ERIC Number: EJ695995
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jan
From Mangos to Manufacturing: Uneven Development and Its Impact on Social Well-Being in the Dominican Republic
Pomeroy, Carlton; Jacob, Steve
Social Indicators Research, v65 n1 p73 Jan 2004
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have been trying to help developing countries speed up economic growth in order to help eradicate poverty. In the last two decades these policies in the Dominican Republic have caused rapid and severe changes. Over the last two centuries Dominican culture has faced numerous challenges including a shift from an indigenous subsistence society in balance with nature to an agrarian-based economy. Now a third wave is impacting the Dominican Republic, based on a rapid shift to a manufacturing and service economy. This current shift has led to reprioritizing limited national funds for economic infrastructure, at the expense of cuts in public services in such key areas such as education, health, and water. The literature suggests such structural adjustments do not benefit all persons equally. Of specific interest are those left behind who reside in rural places and work in traditional economic sectors especially agriculture. The goal of this study was to compare the well-being of female heads of households (employed and self employed) in agriculture to the male and female heads of households in the other categories of employment in the Dominican Republic (professional or technical manager, service industry, clerical position, sales, skilled laborer, unskilled labor, and agriculture both as an employee and self-employed). The researchers anticipated that those households employed in agriculture would have lower well-being scores than those employed in other economic sectors. Of particular concern were female heads of household working in agriculture, because they have been most affected due to gender discrimination, cultural bias, lack of access to land, credit, and training while still being responsible for reproductive labor. The results show that those that are working in agriculture have received very little benefit from the structural adjustments that have been made in the economy compared to other sectors (in terms of the sectors of employment). However, women in this circumstance seem to be equally bad off as men. The evidence for this hypothesis is far from conclusive. The data may support the fact that the aperture of employment markets such as free trade zones and employment are actually improving the women's place in the society by giving them more control over their own financial resources. Nonetheless these findings suggest there is a need to invest in agrarian communities because they are an important key in the fight against poverty. In turn this may help to prevent further urban migration, provide food security, and provide a bastion for preserving Dominican culture and heritage.
Descriptors: Gender Discrimination, Foreign Countries, Unskilled Workers, Service Occupations, Latin Americans, Females, Agriculture, Poverty, Labor, Family (Sociological Unit)
Springer-Verlag New York, LLC., Journal Fulfillment, P.O. Box 2485, Secaucus, NJ 07096. Tel: 800-777-4643 (Toll Free); Fax: 201-348-4505; Web site: http://www.springeronline.com.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Dominican Republic