Gender Aware Approaches in Agricultural Programmes: International Literature Review

Published: March 2010

This document presents gender aware approaches in agricultural programmes. In response to the persistent inequalities of women in farming despite decades of development assistance, Team Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security at Sida headquarters has initiated a thematic evaluation of how gender issues are tackled in Sida-supported agricultural programmes. The purpose is to increase understanding of how Sida's development assistance in agriculture should be designed, implemented and funded to ensure that female farmers are reached, that their needs as producers are met, and that they are able to benefit from the support to achieve a positive impact on their livelihoods. As part of this, the study also aims to understand the ways in which particular aid modalities impact upon the ability of programmes to reach women farmers effectively. The ILR aims to address the following questions:

* Which methodologies and instruments have been used by donors to widen the scope of women's agency in agricultural development programmes?

* To what extent has the work of programmes on involving female farmers impacted upon overall agricultural outcomes?

* What are the most important lessons? What is working well and what is working not so well (effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability)?

Below are recommendations to increase understanding of how Sida's development assistance in agriculture should be designed, implemented and funded to ensure that female farmers are reached, that their needs as producers are met, and that they are able to benefit from the support to achieve a positive impact on their livelihoods.

Key Findings

  • Create space and mechanisms in which women can articulate their demand and claim what they want.
  • Adopt a holistic approach.
  • Sustain investments in women's human and social capital.
  • Invest in gender-sensitization and capacity-building.
  • Use participatory, learning-by-doing methodologies.
  • Incorporate gender concerns in value chain development.
  • Promote women's access to land and natural resources.
  • Support institutional and policy reforms that are critical for sustaining empowerment outcomes at the field level.
  • Strengthen capacity for mainstreaming gender in new aid modalities.
  • Adopt a mix of funding mechanisms.
  • Design context-specific and gender-sensitive interventions.
  • Tailor the menu of activities and service delivery to women's needs.
  • Adopt a conscious empowerment strategy.
  • Involve men in the empowerment process.

Populations Rural, Women

Complementary Outcomes Food And Nutrition Security, Women's Leadership

Industries Agriculture/Food Processing

Publishers Swedish International Development Cooperation (Sida)

Geographic Focus Global

Funded by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA)