Structural adjustment in Zimbabwe: Its impact on women
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The Government of Zimbabwe has neither fully implemented structural adjustment nor has it clearly stated its position regarding the use of structural adjustment in its management of the economy. However, Government has, while strongly criticizing the IMF/World Bank approach to structural adjustment, sought to effect structural adjustment in the economy and to apply its own brand as well as conventional IMF instruments of structural adjustment. The Government's brand of structural adjustment seeks to satisfy the stated objective of strengthening the productive sectors of the economy. This is done in the contradictory context of a programme for transition to socialism and standing recognition of the need for meaningful social spending. In applying structural adjustment, Government does not appear to consider in "package form" the impacts of structural adjustment on women nor does it consider any immediate compensatory cushioning. The removal of consumer, however, has been tied to minimum wage enactments.The activities of Government in general do seek to guarantee the security of women under a national macro-economic programme which seeks to generally elevate women into a position of equality and self-reliance in the economy. This programme, if successful, would make it unnecessary to treat women as a special and disadvantaged group needing cushioning from the impacts of structural adjustment. The programme has, so far, only made notable progress in expanding social, public, health and educational facilities for women. These facilities have a direct bearing on the economic advancement of women. The one area where Government's approach has failed is in effecting a transition by women to meaningful management or ownership positions in the productive sectors. Generally, the impact of structural adjustment on women is hard to determine. Only a few of the instruments analysed in this paper had a direct determinable bearing on women. These are, the removal of consumer subsidies, credit facilitation for agricultural production, tax adjustment and producer subsidies.
Additional Citation InformationMaya, R.S. (1988). Structural adjustment in Zimbabwe: Its impact on women. Zimbabwe Institute of Development Studies. 37p.
SponsorCanadian Agency for International Development.
Zimbabwe Institute of Development Studies