Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition • FSN Forum

Re: Transforming gender relations in agriculture through women’s empowerment: benefits, challenges and trade-offs for improving nutrition outcomes

Nitya Rao, Barnali Chakraborthy, Haris Gazdar and Nigel Poole
Nitya Rao, Barnali Chakraborthy, Haris Gazdar and Nigel PooleLANSA facilitators

Dear Colleagues,

As our consultation period draws to a close, we take this opportunity to thank you for your fantastic contributions to this important debate.  We are delighted with the tremendous response and very grateful to you all for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences.

There is clearly a lot of knowledge already in this field, and it is heartening to hear about the numerous interventions and successes in the region and around the world. Despite these examples of success across contexts, however, we seem to be confronted by a general non-recognition in the policy domain of women’s work in agriculture and contributions to household nutrition.

In spite of their hard work, it appears that women have little say in decision-making and benefits too are not shared equally. Inadequate attention has been paid to reducing the drudgery of women’s work, and where technological innovations have been possible, the work itself has often been reclassified and revalued as ‘male’. Gendered wage discrimination persists, and there are few attempts at redistributing or reducing the burdens of domestic and reproductive work. Issues of male responsibility and awareness have been raised as central to addressing the burden of malnutrition alongside achieving women’s empowerment, and gender equality more broadly.

We are grateful for your willingness to share your ideas, examples and research with us in such a collegiate manner. We will aim to draw together the general themes and specific ideas generated by this online consultation in a single document over the next few weeks, so please do keep an eye on the Forum page.

Moving forward, the Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA) programme plans to not only consolidate its ongoing research in this field, but also draw on your experiences in order to engender the policy debates around agriculture and nutrition in South Asia.

We hope that our collective research and advocacy efforts will contribute first of all to recognition of women’s roles and contributions to agriculture and nutrition in South Asia. This will help strengthen women’s claims for equal entitlements, and policy interventions to reduce, redistribute and support these contributions to attain the larger goals of household food and nutrition security as well as gender equality.

Finally, we thank you again for your support and contributions to this discussion. It has been an extremely rewarding and refreshing process.

With very best wishes,

LANSA facilitators: Nitya Rao, Barnali Chakraborthy, Haris Gazdar and Nigel Poole.