Gender, Agricultural Productivity and Rural Transformation

This theme will explore the relationships among gender, agricultural productivity, and rural transformation. Rural transformation may be occurring due to outmigration of particular demographic groups, improved infrastructure, increased access to public services, and new opportunities both in the agricultural and nonagricultural sectors. Gender relations both influence these processes of rural transformation and are changed by them. Women may be empowered by taking over new roles when men migrate out or may be burdened by additional responsibilities with limited access to resources. 

Five sessions on this theme were run over the three days.

  1. Land and Gender and Transformation. Chair: Cheryl Doss
  2. Markets and Labor. Chair: Patricia Kristjanson
  3. Understanding Gendered Agricultural Households. Chair: Jennifer Twyman
  4. Gender and Migration. Chair: Katrina Kosec
  5. Empowerment. Chair: Agnes Quisumbing

Land and Gender and Transformation

Chair: Cheryl Doss

Presented between 11am and 12:30pm on Wednesday, April 3, 2019.

Perceived tenure (in)security in the era of rural transformation: A gender-disaggregated analysis from Mozambique

Hosaena Ghebru

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And Girmachew, Fikirte

This study examines drivers of tenure insecurity in Mozambique using the 2014 National Agricultural Survey and a supplemental survey with detailed gender-disaggregated land tenure data. Perceived risk of land loss and perceived risk of private land dispute are used as proxy indicators for land tenure insecurity. Results reveal, overall, public tenure risk is the real threat to women’s tenure security while private tenure risks are more of threat to tenure security of men. However, a gender-disaggregated analysis reveals that public tenure risk is higher among female spouses as compared to male heads within the same household. Results also show that legal literacy has significant positive effect on the likelihood of female respondents’ (both as a head and spouse) expressing fear of land loss while the opposite is true for male respondents. Showing the level of social and economic marginalization that disfavors female heads in Mozambique, being indigenous (non-migrant) individual seems to be significantly associated with perceived tenure security of female heads while such indicators seems to matter less for female as a spouse or principal males. Similarly, residing in communities with relative land abundance matters most for principal female. The result is consistent with similar findings from Ghana showing the vulnerability of female heads especially in areas with relative land scarcity given they are most likely to be residual claimants as their ownership and/or control over land is often targeted by in-laws in land constrained areas.

Gender, land transmission, family relations and agrarian change in Cambodia

Alice Beban

And Bourke-Martignoni, Joanna

In contexts where state social service provision is absent, land inheritance is a key way in which young rural people gain stability and wealth, and older people secure care through providing land to children who look after them. In Cambodia, the state is absent in the everyday practices of social service provision in rural upland areas, and informal moral economies guiding land inheritance vary widely within and between communities. But as Cambodia’s agrarian landscape radically alters with the influx of agribusiness companies, migrant farmers and commercial boom crops, the state is increasingly present as the mediator of global capital, and the state is present on paper with the development of social security laws and policy. In this paper, we analyse the paradoxical absent presence of the state in rural Cambodia. We focus on the ways rapid socio-political forces are transforming rural communities and contributing to land scarcity and the devaluing of agricultural livelihoods. This throws into question social norms guiding inheritance practices, and can exacerbate gender and age inequalities in contexts where matrilineal and bilateral inheritance norms have previously provided some agency for women. Based on a large sample of semi-directive qualitative interviews carried out in the Cambodian provinces of Kampong Thom, Kratie and Ratanakiri with both indigenous and Khmer communities by members of the DEMETER (gender, land and the right to food) research team in 2015 and 2016, this paper seeks to make visible the changing role of intra-familial land rights against a backdrop of rural transformation.

Women’s tenure security on collective lands: Implications for measurement and policy

Ruth Meinzen-Dick

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With Doss, Cheryl; Flintan, Fiona; Larson, Anne; Monterosso, Iliana; and Knight, Rachael

Women’s tenure security on collective lands: Implications for measurement and policy. Most of the growing attention to women’s tenure security has focused on individual or household-level land rights, with relatively little attention to women’s rights under collective tenure and common property systems, such as forests and rangelands. This paper presents a framework for assessing women’s tenure security on collective lands. Key dimensions include the bundles of rights held, duration, robustness, and how rights are shared. Women’s security of land rights under collective tenure depends on the extent to which the collective has secure tenure, and the extent to which women’s rights are recognized and exercised within the collective. The paper recommends indicators for in-depth research and for monitoring and reporting women’s tenure security, and identifies implications for policies and programs to protect or strengthen women’s rights to collective resources.

