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Since the early 1980s, development in Latin America has been defined by neo-liberal restructuring in response to the region’s precarious debt. This paper examines the distinctly gendered impact of structural adjustment by analysing, first, the changing status of women’s lives under neo-liberal reform and, second, their efforts to mitigate the deteriorating status of their households. The formation of community kitchens and village banks by women in shanty towns surrounding Lima offer examples of grassroots organisation to ensure collective survival and development. Such efforts constitute acts of resistance to neo-liberal restructuring and, hence, are part of a broader movement of resistance to neo-liberalism as a prescription for economic recovery and development.

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