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This definition implies that the way to address time poverty is to expand women and men's free time for rest and leisure.
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However, from a capability perspective this is too narrow. Secondly, where this element of choice is not present i. In this light, Burchardt Burchardt, T. Time and Income Poverty. London: London School of Economics. Often, however, both the collection and analysis of time use data is conducted in ways that do not reflect this, more nuanced, CA. The data collected may therefore be used to justify interventions that are not in fact appropriate to the needs of poor women and men. Application of some of the core elements of CA thinking, discussed earlier, would help guard against this.
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The following section describes a case study that shows how these CA principles can be integrated into time use survey. As part of the baseline study for this project, a gender survey was undertaken, which included the collection of time use data as an input for gender analysis. What is interesting about this survey is the way that it attempted to go beyond only quantifying and accounting for changes in women and men's time uses, to exploring how project activities affected women and men's experience and control of time, and how, or whether, the project expanded the opportunities for women and men to pursue meaningful alternative uses for their time.
In this light, the project's analysis of time uses has, in practice, incorporated some of the core principles of the CA approach outlined earlier in this paper. It is also characterized by ethnic diversity, with a high proportion of ethnic Armenia residents, as well as Ajarans an ethnic minority group from the west of Georgia.
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In , recognizing the need to have a stronger understanding of the extent to which the project strategy was able to increase the economic opportunities of both women and men in low-income farm households, the Alliances project conducted a gender survey as a part of the project's wider baseline study. An initial gender study had already been undertaken, which was focused mainly upon intra-household dynamics and labour division, but which did not analyse constraints and opportunities in the market for women.
The focus group component of the research involved a series of discussions held in the three municipalities Adigeni, Aspindza and Akhaltsikhe of the Samtskhe-Javakheti region. Of the eight villages targeted, three were Armenian villages to try and capture any potential differences between Georgian and Armenian populations.
In each village, separate male and female focus group discussions were organized, reaching a total of around participants, with between 50 and 60 attending the women's focus group discussions and between 50 and 60 the men's focus group discussions.
An open-ended questionnaire was used to structure the discussion, which included questions related to time use. One of the key time use changes identified during the gender survey was the impact of the project's support to dairy processing enterprises. As a part of the strategy to increase market access for farm households in the target area, the project has been working to support dairy processing businesses to collect raw milk from milk collection centres MCCs , thereby increasing the quality of dairy products produced and increasing access to urban markets.
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This involves a move away from the artisanal processing of dairy products cheese, butter, yoghurt in farms, which is almost always done by women. Currently for many households, in the absence of refrigeration technologies, such home processing is the only way of preserving perishable milk particularly in summer months when temperatures in the region are extremely high. According to the findings of the gender time survey, artisanal processing of dairy products in farms by women typically takes two hours a day.
In this light, the project support the sale of raw milk through MCCs would save women a considerable amount of time on a day-to-day basis. If we take Blackden and Wodon's definition of time poverty, discussed earlier, this expansion of free time would represent a straightforward reduction in women's time poverty. However, if we apply some of the CA principles to interpret these data, this might not necessarily constitute a straightforward step forward in women's well-being, and the findings become more complex to analyse, with some contradictory tendencies.
For example, the project's gender analysis also highlighted that, in the context of social norms that limit women's mobility, sale of cheese provides an opportunity for some women to visit the towns that act as market centres. This includes some women farmers, as well as intermediaries who buy cheese from other women and then take the cheese to market. According to the survey:. This trend varies in different villages.
In the highland communities, populated mainly by those from Ajara, it is still a problem for a woman to go to the market because of the very traditional and conservative culture still existing in these communities. On the other hand, according to another informal economy study undertaken for the Alliances programme by Mercy Corp, some women who sell their cheese via intermediaries rather than going to market themselves consider this an additional advantage, in terms of time saved.
In addition, in terms of decision-making on the use of household budgets, the survey found that women had some more discretion over income from the sale of cheese that they had processed than over other sources of household income although this discretion remains within certain parameters, i. What was not clear from the survey findings to date, and is a topic for further research, is whether or not women have similar discretion over income from the sale of raw milk at MCCs.
In this light, if the project had only quantified and analysed raw data on singular issues, such as changes in time use, mobility or control over income, they could have come to quite contradictory conclusions. The project approach, therefore, has been to use these data as a basis for discussion with women and men in farm households that, in line with the CA principles, focuses on how the women in question value and prioritize outcomes such as time saving, mobility, or control over income, and looks not only at the free time created, but also at the opportunities for using this free time, and the changing attitudes of women and men about women's control over their time.
The findings based on these qualitative discussions can give a more nuanced understanding of the project's impact on the alleviation of women's poverty than a mechanistic interpretation of time use changes. These qualitative discussions, and the associated findings, are revealing in light of the CA principles discussed earlier. As discussed above, an impact of the project's support to MCC and the collection of raw milk is a reduction of the time that women spend on milk processing, and the project has taken on board this finding in a number of ways. While not explicitly using a capability framework, the gender survey has acted as the basis for research that employs the CA principles.
As will be explored below, the central concepts of the CA can help to guide this research, and give a clearer understanding of how the project is affecting gender equality.
The gender survey set out to explore the constraints and opportunities that women have in using their time, and in making decisions about their own time uses, thus shedding light on changes in women's capability spaces. What is clear from the findings of the gender survey is that while time is one constraint to women's capabilities, there are also other contextual constraints, including factors that affect women's scope to be economically active, as well as social attitudes about gender roles.
