How does Pite connect issues of gender, domestic work, and economic development in her analysis of Dona Petrona?

Pite’s Analysis of the Connection between Gender, Domestic Labor, and Economic Development

Pite explained the connection between gender, domestic labor, and economic development using the tale of Dona Petrona. She outlined how Dona Petrona's love of cooking and writings on the subject affected domestic labor for both men and women, as well as how such domestic responsibilities impacted Argentina's economic growth. Pite claims that Argentina was economically growing at the start of the 19th century but began to experience political and economic problems in the second half of the century. In Argentina, food played a significant role in society. People spent a lot of time searching for food, cooking and serving it (Pite, 2013). However, the economic and political crises experienced later in late 19th century changed the way people acquired and cooked food. Food continued to dominate the life of every Argentinean, but the role of buying and cooking was left to women.

The Role of Dona Petrona in Gendered Domestic Work and Economic Development

Pite suggests that Dona Petrona exemplifies the role of gender in domestic work and economic development. She suggests that Dona Petrona presented food recipes on television and adapted each recipe to the changing economic times. As people could no longer afford some types of food, she demonstrated how to cook other types of food (Pite 2013). The government banned some types of food to ease the economy that was crumbling. Such flexibility shows how women adjust their domestic duties to meet the changing economic circumstances; hence meeting the economic progress desired by the country. Pite used Dona Petrona as an ideal example of a middle-class woman who plays a significant role in improving the economy. Therefore, women played their role in improving the economy through appropriate domestic work.


Pite, Rebekah, E. Creating a Common Table in Twentieth-Century Argentina: Dona Petrona, Women, and Food. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 2013. Print.

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