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Integrating gender equity and empowerment in the Dairy Goat and Root Crop Production project: Current issues and next steps
Integrating gender equity and empowerment in the Dairy Goat
and Root Crop Production project: current issues and next steps
Social Scientist: Gender, ILRI
Integrated Dairy Goat and Root Crop Production Workshop, ILRI Nairobi, 19 June 2013
Overview of presentation
• Why empowerment and gender equity in AR4D
• Status of empowerment and gender equity in
• Next steps: integrating an empowerment
framework and pathway in the project
Gender equity and empowerment
Empowerment is considered to be:
• Change in power relations
• Domination by individuals over chance and circumstances
• Capability to negotiate, influence, hold institutions accountable
• A means to self-determination
Gender equity denotes the equivalence in life outcomes for women
and men, recognising their different needs and interests, and
requiring a redistribution of power and resources.
Sources: Kabeer 2010; Sen 1990
Why empowerment in agricultural
research for development (AR4D)
Empowerment is considered a means for farmers to:
• Better participate in research
• Voice their needs and benefit from AR4D
• Safeguards their interests and livelihoods
• Achieve gender equity
Sources: Almekinders 2006; De Schutter 2009; Song 2010
Empowerment integration in projects
Empowerment is frequently integrated as:
• A vague concept
• An activity
• An outcome of participatory approaches
• An outcome of accessing financial resources
• Any impact on the life of vulnerable groups
Gender equity and empowerment in
the Dairy Goat and Root Crop project
– To analyse impacts (productivity, environmental, gender and
empowerment, food security and nutrition) of integrating
improved goat breeds with sweet-potatoes and cassava into an
agro-pastoral farming system (p. 13)
– Increased ability of women to independently participate in various
stages of the value chains;
– More equitable social relationships between men and women
involved in the goat and root crop value chains (p. 27)
Gender strategy and activities
Strategy: gender analysis to assess current situation; integration
of gender in all project activities, M&E and Impacts; gender
research to inform other interventions
• Capacity building of staff in gender analysis
• Community trainings on gender awareness-raising
• Inclusion of women in breeding, market, animal health
• Provision of assets to women (joint ownership)
• Support women’s special interest groups
• Strategies to involve very poor households and youth
• Gender analysis to enhance gender-equity
• Integration of gender into project components
Findings and recommendations of the
• Gender equity as a key emergent property of system
• Focus on transforming people’s normative frameworks
• Farmers limited involvement in the intervention
• Research into development pathways
• Gender empowerment framework
Key issues and research questions
• What do we mean by gender equity and empowerment?
• Do all women and men want the same development path?
• What activities contribute to empowerment and how?
• How do we measure progress towards empowerment?
From empowerment framework to
Empowerment conceptual framework:
– What is empowerment?
– How do we translate empowerment framework
into local realities to achieve equity of
• What do we mean with gender equity and empowerment?
• Who decides which gender relations are ‘desirable’?
Empowerment as self-determination
• What does it mean to (different) farmers?
• What change based on current realities and aspirations?
Sources: Kabeer 2010; Sen 1990
Developing an empowerment pathway
• Adopt the Participatory Impact Pathway Analysis
framework with farmers at local level
• Define indicators of change with farmers
• Build in feed-back loops for accountability to
farmers and improved effectiveness
At what stage of the project do we integrate this
Sources: Alvarez et al 2008; Jacobs 2010
Empowerment framework and pathway
, Gender Strategy p.11
Integrating the empowerment
framework and pathway into the project
• Can gender analysis alone contribute to achieving
empowerment and gender equity?
• Who decides what are desirable gender relations?
• How do we accommodate alternative development paths?
• Where is empowerment in the research-to-development
• Is a non-participatory project intrinsically disempowering?
• What about aspirations that ‘do not fit’ with our mandate?
Sources: Hellin et al 2007
• Almekinders, C. and J. Hardon, eds. 2006 Bringing Farmers Back into Breeding:
Experiences with Participatory Plant Breeding (Wageningen: Agromisa Foundation).
• Alvarez, B. et al. 2008. Participatory Impact Pathways Analysis: A practical method for
project planning and evaluation, ILAC Brief No. 17. The ILAC Initiative, Bioversity.
• De Schutter, O. 2009, “Seed Policies and the Right to Food: Enhancing Agrobiodiversity
and Encouraging Innovation,” UN General Assembly, vol. 42473.
• Hellin, J. et al. 2007. Increasing the Impacts of Participatory Research. Experimental
Agriculture, 44(01), pp. 81–95.
• Jacobs, A. 2010: Creating the missing feed-back loop, IDS Bulletin 41, 6.
• Kabeer, N. 2010. Women’s Empowerment, Development Interventions and the
Management of Information Flows, IDS Bulletin 41, 6.
• Sen, A. 1990. Development as Capability Expansion, in Human Development and the
International Development Strategy for the 1990s, ed. K. Griffi n and J. Knight (London:
• Song, Y. and R., Vernooy 2010. Seeds of Empowerment: Action Research in the Context
of the Feminization of Agriculture in Southwest China, Gender Technology and
Development 14, 1: 25– 44.