|SPORE Bulletin of the CTA No. 14 (CTA Spore, 1988, 16 p.)|
CTA is to fund a bibliographic project on the role of women in agriculture in southern Africa. The need for such a project was identified during a CTA-sponsored workshop on Agricultural Information Sources in Lilongwe, Malawi between June 15 and 261987 where 25 participants were trained in the use and production of bibliographic tools. This project, like the workshop, is expected to bring benefits in both the short and long term.
Women have always played a vital part in Third World agriculture, and in Africa they produce 90% of all domestically consumed food. But the raised feminist consciousness and educational standards of the 1980s, and the expectations arising from these, have only recently brought an awareness of the need to collate the increasing amount of written material on this subject.
The bibliography will list all published material on women in development in the four southern African nations of Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi and Zambia (chosen because they share a common experience of women's work). It will also attempt to collate information which originates from the Commonwealth, the Third World, ACP countries, and non-aligned countries, analysing by subject and identifying areas not covered.
The researchers, three women and one man from the four countries involved, aim to recognize and evaluate the quality, quantity, nature and subject scope of material available in their own countries. By providing potential users with a guide to existing data they hope to reduce unnecessary duplication of research and development schemes. They also seek to assist local libraries and documentation centres in amassing the identified literature, and to establish active cooperation from its producers.
Thus they intend to bring into being the basis of an ongoing bibliographic source on women in development and on other related topics which may eventually be expanded to cover Africa as a whole
The researchers hope, by extension, that through the increased awareness engendered by such a bibliography, women can be encouraged to participate actively in national, regional, and even continental economic life and, as one contributor put it, "to spearhead the integration of women in development in southern Africa