People first in the Philippines: Gelia Castillo

IDRC Rep. 1995 Jan;22(4):9.


PIP: Gelia Castillo, a specialist in rural sociology whose ideas have influenced policymakers in government, international development circles, and academe, pioneered the concept of participatory development. Born into a poor family, her father convinced her that academic achievement was the key to her future; her academic training includes a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of the Philippines, a Master's in rural sociology from Pennsylvania State University, and a Doctorate from Cornell University. She served as professor of rural sociology at the College of Agriculture, University of the Philippines, and published extensively on women's roles, the sex roles of Filipino adolescents, agricultural school administration, the team approach in community development, rice and potato farming, the changing social images in a developing society, and the protein gap. "Beyond Manila," her most famous book, was the first comprehensive research work on income distribution, employment, labor, education, and migration in the rural Philippines. She underscored the definition of "household" and observed that the role of women and children contributes greatly to the dynamics of society. Her husband, Leopoldo Castillo, an animal nutritionist who is now professor emeritus at the Institute of Animal Science, has long supported his wife's career. The mother of two daughters and one son was the only female member of the board of the International Potato Center for 6 years and served on the boards of the IDRC, the International Service for National Agriculture Research, and the International Council for Research in Agroforestry. At 66, and retired, she believes affirmative action is necessary and that the feminist movement has only helped professional women.

MeSH terms

  • Achievement*
  • Asia
  • Asia, Southeastern
  • Behavior
  • Developing Countries
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Faculty*
  • Philippines
  • Schools
  • Social Sciences
  • Sociology*
  • Teaching*
  • Universities*
  • Women*