The program included participants from more than 20 countries, a majority from Sub-Saharan Africa, and represented a diverse range of stakeholders. Among other critical points, the stakeholders crafted a theory of change to help guide strategic decision-making. Participants also outlined a number of innovative approaches to help – jointly - improve rural agricultural development and empower women.
"What is the Value Added Using the Human Rights Based Approach in Agriculture, or Is There Any?"
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Sarah Forti, Research Team Leader, Critical Rights and Gender Consult
Phil Bernard-Carter, ICF GHK
The presentation is based on the study on Gender and a Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA) by the World Bank /Nordic Trust Fund Secretariat. It studied selected gender activities in sectors and thematic areas, such as Transport, Agriculture, Justice for the Poor Program and Gender Responsive Budgeting. The study‘s key question was - what added value and evidence of improved outcomes can be identified through the integration of HRBA to gender work, and at the same time to the work of the sector.
Women are at the nexus of agriculture, nutrition, and health. As smallholder farmers and caretakers of children, women make daily food production and consumption decisions for their families. Expansive literature suggests that women are much more likely than men to spend additional income on food and healthcare, so increasing women’s income is likely to have a proportionally greater impact on children’s health and nutrition than comparable increases in men’s income. Given the significant time constraints on women, interventions that affect women’s time allocation can help improve their own nutrition as well as that of their children.
Recently Haven Ley, Senior Program Officer at The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, spoke at the World Bank about practical measures that her foundation and other international donor organizations can adopt to help mainstream gender into agricultural development, thus improving crop yields, increasing nutritional intake and potentially helping more than 100 million people escape out of extreme poverty.
Caren Grown understands the importance of gender mainstreaming in agricultural development and has spent her career helping to ensure that gender equality objectives are met in agricultural development initiatives across the globe. "For me, integrating gender equality objectives and women's empowerment into agriculture is a no-brainer," states Grown, Senior Gender Advisor in the Policy, Planning, and Learning Department at USAID and co-author of the newly created Women's Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI). "We have so much research, and so much experience, and so much learning that has been done about this over the years that I can't believe we are not doing this."
Emily Hogue couldn't agree more. Hogue, Technical Team Lead for Monitoring and Evaluation in USAID's Bureau for Food Security and co-author of the Index, recognizes the important role tools like the WEAI can play in improving the rural livelihoods of women and men across the agricultural sector. "Having this as an indicator for all of Feed the Future means that everyone has to pay attention to these areas. We found that these constraints we were looking at and these areas we were looking at were really broadly applicable - not just to USAID or the US Government, but in areas that other donor organizations and development partners are working in."
To learn more about this initiative, please watch the interview with the two authors here
For more information on the Index, please click here
Women play a critical and potentially transformative role in agricultural growth in developing countries, but they face persistent obstacles and economic constraints limiting further inclusion in agriculture. The Women's Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) measures the empowerment, agency, and inclusion of women in the agriculture sector in a effort to identify ways to overcome those obstacles and constraints. On Tuesday, June 26 USAID's Emily Hogue presented this new tool for effectively measuring the connections between women's empowerment, food security, and agricultural growth.
Are women more vulnerable to climate change then men? If so, what are the factors which contribute to these increases and what measures can be taken to help increase the resiliency of both women and men to climate change?
These are a few of the questions being addressed in a new report by the World Bank's Nilufar Ahmad. The report, titled Gender in Climate Change in Bangladesh: The Role of Institutions in Reducing Gender Gaps in Adaptation, is the latest work to focus on the differentiated impacts posed by the potential impacts of climate change on the agricultural sector and beyond. By focusing on 18 vulnerable sites across both urban and rural areas, this innovative report provides in-depth qualitative and quantitative analyses of some of the major gender-differentiated impacts faced by populations throughout Bangladesh.
In tandem with the upcoming publication of the full report, the author recently met with the Washington-based Gender Responsive Agriculture Development and Enterprise (GRADE) group to present the findings from this work and answer questions on her findings (available here).
Smallholder men and women farmers play different roles in agriculture and have different levels of access to resources: For example, women farmers tend to take care of smaller livestock and grow food crops while men have control over larger animals and cultivate cash crops. As a result, they develop different strategies to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change. For better results, these respective strategies need to be equally taken into consideration in the formulation of programmes and policies that support climate-smart agriculture.
Dani Clark: Hi, I'm Dani Clark in External Affairs. Jeni Klugman, Sector Director for Gender, is going to talk to us about the Bank's work on gender equality to mark International Women's Day. It's been now six months since the release of the World Development Report 2012 on gender and the launch of the Think Equal Campaign. But, actually, Jeni, the Bank's work on gender equality goes back a long time.
Jeni Klugman: The Bank's work on gender, in fact, goes back several decades. The Bank was the first international institution to appoint a Women and Development adviser back then in the 1970s, and we made some major policy commitments in the early 2000s around the flagship report that was done then, called Engendering Development. But I think with the momentum around the first-ever World Development Report on gender in 2012, the Think Equal Campaign, and very significant senior management commitment alongside the commitments made during the IDA-16 replenishments that gender be a special focus and theme in our work. I think we can say that we've reached new highs in terms of expectations. More...
Land is one the keys to building better lives and equality for poor rural women in the developing world. Yet in many places, women’s rights to land tenure are still not recognized or respected. Frequently, for example, husbands control land that legally belongs to their wives, or women are blocked from access to land they inherit from relatives.
