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GENDER GAPS. CHANDA GURUNG GOODRICH PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST – EMPOWER WOMEN ICRISAT CRP1.1 South Asia Regional Inception Workshop 25/06/2012. Land, water & other natural resources. Women’s rights to land are weaker than those of men: btw. 10 % - 20% of all land holders are women

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Gender gaps





CRP1.1 South Asia Regional Inception Workshop 25/06/2012

Land water other natural resources
Land, water & other natural resources

Women’s rights to land are weaker than those of men:

  • btw. 10 % - 20% of all land holders are women

  • where ownership and inheritance laws have been reformed in favour of women - local customs and lack of information act as barriers

  • Women’s rights do not prevail after husband’s death

  • Women’s holdings tend to be smaller and less fertile

  • In the case of male migration and de facto women heads of HHs, conflicts may arise as prevailing land rights rarely endow women with stable property or user rights

Labour and l abour markets
Labour and LabourMarkets

  • Family labour, including thatof women, is often controlled by husbands - women tend to be unpaid labourers on their husbands' land

  • Men and women have different accessto paid labour

  • Farms run by female-headed HHs have less labour available for farm work - have fewer working-age adult members and women have heavy and unpaid household duties that take them away from more productive activities

  • Labour scarcity limits women’s farming activity

  • Labour remuneration also differs along gender lines - the total income share received by men is much more than received by women.

Financial services
Financial Services

  • Rural women have less access to credit than rural men - limits their ability to purchase seeds, fertilizers and other inputs needed to adopt new farming techniques.

  • In most countries the share of female smallholders who can access credit is 5–10 % points lower than for male smallholders

  • A variety of legal, socio-cultural and institutional constraints limit rural women's access to credit

  • Altho’ women form the largest %age of those reached by microfinance, they receive very small loans (quantities), and in aggregate the fewer men reached by microfinance receive a higher proportion of loans than the many women put together.

  • In Africa, women receive less than 10% of the credit to small farmers and 1 % of the total credit to agri.

Extension services and agricultural training
Extension services and agricultural training

  • Men are the primary recipients of extension services

    – one reason for this is that men dominate as extension officers/agents who frequently disregard women in the delivery of services and their specific needs, interests and problems are neither heard nor addressed

  • Most often women are disregarded in agricultural trainings


  • Women are much less likely to use purchased inputs such as fertilizers and improved seeds or to make use of mechanical tools and equipment

  • In most cases perceptions of gender do not allow women to operate many of the mechanised technology

  • Mechanised technology is mostly designed with men in mind, therefore, most of these are not women friendly

  • Women have less access to information and communications technologies as compared to men

Human and social capital
Human and Social Capital

  • Differentials in education rates between men and women still persist at all levels of income, suggesting that social and cultural factors play a stronger role than income in determining female participation in education.

  • Domestic chores - fetching fuel and water, tending of younger siblings - are one of the factors limiting girls’ access to schooling

  • Many associations, groups, institutions even at the community levels are mostly dominated by men

  • Men have higher mobility than women – more network circles

Participation voice

  • Women are consistently under-represented in institutions at the local and national level, and have little say in decision-making

  • Gender barriers limit women’s participation and reinforce power gaps

Some anticipated risks
Some anticipated risks

  • Lower rates of adaptive innovation & heightened food insecurity among women food producers compared to men if crop/crop varieties, livestock, forest, fishery or water management practices are not compatible with women’s preferences and constraints

  • Lower incomes for women as they lose control over traditionally female sources of income generation

  • Widening gap between women and men in capacity to adapt if women’s indigenous knowledge loses its value and viability

  • Increased drudgery for women in agriculture/livelihoods work as well as household provisioning – especially as scarcity of natural resources (fuel and water) intensifies or if male outmigration from farms accelerates in response to hardship

  • Increased vulnerability to risk for women if the gender gap persists in access to extension and communication technologies