This book demonstrates that the study of gender relations and the power of women is central to an evaluation of development efforts in Africa. The interactive relationship between technology transfer and gender factors is explored using case studies and examples from the development literature on agriculture, health, and nutrition, as well as from feminist scholarship on Africa. Faulty approaches to the topic and biases at all levels of policy-making have led to ineffective or even harmful projects. Insights about the significance of gender factors do not easily cross the boundaries between different fields of inquiry.
Part I presents the different conceptual frameworks within which the topic has been considered. The fields of African studies, women's studies, and development studies are critiqued, and useful approaches are identified. The invisibility of gender in development studies and aid practice is explored at length. Part II examines the research findings of African women to identify the factors that either render women powerless and/or disadvantaged or create the conditions for their authoritative participation in development. Part III identifies issues and inter-relations that have not been addressed in previous research and suggests promising ways to frame future research on women and technology in Africa. The social, economic,and technical empowerment of women at the community level is seen as vital to effective development efforts.