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«Women-only focus group discussion in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. 17 August 2011 i Version 1 – August 2011 Contents Abbreviations and Acronyms Executive ...»

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Smallholder groups benefiting under the project have at least 50 per cent female membership.

By the end of the project at least 30 per cent of smallholder groups have developed sufficient capacity to participate in competitive tender processes with WFP, half of this percentage being from female-led smallholder groups7.

One challenge for P4P has been in translating these gender targets into practical action for

the advancement of women farmers. Specific implementation challenges include:

Cultural barriers to women’s participation (Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras,


WFP Strategic Plan 2008- 2013, available http://documents.wfp.org/stellent/groups/public/documents/communications/wfp228800.pdf WFP Gender Policy: Promoting Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women in Addressing Food and Nutrition Challenges (WFP 2009a), available http://one.wfp.org/eb/docs/2009/wfp194044~2.pdf See impact goal above. The WFP proposal to BMGF (WFP 2008b) also states: ‘There are an estimated 54 million small-scale farms on the continent [Africa], directly supporting over 270 million people. These farms, most of which are managed by women,..’ WFP Proposal to BMGF (WFP 2008b), Outcomes 1 and 2 under Objective 4. Also referenced in Indicator Reference (WFP 2010e), which explains that these targets are an average across countries, available http://documents.wfp.org/stellent/groups/public/documents/reports/wfp229260.pdf Supporting smallholder farmers and especially women’s ability to sell through the commodity exchange (Zambia) Finding FOs in which women members are well represented (El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Mozambique, Sudan) Limited involvement of women in the commercialisation of cereals (Malawi, West Africa) Women generally not proactive in their participation in training activities (Burkina Faso) Resistance from the elderly in rural communities (Guatemala, El Salvador, Latin America) Limited literacy and numeracy skills among women, which may reduce their confidence, willingness and availability to participate in leadership WFP staff are limited in their knowledge on how to mainstream gender (Guatemala,

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1.3 Purpose of report WFP requested ALINe to build on existing efforts to enhance women’s participation, and specifically the WFP P4P Occasional Paper II8, by critically analysing the gender-related

assumptions within. Within this assignment, the aim of this report is to:

1. Inform and contribute to the development of a Global Gender Strategy, and serve as

reference material for the implementation of this strategy. Hence, the report considers:

 What P4P can reasonably expect to achieve for and with women producers.

 The objectives of the P4P programme. In this context it identifies gender inequities in access to P4P and it explains why it is important to address these.

 The context-specific gender-related opportunities, constraints and risks that P4P will need to address in attempting to ensure gender equity in access to the programme and in promoting women's empowerment.

2. Develop a gender framework to guide action by supporting the assessment of possible practical actions to address the structural and practical constraints contributing to women’s disadvantaged position in agriculture.

3. Produce recommendations that can be translated into plans for practical action and also inform a P4P Global Gender Strategy.

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1.5 Structure of report

This report has five sections:

Women’s constraints and opportunities in agriculture. This section reviews the role of women in agriculture. It also explores the gender-specific constraints that women face and the effects those constraints have on women’s ability to benefit from agricultural production and sales.

Risks and limitations to gender ambitions in P4P. The main risks and limitations to P4P’s approach to gender are laid out and examined.

Gender framework. This section outlines a framework to guide operational approaches to gender, and it explains the how, why and when any or all of these approaches can be implemented by WFP in P4P. The section includes an expression of the concept of women’s empowerment and how it relates to increasing women’s participation in P4P.

Practical actions. This section explores the various practical solutions (building on the P4P Occasional Paper II) for addressing women’s constraints and mitigating their effects.

With the use of recent examples from the literature, the section highlights the risks and opportunities for implementation and recommends principles of good practice.

Conclusions and recommendations. The final section summarises the key findings port and makes initial recommendations for the development of a P4P gender strategy.

The report is accompanied by a Global Gender Strategy for P4P.

Latin America (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Venezuela).

See Kes and Mehra (2009) and Bizzarri (2009).

2 Women’s constraints and opportunities in agriculture The important role that women play in agriculture is not translated into equality of opportunity in gaining access to productive resources, markets and services (Fontana with Paciello 2010; FAO 2011a; WB, FAO, IFAD 2009). Although men and women are likely to share a lack of access to opportunities, disadvantages are often magnified for women who tend to face additional constraints by virtue of their gender. This ‘gender gap’ is the starting point for this review. In order to understand how this plays out and how it affects women’s opportunities to engage with P4P, there is a need to better understand the root causes of women’s current position, i.e. gender-specific constraints. Following this, it is important to identify the effects of these root causes; particularly those that prevent women from accessing markets and succeeding in a market-based agricultural sector.

2.1 Gender-specific constraints Gender-specific constraints are those structural constraints which women suffer by virtue of their gender. They are social products of unequal gender power relations. These cut across social, economic, political and cultural divides (Kabeer and Subrahmanian 1996), and are created and sustained by social norms that in turn are reinforced and replicated across four

key institutions11:

The state, through its laws and administrative functions;

Local, national and international markets;

Relations and decision-making processes at the community level (e.g. FOs and cooperatives);

Relations and decision-making processes at the household level (Kabeer 1999).

