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Asia And The Pacific Region Essay

520 words - 3 pages

Rural women's plight in Asia and the Pacific regionRural women throughout Asia and the Pacific region work long hours and confront drudgery as a reality of their daily existence. Poor women pursue a number of survival strategies to earn enough cash to feed and maintain their families.A case study of mountain women in Darjeeling, India recorded their increased difficulty to find fuel wood in the forest following deforestation and the consequent addition of workload and the toll on health.A recent IFAD study found that women in Nepalese hill districts had heavy workloads and high levels of physical vulnerability, albeit with differences between classes and castes, working for about 16 hours per day compared to only ...view middle of the document...

The limited availability of data on rural women's work, coupled with a lack of attention to and value for unpaid work in the agriculture and rural development sector, further perpetuates women's inequitable situation.One of the most persistent challenges hampering a comprehensive understanding of rural women's situation in Asia and the Pacific region relates to the general lack of reliable, systematically gathered and objectively analyzed data. The problems arising from scarcity of data on rural women often are exacerbated by misleading information on women's role in agriculture. Thus, women farmers seldom are reflected in development policyMoreover, as a result of the prevailing, erroneous social perception of what constitutes work, the majority of rural women workers are invisible to national statistics, which also fail to recognize unpaid work in the household, on family land or in family enterprises - such as cooking, cleaning, caring of children and the elderly, the collection of water, fuel and fodder."All work is economic work. All people who perform work, either paid or unpaid are economically active" (ESCAP and UNDP, 2003).The UN maintains: "Work "refers to the participation of individuals in productive activities for which they either receive remuneration (in cash or in kind) for their participation or are unpaid because they are contributors to a family business enterprise. It also includes subsistence production of goods for their own households and non-economic activities such as domestic work, family and elderly care, construction or repair of owner occupied buildings, and volunteer work for which individuals receive no remuneration"(UN. 2000).

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