Since 2008, the Women’s Land Rights Project has worked to strengthen women’s land rights, and thereby reduce rural poverty, by bringing these issues into the mainstream of IFAD’s programmes.
At all levels within IFAD, the project raises awareness about women‘s land rights and their implications for poverty reduction. Among other objectives, it aims to increase staff expertise and facilitate research and strategic planning towards strengthening women’s rights to use, control and transfer land.
The project has also conducted a series of case studies in the field to investigate how IFAD integrates women’s land rights into its operations. Summaries follow below; the accompanying links open PDF documents with further details on each case. More...
There is increasing awareness of the discrimination women face in terms of their land rights as well as recognition that this is a priority topic for those concerned with food security, rural development, and women's empowerment. In fact, this year, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) focuses on the empowerment of rural women, which is why the International Land Coalition (ILC),FAO and IFAD, are organising a side-event entitled “How can women’s land rights be secured? Learning from successful examples” at the CSW on 1 March 2012.
For more information about getting involved in this discussion, please visit the event page here.
Empower Women and Be Better Prepared for Climate Change, says World Bank Study
November 28, 2011—As the United Nations conference on climate change opens in South Africa, a new World Bank study shows that women, when fully empowered, can be an important force for change as countries and citizens grapple with the impacts of climate change and prepare to adapt to them.
World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development Rachel Kyte said a growing body of evidence shows that women tend to be disproportionately more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change compared to men. Because of their vulnerability—to more frequent and more extreme natural disasters like cyclones, floods, and droughts—it’s vital that women play a more central role in building their communities’ climate resilience.
“We are seeing time and time again that when women are empowered to play leadership roles within their communities, the whole community benefits from better preparedness for extreme weather events,” Kyte said. “It's smart economics, smart business, smart planning, and smart design to look at challenges with women’s realities in mind." >>More
How to Improve Lives and Boost Food Production? Start by empowering the women in the fields
Joyce Umvanga is a small holder farmer in Musakashi, Zambia and the proud owner of her own plot of land. “It is true that we, as women, are privileged here in Musakashi,” says Umvanga, “because here we own land and we know that in other areas women do not own land.”
Recently, Umvanga attended a workshop outlining the new Irrigation Development and Support project―a $200 million Bank-supported project designed to improve irrigation infrastructure throughout Zambia and increase access to water for smallholder farmers like Umvanga.
“Once water is brought, I think many of the problems will be sorted out,” says Umvanga. A nearby female farmer, who also participated in the workshop, agrees. “We are very grateful to the government that we are allowed to own land here. An important thing is that when a woman owns land, the whole family benefits.” Listen to more of Umvanga’s here.
Recent Bank studies have indicated that if women in Zambia enjoyed the same overall degree of capital investment in agricultural inputs―including land―as men currently do, output could increase by as much as 15 percent. With women accounting for up to 40 percent of the global labor force and female participation in the agricultural sector exceeding 75 percent in many places such as Zambia, the need for greater progress towards achieving gender equality becomes increasingly more crucial every day. >>More
In Kenya, Survey of Female Farmers Reveals Challenges
Shelmith Wanjiru Kuria leans against the rustic wood fence bordering her farm in the Kenyan highlands, majestic Mount Kenya a picturesque backdrop. The area has some of Kenya's most productive farmland, and some of its hardest working female farmers, says Shelmith, 34.
“Women are now dominating farming,” she says. She guesses 80% of farmers in her community are female. “Men here are supported by the women. The woman provides everything, even for the man. There's nothing she can do about it.”
The widowed mother of two was one of many female farmers participating in a gender-disaggregated agricultural survey targeting 2,500 households and 5,000 individuals in eight regions of the Kenya. The survey was conducted by Egerton University's Tegemeo Institute between April and June 2011, and sponsored by the World Bank and the Kenya Ministry of Agriculture. >>More
Farming is Increasingly Women's Business
Farming has always been women’s work, but according to most recent estimates, women grow around eighty percent of the food eaten by poor families. Yet, they still have much less access to knowledge, technology, credit, and land than men.
In a new study released Feb. 2, Gender in Rural Service Provision: Insights from India, Ethiopia and Ghana, the role of gender in the delivery of rural services and accountability in decision-making is re-examined. The product of a three year collaboration between the Agriculture and Rural Development Department (ARD) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the study focuses on two fundamental rural services: agricultural extension and drinking water. >>More
In a Minute: Helping Initiatives Make the Gender GRADE
2010 was a pivotal year for the development of the gender agenda within global development initiatives. This year represents both the beginning of the final five years designated for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals which include specific targets for mainstreaming gender into development and marks the 15th anniversary of the fourth annual commission on the status of women, held in Beijing in 1995, which resulted in the creation of the Platform of Action.
Last year has also seen the creation of a new organization which focuses on taking these gender-mainstreaming goals and activities and promoting this agenda within the sphere of agriculture. This new organization, Gender Responsive Action Development and Enterprise (GRADE), is comprised of individuals from many of the largest and most influential international organizations, NGOs and private-sector firms in the greater Washington, DC area and counts representatives from ...
Ethiopian Women Gain Status through Land Holding
A GAP funded study that researched women’s land rights in Ethiopia led to a government land-certification program that has transformed women’s lives.