Re-visiting gender, labour and production relations in Mashonaland Central Province, Zimbabwe

Rejoice Chipuriro


Labour and production is steeped in the historicity of gender and power relations. Localised labour and production relations reflect and are reflected in the larger political and economic macrocosm. As these macrocosms are not rigid, but fluid, so are the labour and production relations. This paper examines how the labour and production relations evolved in rural areas by situating its gaze on the gendered labor and production relations in Mashonaland Central Province of Zimbabwe. It traces the history of labour and production relations, influenced by the economic, political and social power relations in Zimbabwe. Traditionally men and women shared different but complimentary roles bastardised at the onset of the colonial project when gender relations were impacted by the accompanying capitalist mode of production. Labour became paid for men and unpaid for women who remained in the rural areas. In this paper, I describe how this trend has been upset in Zimbabwe under the current land reform program, including how gender, labour and production relations are being contested as suddenly, some black women farmers now own land and control production. The paper draws from the experiences of 22 elderly women farmers in Mashonaland Central Province who participated in the land reform. It demonstrates how these women navigated the gendered land issues, to exercise their own agency and engage in agriculture in their different capacities. African women farmers are not a homogenous group, they consist women whose daily struggles are shaped by their socio cultural and economic positions and varied land interests.

Gender, agricultural productivity, rural transformation and livelihoods in the wake of Zimbabwe’s Fast Track Land Reform Programme: Experiences of elderly female headed households in Goromonzi district.

Ignatius Gutsa


This paper focuses on gender and agricultural productivity in the context of rural transformation post Zimbabwe’s year 2000 Fast Track Land Reform Programme which was supposedly meant to address colonial and post-colonial land ownership imbalances by redistributing land from minority white commercial farmers to historically disadvantaged landless majority indigenous black people. The paper achieves its objectives by adopting a citizen ethnographic approach aided by the use of life histories, participant observation and key informant interviews to understand the experiences of elderly female headed households engaged in all year vegetable production in Gutsa village in Goromonzi district. Goromonzi like most districts in Zimbabwe went through the Fast Track Land Reform Programme experience. Aided by Long’s Actor Oriented theoretical framework the paper argues that before the Fast Track Land Reform Programme villagers in Goromonzi mainly relied on agro- based livelihoods which included all year round vegetable farming using water from rivers, small dams and wells. All year round vegetable farming enabled communal farmers from Goromonzi to be the major suppliers of horticultural produce for nearby horticultural markets. Consequently livelihoods of elderly women household heads dependent on all year vegetable farming are now being affected by the post Fast Track Land Reform Programme transformation of commercial farms in Goromonzi from large grain suppliers to regular vegetable suppliers. This is a result of flooding of the market with vegetables by the newly resettled farmers all year round driving down prices of vegetables thereby affecting livelihoods of vegetable producers in the villages.


Markets and Labor

Chair: Patricia Kristjanson

Developing measures of mobility for gendered studies of agricultural value chains

Jessica Heckert


with Myers, Emily Camille; and Malapit, Heather

Developing measures of mobility for gendered studies of agricultural value chains. Freedom of movement is an important aspect of women’s empowerment, especially in the context of rural transformation as women attempt to transition from subsistence agriculture into more remunerative roles in agricultural value chains (AVCs). Nevertheless, there remains no agreement on how to measure it in large-scale surveys. We review existing work from two perspectives. First, we review survey-based approaches for measuring women’s empowerment. Second, we review existing literature, primarily qualitative studies, that aims to explain the factors that limit and facilitate women’s freedom of movement for participation in AVCs and other activities. We found that approaches to measuring freedom of movement fall into location, activity, or permission-based questions. For example, the project-level Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index asks about the frequency of visiting important locations. The Demographic and Health Surveys ask about women’s ability to leave home alone for certain activities. Other surveys ask about seeking permission to leave the home. These approaches do not account for limitations stem from household relationships, social norms, structural factors, security concerns, or a combination thereof. This makes it difficult to design appropriate interventio¬ns and measure their impact on freedom of movement. From this synthesis, we develop a conceptual framework. Derived from ecological systems theory, we explain how factors at the household, community, regional, and national levels may limit freedom of movement, including potential interactions between levels. We elaborate this framework for different nodes of AVCs. The findings are discussed in terms of potential survey-based approaches for measuring freedom of movement.

