Wednesday, June 3, 2009

WOMEN AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN ZAMBIA...what role did young ladies play?

Project proposal: - Women and the economy in the second republic: Strategies adopted by women to cope in the economic crisis in Zambia during the second Republic

During the past decade and half most countries in the sub-Saharan Africa experienced relatively stagnant rates of economic growth. In many cases real per capita incomes have not risen significantly higher from the level of independence periods of 1960s while for others they have actually fallen Philip (1987).The indicators of the crisis were low levels of real investment, reduced or negative per capita growth rates, deteriorating infrastructure, and capital stock, mounting public debt, and financial disequilibria and rising unemployment Philip (1987). There is not one single reason that can be cited as being behind this crisis but rather a combination of a multiple causal factors. Indeed Eyoh (2004), argue that the crisis of African economies and societies to which the attention was summoned in the 1970s were early acknowledged to be the result of a convergence of multiple internal and external factors.

Like many other African countries, Zambia attained political independence with great expectations of reaching the ‘promised land’ of prosperity and happiness (World Bank 1994). This was to be achieved through mining activities, the then Zambia’s economic backbone Central statistics office (CSO) (1992). Indeed Mugerwa and Bigsten (2000) argue that Zambia after independence was intertwined with fortunes of firms in the mining sector. This made the mining companies to be the most important employer, main source of foreign exchange, and supporter of infrastructure development in health and education sectors Tayo (2008). Furthermore, the mining sector as of the year 1964 provided more than 95% of the nationals’ total export earnings. The major mineral exports of the time were copper, zinc, lead, and cobalt Mwanakatwe (1994). The overdependence of the Zambian economy on the mining sector made the economy to be highly vulnerable to any shocks that affected the sector and shattered the nations’ dream before long Mukuka el at (2002). The major shocks that gripped Zambias’ major export earners were in two parts; these are external and internal causes. The external causes of the economic crisis were the skyrocketing of the oil price and indeed the fall or fluctuation of the prices of Zambias’ major export commodities at international market while locally the government failed to diversify its economy. The combination of these factors plunged the nation into an economic crisis, a condition Zambia failed to redeem herself during the second republic (CSO 1992, World bank 2004). This misfortune which ensue Zambia affected the various fabric of the economy and its visible effects were seen in the following:- The collapse in the Zambias’ saving and investment rate, decline by 2.5% of the nations’ average per capita income, high inflation, massive devaluation of the Zambian currency, sharp decline in the real per capita income, large budget deficit, money supply and dollar value of foreign debt grew rapidly and domestic savings fell (Mugerwa and Bigsten 2000, World bank 2004). Furthermore, Zambias’ social indicators such as life expectancy, school enrollment, reduction in malnutrition and infant mortality stalled and in certain instances fell drastically World bank (2004). This negative development trait necessitated the introduction of an appropriate measure to reduce the level of aggregate demand and to curb inflationary pressure mwanakatwe (1994). The measures adopted were at different levels such as national, community and individual level as well as between men and women. The focus of this paper is the strategies adopted by women of Kasanda mining area of Kabwe in an effort to cope in the economic crisis in the second republic.

Problem statement
Though patriarchy societies has been in existence in some African countries including Zambia, available data on women shows that they (women) enjoyed a relatively high status both politically and socially before contact with Europe and the far East Milimo (1988). Economically women also enjoyed a degree of independence Boserup (1970). At this time, the basic unity of production was the household Milomo (1988). The situation changed during the colonial period due to new development that eroded women’s status while at the same time paving way for the greater integration of men into the new social-economic structure Milimo (1988).This situation did not change much even after independence. The erosion of women’s social-economic status in the money economy does not entail that women were economically inactive. Just as women were underrepresented in the social-economic sphere so was the case on the representation of women in the available literature on women and economy in the second republic. The period under review was characterized by economic crisis which shattered the earlier vision that Zambia had at independence. The impact of such a development affected all social groups. Some gained; others lost, but in both cases adjustment had to made to accommodate the new social and economic changes. As these development unfolded a number of questions can be asked about what happened to women in terms of employment? What adjustments did they have to make as the economic crisis reshuffled the condition of living? More importantly how did women themselves respond to the change that had a drastic impact on their lives Chow and Lyster (2002)? All these questions are important to be asked and answered to bring to light women’s contributions or rather response to the social-economic crisis that gripped Zambia during the second republic for there is seemingly a gap in terms of information as to what or how women of various social-economic background, particularly those in the mining area responded to such a challenge. Such information is important bearing in mind that women are home builders and managers Jaiyebo (2003). For women to manage to carry out this mandate they need to have some peculiar skill. Indeed Schmitt and Sullivan (2008) contend that crisis management remains an art rather than a science. This research is meant to demonstrate the various artistic works women displayed in Kasanda mining area, Kabwe in their effort to build and manage their households to bridge the gap between what women in the mining areas did to respond to the crisis and seemingly mute scenario in the available literature. This mute scenario however, does not review the true picture of women and the economy in the second republic. The focus of the study is on the women kabwe lead and Zinc mining area. The mining sector has been chosen because though all the sectors of the economy were affected, the impact was more severe and immediate in the mining sector and indeed among the people who were dependant on the mines directly.