In this light, while the free time generated by sale of raw milk has expanded women's capability spaces to a certain extent, this expansion in turn might be limited by norms about women's use of and control over their own time. Some responses from the gender survey are quite revealing of attitudes that women's chief focus should be on domestic work and caring for the family apparently prioritized over the expansion of economic activities that is envisaged by the project strategy.
One of the male respondents from Tskruti village stated:. I am all for selling raw milk. If you make the calculations, you get the same income through selling raw milk in the summer time and my wife gets free time to spend on the family. On the other hand, there is clearly a level of debate and change in gendered attitudes of women's time use, at least as far as women's right to leisure is concerned, as demonstrated by the contrasting point of view from another male respondent:.
She is also a human being and she also needs time to sit with the neighboring women, drink coffee and chat. Male respondent, 32 years old. The majority of the women interviewed stated that there are no alternative employment opportunities within their communities where they could spend the two hours they saved from making cheese. Some of the women see the profitability of the time saved as it would be spent in their gardens to grow vegetables. This time saved provides them with an opportunity to properly irrigate and weed vegetable plots which leads to increased productivity and, accordingly, increased incomes after they harvest and sell the produce.
Furthermore, some women see the time created as a means to increase their ability to address some of the barriers that currently inhibit their earning potential and economic participation:. Armenian village women prioritized the learning of the Georgian language which, in many cases, prevents them from accessing trainings or using demonstration plots which could also add to their knowledge.
In addition, the survey found that the opportunity to save time through raw milk sales did not create the same opportunities for all women, due, again, to differences in women's capability spaces. Switching from cheese making to raw milk sales, however, did not seem to be profitable for those women having less than three milking cows, who stated that their milk volume was insufficient to supply to a MCC and, at the same time, produce cheese for their own consumption:. I wish to have more time to spend on other things rather than making cheese. But I have no other choice. I have only one milking cow and I make cheese for my family.
Whatever is surplus, I am taking to sell at the Akhaltsikhe market. Female respondent, 54 years old. The situation also differs in the villages located far from Akhaltsikhe the main market centre where milk collection and raw milk sale practices are not known. After considering the benefits of raw milk sale, some of the women in these communities are willing to adopt this practice whilst others still think that it is more profitable to make cheese, as they always make and have cheese for family consumption which they can store until late autumn when the price is significantly higher in comparison with the summer.
Additionally, most of the rural families keep pigs, and the whey that is left over from the cheese-making process is used to feed them. Generally, therefore, while some women can generate economic opportunities from the time saved through raw milk sale, the environment in which they live limits the economic opportunities that this additional time can generate for most of them. This does not, nonetheless, imply that this additional time has no value for them.
Some of the women see the benefit of extra time spent on their children's education. Because of their workload, women pay less attention to their children in doing their homework. The quality of education is a precondition for good farming practices or employment in the private or government sectors that can lead rural families on the path to increased incomes. This is something that the Alliances project's gender survey has begun to explore, thereby creating a number of interesting entry points to build on in their ongoing research. As discussed above, the responses from women and men during the gender survey suggest that there are strong social norms about appropriate time uses for women in Samstkhe Javakheti, and furthermore that the nature of these norms differs in intensity in Ajaran, Georgian and Armenian ethnic communities.
Women engaged in business on a busy market in Beltola. Photo by Lachitbar Phukan. Natural calamities in the Northeast of India are not a contention of the fraught times but a permanent risk within which identities and frames are created. Customs and traditions of the indigenous people are shaped keeping in mind the seasonal shifts. Living on the Brahmaputra Valley means coexisting with floods and river bank erosion; thus life and labour in the valley are precarious.
Anthropological excerpts from Kathoni Bari Ghaat of Morigaon bring to light the clash of forces of nature with space and communities, manifesting multiple layers of gender based vulnerabilities. An empirical excerpt below seeks to explain this. Das Baideo has been languishing in the government relief camp for six months now.
She points at the heart of the Brahmaputra sighting and stating " Our ancestral land lie 3 nautical miles inside the river. Now we have nowhere to go. The family had marginal farm holdings since decades but chronic annual flooding had pushed them to penury. This led Das Baideo and her husband to offer free labour to the local moneylender but the flood and erosion of in middle reaches of the Brahmaputra served its final blow. It turned the family from marginal farmer to landless destitute.
The erosion, which dispossessed the family, forced her husband to move to Guwahati, an urban centre as a security guard of a private company. He managed to remit a few hundred rupees but it was grossly inadequate. Without ancestral asset and inadequate earning, Das Baideo remained stranded in the relief camp with her children. As time drew near to evacuate the camp, she was required to search for a new dwelling and a new piece of land to cultivate on.
This was in addition to her old roles of securing fodder, fish and firewood on daily basis for her family. Her existence was compounded by an emerging responsibility of protecting her adolescent daughter from slanderous men who cohabited in the precarious terrain. Thus, surviving catastrophe is accompanied by its own drudgery, which endangers livelihood and security for the asset-less indigenous woman.
It doubly burdens her social intercourse decimating her being. The woman of the developing world faces greater susceptibility to catastrophes because of historic and geographic variability which continually re produces essentialised identities, further disempowering her to become an equal member of the economy, polity or society.