Both women and men are affected by commonly understood gender roles, responsibilities and behaviours that shape gender differences. Both can be affected for better or worse, but women are more likely to be disadvantaged by prescribed gender norms because of the lower status associated with the roles they are often expected to take on, and the often private (and therefore unrecognised) nature of these roles (BRIDGE/IDS 2011). Common

expressions of these gender-specific constraints include:

Male-dominated culture. Male-dominated cultures are often pervasive and are used to justify and even legitimise gender inequality. This is particularly true in rural areas, where such cultures are more entrenched and customary laws and traditions prevail.

Culture is created and recreated by individuals and formal or informal social institutions (e.g. village councils) to maintain the status quo (Maseno and Kilonzo 2011).

Social identity and role. Gender inequality is deeply rooted in cultural roles that condition the social identity of women and men. Men hold privileged positions of power (private and public; social, economic and political) (Kabeer and Subrahmanian 1996).

Family relations, seen in such norms and practices as early marriage, polygamy, parental authority and inheritance rights, often disadvantage women.

See Annex 1: Glossary Reduced social space. Women’s social space is often confined to the household as a result of gender norms relating to the seclusion of girls and women. Hence women may be more isolated and less mobile than men (ibid; SIGI 2009).

Lack of civil liberties. Women’s civil liberties are often reduced as a result of lack of freedom of movement and lack of freedom of dress (ibid).

Lack of physical integrity. Women may face gender-based violence and may be subjected to the practice of female genital mutilation (ibid).

‘Glass-ceiling’. Women may reinforce embedded cultural expectations. They are likely to accept as ‘normal’, and even to argue for the existence of, the very discriminatory practices that subjugate and constrain them. Some women will not challenge these practices, or will lack the confidence or wish to challenge something they consider ‘normal’ (Tamale 2000).

Within these constraints women plan and negotiate their positions, using passive or active forms of resistance or agency (Kandiyoti 1988). Unequal gender relations influence the way people are socialised, but do not necessarily determine the ways in which they lead their lives.

2.1.1 Regional variations in gender-specific constraints It is important to note that gender constraints vary within and between countries and regions. To gain a deeper understanding of the specific context of gender relations within the regions and countries where P4P operates, comparisons between regions and countries are included in this review. This is intentionally a cursory, ‘light-touch’ analysis of the specific situation of women within P4P regions, looking in particular at the constraints that are evident in relation to P4P’s remit. This variation is important to recognise to ensure that action to address constraints is suited to the particular context and the specific needs of women.

Two common gender indicators illustrate the differences between and within the regions and countries where P4P operate (Table 2).

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Overall, gender discrimination is very high in Africa and regional concerns relate to physical integrity and family code. Most Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries operate under a dual or tripartite system of law – civil, traditional (customary), and religious – making it difficult to harmonise legislation and remove discriminatory practices. In many countries, continuing conflict has further affected the lives of many women. Much discrimination is related to inheritance and ownership rights as husbands are often considered to be heads of households and women remain dependent on them for financial and social means (SIGI 2009).

In areas where polygamous families are common, access to resources and decision-making tends to be divided between household members (Dey 1984), although the way in which this plays out depends on the specific context (SIDA 2004). Although these general trends The Gender-related Development Index is a composite index of life expectancy, education (the adult literacy rate and the combined primary to tertiary gross enrolment ratio), estimated earned income (at purchasing power parity US$). Data is from 2009. For more information see http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/HDR_2009_EN_Table_K.pdf and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genderrelated_Development_Index The SIGI is a composite index of non-OECD countries that focuses on social institutions, and formal and informal social norms that act as root causes of gender inequality: family code (early marriage, polygamy, parental authority and inheritance rights), civil liberties (freedom of movement and of dress), son preference, physical integrity (violence against women and female genital mutilation) and ownership rights (land, property and credit). The individual scores for each variables can be found in Annex 2. Data is from 2009. Please see the OECD Social Institutions and Gender Index at http://my.genderindex.org.

can be distilled for Africa overall, there are differences within and between the three P4P


In East Africa, some countries (e.g. Tanzania and Kenya) have been successful in abolishing aspects of customary law that discriminate against women, whereas others have used customary and religious issues to influence legal systems (e.g. Uganda, Eritrea, Sudan, and Somalia). Where civil liberties have been institutionalised, these may still collide with customary-influenced family codes, formally or informally applied14. The fieldwork in Ethiopia has shown that while men attribute a lot of importance to traditional structures (such as the group of elders), and recognise their influence over the household, women believe that the Kebele15 plays a much more prominent role in their lives. Women believe that the Kebele provides them with a window on to the world, i.e. it is through the Kebele that they are informed about many initiatives in the community (e.g. social development initiatives that they could join), or that they are linked with other organisations (e.g. national women’s organisations). The Kebele was women’s point of access to information that they could not otherwise access. For women the Kebele also represented the law, and the law was, in their view, more important than tradition. This does not mean that the law would always prevail, and women were clear that many legal disputes resolved in favour of women would then be overturned by the elders. Still, women saw the Kebele as an impartial and independent resource. Religious leaders were also important and it became very clear that the government was partnering with religious leaders in their effort to mainstream awareness of gender inequality. In Tanzania, the government seemed far more remote, and both men’s and women’s primary references in terms of social organisation were the traditional structures (group of elders and religious councils).

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