In 1978 when the Population Council formulated a program to learn more about low-income urban women’s access to services, the dearth of information was striking, particularly in contrast to the emerging body of information delineating access to credit, extension, membership in rural institutions, and representation in local governments. Access to services was much less well-defined owing to the diverse cultures that meet in the urban environment, the mobility of city life, and the fluidity of households. Urban development planners, researchers, and those involved in community action projects in a number of South American cities were approached to find out what they knew, and there was much interest on the part of urban planners in learning how their programs affected men and women differentially. The interest of these diverse groups called for a long-term approach. Three working groups on Women, Low-Income Households, and Urban Services evolved in Kingston, Jamaica; Lima, Peru; and Mexico City, Mexico. Much detail is provided in this volume on how these groups function and arrive at their priorities. Rather than confining this report to a lengthy internal document, this work was brought to the attention of a broader audience through summary articles.
Schmink, Marianne, Judith Bruce, and Marilyn Kohn. 1986. "Learning About Women and Urban Services in Latin America and the Caribbean." New York: Population Council.