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Women and agriculture in ethiopia

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  • 1. Hawassa University School of Environment, Gender and Development Department of Agribusiness & Value Chain Management Seminar presentation on Women and Agriculture in Ethiopia By Teshale Endalamaw – ABVM/012/06 10th August 2014 Hawassa
  • 2. Presentation Outline • Background • Objective of the seminar • Feminization of Agriculture • Agriculture sector in Ethiopia • Women and agriculture • Women issues in Ethiopian Agriculture • National policy on Women and institutional framework • Women in Agriculture Value chain
  • 3. Background • According to World Bank (2008), agriculture contributes to economic development in many ways • (i) as an economic activity and leading sector for economic growth, • (ii) as a source of livelihood, • (iii) as a provider of environmental services and • (iv) as a contributing factor to peace and stability by providing food to the growing population at an affordable price. • For Ethiopian Economic growth and development the agriculture sector takes the lion’s share of the total GDP, in foreign currency earnings and in employment creation. • women play a triple role in agricultural households: productive, reproductive, and social. • The productive role, performed by both men and women, focuses on economic activities; • the reproductive role, almost exclusively done by women, includes child bearing and rearing; household maintenance, including cooking, fetching water, and fuel- wood; and • the social role or community building, often dominated by women, which includes arranging funerals, weddings, and social events.
  • 4. Cont… • About 70% of the agricultural workers, 80% of food producers, and 10% of those who process basic foodstuffs are women and they also undertake 60 to 90% of the rural marketing; thus making up more than two-third of the workforce in agricultural production (FAO, 1985). • In Africa, 80% of the agricultural production comes from small farmers, who are mostly rural women. • Women comprise the largest percentage of the workforce in the agricultural sector, but do not have access and control over all land and productive resources. • In Ethiopia, studies conducted by many authors on rural women revealed that, women represent approximately 50 percent of the total population and account for 70 percent of the household food production. • Their share in the total agricultural labour force is considerable where about 48 percent of the agricultural labour force is driven from female family members
  • 5. Objective and methods of the seminar • Objective –To evaluate and review women’s role in Agriculture focus in Ethiopia • Method –Desk review of secondary data, different literatures, reports and policy documents ..
  • 6. Feminization of agriculture • The phenomenon started during the 1960s with increasing shares over time • Feminization of agriculture refers to women’s increasing participation in the agricultural labor force, whether as independent producers, as unremunerated family workers, or as agricultural wage workers. • Specifically, feminization of agriculture entails: 1. An increase in women’s participation rates in the agricultural sector, either as self-employed or as agricultural wage workers; in other words, an increase in the percentage of women who are economically active in rural areas. 2. An increase in the percentage of women in the agricultural labor force relative to men, either because more women are working and/or because fewer men are working in agriculture.
  • 7. The agriculture sector in Ethiopia • important both for overall economic performance and poverty alleviation of the country • 11.7 million Smallholder households account for approximately 95 percent of agricultural GDP and • 85 percent of employment. • Ethiopia has a comprehensive and consistent set of policies and strategies, • ADLI is a central pillar of economic policy in the agriculture sector (1994) • The following are key features of the sector; 1. greatly influences the economic performance of the country; 2. is dominated by a subsistence, low input-low output, rain fed farming system; 3. has performed strongly over most of the last decade, but there is still substantial potential to improve productivity and production; 4. Government has demonstrated strong commitment - 15 % ; 5. Droughts periodically reverse agricultural sector performance gains with devastating effects on household food security and poverty levels; 6. Gender disparities significantly impede women’s empowerment.