The aim of the research is two fold: first is to find out the impact of the crisis on production, distribution, exchange and consumption of goods and services; secondly to find out the strategies adopted by women to cushion the impact of the economic crisis during the second republic[1].

Research objectives
In order to achieve this, the following objectives need to be fulfilled:-
Ø Need to know the name of the company that was operating Zinc and lead mine in Kabwe.
Ø To find out the condition of services offered by the mining company to its employees.
Ø To find out the effect of the economic crisis on the mine from 1972 to 1992.
Ø To find out if the mining company continued to provide the same conditions of services to its employees that were in existence before the economic crisis.
Ø To find out how the impact of the economic crisis on the mine affected mine workers livelihoods and who lived in the homes of the then mine workers
Ø Find out the strategies adopted by women of the mining area to cop
Research questions
Ø What was the name of the company that was running Zinc and lead mining in Kabwe?
Ø What were the conditions of service that were provided for at the time you started working for the mine?
Ø Were the conditions of service the same for whole the period you worked for the mine or when your husband or parents worked for the mine?
Ø If the conditions of service changed, were they for the better or worse?
Ø If the condition changed for the worst, what did you to cushion the impact of the worsening condition of service by the mining company?
Ø How did the change in the condition of services affect the lifestyle at household level?
Ø What did the women who worked for the mine, whose husband worked for the worked for the mine and were affected these changes respond to cushion the impact of such challenges?

Motivation of study
Despite the fact that women have a long history of being at the core of economic and social development (livelihoods) geared at human needs Chow and Lyter (2000), available literature has not captured most of such developments. This is the missing link this study would love to address particularly in this era where a number of lessons can be drawn from the past. Efforts in the available literature to show case the women’s livelihood activities present the literature as if all women have been involved in same kind of livelihood activities. Where efforts have been made to disaggregate livelihood activities, this has been done according to geographical locations, which are urban and rural areas such as the national survey, poverty assessments (PA) and various living condition studies. All these studies batches together livelihood activities as urban and rural activities. Such aggregation tends to overshadow the diversity of women livelihood activities in each locality. Furthermore it overcast the failures and successes of such attempts. Failure by the various studies[2] to bring out the distinctive livelihood activities women have ventured into deprives current literature users to draw lessons from past women livelihood activities of different environmental as well as social-economical and political spheres. Additionally such literature truant creates a gap in terms of livelihoods between Zambian women of 1970s to 1990s and those after the 1990s to day. These are some of the shortcomings in the existing literature that this research would love to address.

Methodological approach
Research design
The study will be conducted using qualitative research. This is a research strategy that usually emphasizes words rather than quantification in the collection and analysis of data. As a research strategy, it is inductivist, constructionist, and interpretivist (Bryman 2004). Inductive in that theory is created out of the findings. Constructionist in that social properties are an outcome of the interactions between people. Interpretivist which stresses the understanding of the social world through an examination of the interpretation of that world by its participants. Therefore, qualitative research provides methodologies that enable the researchers to produce descriptions of situations, events, people, and system interactions as well as providing explanations to it (Casley and Kaumer 1988). The choice of the research method is based on my research questions that require an in-depth understanding of women and the economy in the second republic.

Study population and area
Study site
Kabwe town formerly called Broken hill town was the major producer of lead and Zinc until 1994. The deposits were first discovered in 1902 and mining begun in 1904 (Michie and Hawkridge 1961, Bwalya and Naidoo 2004).

