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Ruth Meinzen-Dick (IFPRI)• 2018 IFPRI Egypt Seminar: “Women Empowerment for Revitalizing Rural Areas in Egypt”


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As part of the IFPRI Egypt Seminar in partnership with UN Women: “Women Empowerment for Revitalizing Rural Areas in Egypt”

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Ruth Meinzen-Dick (IFPRI)• 2018 IFPRI Egypt Seminar: “Women Empowerment for Revitalizing Rural Areas in Egypt”

  1. 1. Measuring Empowerment: the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) and project-level Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (pro-WEAI) Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Agnes Quisumbing, Hazel Malapit, and Nancy Johnson October 30, 2018 Tag us on Twitter: @A4NH_CGIAR #proWEAI #A4NHResearch #GenderinAg 1
  2. 2. Reach Benefit Empower Objective Include women in program activities Objective Increase women’s well-being (e.g. food security, income, health) Objective Strengthen ability of women to make strategic life choices and to put those choices into action Strategy Invite women as participants; reduce barriers to participation; implement a quota system for participation in training events Strategy Design project to consider gendered needs, preferences, and constraints to ensure that women benefit from project activities Strategy Enhance women’s decision making power in households and communities; addressing key areas of disempowerment Indicators Number or proportion of women participating in a project activity, e.g. attending training, joining a group, receiving extension advice, etc. Indicators Sex-disaggregated data for positive and negative outcome indicators such as income, assets, nutrition, time use, etc. Indicators Women’s decision making power e.g. over agricultural production, income, or household food consumption; reduction of outcomes associated with disempowerment, e.g. gender-based violence, time burden 2
  3. 3. Starting point: the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI)  Developed by USAID, IFPRI & OPHI  Launched in 2012  Measures inclusion of women in the agricultural sector  Survey-based index - interviews men and women in the same household 3
  4. 4. How WE(AI) define empowerment The various material, human, and social resources that serve to enhance one’s ability to exercise choice The capacity to define one’s own goals and make strategic choices in pursuit of these goals, particularly in a context where this ability was previously denied The achievement of one’s goals Agency Achieve- ments Resources 4
  5. 5. How communities understand empowerment  Economic means  Connections  Confidence  Help with labor  Active  Following social norms  “Lift the burden”  Well dressed  Good appearance  Admired  Taking care of oneself  Taking care of family needs  Taking care of others Agency Achieve- ments Resources 5
  6. 6. How is the WEAI constructed?  An aggregate index in two parts:  Five Domains of Empowerment (5DE) (90%)  Gender Parity Index (GPI) (10%)  Constructed using interviews of the primary male and primary female adults in the same household 6
  7. 7. Cross-country WEAI baseline findings: credit, workload and group membership are constraints across countries 0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.25 0.30 0.35 0.40 Bangladesh Liberia Tajikistan Ghana Kenya Honduras Nepal Zambia Haiti Malawi Uganda Rwanda Cambodia DisempowermentIndex(1- 5DE) Leisure Workload Speaking in public Group member Control over use of income Access to and decisions on credit Source: Malapit et al. (2014) 7
  8. 8. 50 countries: “off-label” WEAI adaptations (Egypt use by ILO/Jpal Executive education course and ICARDA research) 8
  9. 9. What WEAI had ... What projects wanted  Women’s and men’s empowerment across 5 domains in agriculture  Standardized measure, internationally validated  Ability to diagnose empowerment gaps  More adaptability to project context  Attention to domains related to health and nutrition  Issues of intrahousehold harmony, mobility, control of income from projects, domestic violence  Shorter interview time  Develop a “Project-level” WEAI (pro-WEAI) • Working with 13 agricultural development projects • Drawing on qualitative and quantitative data 9
  10. 10. Three types of agency measured in all versions of the WEAI Power to (instrumental agency) Power within (intrinsic agency) Power with (collective agency) 10
  11. 11. Power to (instrumental agency) Power within (intrinsic agency) Power with (collective agency) pro-WEAI 11
  12. 12. pro-WEAI 12 indicators in pro-WEAI 12
  13. 13. pro-WEAI 7 indicators in pro-WEAI come from WEAI (with some modification) 13
  14. 14. pro-WEAI 5 new indicators in pro-WEAI 14
  15. 15. pro-WEAI: Equal weights (1/12), 75% empowerment cutoff 15
  16. 16. 0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.25 0.30 0.35 0.40 0.45 Women Men Overall disempowerment score Membership in influential groups Group membership Visiting important locations Work balance Control over use of income Access to and decisions on credit and financial accounts Ownership of land and other assets Contributions to disempowerment 1st 1st 2nd 2nd 3rd 3rd 16
  17. 17. Local understandings of empowerment Common elements  Difficulty in translating “empowerment”  “emancipated”, “admired”, “dignified”, “lift up”, “enable”  Economic status:  Taking care of oneself and family needs  Well dressed, good appearance  Relational, not individualistic:  Taking care of others (family and community)  Having means or status to do so, connections,  Not power over (especially not over men) Differences, tensions  Ambivalence of men, women to empowered women  “Lift the burden” vs threat to men  Following social norms, ideals of femininity (“submissive”) vs Strong, able (sometimes stand against norms)  Age (young and old) 17
  18. 18.  Time as a tether: workload limits mobility, income generating ability  Lack of transport (asset) limits mobility, income generation  Intrahousehold relationstrustmobilityincome generation  Group membership requires mobility, time, support of husbands, family  Income generation supports greater decision-making (and vice versa)  Nepal: whether women hide income, assets depends on autonomy, intrahousehold relations  “Male dominance over information was pointed out when answers were provided about things such as cell phone ownership, the person to whom extension workers talk, the consent of whom to look for before traveling, the ownership and access to means of transportation, and topics covered by extension workers when they visit villages. This access and control over information is facilitated by men’s status as owners of resources.“ (Worldveg, Mali) Interconnections between indicators 18
  19. 19. Unpacking “jointness” in decision-making  Not just spouses, but extended families (in-laws, co-wives, natal family)  Final say vs Consultation vs Influence behind the scenes  Women exercise more decision-making on small livestock, assets, income; Men on larger  Showing “respect”, not challenging masculinities may affect answers (including on survey)  Women may not want sole decision-making responsibility  “The down side of women's control over their own income is that if they have too much and do not help others they are said to be witches or to be engaging in prostitution or other inappropriate behavior” (Trias study of Maasai in Tanzania) 19
  20. 20. How projects affect empowerment  Multiple pathways to empowerment: projects could:  Give women something that enables them to increase income, take care of others  Train women—increase skills, confidence, capacities  Affect social norms (including on domestic violence)  (check for validation of project strategies and TOC)  Does the mechanism by which women get the means of empowerment matter? 22
  21. 21. Join our community of practice! Tag us on Twitter: @A4NH_CGIAR #proWEAI #A4NHResearch #GenderinAg 23