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Negotiating gender: Women and emergency employment in Peru

Laurie, Nina; (1995) Negotiating gender: Women and emergency employment in Peru. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis explores the ways in which gender relations and gender identities are negotiated by low-income women in Peru. It draws on debates within literatures on gender and development and, to a lesser extent, research on cultural identities. Empirically, the thesis centres on women's involvement in the Peruvian government's emergency employment programme, El Programa de Apoyo al Ingreso Temporal (PAIT), which operated from 1985 to 1990. It identifies processes of feminisation which occurred when jobs originally designed for men were taken up by women. The thesis explains why the participation of women caused problems for the government and analyses a shift in state rhetoric around the programme from 'work' to 'welfare'. The thesis goes on to show how this shift created contradictions because although a welfare justification explained female participation, women involved in the programme identified what they did as 'men's work'. In-depth case study material from low-income areas in Lima and Andahuaylas (a rural town) is used to analyse the mechanisms by which new gender relations and identities were constituted in the workplace and the household. Data indicate that PAIT provided many women with their first exposure to paid work and show how the working environment, where women learnt to carry out 'men's work' and where they mixed with people from a variety of backgrounds, influenced the way they thought about themselves and others. Changes in women's conceptualisations of each other involved the simultaneous reproduction and subversion of gender stereotypes. Evidence for changing gender relations is provided by concentrating on the ways in which PAIT women re-organised reproductive tasks and household budgeting. Particular attention is given to changes in decision-making processes. The thesis argues that for many women PAIT provided an environment for the negotiation of new gender relations and for the conscious redefinition of 'appropriate' and 'inappropriate' feminine behaviour.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Negotiating gender: Women and emergency employment in Peru
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Social sciences; Emergency empolyment; Peru; Women
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10106658
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