Women’s Participation in Agricultural Cooperatives in Ethiopia
Women’s Participation inAgricultural Cooperatives in Ethiopia International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Ethiopian Strategy Support Program (ESSP II) BY: Thomas Woldu and Fanaye Tadesse
Introduction• Ethiopia’s economy is characterized by smallholder subsistence farming• Among the major impediments faced by small holder farmers are: – lack of modern inputs and access to markets. – the participation of small holder farmers in the market and the extent to which they benefit from their participation are very low• Agricultural cooperatives are believed to play a crucial role in curbing these problems by – making credit and modern inputs available – creating market opportunities and sell members’ output.
Introduction cont.• Co-operatives bring together the economically weak members of the society and thereby enhance their individual capacities• Women’s participation is important: – For sustainable cooperative development – As an effective means to empower women in rural areas – In helping them to overcome the constraints they face in accessing education, knowledge and information, as well as productive assets (FAO 2010)
Introduction – cont’d• In most developing countries – The participation of women in cooperatives is very minimal (Idrisa et al 2007).• In Ethiopia, – Women’s participation in agricultural cooperatives was only 8 percent in 2004 (USAID 2005) and – 16 percent in the total urban and rural cooperatives in 2007 (Bernard et al. 2010).
Introduction cont.• In most countries, there are formal and informal prejudices about what women can and cannot do.• Factors preventing women from full participation in cooperatives – formal and informal prejudices about what women can and cannot do. – Laws, and even co-operative rules and by-laws, sometimes hinder womens membership in cooperative societies (ICA 1983). – Religious rules and traditions – Rural women in developing countries often work long hours – Women in developing countries often lack the basic education
Objective• This paper aims at filling a critical knowledge gap by identifying through different methods the characteristics of cooperatives, households, and individual women that are associated with women’s participation in cooperatives in Ethiopia.• It quantifies which factors contribute to the low participation of women in cooperatives and which type of cooperatives are more successful in attracting women as members.
Data and methodology• Data were jointly collected by Ethiopian Economics Association (EEA) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in 2009.• The surveys were conducted in eight selected Woredas in 7 regions: Afar, Amhara, Beneshangul-Gumuz, Gambella, Oromia, SNNP, Tigray – Household survey: – in 4 randomly drawn kebeles of each of the 8 weredas – 35 randomly drawn households in each selected kebele – total of approx. 1120 households – Kebele-level surveys: – in all kebeles of each selected weredas – total of approx. 156 kebeles
Survey Design Kebele level survey Local Political Representatives -Kebele chair -Kebele council member (1 male, 1 female) -Kebele council speaker -Wereda council member Household survey Kebele level survey Household Members Service Providers-Both HH head and spouse -Development agents (1 livestock, 1separately crop) -Agricultural cooperatives -Water committee head
Distribution of Cooperatives in the Sample Number of Number of Agricultural Kebeles in Cooperative-Region Woreda Cooperatives Woreda Kebele RatioAfar Telalak 2 12 0.17Amhara Bati 14 23 0.61Amhara Sekota 19 33 0.53Benishangul-Gumuz Yaso 5 14 0.36Gambella Gambella 3 11 0.27Oromia Ibantu 10 20 0.50SNNP Sheko 6 25 0.24Tigray Ofla 14 18 0.78 Total 73 156
Cooperative Characteristics • The average number of members – At time of establishment – 245 – At the time of the survey – 600 Percentage ofActivities CooperativesHave members outside of the Kebele 32%Sell shares to members 67%Obtain inputs for members 55%Sell products of members 23%Provide credit services 77% -Lending directly 49% -Playing Intermediary role 24% -Both lending directly and playing intermediary role 4%
Women’s Participation in Cooperatives• Women constitute about 20 percent of members on average• Five percent of the cooperatives do not have women members at all• The percentage of women is not increasing over time (only 3 percent increase on average)Percentage of Women Members in Cooperatives
Women’s Participation in Cooperatives – Cont’dCooperatives that have women in leadership position 18%Participation of members in cooperative meetings (considering the last meetingbefore the survey) - Men who attended the meeting (as a percentage of total men members) 47% - Women who attended the meeting (as a percentage of total women members) 45%Leaders think it is better for the community if cooperatives have more womenmembers 96%Leaders discussed about increasing womens participation during meetings theyheld in the past one year 16%Leaders received some sort of training 55% - Leaders’ trainings had component that addressed womens issues 28%
Econometric Analysis• At cooperative level – Tobit model; in modeling determinants of women’s proportion in cooperatives• At individual/household level – Logit model; to study the determinants of membership
