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Women, Food and Technology-A Reply

Women, Food and Technology A Reply Brita Brandtzaeg I VERY MUCH welcome the information on the situation of women in dairy development provided by Devaki Jain in her comments (EPW, March 8) on my article "Woman, Food and Technology" (EPW, November 24, 1979), In my article, I wanted to draw attention to the implications of changes induced by technology on women's lives and work, For this purpose, I briefly presented some Indian case studies dealing with the effects of the introduction of modern technology within the area of agriculture, dairying and fisheries. I further discussed how women could be assisted and encouraged to develop their food processing methods and technologies in order to save time and energy spent on their daily food-related activities, Referring to the study "Milk Maids of Kaira, Gujarat", by Devaki Jain's research group, I quote; "The rigorous programme of technological upgrading of dairying practice at the village level has been delivered almost exclusively by the male staff. In the conservative Structure of nival Gujarat, women are denied access to technology or training to improve dairying/agriculture practices, by tradition. This is true of most rural India." Technological development is virtually everywhere considered a male achievement, However, recent anthropological and sociological studies clearly reveal the male bias of most researchers and planners. Whether women may have invented and developed important technology particularly related to the food system, has not been considered until recently. It is likely that important food processing technologies, such as fermentation, germination, etc, was developed by the foremothers of women using such methods today, Thus, there are no reasons for leaving women out of today's process of developing more appropriate and efficient technologies.

Women, Food and Technology

Women, Food and Technology Case of India Brita Brandtzaeg In the process of modernisation and technological change in Third World countries, women suffer a loss of economic (authority and general status due to 'technological displacement''. In this paper the author presents some examples of such 'technological displacement' from the public as well as the domestic sector. Since the role of women in food production is of such vital importance economically as well as for the well-being of the family, the examples centre on technologies related to food. Also discussed in the paper are some of the consequences of this pattern of development9 along with some strategies for research and action.

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