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independence war of physical assets, was consequences of the

1971, a war which caused huge losses in human and

further aggravated by a severe worsening economic conditions

famine in 1974. The marked by increasing

landlessness and impoverishment were more severely felt by women then by Many women lost their male custodians through death or migration to urban

men. areas

by males in meant that subsistence

search of work, and for poor households the decline in family income women had to contribute economically to meet the family’s

needs.

An

increasing

number

of

women

from

the

lower

echelon

of

society began to participate in economic work outside the home, such construction work organised under the state sponsored Food Programme (FFW)11.

as the rural for Works

Figure 2 shows the changes in the size of the labour force over the past 40 years. The size of the female labour force, which stagnated between 1961 and 1974,

began to make a substantial 1999/2000, the female labour

increase after independence.

force

increased

at

an

annual

Between 1974 and

average of

10

percent

in contrast to the 3 percent labour force, respectively.

and

2

percent

registered

by

the

total

and

the

male

11 A Food for Work programme was initiated Programme and the United States Agency for

in 1975 by both the World International Development.

Food The

programme employment

has two combined creation for the poor.

objectives, infrastructure development and It distributes wheat as wages in kind to the

participants of various infrastructure development roads, embankments, canals and tanks.

projects

such

as

construction

of

  • -

    65 -

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