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Rural Women at Work: Strategies for Development in South Asia was originally published in 1978.
"Ruth Dixon's book is a courageous and controversial contribution to the literature on women in the development process of Third World countries. No matter how one might disagree with specific parts of her proposals or her views on development, one can only heartily applaud her efforts to move beyond mere polemic and rhetoric. Having accepted that integrating women more fully into development processes is both right and necessary, she has gone a step further and outlined practical ideas for accomplishing this end [...] This is a book which makes a strong case for instituting income-generating programs for rural women of the Third World. It should be on the required reading list for all academic development specialists, as well as for the staff of national and international development agencies. The author does not pretend to have all the answers (her Appendix sets out a comprehensive list of research issues in the area of female employment) but her arguments are well reasoned and well grounded in empirical data. This book should go some way to changing the outmoded approach to development which views women as home-bound dependents on active male producers."
- The Journal of Development Studies
"Among the many recent books concerned with Third World population growth, this one represents a refreshingly new theme. It questions the efficacy not only of KAP surveys but also of family planning programs as such. The author outlines an alternative model specifically for South Asia whereby 'the goals of promoting rural development, raising the status of women, and encouraging delayed marriage and birth control in rural communities could be met by creating income-generating employment in small-scale industries, specifically for women in their early reproductive years, in cooperatively organized central workplaces that offer additional services such as functional literacy programs, family planning, childcare, living quarters and financial incentives.' Ruth Dixon works out in meticulous detail the various implications of this proposition and discusses associated problems in a scholarly fashion. Her central argument is supported by accounts of five case studies of employment schemes in South Asia in which rural women are currently earning money, in an attempt to evaluate their actual as well as potential social, economic, and demographic impact [...] This book thus provides a useful set of guidelines for planners and administrators concerned with rural development and population policies; it should also attract a wide audience interested in Third World development in general and the changing role of women in particular."
- The Economic Journal