Can Market Systems Interventions work for both men and women? Evidence from Bangladesh

Alan de Brauw

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with Rubin, D.; Myers, E.; Kramer, B.; Murphy, M.; and Saiful, I.

The market systems approach is becoming a more common approach to agricultural interventions in developing countries. The approach generally involves a donor giving grants and support to specific firms (“lead” firms) within value chains to help them overcome what are otherwise endemic trust and quality control issues that hinder production. In this paper, we use results of a mixed methods impact evaluation on the jute value chain, associated with the Bangladesh Agricultural Value Chain (AVC) project to highlight how market systems interventions must be carefully designed not to neglect gender issues. The quantitative component of the evaluation collected the project level Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture (pro-WEAI) to measure whether the randomized intervention components affect women’s empowerment. We find that the AVC interventions in the jute value chain were not gender sensitive, in conflict with their mandate; not surprisingly, we find no major quantitative impacts on women’s empowerment. Therefore, we use the qualitative results therefore better illuminate the barriers to and opportunities for men’s and women’s participation in the jute value chain. The qualitative results include a local perspective of women’s empowerment, building upon perspectives among respondents on women’s mobility, education, decision-making, group membership, and the importance of respect as a social value. The results therefore explore ways that the market systems interventions could generally be made more gender sensitive, given that the qualitative work ensured there are ways to find opportunities to engage women in the jute value chain that remain locally viewed as respectable.

Scrutinizing the ‘feminization of agriculture’ hypothesis: A study on the gendered evolution of labor force participation in agriculture and forestry in Indonesia

Kartika Sari Juniwaty

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With Ihalainen, Markus; Monterroso, Iliana; and Elias, Marlene

The steady decline of labor force participation in agriculture over the last decade highlights the importance of effective policies in agricultural development to reach Indonesia’s food self-sufficiency target. Yet, despite employing 30 percent of Indonesia’s total labor force, little is known about the micro-level dynamics of family farming. By utilizing the Indonesian Family Life Survey (IFLS) data, a unique longitudinal data set that captures socio-economic condition of Indonesian households since 1993, this study examines how family farming participation has evolved within the country over the past 20 years. This study finds that households entry and exit farming frequently. Only half of the farming households followed have continued to engage in the agricultural sector throughout the two decades. While a small fraction of farmers in the baseline have exited agriculture entirely, 47% of farming households have exited and re-entered farming at least once during the past 20 years. Similarly, 40% of non-farming households in the baseline have entered farming during the survey period; half of them also exited at least once. Further analysis will aim to explain the entry and exit of small-scale farmers into/out of agriculture by scrutinizing demographic, socio-political and economic changes as well as teasing out intra-household -level gender dynamics in farming using logit and ordered logit panel data regression model.

Understanding Gendered Agricultural Households

Chair: Jennifer Twyman

Intra-household decision- making processes: What the qualitative and quantitative data tell us

Juliana Muriel Osorio

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with Twyman, Jennifer; and Arora, Diksha

