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Marie
Rarieya

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What are the challenges to women’s engagement in priority value chains, agribusiness and industries, including value addition, and commercialization of agricultural products?
One of the outstanding challenges is to understand better women’s engagement in priority valuechains. This will require examining a few of the integrated frameworks that can help tease out agricultural landscape heterogeneous such as gender.

With respect to agricultural market place, gender differences become apparent when one looks at the realms of unpaid reproductive/care work in rural areas, non-remunerative productive work on the farm.  In May 2017, I visited some smallholder farm communities in Western Kenya, where key informants reported that women and youths (boys and girls) play a significant role in the agricultural labour force, women care for men, while men spend most of their time in the market place and return home in the evening demanding food. While this may not be a pair sample of the population, but low participation of men in the agricultural labour force was a matter of concern for the women farmers interviewed.

In an attempt to address these challenges, attention need to focus on the diverse roles of men and women, boys and girls in the different agricultural systems linked to land, economy, access to resources and food, production, processing, and consumption. Generally farmers, especially women expertise a number of challenges:
1) lack of access to credit to purchase inputs (seeds, fertilizers), 
2) decision-making power on sale of the produce and use of income generated, and
3) leadership position, to mention a few. 

How should the Bank address these challenges?
In order to understand and address these gender gaps, it is also important to adapt an integrated framework. For example, Feed the Future Gender Integration Framework, which is a USAID programmatic tool developed to understand the most critical constraints to women’s empowerment in the agricultural sector in a particular country or context. The Framework has seven dimensions: (1) Production: awareness of different possibilities for and decision-making power over agricultural production;
(2) Resources: access to and decision-making power over productive resources, including but not limited to land, credit, and equipment;
(3) Income: control over the use of income and expenditures;
(4) Leadership: social participation, including leadership in the community and ability to voice opinions in public;
(5) Time: ability to choose a workload that allows adequate and satisfactory time for non-work activities;
(6) Human capital: having adequate skill and knowledge to productively use resources, new technologies, and information to improve the household’s economic situation; and
(7) Technology: access to beneficial technologies. The Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) measures the first five dimensions. It is thus important to unpack a set of causal pathways that link gendered differences with social norms, economic constraints, institutions, international processes, and policy prescriptions.

It is crucial to understand and support women’s participation through addressing the gender gaps within the seven dimension of the integrated framework across the agricultural value chains from production, processing, aggregation, distribution to consumerism.

Marie Rarieya, PhD
Vice President, Capacity Strengthening & Professional Development
International Centre for Evaluation and Development
Tel: +254 (0)791-495-599
Email:mrarieya@ICED-eval.org
Skype:musumba1
Website: www.ICED-eval.org

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Integration of gender perspectives in research and innovation are essential in providing an up-to-date understanding of gender issues and complexities in agriculture. Men and women, boys and girls typically play differentiated roles in food systems and within the household. These differences vary widely within the African context. Integration of gender perspectives in research and innovation involves identifying and then addressing gender differences and inequalities during program or activity design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. Gender analysis can be done at three level: Macro, meso and micro levels. At Macro level, we may be interested in examining how norms and values regarding gender roles have influenced the regulations and legislation around key issues such as labor, access to resources—land tenure (inheritance law, etc.), market demand (local, national, international).

Marie Rarieya, PhD
Vice President, Capacity Strengthening & Professional Development
International Centre for Evaluation and Development
Tel: +254 (0)791-495-599
Email:mrarieya@ICED-eval.org
Skype:musumba1
Website: www.ICED-eval.org

Marie Rarieya's picture

 

 

What is the role of agricultural research in bridging the gender gap?

To what extent are both women and men, boys and girls, and people with disabilities seen as agents of change for sustainable agricultural transformation in the Africa African. In my view, well-crafted research and data collection tools and data analysis has the potential to potential to answer this question. Ensuring that gender issues are taken into consideration in agricultural value chain interventions (from production, processioning, and distribution to consumption) is vital for facilitating the development of inclusive value chains that benefit both women and men and girls and boys. We need to pay particular attention to the specificities of particular groups of women, girls, men and boys in food systems. Key areas of gender concerns at the household level include but not limited to:

  • gender differences in social capital and in vulnerability to poor nutrition and health
  • Access and decision-making power about productive resources
  • Gender roles and decision makers:
  • Access and control of income generated from farm or livestock produce sales.
  • Participation and leadership in community based associations or unions.

Basically, women and men and girls and boys typically play differentiated roles within the agricultural sector and within the household. These differences vary widely within the African continent and more broadly. It is thus crucial that deliberate and meaningful efforts are taken to ensure that all planned agricultural development interventions are inclusive and gender responsive.

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Marie Rarieya, PhD
Vice President, Capacity Strengthening & Professional Development
International Centre for Evaluation and Development
Tel: +254 (0)791-495-599
Email:mrarieya@ICED-eval.org
Skype:musumba1
Website: www.ICED-eval.org