Failure of past agricultural research and development practice to address the inequalities that limit women’s access to agricultural inputs, markets, resources and advice.Ignoring women’s role in agricultural sector including their productive, reproductive and community rolesWomen undertaking multiple rolesOver the years, there is a gradual realization of the key role of women in the field of agricultural development and the constraints that they face in earning a decent and sustainable livelihood.There is compelling evidence that increased gender equity can make a significant contribution towards alleviating poverty and increasing food security. But past efforts to integrate gender into agricultural research and development practice have failed to address the inequalities that limit women’s access to agricultural inputs, markets, resources and advice.Changing composition of rural society, increase in number of females engaged in Agriculture – Feminzation of AgricultureIncreased concerned about children’s education, the increasing costs of health care that is regarded as essential for achieving food and nutritional security apart from sustainable livelihood growth, shifts in government policies especially reductions in social and economic subsidies, increasing pressures on natural resources as a result of climate change but also competition from globalised markets.
roles and responsibilities within households are defined according to gender norms and this influences household members’ ability to participate in and control different forms of household decisions. Women mostly involved in up-stream activitiesMarginal involvement of women and marginalized groups in leadership positions
All this influences women’s capacity to fulfill their roles
Exclusion of women from participation in decision making by social norms and their own perceptions of lack of authority. Women are percived to have incomplete knowledge and little value is placed on their local knowledgeChallenge in getting men to understand the benefits of women participation and encouraging more effective engagement with community through female leaders.
Closing “gender gap” in agriculture–or increasing women’s contribution to food production and enterprise by providing equal access to resources and opportunities–could reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 12-17%, or by 100 to 150 million people (FAO, 2011).There is growing evidence suggesting that women’s underdevelopment has adverse bearing on growth and development of agriculture. Therefore, time has come for us to make concerted efforts to address gender issues and provide support for social, technological and economic empowerment of women. One of the important steps in this direction is integration of gender perspective in agricultural research, extension and policies so as to make women an important partner in sustainable agricultural development.
Women are expected to benefit directly in their separate production activities, and indirectly as members of joint activities. benefit for staple food yield, livestock and livestock products improvements; women are expected to benefit from value chains, extension advisory services and sustainable NRM and system based innovative labour saving technologies, and important gaps between men and women are reduced;(3) ) women and men receive the same benefits, i.e. both increase staple food yields above 60 percent but the gap between them remains constant at the pre-existing difference; and (4) the inequities in staple food yields, income and assets are eliminated
Gender perspectives in agriculture
Gender Perspectives in Agriculture
Annet A. Mulema (ILRI)
Initiation Meeting of the Basona Worena “Strategic
Innovation Platform”, Ethiopia, 31 January 2014
Gender refers to socially constructed roles and responsibilities of
women and men, and includes:
expectations held about the characteristics, and likely behaviors of both men and
the roles that we learn to fill from childhood onward,
These roles change over time and are cultural specific.
Limited consideration of women’s role in agriculture
Failure of past agricultural research and development practices
to address gender inequalities
Changing composition of rural society - feminization of Agriculture
Gradual realization of the key role of women in agricultural
development and the constraints that they face in earning a decent and
Increased gender equity can make a significant contribution towards
alleviating poverty and increasing food security.
Roles and responsibilities
Variation in roles played by men and women in crop-livestock
Roles are defined according to gender norms and this influences:
Participation of women in and control of different forms of
Types and nature of enterprises (crops and livestock) women
Opportunities available to women to increase productivity and
income generation and descent livelihoods.
Women less involved in cash cropping
Women perform most of un-mechanized agricultural tasks and
perform multiple tasks, which add more burden to them.
Access to and control of resources and benefits
Unequal access to assets and services among men and
Women’s limited access to agricultural extension,
education and veterinary services
Limited access to profitable markets
Limited access to formal information networks and social
Institutions and power dynamics
Constraining policies, norms and values limiting:
women’s involvement in decisions making
involvement of women and marginalized groups in leadership
ownership and control of resources
Lack of awareness about legal rights.
Weak macro-micro linkages due to limited access to
Women’s underdevelopment has adverse bearing on
growth and development of agriculture.
Need to address gender issues and provide support for
social, technological and economic empowerment of
Integration of gender perspective in agricultural research, extension
Consider women and marginalized groups as important partners in
sustainable agricultural development.
Impact men and women equitably
Gender goals in Africa RISING
Promote agricultural systems which improve food, nutrition, and income
security, particularly for women and children, while conserving the natural
Increase women’s participation in production and marketing of high value crops
To develop technologies and market strategies that will be relevant to the needs
of both men and women farmers, processors and traders.
Building gender awareness and capacity of staff and local partners to obtain and
analyze gender-disaggregated data and diagnose gender related issues
To enhance the knowledge and skills of men and women farmers to foster
uptake and dissemination of successful technologies
Increase women’s leadership in the community and capacity to participate in
decision making on agricultural production
Increased yield, livestock and livestock products improvement;
Reduced inequalities in income, access to and control of
Reduced gap between men and women through:
Improved value chains
Access to extension, education and veterinary services,
Access to labor saving technologies
Sustainable natural resource management
Reduction in poverty and global food security
FAO. 2011. The State of Food and Agriculture:
Women in Agriculture–Closing the gender gap for
development, Rome, Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations.
World Bank. 2009. Gender in Agriculture Source
Book. D.C: The World Bank.