Cooperative level Analysis Modelling Determinants of Women’s Proportion in Cooperatives• A tobit model, truncated from below at zero, was estimated• Explanatory variables include indicators for • the way the cooperatives are organized and function, • the characteristics of the cooperatives at the time of their establishment, • the characteristics of the leaders, • link of the cooperative with the government, and • the type of services the cooperatives provide
Modelling Womens Proportion in Cooperatives (Tobit regression)Explanatory variables dy/dx Std. Err.Cooperatives are formally registered (Yes=1) 0.015 (0.06)Number of visits to government officials -0.001 (0.00)Entrance fee of members (in Birr) -0.011 (0.01)Members can buy shares (Yes=1) 1.642 (0.84)All members are in one kebele (Yes=1) 0.125 * (0.05)Proportion of leaders who can read and write 0.181 *** (0.03)Leaders have taken some sort of training (Yes=1) 0.104 *** (0.02)No. of years a cooperative head serves in a position -0.003 (0.02)No. of total members at the time the cooperative is established 0.000 ** (0.00)Established after 2000 G.C (Yes=1) -0.06 (0.08)Provide input to members (Yes=1) 0.118 ** (0.04)Sell output for members (Yes=1) -0.045 (0.09)Provide credit service to members (Yes=1) -0.149 (0.11)Number of observations=57Pseudo R2 =-0.87Notes: clustered standard errors in parenthesis. Coefficients are significant at *10 percent,** 5 percent and *** 1 percent. District fixed effects were used in the regression.
Determinants of Women’s Proportion in Cooperatives – cont’d• Cooperatives’ links with government officials do not have a significant effect on women’s proportion. – This might be due to less emphasis given to women’s participation when the cooperatives visit government officials• The ways the cooperatives are organized and function significantly affect women’s proportion in cooperatives. – Women’s proportion is more likely to be higher in cooperatives • with members only in one Kebele • which distribute input to members • that have a higher proportion of literate leaders • that received leader’s training
Individual Level Analysis Modelling Determinants of Cooperative Membership– Included explanatory variables • Demographic variables, • household variables and • variables which serve as a proxy for social interaction of individuals– A logit model is estimated
Modeling Determinants of Membership (Logit models)Explanatory Variables Model one Model two dy/dx Std. Err. dy/dx Std. Err.Gender (Male=1) -.088 ** (.039) -.007 (.019)Age of the individual (in years) .002 ** (.001) .001 (.001)Literacy (literate=1) .066 (.046) .054 (.042)Household size .008 ** (.003) .010 *** (.004)Place of birth (in the Kebele=1) .009 (.041) .022 (.035)No. of visits by an expert in the past 1 year .007 (.005) .006 (.005)Position (held official, village or traditional position=1) .071 ** (.032) .051 * (.027)Relatives ever held positions (Yes=1) .091 *** (.021) .079 *** (.023)Land holding of the household (in hectars) .002 (.003) .002 (.003)Household head (Yes=1) --- .122 *** (.043)Number of observations 1877 1877Pseudo R2 0.15 0.17Notes: Marginal effects are reported. Clustered standard errors in parenthesis. Estimates aresignificant at *10 percent, ** 5 percent and *** 1 percent. Model one does not includehousehold head variable but model two includes the variable.
Modelling Determinants of Cooperative Membership - Cont’d• One of the main reasons for lower participation of women in cooperatives is related with their power of decision making in the household.• Individuals who are more likely to be members • are older • are living in a bigger family • have held village, official or traditional positions and • have relatives who have held such positions
Characteristics of Women Members as Compared to Non-members – Cont’d• We couldn’t do regression due to few women members (6%)• Hence, simple mean difference tests are conducted between members and non-members• The results show that – Women who are members of cooperatives • come from households with educated head and higher average level of education within the household. • have higher family sizes in general and more women household members • are more likely heads of their households. • are relatively older • have held relatively more some sort of official, village or traditional position
Conclusion• Women’s participation in cooperatives is limited both as members and as leaders. – Therefore, there should be more efforts in improving women’s participation• Such efforts in its current form do not seem to be persuasive• The ways cooperatives are organized and function is also found to significantly affect women’s proportion in cooperatives• Leaders’ characteristics are also found to be the main factor that determines women’s participation in cooperatives – leaders of cooperatives should be educated/educated members should become leaders – leaders should be trained, especially on the issue of improving women’s participation.
Conclusion• Women are found significantly less probable to be member of cooperatives – One of the main reasons is seemingly related with their power of decision making in the household – most of the women that are members of cooperatives are heads of their households • Empowering women in their household improves women’s participation in cooperatives• Women who come from households with educated heads and who have higher average levels of education are also more likely to be a member. – Education plays a significant role in improving women’s participation in cooperatives