«Women-only focus group discussion in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. 17 August 2011 i Version 1 – August 2011 Contents Abbreviations and Acronyms Executive ...»
As a result of women’s lack of access to land, some market-led development interventions have encouraged women into industrialised jobs in the agricultural sector. Women have been able to benefit from the creation of wage employment in the agro-industrial sector (FAO, IFAD, ILO 2010). Increasingly common is food packaging. Little research has been done on this and its impact on women’s empowerment. However, there is a considerable body of literature produced on women and their integration into the flower-production industry, from which some lessons can be learned (Mehra and Hill-Rojas 2008). Also, in the 2000s, and since the effects of globalised agricultural production have trickled down, more authors have emphasised the feminisation of agricultural work, especially paid work (LastarriaCornhiel 2006; Cernea 2008). Many of these jobs for women are casual and seasonal, with little security. There are also claims that working conditions for agricultural wage workers seem harsher for women than for men (Fontana with Paciello 2010; Mehra and Hill-Rojas 2008; FAO, IFAD, ILO 2010).
The integration of women into industrialised jobs may also reinforce the existing gendered nature of the division of labour, whereby women are solely seen as secondary contributors to the household income. This contribution can be made through the production of crops for household consumption, free labour in the family plot, or through a salary.
Women’s economic empowerment is not always immediately translated into women’s social and political empowerment, and women’s own salaries may be another asset that they do not fully control. Women’s salaries may be invested in the household through buying food, paying school fees, etc. or used by the head of the household (usually a man) to invest in agricultural inputs for the family plot and the production of cash crops.
So while it is a positive development to support women’s access to rural employment
opportunities, in order to support empowerment processes such opportunities should:
Focus not only on the quantity of such jobs, but on their quality of those jobs, in line with the International Labour Organisation decent work agenda89, mainstreaming awareness of health and safety practices, and general working conditions.
Be part of an overall strategy that supports women’s increased control over their income, with salaries paid directly to women, for instance through mobile phones belonging to women.
5.7.5 Highlighting the successes of women farmers and experts By giving women visibility and offering recognition of their successes, women can become more confident to claim rights. This was highlighted by women farmers at the recent IFAD Farmers’ Forum, where it was stated that there is a need for more positive media messages Introductory remarks by Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator, at the Ministerial Breakfast on Economic Opportunities for the Empowerment of Women in Africa and the Least Developed Countries: Access to Land, Credit, and Markets, 2 July 2010 ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, available http://www.ilo.org/public/english/standards/index.htm and ILO (2003) Decent work in agriculture, available http://www.ilo.org/public/english/dialogue/sector/techmeet/iwsdwa03/iwsdwa-r.pdf and portrayals of women. In particular, participants mentioned a need for the professionalisation of the image of the female farmer, including the young woman farmer (IFAD 2010). This includes women agricultural scientists and experts (WB, FAO, IFAD 2009).
For instance, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) AWARD programme focuses on supporting the career development of female agricultural scientists.
One of the objectives is to create more positive views of women’s role in agriculture 90.
See http://awardfellowships.org/ 6 Key findings, recommendations and conclusions This research has explored gender inequalities in agriculture in the context of the implementations of WFP’s Purchase for Progress initiative. It has developed a gender framework to guide action and to support assessment of the potential of a number of practical actions to address the structural and practical constraints contributing to women’s disadvantaged position in agriculture. This report supports the development of a Global Gender Strategy.
This section includes key findings, general recommendations and specific recommendations.
It concludes with a discussion of two different operational approaches to gender in P4P.
6.1 Key findings The report presents a number of key findings. Some of these concern the realities of women in agriculture in countries where P4P operates and some focus on the interface between
P4P and these gendered realities:
Women make essential contributions to agricultural development. Within these contributions, women face specific constraints that disadvantage them in relation to men. This gender gap has implications for the success of agricultural development interventions and the well-being of the rural poor.
The constraints are mainly structural and are rooted in the reproduction of unequal gender dynamics at the level of the household, community, markets and the state.
These constraints may reinforce one another, creating a vicious circle of women’s subordination (Agarwal 2003; Gallina 2010).
These gender relations include a division of labour that results in women generally working longer hours as they must combine reproductive and productive responsibilities. In addition, women find it difficult to graduate from a role in subsistence agriculture to more prominent positions in market-based agriculture.
Gender inequality manifests further in practical constraints to women’s participation.
Women lack access to and control over resources, most notably land but also income, agricultural inputs, extension services, education and social capital.
As a result of this inequality, most women are unpaid family workers. They work on the family farm, regardless of the type of crop (cash crops and subsistence crops). There are female-heads of households, and women in certain areas (particularly in West Africa) or of particular circumstances that own land and engage in the production and trading of crops procured through P4P, but these are in the minority and face a multitude of practical constraints to their engagement with P4P.
There are ‘gendered’ crops and ‘gendered’ activities. This means that there are certain crops whose production process is totally controlled by women, with minimal interference from their husbands. However, these are primarily not the type of crops that are procured through P4P. This can be explained by the fact that women’s main focus is on diversifying their livelihood strategies. In many cases, diversification implies a greater investment in activities that are not directly related to the production of crops for the market as men tend to occupy this role.
