Women in Rural Development: The Case Study of the Office du Niger in Mali, 1960-2010

  • The Office du Niger [hereafter, ON] in Mali was created by the French colonial authorities in 1932 with the goal of establishing a textile industry and producing rice for the local population. When the former colony of Soudan became independent in 1960, the ON came under the authority of the new Malian state and was nationalized. In the following years, the new Malian authorities made this enterprise in the heart of the Malian development process with an emphasis on achieving food self-sufficiency and increasing food exports. In the context of decolonization and the Cold War, the Malian government has followed the socialist model of development. Specially, its new statesman, Modibo Keita formulated a resolution which was approved in September 1960. According to this resolution, new economic structures were supposed to be established to build a socialist economy by investing into Mali’s people, both men and women as the basis and main driver of the nation’s development. Since then, the ON absorbed a large share of public investment, and collective work at the village level was promoted. Farmers, men as well as women, became organized in agricultural associations in order to increase productivity and to raise the living standard of dwellers. Over times, political changes occurring in Bamako as well as decision-making in the ON management level did influence the functioning of the irrigation scheme, not to mention the international community. This study investigates the historical evolution of women’s situation in the ON and the role they have played in the rural development process initiated through the lens of the irrigation scheme from 1960 to 2010. By analyzing the historical situation of women and their role, this research project came down to asking whether during the study period there a possible change of their position over time was, or whether they remained in the background.

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Publishing Institution:IRC-Library, Information Resource Center der Jacobs University Bremen
Granting Institution:Jacobs Univ.
Author:Dienabou Barry
Referee:Marc Frey, Corinna Unger, Julia Tischler
Advisor:Marc Frey
Persistent Identifier (URN):urn:nbn:de:gbv:579-opus-1009588
Document Type:PhD Thesis
Date of Successful Oral Defense:2020/11/27
Date of First Publication:2021/03/01
Academic Department:Social Sciences & Humanities
PhD Degree:History
Focus Area:Diversity
Other Countries Involved:Italy
Call No:2020/20

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