Conference on the Continuing Subordination of Women in the Development Process

There was significant discussion on women and technology at an IDS conference highlighted in a Special Issue of the IDS Bulletin on The Continuing Subordination of Women in the Development Process in 1979.  This conference focused on implications of the employment of women in the new manufacturing industries in LDCs, casual labor, women as waged or unwaged workers, agribusiness and the impact of commercial agricultural production and large scale technical change in agriculture, the sexual division of labour in estate work and wage differentials by sex.  The conference also discussed women as rural producers, in terms of “specification of gender hierarchies in relation to form of land ownerships, the technical and social division of labour, the productive capacity of the household enterprise.” (Young, 1979: 7-8)

The Bulletin highlights policy recommendations and their implications for women – in reference to the ILO Mission reports, The Basic Needs Approach, and the New International Economic Order.  The conference attendees also identified research priorities and questions to be explored, including: “The relation between phases of capital accumulation and the direction of investment, particularly in technology. What is the composition of the labour force and the sexual division of labour in the sectors of most advanced technology? Are specific forms of production required? What is the effect of reorganisation of labour processes brought about by technological innovation on women of different classes?…What are the important factors in influencing large scale private investment in developing domestic technology or social investment in socialising domestic work?” (Young, 1979:7-8)



Young, K., ed. (1979) Special Issue on the Continuing Subordination of Women in the Development Process, IDS Bulletin 10. 3