The State, women and structural adjustment: A case study of Colombia
This thesis tests the two competing views found in the literature on women and structural adjustment. By exploring the Colombian case, it examines the effect of the state's shifting role on women's socio-economic status. Women's access to health care, education and employment is compared before and after adjustment programs were introduced. Results show that upper-class women obtained most of the benefits of past state actions. Yet some public efforts also "trickled down" to the poor. With SAPs, poor women massively joined the labor force and this partially mitigated social costs of adjustment. Yet adolescent girls were condemned to illiteracy and underemployment. Since by 1980, most Colombian women were urban residents, social costs of adjustment appear long-term. A deteriorating income distribution, lack of job creation in the urban tradables sector and protectionist macro-level policies may hurt most women in the long-term.