Gender roles in household decision-making, particularly decisions related to agricultural activities, have become central aspects of gender inclusion in many agricultural research and development projects. Furthermore, it is important to collect data from women as well as men in order to ensure their voices and perspectives are heard and understood. For these reasons, gender researchers are promoting intra-household agricultural surveys to collect sex-disaggregated data. In this study, we use quantitative and qualitative methods to explore intra-household decision-making patterns in two sites in Latin America: Tuma La Dalia, Nicaragua, and Cauca, Colombia. Quantitative analyses suggest that in the majority of households, men alone make agricultural decisions, followed by joint-decision-making households and households with disagreements in decision-making roles. When there are disagreements men tend to report that they alone make agricultural decisions while women tend to report joint decision-making. Initial results from the qualitative research also suggest varying patterns of agricultural decision-making. In some cases, it concurs with the patterns identified in the quantitative data, other times we find a contrasting pattern: men used some agricultural decisions as examples of joint decisions while women used them as examples of individual male decisions. We examine the quantitative and qualitative data to explore household typologies based on men’s and women’s responses to decision-making questions and who owns assets. Then analyze how they relate to various development outcomes. In this paper, we present the construction of these typologies as well as their relationships with other gender indicators, poverty/well-being indicators and adoption of CSA practices.

Opportunities and constraints to youth involvement in small scale fisheries and aquaculture and youth aspirations: A case study of Kyon Ka Dun Village in the Irrawaddy Delta

Indika Arulingam

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with Nigussie, Likimyelesh; Senaratna Sellamuttu, Sonali; Debevec, Liza; Palal Moet Moet; and De Silva, Sanjiv

Despite emerging interest in the involvement of youth in agriculture, there exists limited knowledge with regard to the fisheries sector. We present the results of a CGIAR Research Program study in 8 countries across Africa and Asia-Pacific, examining existing knowledge on the opportunities and challenges to youth involvement in aquaculture and small-scale fisheries, and the preliminary results of a subsequent study in the Ayeyarwady Delta, Myanmar.The first study, based on a literature review and key informant interviews, confirms the scarcity of knowledge on youth involvement in fisheries as well as in the broader agriculture sector. We find that young people face significant challenges including challenges of access compounded by gerontocratic socio-cultural systems, associations with low social status and interactions with ecosystems of declining productivity. We also find that understanding youth aspirations is an important first step in looking at youth engagement with fisheries (and the broader agricultural sector). The ongoing study in Kyonkadun Village (Ayeyarwady Delta) explores this by looking at how the aspirations and livelihood strategies of paddy-farming, fishing and other households intersect with the personal aspirations and circumstances of youth to create different outcomes for different youth. We find that youth aspirations and outcomes, including migration, are mediated by many interacting factors including gender, age, educational attainment, the type of farming the household engages in, socioeconomic status and social and cultural norms.

Gender and Migration

Chair: Katrina Kosec

The Monster-in-Law Effect: Linking qualitative observations to quantitative analysis on household structure, migration, and empowerment in Nepal

Audrey Pereira

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with Doss, Cheryl; Meinzen-Dick, Ruth; Pradhan, Rajendra; and Theis, Sophie

Women’s empowerment is dynamic across the life course. The intersectionality theory moves beyond measuring gender as a binary indicator, and instead regards gender as one social category that overlaps and interacts with others to define identities and influence outcomes. Drawing on this theory, we use qualitative and quantitative data from Nepal to explore the relationship between women’s social location in the household, caste, husband’s migration status, and women’s empowerment.

We use data from the “Evaluating the Welfare Impacts of a Livestock Transfer Program in Nepal” project from 2017. We measure empowerment with the 5 Domains of Empowerment sub-index and disaggregate the index into individual components to determine how each drives disempowerment for the different social categories. Findings suggest that women’s empowerment is strongly associated with husband’s migration status. Daughters-in-law are more likely to be empowered when their husbands are residents in the household and disempowered when their husbands are migrants. Wives of the household head (in nuclear households) are more likely to be empowered when their husbands are migrants. Control over use of income, asset ownership and group membership are the largest contributors to empowerment for wives, while asset ownership and group membership are the main drivers of disempowerment for daughters-in-law.

Our findings are aligned with previous qualitative work and confirm that migration and social location are important factors that influence empowerment. The contributions of different domains to empowerment at various stages has important implications for the design of interventions and programs that seek to improve women’s empowerment.

