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Foro Global sobre Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutrición • Foro FSN

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

Rohit Parasasr
Rohit ParasasrMS Swaminathan Research FoundationIndia

I am happy to see the discussion on interaction of gender with other important aspect of agriculture and nutrition.

We are aware that the sectors (people) with greater improvement in technology (innovation) are better off and others have deterioration in terms of trade. Unfortunately the deteriorating terms of trade for agriculture could have made women worse off within agriculture (in terms of decision making power, purchasing power, comparative higher burden of work)

Given the above situation and large number of population dependent on agriculture makes child born in these household to be more vulnerable. As indicated earlier by Sirajul, mere participation of women in agricultural interventions might not change the above mentioned dynamics. To have a positive impact on nutrition, interventions should bring men as an important stakeholder to be sensitised.

I am citing an unfortunate instance of recent drought of Marathwada (in Maharashtra, India) where a girl child died because of the burden of carrying 70-80 lts. of water a day from a distance of a Km. Startling fact was that the male adult in the region did not considered carrying water as their task even in the stress situation. Perhaps because of the perception that carrying water is a non-income generating activity and ‘unproductive’ human resource- children and women, are supposed to do it.

Can we think of ways or cite any existing policies /initiative or interventions that are sensitive to these intricacies of gender for better nutritional outcome?