  • 8. Women and agriculture • In the EU, agriculture is the seventh largest employer of women (3%). • In Greece about 38% women (of all family workers in agriculture) are employed in agriculture. • In Portugal, over 50% of the agricultural workforce is female. • Throughout the South Asian region, women account for about 39 percent of the agricultural workforce, working as managers of land to agricultural laborers. • In India, in overall farm production, women’s average contribution is estimated at 55% to 66% • In China, women constitute about 70 percent of the agricultural labor force and perform more than 70 percent of farm labor • In Ethiopia ADLI gave high relevance to female farmers who are responsible for household subsistence, however, there is little attention given to mainstreaming of women farmer’s concerns or the impact of gender relations in the subsistence farming sector.
  • 9. Gender Based Differences in Agriculture Land Land title and tenure tend to be vested in men, either by legal condition or by socio-cultural norms. Land reform and resettlement have tended to reinforce this bias against tenure for women. Land shortage is common among women. Women farm smaller and more dispersed plots than men and are less likely to hold title, secure tenure, or the same rights to use, improve, or dispose of land. Extension Women farmers have less contact with extension services than men, especially where male-female contact is culturally restricted. Extension is often provided by men agents to men farmers on the erroneous assumption that the message will trickle “across” to women. In fact, agricultural knowledge is transferred inefficiently or not at all from husband to wife. Also, the message tends to ignore the unique workload, responsibilities, and constraints facing women farmers. Technology Women generally use lower levels of technology because of difficulties in access, cultural restrictions on use, or regard for women’s crops and livestock as low research priorities. Finance Women have less access to formal financial services because of high transaction costs, limited education and mobility, social and cultural barriers, the nature of their businesses, and collateral requirements, such as land title, they can’t meet. Time Women face far greater time constraints than men. They may spend less time on farm work but work longer total hours on productive and household work and paid and unpaid work, due to gender-based division of labor in child care and household responsibilities. Mobility Women are less mobile than men, both because of their child care and household responsibilities and because of sociocultural norms that limit their mobility. Education and Training Women are less educated in parts of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Illiteracy hampers their access to and ability to understand technical information. Worldwide, women have less access to education and training in agriculture. Source: the World bank 2008
  • 10. Women issues in Ethiopian Agriculture • In Ethiopia, women constitute over half of the total population. • In addition to their number, the role of women is critical within the household and outside of the household and in the development context. • However, women suffer from socio-cultural discrimination and have fewer opportunities compared to men for personal growth, education, employment etc. • There is no equity in the distribution of power and decision-making between men and women at all levels of the government structure and local institutions.
  • 11. 1. Division of labour • Agricultural labor can be unpaid (such as on-farm family labor), paid-in-kind (such as barter or labor exchange), self-employed (such as marketing of one’s own produce), or wage labor. • To the extent that women are concentrated in both unpaid and casual labor, their efforts in agriculture are grossly underrepresented. • Women are assigned the “small” tasks such as weeding, storing and processing, hand-harvest of some cash-crops; culturally, it is not acceptable for women to sow or plant. Women are also involved in growing subsistence crops and vegetables for household consumption. • Men will do the “heavy” tasks such as clearing and preparing the land usually involving some form of technology, and they will harvest.
  • 12. 2. Income management • Due to division of labour, men do marketing of cash crops while women will market surplus subsistence crops. • Income from sales of men’s crops is used mainly to purchase agriculture inputs, large livestock or draught power, and for large household equipment. • Income derived from sales of women’s produce is used to buy small household equipment, food necessities, clothing, and to meet community obligations. • Men’s and women’s income are shared for health and education expenses of the family.
  • 13. 3. Land Tenure • Land is considered as the primary means for generating the livelihood for most of the poor living in rural areas. • here are three mechanisms, for both women and men, for obtaining rights to land: – (i) through social and kinship relations at the local level, – (ii) on the land market, or – (iii) from the state. • There are four categories of legal rights to land that affect women. These are – (1) the rights women hold in marriage (shared tenure); – (2) the right to land when the marital household changes through polygamy, divorce, or abandonment; – (3) the right to receive land through inheritance; and – (4) the right to purchase land.
