The Sex Division of Labor, Development and Women’s Status


Aug 2-10, 1980

Organized by

Eleanor Leacock and Helen Safa


Burg Wartenstein Conference Cente


Development and the Sexual Division of Labor (H.I. Safa and E. Leacock, Eds.) Special Issue, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Vol. 7, No. 2, 1981. Women's Work: Development and Division of Lavor by Gender (E. Leacock and H.I. Safa, Eds.) Bergin and Garvey Publishers, South Hadley, Massachusetts, 1986.


  • Simi Afonja University of Ife, Nigeria
  • Lourdes Arizpe Colegio de Mexico
  • Diane Bell Australian National University
  • Lourdes Beneria Rutgers University, USA
  • Elizabeth U. Eviota Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines
  • Maria Patricia Fernandez University of California, Berkeley, USA
  • Mona Hammam American University, USA
  • Eleanor Leacock City College, CUNY, USA
  • Magdelena Leon de Leal ACEP, Bogota, Colombia
  • Wanda Minge-Klevana Harvard University, USA
  • Leith Mullings Columbia University, USA
  • Lita Osmundsen Wenner-Gren Foundation, USA
  • Helen Safa University of Florida, USA
  • Soheila Shahshahani University of Tehran, Iran
  • Verena Stolcke Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain
  • Louise A. Tilly University of Michigan, USA
  • Annette B. Weiner University of Texas, USA
  • Aline K. Wong University of Singapore
  • Kate Young University of Sussex, UK

ORGANIZER’S STATEMENT: “We approached the Wenner-Gren Foundation about a symposium on development and the division of labor by gender, because it seemed that the small intimate setting of the Wenner-Gren conference center at Burg Wartenstein would be ideal for enabling a group of scholars to discuss at length three topics: 1) historical evolutionary changes in the structure of the gender division of labor; 2) the transition from peasant to industrial society, and the significance that the transformation from household to factory production had for the gender dividsion of labor and women’s status; and 3) changes in the gender division of labor in contemporary peasant and other nonindustrial societies brought about by their increasing incorporation into an international market economy.

The setting of Burg Wartenstein was indeed ideal.  It was the first time that the Foudation had hosted an all-female symposium, a reflection of the fact that the leading contemporary research on the gender division of labor and development has been done by women.  The fields of anthropology, economics, history, and sociology were all represented.  Participants from Third-World countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, as well as from Australia, Europe, and the United States, spent a week in intensive discussion.  The increasing number of prominent scholars in Thrid-World countries who are turning their attention to women’s issues speaks to the growth and signficance of the women’s movement throughout the world.”

(excerpt from the preface of “Women’s Work” by Eleanor Leacock and Helen Safa)

Wenner-Gren Symposium #85

Kneeling: L. Beneria, M. Leon de Leal, S. Shahshahani, L. Mullings, E. Leacock (organizer) Standing: D. Bell, V. Stolcke, M.P. Fernandez, W. Minge-Klevana, A. Weiner, H. Safa (organizer), L. Tilly, A. Wong, L. Arizpe, M. Hammam, K. Young, S. Afonja, E. Eviota