Rural transformation, empowerment, and agricultural linkages in Nepal

Kalyani Raghunathan

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with Cunningham, Kenda; Doss, Cheryl; Quisumbing, Agnes


Nepal is experiencing rapid transformations, including dramatic rates of male emigration. Although many implications of male outmigration have been well-studied, we know little about how these changes in household composition affect household power dynamics among the women left behind and what this means for household-level investment behavior. This is particularly important in a low-income, subsistence farming structure in which labour, food security, and household well-being are intertwined, and responsibilities traditionally shared among all adult household members. We use a cross-sectional annual monitoring survey from Suaahara II, a USAID-funded at scale integrated agriculture-nutrition intervention, collected between June and September 2017 among a representative sample of households with a child under five years. The primary respondents were mothers of children <5y; secondary respondents included grandmothers of child <5y residing in the household. The final survey sample included 3643 households. Several empowerment-related modules (for example, self-efficacy, attitudes regarding gender-based violence, freedom of movement, time use, decisionmaking in household production) were administered to both the respondent woman and the grandmother, allowing us to construct measures of the relative bargaining power of these women. We use these relative empowerment measures to study the balance of power between the adult women and to examine how it varies by household structure. We then investigate how the ‘balance of power’ among household members affects food security and decisionmaking around home garden cultivation. Results from our work have implications for NGOs and governments in countries where male out-migration is prevalent, and where programming primarily targets those left behind.

The impacts of male outmigration on intra- household decision-making and agricultural production: The case of Nepal

Vanya Slavchevska

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with Doss, C.; Kaaria, S.; and Kar, A.

In many developing countries, outmigration from rural areas is significant and is rapidly transforming the sending communities. It is often dominated by able-bodied males and youth, with young women, children, and elder members staying behind to carry on the farm work, although they might not have the capacities to maintain agricultural productivity and production. Several studies have examined the impacts of male outmigration on women’s labor supply decisions, but few have explicitly considered how male outmigration affects intra- household decision-making, and the consequences for productivity, production and food security. Using a unique survey from Nepal and accounting for the endogeneity of migration, this study analyzes the impacts of male outmigration on intra-household decision-making, agricultural practices, productivity and food security. It provides recommendations for policies and programs to support vulnerable farmers in migration-prone rural areas.

When the ‘strong arms’ leave the farms

Elisabeth Simelton

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with Kawarazuka, Nozomi; and Duong, Tuan M


Southeast Asia is experiencing rapid economic growth, driving rural job migration to non-agricultural sectors. This affects farming households in different ways, such as lost labour daytime, weekdays or for years. Often (married) women remain on the farm, taking over tasks that traditionally were performed by men as they had ‘strong arms’. What are the implications of job migration on different households and farming system set-ups, or on crop yields? While the term ‘feminization of agriculture’ is often used in feminist economics for male job-migration that increases women’s participation in agriculture, it does not fully capture negative consequences of labour migration. Based on literature review, we highlight myths related to feminization of agriculture and identify knowledge gaps. We contrast two poor provinces in Vietnam: mountainous Dien Bien with a high percentage of poor households and local (daily and seasonal) off-farm job migration; and coastal Ha Tinh with high unemployment rates and distant job migration (urban or abroad). We follow up a household survey from 2012, including indebtedness, use of non-farm incomes, labour distribution and gender roles in households with off-farm labour. As the share of part-time farmers is expected to increase, the wider implications of this research is to inform the design of improved farming systems and technical advise for decimated labour. Furthermore, we look at qualitative gender research from the two regions that capture real stories of migration, changing gender relations and women’s agency. We conclude with implications for gender and agricultural research and highlight specific areas for further research.

Rural Outmigration- Feminization-Agricultural Production Nexus: Case of Vietnam

Eva Salve Bacud

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with Puskur, Ranjitha; Duyen, Tran Nhat Lam; Valera, Harold Glen; Luis, Joyce; and Sander, Bjoern Ole

Although migration has recognizable impacts on poverty alleviation and welfare improvement especially among poor farming- dependent households, there is little understanding about its implications for farm production and members staying behind, particularly women farmers. Remittances through migration could support diversification of farm production. It could also result in a shift to less labour-intensive crops due to lower labour availability. This paper attempts to uncover implications of labour migration patterns for farm diversification, gendered division of labour, and women’s agency. This is based on a survey of 578 rice farming households in North, Central, and South Vietnam. The findings suggest that migrant households have more diversified production where they grow two or more crops in addition to rice. This appeared to be more apparent in households with international migration where 60% of them are growing rice along with short-term industrial crops and perennial fruit crops. Meanwhile, farm-related investments for rice production including purchase of fertilizers and pesticides declined with migration.

