|CERES No. 075 (FAO Ceres, 1980, 50 p.)|
Five years ago, when ceres last devoted the major part of an issue to the subject of women, the opportunities for exploring seldom-debated questions were considerably greater than at present If it achieved nothing else, International Women's Year, to which that earlier issue was addressed, together with the UN Decade for Women, whose mid-point is now being observed, succeeded in generating a multitude of studies, conferences and publications designed to define more precisely the nature of sex-based inequalities and to prescribe more effective measures for their elimination.
As a consequence, it is difficult to find any aspect of women's role in society that has not been subjected to a certain amount of scholarly scrutiny and often some attention from the media as well. What must be remembered, however, is that much of this exposition has occurred because of extraordinary effort inspired by the growing movement for equality. What is now being recognized more clearly is that the normal institutional framework of most societies lacks any systematic means of measuring, as a matter of routine, the enormous contribution of women to the economic and social fabric of a nation. Selected by men, the data used as indicators of social performance and progress seldom encompass those activities of women on which so much of daily existence depends.
The frustrations caused by these statistical inadequacies are evident in much of the material presented in this issue, particularly in the comments of Marie-Angelique Savane in the interview on page 23 and in the article by Monique Fong, a statistician herself, starting below.
... and next
The investment required over the next 20 years to achieve levels of food production adequate to match growing demand assumes awesome proportions. Our next issue will begin an examination of these questions, drawing on FAO's study, Agriculture Toward 2000, and other sources.