Women in developed nations and men and women in the colonial territories shared the commonality of having been appropriated, controlled, and placed in subordinate positions of dependency by those who own the means of production and dominate access to capital. This chapter introduces a theoretical framework and a review of the most relevant literature on women in the development process with a particular emphasis on Latin America and the Caribbean areas of the Third World. A quick perusal of international data will immediately demonstrate that almost without exception, women everywhere in the world are worse off than men. In many pre-colonial societies, women's position and participation in productive activities was parallel to that of men, rather than subservient. The imposition of European patriarchal relationships, which presupposed the universal subordination of women in many instances, deprived indigenous women of property and personal autonomy and restricted the productive functions and any public roles they might have played prior to colonization.