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A gender lens for agriculture strategies

Oct 21, 2008

World Bank’s Gender in Agriculture, A Sourcebook argues that gender disparities must be addressed to improve agricultural productivity and reduce poverty. It calls for integrating gender-responsive actions in design and implementation of agricultural projects and programmes for better development outcomes.

Gender in Agriculture, A Sourcebook

Publisher: World Bank, 2009

The Sourcebook is grounded in the notion of agriculture’s central role in providing rural livelihoods, food security, and broad-based poverty reduction.

Women play a major role in agriculture as traders, processors, labourers, and entrepreneurs, despite facing many obstacles in market access.

But these roles are often unrecognised. The design of many development policies and projects continues to assume wrongly that farmers and rural workers are mainly men.

Gender roles and relations affect food security and household welfare, critical indicators of human development

A joint project of the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), this Sourcebook suggests that gender inequalities limit agricultural productivity and efficiency and in so doing, undermine development agendas.

Failure to recognise the different roles of men and women is costly because it results in misguided projects and programs, forgone agricultural output and incomes, and food and nutrition insecurity.

It calls for taking into account the role of women in agricultural production and to increase concerted efforts to enable women to move beyond production for subsistence and into higher-value, market-oriented production.

The publication combines descriptive accounts of national and international experience in investing in agriculture with practical operational guidance on how to design agriculture for development strategies that capitalise effectively on the unique properties of agricultural growth and rural development involving women and men as a high-impact source of poverty reduction.

The definition of gender used in this Sourcebook is the economic, social, political, and cultural attributes and opportunities associated with being man or woman.

Gender dimension is crucial for economic reasons and from the efficiency point of view. Also, gender differences, arising from the socially constructed relationship between men and women, affect the distribution of resources between them and cause many disparities in development outcomes.

Significant gender inequalities can be found in peoples’ access to other key productive assets and services: land, labour, financial services, water, rural infrastructure, technology, and other inputs.

In addition, gender roles and relations affect food security and household welfare, critical indicators of human development.

The purpose of the Sourcebook is to act as a guide for practitioners in addressing gender issues and integrating gender-responsive actions in the design and implementation of agricultural projects and programs.

Source : World Bank
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