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The Effects of Structural Adjustment Programs on Women's Livelihoods

The Effects of Structural Adjustment Programs on Women's Livelihoods
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국제대학원 국제학과
이화여자대학교 국제대학원
Heather A. Willoughby
This study seeks to critically assess the effects that Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) have had on developing countries' economies particularly focusing on the livelihoods of girls and women. The main thrust of argument this study tries to bring forth is that women and girls did not particularly benefit from the introduction and implementation of SAPs in Zimbabwe that were established by the Zimbabwean government. The study has identified that the sectors that were most negatively affected by SAPs were also the most important and strategic to women's welfare. Sectors of Education, Health and Household Consumption are mainly central to women's welfare in that they offer women a betterment of their living standards as well as increasing their independence and empowerment levels. In the education sector, the introduction of user fees resulted in quite a substantial dropout rate of girls from school as parents found it exceedingly difficult to meet the demands of paying school fees in a system which had initially had very low fees or was free, as in the case of rural areas in Zimbabwe. Girls became more vulnerable in such situations as they were already prone to leave school earlier than male children since educating the boy child was given greater prerogative in the African culture than educating the girl child. However, the study notes contradictory results in that in some cases there were more boy dropouts than girls, leading to the conclusion that there are various other causes that are not necessarily related to the failure of SAPs that have led to an increase in dropout rates across the board in the education sector. In the health sector, the introduction of user fees resulted in many women failing to afford basic health care especially maternal health care. This greatly deteriorated neo-natal health care and standards for women. Household consumption was also greatly affected by the introduction of SAPs as women's roles were shifted to becoming the primary source for food as well as breadwinners for the family. This was exacerbated by the downturn in the industrial sector of the country's economy leading to large numbers of retrenchments especially in public sectors as the government tried to reduce social spending, which also led to rising levels of unemployment. The roles of feeding the family were relegated to women and this added to their burden domestically as they had to be mothers as well as breadwinners for the family. From the perspective of this study, adequate policy analysis by the government Key International Economic Organizations is required before policies are implemented as well as adequate safety nets to safeguard and prevent the poor and marginalized groups from facing adverse impacts of such policies in the cases that these policies fail to work as expected or take long to be fruitful. The recommendations that are provided at the end of the study are not only key lessons for Zimbabwe but for other developing countries that have experienced severe cutbacks in social sectors through SAPs or have not fully benefitted from the intended benefits of these policies.;이 논문은 구조조정프로그램(SAPs)이 개발도상국의 경제발전, 특히 여성의 삶에 미치는 영향을 비판적으로 분석한다. 논문의 핵심 주장은 여성들이 짐바브웨 정부가 실시한 SAPs로부터 혜택을 받지 못했다는 것이다. 그 이유는 SAPs로 인해 가장 많은 피해를 본 부문이 교육, 보건 및 가계 소비 같이 여성의 복지와 삶에 가장 중요한 부문이었기 때문이다. 또한 이 부문은 여성의 자립과 권한강화에 핵심이기도 하다. 교육부문의 경우 교육비지출 부담으로 인해 상당수의 여학생들, 특히 농촌지역 여학생들이 학교를 중도에 포기하는 경우가 남학생 보다 많았고, 이는 여자보다 남자의 교육을 더 중시하는 아프리카의 문화 때문이기도 하다. 하지만 어떤 경우에는 여학생보다 오히려 남학생들이 더 많이 학교를 중도에 포기하였는데 이 경우는 SAPs의 실패에 따른 결과라고 주장하기에는 문제가 있다는 점을 이 논문은 밝히고 있다. 보건부문의 경우, 의료비용 자기부담 증가로 인해 여성, 특히 산모들이 제때에 치료를 받지 못하게 되고 그 결과 산모출산 건강문제가 심각하게 대두되었다. 이 논문은 SAPs로 인해 여성이 가족의 주 수입원이 됨에 따라 가계소비 또한 상당한 영향을 받게 되었다고 주장한다. 짐바브웨 경제가 악화되면서 가계소비의 상태가 더욱 나빠지게 되었고, 특히 정부가 사회부문의 비용을 줄이면서 공공부문에서 실업이 증가하였다. 그 결과 여성들이 집안일 이외에 가족의 생계를 책임지게 되었다. 이 논문은 한 정책이 실행되기 전에 주요 국제경제기구와 짐바브웨정부가 제대로 된 정책분석을 하고, 동시에 그러한 정책으로 인해 피해를 보게 되는 빈곤층과 소외된 그룹을 위한 사회안전망을 구축할 것을 제안한다.
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