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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Changing Relations of Production in Southern Malawi's Households: Implications for Involving Rural Women in Development
Author:Davison, Jean
Periodical:Journal of Contemporary African Studies
Geographic term:Malawi
Subjects:gender relations
rural households
Women's Issues
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Development and Technology
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Cultural Roles
Labor and Employment
Sex Roles
Abstract:Rural development and income-generating activities requiring women's cooperative production have been part of development agencies' tool kit of the last decade. In some places in Africa these efforts have taken hold, but in other areas such as Malawi, they have been less than successful. The tendency to gloss cooperative production for most of Africa without taking into consideration cultural and regional variations, and conceptual confusion related to analysing production are two factors which have contributed to the failure of externally inspired income-generating projects in southern Malawi. This paper begins with a discussion of the concepts of cooperative, communal and collective production, and their applicability to the household level of production. Explanations for why Malawian women prefer 'banja' (matrilineally based individual family) production to other forms of production, drawing on data gathered in 1992 in Zomba district, follow. The paper ends with a discussion of the implications of 'banja' production for development efforts designed to meet rural women's needs. Note, ref.