P4P faces a number of risks and limitations with regards to its ambitions for gender:
Most women do not meet the criteria that often define smallholder farmers. In the overwhelming majority of cases, men are the nominal owners of household assets, and therefore recognised as such both by law and custom. Women may have user rights to land, but this type of access can be withdrawn very easily.
In the majority of the countries where P4P operate, the programme may either not be procuring, or if doing so then in relatively small quantities, crops/ food products whose production is more likely to be controlled by women. Some of these crops and food products fall within the wider WFP food basket.
The links between income and food security are complex and the effect of procurement on these aspects of household welfare should be carefully considered as women and children may be especially negatively affected (see Section 3.3).
Women are not a homogeneous group. Their roles in agriculture vary within and across regions and countries, and are determined by other social relations such as class, ethnicity and age. In this report there are four categories/ groups of women that are
1. Women producers and/or marketers of crops currently procured through P4P.
2. Women unpaid family workers.
3. Women producers and/or petty traders of crops and food products currently not procured through P4P.
4. Women casual agricultural labourers.
Not all these groups of women can currently be targeted by the programme.
Consequently, P4P’s targets and indicators on women’s participation (50 percent membership in farmer organisations) may be difficult to reach. Currently, it is ready to target group 1, with limited outreach to group 2. The programme could expand its reach to specifically also target groups 3 and 4.
6.2 General recommendations Based on these findings there are five general recommendations to ensure that the P4P
gender strategy is practical and meaningful for the women and men involved:
1. Initiate an internal discussion about programmatic approaches and which groups of women to target The breadth and impact of P4P’s operational approach to gender is related to which groups of women the programme wants to focus on, and the extent to which WFP is able to change current P4P operations. Some groups will require a more transformational approach, which may not fit into P4P’s current remit. This discussion should centre on possible changes to, and diversification of the current groups of crops and food products procured through P4P (including more processed food products that fit into the overall WFP food basket); and monitoring of the food and nutrition security situation more closely. This would consider the household, and hence women’s needs, and places greater emphasis on livelihoods.
2. Conduct local level gender assessment Gender assessment is an imperative for practical gender work since responsibilities and roles vary socio-economically and socio-culturally between men and women. Even within a country, generalisations are inadvisable (Jiggins et al 1998)91. This report recommends that Country Offices carry out their own gender analysis. For instance, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, El Salvador., Guatemala, Malawi, Mozambique and Rwanda have all conducted or are in the process of conducting a gender assessment.
The improvement of women’s participation in agricultural development programmes and access to agricultural services must begin with an analysis of men’s and women’s participation in the agricultural production process along two related dimensions: their role in agriculture and their role in the household (Jiggins et al 1998). To support women’s integration in markets, this analysis should include a specific focus on women and men farmers’ different roles in the value chain, as well as the role of other actors, without neglecting the broader structural constraints and opportunities women face (Gallina 2010;
3. Create packages of mutually reinforcing measures in collaboration with farmers’ organisations, women’s groups and all other stakeholders/partners.
There are deep causes of women’s disadvantaged positions and their effects are many.
Effective market-oriented interventions that aim to support women’s participation and support gender equity have to tackle gender discriminatory norms and practices at multiple levels, i.e. at the household/community level, market level and national level, and they must be designed as a package of mutually reinforcing measures.
In order for P4P to support the varying pathways out of poverty for rural women and men, specific measures will be required in each country that have been adapted to a range of contextual factors. Activities should be designed to give consideration to women’s limited bargaining position, both in the household and in the labour market. Poverty outcomes are linked to this bargaining position and empowerment outcomes should not be assumed as a result of women’s participation in programme activities.
4. Ensure that gender activities are accompanied by a rigorous M&E framework M&E is a key part of any gender strategy. It supports purposeful and realistic action on gender and allows WFP to explore context-specific gendered outcomes of programme activities to ensure learning.
5. Employ participatory methods Involving women and men in the process of project planning, design, implementation, and M&E through meaningful participation, can increase the likelihood of the success of a programme (Meinzen-Dick et al 2010; Haddad et al 2010). This is consistent with the concept of empowerment as women’s capacity for their own self-determination (Kabeer 1999), where women and men make ‘their own decisions rather than merely adopting the recommendations of others’ (Bartlett paraphrased in Meinzen-Dick et al 2010: 6). Gender analysis should pursue participatory methods, so that specific solutions consider the For instance, studies in Nigeria have revealed differences in gender relationships even in ethnically similar rural Nigerian communities just kilometres apart (Olawoye, 1985 in Jiggins et al 1998).
priorities of women farmers. In various sections of this report, we have seen the benefits of participatory methods for gender sensitisation; for extension and training, such as FFS; for analysis of stakeholders in value chains; and for M&E.
6.3 Specific recommendations on practical actions Overall, the literature review and research validates the usefulness of the practical actions identified in Occasional Paper II, but for full effect these should be undertaken together with
the general recommendations above. In relation to this, specific recommendations include:
Increasing gender sensitisation through designing inclusive activities (women and men, girls and boys) that are positively framed.
Supporting women’s active participation in groups, initially by considering the suitability of women-only vs. mixed groups. Ensure that group activities are linked to gender sensitisation. Currently, women feel more comfortable and safe in women-only groups where there is a tacit shared understanding of women’s everyday and structural difficulties and grievances.