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While the recognition of the roles of women in Third World society is increasing, the adequate operational frameworks for including the concerns of women involved in development planning has not kept pace. Models generally used in planning ignore the importance of gender in social structures. Development in the Third World has historically provided little benefit to women, generally leaving them in a more vulnerable social and economic position. Gender planning holds the key to the implementation of successful development programs in Third World communities by recognizing different social relationships between women and men occur from society to society and are conclusive in development planning. As case studies illustrate, understanding the roles of women in a given community breaks down stereotypical understandings of Third World societies, give planners the sense of what is important at a grassroots level, and promotes successful development for communities as a whole.