  • 14. Cont… • In Ethiopia land rights have been and continue to be one of the most contentious political issue • Prior to the agrarian reform of 1975 – peasants gained access to land through inheritance or through corporate groups – controlled by political and social elites who had been granted land by the imperial regime – women had the right of inheritance and the ruling class women received land as gifts and or were able to purchase land • The land reform launched in 1975 – distributed by family size and registered under male heads of households – most women failed to obtain rights to possess land – situation was worse for women in polygamous unions, divorced women and those who came of age after the initial land apportionment • After 1991 – the transitional period, 1991-1994, there was a lack of clear legal and policy directives on land ownership – lack was addressed by the adoption of the Constitution in 1994 – Constitution states that women have equal rights with men with respect to access, use, administration and transfer of land. They shall also enjoy equal treatment in the inheritance of property
  • 15. 4. Extension and Training Services • the fact that the extension services have been predominantly staffed by male DAs has had huge implications for the active participation of rural women especially in areas where women cannot easily interact with men due to cultural and/or religious restrictions
  • 16. 5. Access to Credit • Women are not willing to approach credit institution due to the fact that they should to travel long distances to get credit and make repayments • involved in community based revolving credit and savings groups; that were much more convenient to them in terms of the distance, the ease of access, and the fact that they dealt with people from the community • Agriculture credit requires some form of guarantee of repayment and since women do not own either the land, equipment, or the produce it is more difficult for them to qualify for a loan
  • 17. 6. Irrigation and Systems • cannot involved in heavy tasks during irrigation facilities construction they are not represented in Water User Associations and are not considered to be part of the training in operations and maintenance of the facilities • while women tend to be less mobile and do not migrate, for economic reasons, as often as men, they are better suited to maintain and manage such facilities
  • 18. 7. Livestock ownership • division of ownership of livestock, where large animals are considered belonging to the men and small ones to the women
  • 19. 8. Agro-processing • women in rural agriculture households are involved in some form of processing of farm produce, mainly for home consumption. • Their major constraint is accessibility in terms of roads and transport, equipment for processing of foods, preservation and storage techniques and knowledge, and diversifying the types of foods processed
  • 20. National Policy on Women and Institutional Framework • The Government of Ethiopia made efforts to reduce the gender disparity and bring about gender equality between men and women. • Ethiopia ratified the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 1981 and has pledged commitment to promote gender mainstreaming in all policies and programs through the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. • The government also produced the National Policy on Women (1993) – aimed at institutionalizing the political, economic and social rights of women by creating an appropriate structure in government offices and institutions. • A National Action Plan for Gender Equality (NAP-GE-2006) has been produced as an integral part of PASDEP. – the goal of the NAP-GE is to assist women to achieve gender equality through active and empowered participation in all development programs. • It also works towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). MDG Goal number three is specifically designated to “promote gender equality and empower women”.
  • 21. Cont… • the national laws and policies are the basis for creating an enabling environment for women across all sectors. • In response to this, several sector programs issued policies, laws and regulations with similar development objectives. • Among the sector polices which have explicitly recognized the situations of rural women are: – The Health Policy (1993) – The Population Policy of Ethiopia (1993) – The Education and Training Policy (1994) – The Policy of Rural Energy (1994) – The National Environmental Policy (1997) – The Federal Land Administration Proclamation of the 1997, which confirms the equal rights of women with respect to the use and administration and control of land – The Ethiopian Water Resource Management Policy (1998) – The Federal Civil Service Proclamation of 2002, which allows preferential treatment to be given during employment
  • 22. Cont … • Ethiopia has signed several conventions and protocols such as: – The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) 1979 – The Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing (1995) and the Beijing Platform for Action – The major UN world conferences of the 1990s, particularly the Environment Conference (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), the Human Rights Conference (Vienna, 1993) – The Population and Development Conference (Cairo, 1994) – The Social Development Summit (Copenhagen, 1995) – The focus on the integration of women was also reflected in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) endorsed in the Beijing platform for Action
  • 23. Policy implementation structure • The National Policy on Women aims to institutionalize the political and socio-economic rights of women by creating appropriate structures in government institutions. • As a result, measures were put in place to enhance the implementation capacity of the NPW. • In 1992 the Women's Affairs Office was created within the Prime Minister's Office and mandated to coordinate and facilitate conditions to promote gender equality in areas of development. • The Policy also recommended the establishment of women’s development machinery at the respective sectoral ministries in the form of – Women’s Affairs Departments (WADs), the Regional Women’s Bureaus (RWBs) at the regional administration level, and women’s coordination and desk officers at the respective Zonal and Woreda levels.
