6 Pages

Editors' Introduction

This chapter suggests that research on the linkages between family/household and women's gainful employment is increasingly needed and relevant to the situation of Third World women. The changing international division of labour is resulting in the shift of more and more production jobs to certain areas of the Third World, and a large number of these jobs are going to women. The chapter illustrates world-wide variations in household and kinship structures pose challenges for the western-based economic theory of the household, yet the challenges are not insurmountable. It shows that household and kinship variations do affect female labour force participation in systematic and demonstrable ways. Existing research has provided a great deal of insight into these relations, yet in many ways it has barely scratched the surface. More research is needed, not only to understand women's lives, but to help them change them for the better.