Study population
Since it is not possible to study the whole population, the research will limit itself to kasanda mining area in Kabwe for the following reasons:-
Ø Though all the sectors of the economy were affected by the economics crisis, the impact on the mining sector was more direct and greatly felt by its employees.
Ø Secondary, the lead and Zinc mining[3] failed to recover from the economic crisis and subsequently saw its closure in 1994.
Ø The impact of the closure of the mining sector created a lot of difficulties among the then used to be mine workers themselves, wives of former mine workers and indeed among the children and dependants.
Ø Furthermore, the provision of social services by the mine was lost.
As all these things were happening, the people affected by the crisis did not just keep quiet but ventured in coping strategies particularly among women who are the home managers. Indeed Jaiyebo (2003) refers to women as home-builders and this makes them to play a pivotal role in home and society. This provides the basis for this study/research that seeks to bring to light on how women copied with the economic crisis.
The study population will comprise of various categories and will include the former women mine workers, wives of former mine workers, and children of the former mine workers in Kasanda mining area. This is to collect various opinions, experiences, and perception about women and economic crisis in the second republic. This will provide me with an opportunity to identify similarities and differences in opinions and perception that will create a foundation for further inquiry. Additionally the diversity in the research respondents will allow for supplementary information on the topic under study. Since the study area is Kasanda mining area, Kabwe it follows that the respondents will be drawn from the some area. The researcher will involve various respondents to verify, seek clarification, and collect various perceptions of what constitutes of women and economic crisis in the second republic.

RespondentsSince this is a qualitative study, I will get a large and varied group of women for interview. A total of 200 women will be selected for interviews from the following categories:- women of different levels of education (no education, from grade 1-7, forms 1-5, and tertiary education), those who were in business before the crisis, those employed in other sectors than mining, those who worked for the mines, and daughters of former mine workers. Since the study area will be Kasanda Minig Township in Kabwe.

Data collection
The data collection for the study will be conducted between June and July 2009. When collecting data, a combination of data collection tools will be used. Among these are interviews, oral history interview, and documentary review. Oral history will help to record the perspectives of disadvantaged groups who traditionally have either been ignored or misrepresented in conventional history records Additionally some participatory appraisals will be used were they will deemed appropriate.

Sampling procedure.
The study population will be selected using a purposive sampling from a diverse section of people because multiple sources of information is important to this study due to involvement of different institutions and individuals women interacted with as they carried out their coping strategies in the economic crisis during the second republic

Data analysis
Ethnographic analysis approach will be used in data analysis. This process comprises a search out for underlying themes in the materials being analyzed. Altheide (1996) describes it as a process through which the researcher is constantly revising the themes or categories distilled. This is attained through recursive and reflective movements between concept development, sampling data, collection-data, coding, and analysis interpretation. This will allow the researcher to make inferences by systematically and objectively identifying special characteristics of a message Berg (1989).

Conceptual analytical framework
In considering the strategies adopted by women to copy in the economic crisis, it is necessary to establish what is meant by economic crisis. This is because conceptual clarity is an essential methodological tool to ensure research rigority Evans (2004). The phrase economic crisis is made up of two words. These are economy and crisis. Economy means structure or totality of relations of production, distribution, exchange, and consumption of services and goods Johnston el al (2000). Production
is broadly defined as all activities that result in goods and services with potential to satisfy human needs and wants (Lobley 1993, Wokorach 1998, Sibalwa 2000). Good refers to physical or tangible things that we can tough and weigh or measure such as food, clothes, cars, radios, and shoes. Services on the other side comprises of work done by other people which help us but which is not tangible. Services include medical treatment, entertainment, protection against dangers or enemies, transport and insurances. In accessing these goods and services, there is need to have them to travel through one or more different routes, a process called distribution. As these goods and services are distributed in the economy, they are not distributed through charity or some automatic sharing but have to be acquired (Sen 1999, Alexandaratos 1999). The ability to acquire such goods and services are dependant on entailment that household or individual enjoys. The entailment are commodities over which a household or individual establishes command and ownership. Some determinants of household entitlements are endowments, production possibilities and exchange conditions Sen (1999). Exchange in this context means giving out something to someone and you receive something in return. Once goods and services are exchanged, then man can use, eat, or drink (consume) them. Crisis on the other end means a situation or time that is dangerous or difficult according to the Oxford dictionary.

Literature review
The roles that men and women play in homes and society vary from one country to another, but generally women face drawbacks relative to men in social, economic and political sphere of life. Despite the huddles that women face, women are the home builders and play a pivotal role both at home and in the wider society Jaiyebo (2003). Because of the central position that women occupy both at home and wider community, any difficulties in any of the two spheres will first affect women before others. It is also true in the case of an economic crisis bearing in mind that some services and goods may be hit harder than others Sen (1999). During these hard times, women employ various strategies to make ends meet, that is to sustain their households. These strategies enable women to obtain additional income to meet essential households needs Jaiyebo (2003).

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[1] The period from1972 to 1992.
[2] That is national surveys, poverty assessments, and living survey.
[3] The minerals that used to be to be mined in Kabwe.

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