  • 24. Cont… • The NPW highlights the following issues as areas of intervention to achieve women’s empowerment and gender equity in Ethiopia 1. addressing discriminatory practices and mainstreaming women’s issues in existing laws, regulations, customary practices and enabling a conducive environment for women to participate in decision making structures; 2. coordinate and incorporate women’s issues in all government programmes and policies as well as at institutional levels; 3. work towards changing discriminatory attitudes in society against women and girls; and 4. promote research and awareness raising in all areas concerning women’s development and gender equity.
  • 25. Women in Agriculture Value chain • Women play important roles in all areas of the agricultural sector. – From farming, through transport, wholesale, retail to the consumer; women are present throughout the marketing chain. • Women increasingly supply national and international markets with traditional and high-value produce, but compared to men, women farmers and entrepreneurs face a number of disadvantages, including – lower mobility, less access to training, less access to market information, and less access to productive resources. • Women are significantly excluded from markets, and bringing women into markets requires targeted analysis and program interventions. • Most women farmers are smallholders who cultivate traditional food crops for subsistence and sale, whereas men are more likely to own medium to large commercial farms and are better able to capitalize on the expansion of agricultural tradable goods.
  • 26. Cont … • The value chain concept is a useful analytic tool to understand a series of production and postproduction activities—whether it is a basic crop, such as vegetables, or a highly processed good, such as cotton textile or canned tuna—and the enterprises and individuals who are involved. • A value chain incorporates the full range of activities required to bring a product or service from conception to production, delivery to consumers, and final disposal after use (Kaplinsky and Morris 2002). • The value chain approach strengthens business linkages between producer groups, service providers, and other actors, such as processors and importers, rather than focusing exclusively on farm interventions.
  • 27. Cont… • Value chains vary in complexity and in the range of participants they draw in. • Export value chains tend to be more complex than local chains in terms of the knowledge and technical facilities required, because special processing and packaging are common • value adding for women may exist through – an upgrade of their current role in a value chain, moving up to additional roles in value chains (for example, into processing), – finding new products and becoming dominant members of a new value chain, and – increasing efficiency in current interaction in the value chain
  • 28. Cont … • Agribusiness enterprises have gender- differentiated occupations: – women do the labor- intensive tasks such as weeding and pruning in the fields, selection and cutting in processing, and sorting and wrapping in packing. Women’s work is more likely to be considered unskilled and women are less likely to receive training and acquire skills that make them eligible for higher- paid work – men do the tasks that entail strength such as lifting crates and construction of greenhouses, or that involve machinery such as driving tractors and trucks, applying pesticides, and maintaining equipment.
  • 29. Cont … • After reviewing numerous case studies in Latin America and Africa, Katz (2003), Deere (2005: 30-37) and Dolan and Sorby (2003: 29-33) draw these conclusions regarding non- traditional or high-value export agriculture: – women are employed for the labor-intensive tasks – women are generally earn lower wages than men and are more likely to be paid at piece rate – workers, including women workers, in packaging and processing plants earn more than field workers and have better working conditions; work is nonetheless hard, often involving long hours of standing, and long work days during peak seasons – women are the major supplier of temporary, seasonal, and casual labor and men occupy the majority of permanent jobs as well as administrative and supervisory positions – women are a labor reserve for this type of production.

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