Challenging gender stereotypes in training: Mozambican refugees in Malawi

The phenomenon of Mozambican refugees in Malawi dates back to the time of Portuguese colonial rule. However, it is the spectacular magnitude of today's influx which has attracted national and international attention. By the close of 1992, Malawi was hosting over one million Mozambican refugees in 12 of the 24 districts. The paper grew out of an ethnographic study, with the overall objective of examining the motives for and the impact of the provision of humanitarian assistance on the refugees and host-country populations. The central argument of the paper is that by applying traditional ideas about men's and women's roles to the recruitment of trainees for income-generating activities, women's development potential remains largely untapped. Alternative approaches to working with women have to be actively sought, to ensure that the process of development is fruitful as well as gender-fair. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader [13]Development and Social Diversity. Abstract supplied by kind permission of CABI.