February 4, 2014
The Gender Agriculture and Assets Project (GAAP), jointly led by IFPRI and ILRI, has released the first set of discussion papers detailing the findings of the GAAP.
Following the Project Notes , which summarized findings from all 8 projects, the Discussion Papers give more detail on specific projects in the portfolio.
IFPRI Discussion Paper on the CARE-Bangladesh Strengthening the Dairy Value Chain Project.
IFPRI Discussion Paper on the Landesa West Bengal Microplot Allocation Program.
IFPRI Discussion Paper on the BRAC Targeting the Ultra Poor Program in Bangladesh.
IFPRI Discusison Paper on the HKI Enhanced-Homestead Food Production program in Burkina Faso.
January 30, 2014
From January 27th through February 14th, an online discussion on data gaps on gender equality is taking place at the Wikigender website. The outcomes and main findings of the discussion will be synthesized and presented at a side event occuring in March 2014 at the 58th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women. Each of the three weeks of the discussion has a thematic focus, as follows:
Week 1: January 27- The Socioeconomic Empowerment of Women
Week 2: February 3 – Violence Against Women
Week 3: February 10 – The Civic and Political Participation of Women
Join the discussion here.
January 29, 2014
Women’s low status and persistent gender gaps in health and education in South Asia contribute to chronic child malnutrition (Smith et al. 2003) and food insecurity (von Grebmer et al. 2009), even as other determinants of food security, such as per capita incomes, have improved. This is particularly relevant for Bangladesh, where chronic food insecurity continues to be an important issue despite steady advances in food production. To be able to leverage agriculture as an engine of inclusive growth, there is a need to develop indicators for measuring women’s empowerment, examine its relationship to various food-security outcomes, and monitor the impact of interventions to empower women.
Using nationally representative survey data from Bangladesh, authors Esha Sraboni, Hazel Malapit, Agnes Quisumbing, and Akhter Ahmed examine the relationship between women’s empowerment in agriculture and two measures of household food security: per adult equivalent calorie availability and dietary diversity. Theyuse the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index to assess the extent of women’s empowerment in agriculture and instrumental variables techniques to correct for the potential endogeneity of empowerment. They find that the overall women’s empowerment score, the number of groups in which women actively participate, women’s control of assets, and a narrowing gap in empowerment between men and women within households are positively associated with calorie availability and dietary diversity.
For the full paper, click here.
January 9, 2014
Over the past decade, stakeholders have made a variety of generalized claims concerning women’s landownership, both globally and in Africa. Typically, these claims include statements with single statistics, such as “women own less than 2 percent of the world’s land” or “women own approximately 15 percent of land in Africa south of the Sahara.” These claims are problematic because they are not substantiated by empirical evidence, do not reflect variations in landownership across or within countries, do not acknowledge differences in landownership regimes, nor address comparative ownership by men in the same contexts. Neither do they address the difference between ownership and control of land. The lack of a clear understanding behind statistics on gender and land also leads to an inability to clearly articulate a policy response to the potential inequalities faced by women and men. The objective of a new paper by Cheryl Doss, Chiara Kovarik, Amber Peterman, Agnes Quisumbing and Mara van den Bold, Gender inequalities in ownership and control of land in Africa: Myth versus reality, is to explore, conceptually and empirically, the levels and relative inequalities in landownership between women and men in African countries.
The review investigates the extent of women’s land ownership in sub Saharan Africa, using nationally representative data sets. The paper highlights the need to clarify what we mean when we provide statistics on women’s land ownership—what do we mean by ownership, and what land are we talking about. Most of the available data is not consistent on these points. Where there is data available, there is a very mixed picture of women’s land ownership, and broad generalizations hide that important variability.
December 13, 2013
There is now growing recognition of the importance of attention to gender for agricultural productivity and food security. However, many “gender myths” persist; myths that either underestimate or overstate the importance of women’s roles and resources. In order to close the gender gap in productivity or assets, there is a need to close the knowledge gap. This policy seminar presented evidence gathered for a new volume of studies titled “Gender in Agriculture and Food Security: Closing the Knowledge Gap”.
At this event, Terri Raney highlighted key messages of the State of Food and Agriculture report on gender and agriculture, and how this report has catalyzed new research on gender and agriculture. The gender asset gap and its implications for agricultural and rural development was presented by Agnes Quisumbing. Ruth Meinzen-Dick discussed one type of capital—social capital—and how it interacts with gender in agricultural development programs. Lastly, Deborah Rubin talked about promoting gender-equitable agricultural value chains.
For more information, see the event page here.
November 20, 2013
The CGIAR’s Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) just released a short video interview with Agnes Quisumbing, one of the Gender, Agriculture and Assets Project (GAAP) PIs and the Senior Gender Advisor to A4NH. In the video, Agnes explains the important linkages between gender and assests and how their relationship can affect people’s ability to engage in and benefit from interventions. She showcases two of the GAAP portfolio projects: The Harvest Plus Reaching End Users Project and the Helen Keller International Enhanced Homestead Food Production Program.
October 28, 2013
A new IFPRI Discussion Paper, Women’s Empowerment and Nutrition: An Evidence Review, by Mara van den Bold, Agnes Quisumbing, and Stuart Gillespie reviews the evidence on women’s empowerment and nutrition. Many development programs that aim to alleviate poverty and improve investments in human capital consider women’s empowerment a key pathway by which to achieve impact and often target women as their main beneficiaries. Despite this, women’s empowerment dimensions are often not rigorously measured and are at times merely assumed. This paper starts by reflecting on the concept and measurement of women’s empowerment and then reviews some of the structural interventions that aim to influence underlying gender norms in society and eradicate gender discrimination. It then proceeds to review the evidence of the impact of three types of interventions—cash transfer programs, agricultural interventions, and microfinance programs—on women’s empowerment, nutrition, or both.
Qualitative evidence on conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs generally points to positive impacts on women’s empowerment, although quantitative research findings are more heterogenous. CCT programs produce mixed results on long-term nutritional status, and very limited evidence exists of their impacts on micronutrient status. The little evidence available on unconditional cash transters (UCT) indicates mixed impacts on women’s empowerment and positive impacts on nutrition; however, recent reviews comparing CCT and UCT programs have found little difference in terms of their effects on stunting and they have found that conditionality is less important than other factors, such as access to healthcare and child age and sex. Evidence of cash transfer program impacts depending on the gender of the transfer recipient or on the conditionality is also mixed, although CCTs with non-health conditionalities seem to have negative impacts on nutritional status. The impacts of programs based on the gender of the transfer recipient show mixed results, but almost no experimental evidence exists of testing gender-differentiated impacts of a single program.
Agricultural interventions—specifically home gardening and dairy projects—show mixed impacts on women’s empowerment measures such as time, workload, and control over income; but they demonstrate very little impact on nutrition. Implementation modalities are shown to determine differential impacts in terms of empowerment and nutrition outcomes. With regard to the impact of microfinance on women’s empowerment, evidence is also mixed, although more recent reviews do not find any impact on women’s empowerment. The impact of microfinance on nutritional status is mixed, with no evidence of impact on micronutrient status. Across all three types of programs (cash transfer programs, agricultural interventions, and microfinance programs), very little evidence exists on pathways of impact, and evidence is often biased toward a particular region.
The paper ends with a discussion of the findings and remaining evidence gaps and an outline of recommendations for research.