“We have a lot of goodwill, but we still need to eat…”: Valuing women’s long term voluntarism in community development in Lima

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Abstract

This paper focuses on recognizing the contribution made to development by grassroots women working on a voluntary basis in long term development projects. Using the example of healthcare, the paper problematizes the widespread move towards an increased reliance on voluntary and third sector provision. Drawing on literature around women’s community activism, the research considers the extent to which women carrying out health promotion work in Peru have taken on this role as more than “just voluntary work,” highlighting their long term commitment during more than a decade of health promotion activities. The paper develops debates around the professionalization of voluntary work, particularly considering the issue of economic remuneration for health promoters, and emphasizing the gendered nature of their voluntarism; concluding by questioning the sustainability of poor women’s long term, and largely unpaid, involvement as the linchpins of community development projects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-34
JournalVoluntas
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009

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