bank argues that often, it is at the preliminary stage of overcoming governmental resistance and/or indifference to treating women as a constituency. In Central America and Mexico, the Bank has found that an institutional development approach that stresses the need to determine agricultural roles by gender as governments modernize their institutions is more acceptable than an equity approach, which can be threatening to cultural sensitivities. Id. at 15.
99. See Elson, supra note 14, at 43.
100. On the question of how far the Bank can influence a government's allocation of expenditures in the social sector, NGOs and women's groups have pointed out that when the Bank is already interventionist, it should not be timid in intervening in favor of women. If structural adjustment is aimed at economic health and well-being, the health and education of women are critical elements that are not expendable. See Bank Gender Group Report, supra note 11, at 16.
101. Paragraph 59(f) of the Beijing Platform for Action calls upon international financial institutions to "[r]eview the impact of structural adjustment programmes on social development by means of gender sensitive social impact assessments and other relevant methods, in order to develop policies to reduce their negative effects and improve their positive impact, ensuring that women do not bear a disproportionate burden of transition costs; [and] complement adjustment lending with enhanced, targeted social development lending." Beijing Platform for Action, supra note 4, ¶ 59(f).
102. Recommendations of the External Gender Consultative Group (Letter to World Bank President James D. Wolfensohn, 28 Aug. 1996); see also Bank Gender Group Report, supra note 11, at 41-48.
103. See also Sparr, supra note 67, at 185-201.
104. The World Bank, The World Bank Inspection Panel: Analysis and Recommendations for Review: Extended Paper (Oxfam, Feb. 1996) (copy on file with author).
105. In India, for example, innovative and sustained lending to the Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA) has enabled women to see themselves as economic actors and agents of change. The Missing Links: Financial Systems that Work for the Majority, Women's World Banking, Global Policy Forum, April 1995; see also Ela Bhatt, Toward Empowerment, 17 World Dev. (1989).
106. Beijing Platform for Action, supra note 4, ¶ 58(b).
107. As the Commonwealth Expert Group noted:
Any benefits women have attained from compensatory measures have been only incidental. They have not prevented devastating setbacks in crucial areas such as maternal and child health services, basic education and training, childcare, and the provision of credit, extension and other support services to help women as producers.
Engendering Adjustment, supra note 7, at 8.
108. See Devaki Jain, Letting the Worm Turn: A Comment on Innovative Poverty Alleviation, in Assessing Participatory Development: Rhetoric Versus Reality 80 (William P. Lineberry ed., 1989).
109. See Diane Elson, Overcoming Male Bias, in Male Bias in the Development Process, supra note 7, at 191, 199.
110. Governments at the Beijing Women's Conference agreed to "conduct regular time-use studies to measure, in quantitative terms, unremunerated work . . . that is outside national accounts . . . and [to] accurately reflect its value in satellite or other official accounts." Beijing Platform for Action, supra note 4, ¶ 206(g)(i) - (ii). The consensus, in far more precise language than that achieved during the Women's Decade or the UN Social Summit in Copenhagen, broke through a deadlock of more than two years on the issue of measuring and valuing unwaged work. Since then, some countries, notably Denmark, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States, have made initial progress towards constructing satellite accounts to the gross national product. See Women's Environment and Development Organization, Beyond Promises: Governments in Motion One Year After the Beijing Women's Conference (Sept. 1996).
111. See Adjustment with a Human Face, supra note 5, at 291.
112. See id.
113. See Elson, supra note 109, at 198.
114. A code of conduct for national, multinational, and transnational corporations to ensure workers' rights, comprehensive land reform to ensure equitable distribution of good land, and a global gender-equity social development fund financed by taxing international speculative financial flows were among the proposals submitted by the NGO, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN), at the Copenhagen Social Summit in 1995. Rethinking Social Development: DAWN's Vision, 23 World Dev. 2003, 2003-04 (Nov. 1995) (special issue).
115. For example, the Women's Eyes on the World Bank Campaign, which arose out of a petition to the Bank president signed by nearly a thousand women during the Beijing Women's Conference, aims to hold the Bank accountable on gender equity by educating NGOs about the Bank's record in this area and mobilizing them to advocate for gender sensitive policies. At the national level, women's activists, researchers, and economists in South Africa have launched a women's budget initiative to examine the national budget through gendered eyes, comparing defense spending with that on health, education, and women's employment.