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Empowering Women
Carmen Diana Deere Magdalena Leon
Price: $ 24.95

"A call to action. . . . The degree of inequality which characterizes the position of rural women is shocking."-Teresa Valdéz, researcher at Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales­Chile

"A historic book. . . . Its singular importance is that it stresses the difference between formal and real equality of property and land rights, and the difference between access to and control over resources."-Lourdes Arizpe, professor and researcher at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico­Cuernavaca

The expansion of married women's property rights was a main achievement of the first wave of feminism in Latin America. As Carmen Diana Deere and Magdalena León reveal, however, the disjuncture between rights and actual ownership remains vast. This is particularly true in rural areas, where the distribution of land between men and women is highly unequal. In their pioneering, twelve-country comparative study, the authors argue that property ownership is directly related to women's bargaining power within the household and community, point out changes resulting from recent gender-progressive legislation, and identify additional areas for future reform, including inheritance rights of wives.

Carmen Diana Deere, past president of the Latin American Studies Association, is professor of economics and director of the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies at the University of Massachusetts­Amherst. Magdalena León is a professor in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the National University of Colombia and currently a visiting scholar at Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales in Quito, Ecuador.

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