While men’s labour participation decreases in migrant households, women’s labour increases in majority of production stages. Only few migrant households (5%) hire additional labour implying that migration, even with the receipt of remittances, fails to compensate for lost labour. Women’s engagement in salaried work also declines, while their unpaid


Chair: Agnes Quisumbing

Women’s empowerment in agriculture: Lessons from qualitative research

Ruth Meinzen-Dick

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with Rubin, R.; Elias, M.; Mulema, A.; and Myers, A.


There is growing recognition of the importance of women’s empowerment in its own right and for a range of development outcomes, but less understanding of what empowerment means to rural women and men. The challenge of measuring empowerment, particularly across cultures and contexts, is also garnering attention. This presentation will report on qualitative research conducted conjointly with quantitative surveys, from 8 agricultural development projects in 8 countries, to develop a project-level Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (pro-WEAI). The qualitative research sought to identify emic meanings of “empowerment”, validate the domains and indicators of the quantitative index, provide greater understanding of the context of each project, and test a methodology for integrating quantitative and qualitative methods in assessments of empowerment. Despite challenges in translating the concept of “empowerment” across different cultures, the interviews revealed similarities among perceptions of women’s empowerment across contexts – nuances that informed the development of pro-WEAI. Economic status was an important component, meaning that empowered women can take care of themselves, their families, and their communities. Women’s empowerment was seen more positively when it was not just an individual attribute, but used to “lift the burden” of others as well. Both men and women reacted negatively to the notion of women having power over others, especially men. Results also showed interconnections between different quantitative indicators of empowerment. Women’s workloads and domestic responsibilities may limit their mobility and ability to earn income, two common measures of empowerment. Group membership can be empowering, but time and mobility mediate women’s ability to participate in groups. Such findings offer three critical insights. First, they provide projects with guidance on strategies that can contribute to women’s empowerment, and allow them to interpret quantitative results of the pro-WEAI. Then, they reveal where conceptions of empowerment among researchers may diverge from those of rural women and men, enabling future development programming and research to be more sensitive to the norms and beliefs shaping rural livelihoods. Finally, they shed light on the importance of qualitative research to provide rich contextual data for assessing empowerment, and a methodology that can be used in this pursuit.


Women farmers’ participation in agricultural research processes: Implications for sustaining agriculture and food security in Ethiopia

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Annet Mulema


Empowering women farmers to participate in agricultural research is a key strategy for sustainable agricultural development. Women empowerment has the potential to improve their roles in agricultural production while enhancing nutrition and food security. Although new agricultural development policies focus on improving women engagement in agriculture, there is limited literature on women empowerment in agricultural research. This study used mixed methods to analyse women farmers’ participation in four stages of the agricultural research process - design, testing, dissemination, monitoring and evaluation. 230 individual interviews with women farmers and 16 focus group discussions with men and women farmers were conducted in four districts of Ethiopia. Quantitative data were analysed using binary and multivariate probit models. Qualitative data were analysed using line-by-line coding. The results showed that several empowerment indicator variables significantly (P≤ 0.001) influenced women’s participation in different stages of agricultural research. Specifically, input in production decisions, autonomy in plot management, membership to farmer groups, and ability to speak in public enhanced women’s participation in different stages, in addition to access to information and extension services, education and land size. Cultural norms hindered women’s empowerment and engagement in research. To foster sustainable agriculture development, it’s important to integrate holistic and proactive gender perspectives into research strategies to increase women’s participation in farmer research groups, access information and knowledge, have voice and challenge constraining cultural norms and traditions.

Who is empowered? An analysis of predictors of empowerment in six countries in Africa and Asia

Elena Martinez

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with Seymour, Greg; Malapit, Hazel; Meinzen-Dick, Ruth; Pereira, Audrey; Quisumbing, Agnes; and Rubin, Deborah


Naila Kabeer conceptualizes empowerment as a process of change across three interrelated dimensions: resources, agency, and achievements. Resources are the human, social, and material resources that enhance one’s ability to make choices; agency is the ability to make decisions in one’s best interest; and achievements are improvements in one’s life such as better health and nutrition. In this paper, we examine the relationship between resources and agency in the agricultural sector. What causes a woman or man to lack the agency to make life decisions? Is lack of agency due to intrahousehold gender inequality or inadequate access to resources? We use data from population-based Feed the Future surveys in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ghana, Mozambique, and Nepal to assess associations between women’s and men’s agency and individual- and household-level characteristics. Agency is measured using individual-level indicators derived from the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI), including overall empowerment status and 10 component indicators of agency (input in productive decisions, autonomy in production, ownership of assets, rights over assets, access to and decisions on credit, control over use of income, group membership, speaking in public, workload, and leisure). Individual characteristics include age, literacy, and marital status; household characteristics include ethnicity, wealth, hunger, size, composition, and location. We use fractional logistic regression to estimate associations between empowerment score and individual and household characteristics, and logistic regression to estimate likelihood of adequacy in each component indicator. To our knowledge, this is the first cross-country analysis of predictors of women’s and men’s agency.

Empowered Bangladeshi women can make agriculture more resilient to climate change

Alessandro De Pinto

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with Seymour, Greg; Bryan, Elizabeth; and Bhandari, Prapti


Literature shows how climate change will likely affect several of the dimensions that determine people’s food security status from direct availability of food products to their accessibility. Crop diversification represents a farm-level response that reduces exposure to climate-related risks, a method to cope with the changing climate and a way to enhance the resilience of farming systems. Crop diversification has also been shown in some instances to contribute to increased diet diversity, reduction of micronutrient deficiencies and malnutrition. In fact, the Bangladeshi government has enacted initiatives such as the Crop Diversification Programme to encourage and support agricultural diversification. At the same time, existing literature indicates that women empowerment enhances technical efficiency and increases women’s agricultural productivity and women empowerment is linked to diversified diets and positively associated with better child nutrition outcomes. In this study we “close the loop” in the literature and analyse the role that women empowerment plays in crop diversification. Specifically, we use a series of econometric techniques to evaluate whether there is sufficient evidence to claim that a higher level of empowerment lead to greater diversity in the allocation of farmland to agricultural crops. Our results reveal that indeed some aspects of women empowerment, but not all, lead to forms of diversification in production, to a more diversified use of farmland, and to a transition for cereal production to other uses. These findings provide some clear pathways for interventions that can offset the negative impact of climate change.

Transforming forest landscapes through gender - responsive investments

Patricia Kristjanson

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with Bah, T.; Kuriakose, A.; Shakirova, M.; Segura, G.; Granat, M.; and Seigmann, K.


The challenges to integrating gender equality actions and investments should be seriously considered and specific steps taken to address the challenges and enable successful implementation Two overarching arguments exist for why. agroforestry will be critical in efforts to address climate change and rural poverty challenges in many countries. Investments in forest landscapes and While it is the people living in and around forests that will make the efforts needed to transform them into more sustainable systems from both environmental and livelihoods perspectives, women and men in local communities typically receive very little technical or financial support to do so. This is particularly the case for women. First and foremost is a rights-based argument – these investments and efforts should not maintain gender inequalities but work toward advancing gender equality as all people have the right to fair and equal treatment. There is also a strong case to be made that by ignoring gender considerations, many opportunities are missed and investments simply are not as effective and efficient as they potentially could be by being gender-responsive rather than gender-blind or neutral. Thus, issues arising due to gender inequalities should be seen as potential opportunities to address systemic barriers to enhance both forest landscape initiatives and gender equality, resulting in transformation change on both fronts. This paper explores these opportunities and provides such guidance. This paper reviews key gender gaps identified in relation to forest landscape projects and programs in the literature. It examines what gender inequalities exist, and the gender considerations or actions being taken to address these gaps in many countries through a review of a wide range of projects and forest sector investments in different regions supported by the World Bank and partners. Lessons are drawn regarding future gender-transformative forest landscape investments that will contribute to and catalyze results on multiple sustainable development goals.