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Gender and Agriculture: Inefficiencies, Segregation, and Low Productivity Traps

Women make essential contributions to agriculture in developing countries, where they constitute approximately 43 percent of the agricultural labor force. However, female farmers typically have lower output per unit of land and are much less likely to be active in commercial farming than their male counterparts. These gender differences in land productivity and participation between male and female farmers are due to gender differences in access to inputs, resources, and services. In this paper, we review the evidence on productivity differences and access to resources. We discuss some of the reasons for these differences, such as differences in property rights, education, control over resources (e.g., land), access to inputs and services (e.g., fertilizer, extension, and credit), and social norms. Although women are less active in commercial farming and are largely excluded from contract farming, they often provide the bulk of wage labor in the nontraditional export sector. In general, gender gaps do not appear to fall systematically with growth, and they appear to rise with GDP per capita and with greater access to resources and inputs. Active policies that support women's access and participation, not just greater overall access, are essential if these gaps are to be closed. The gains in terms of greater productivity of land and overall production are likely to be large.

Andre Croppenstedt,  Markus Goldstein and Nina Rosas

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Final study of the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee on rural women and the right to food

The present study examines the right to food of rural women by underlining the
international legal framework applicable to rural women, analysing the patterns of
discrimination harming them, proposing strategies and policies for their legal protection and emphasizing good practices. The study has a special focus on female-headed households and temporary or seasonal workers.

26.02.2013
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Using online platforms to increase access to open data and share best practices of monitoring women’s land rights

Given the rapid expansion of the internet and the increasing number of users, including in the global South, the full potential of online platforms for promoting inclusive consultation of issues of high global interest is certainly not yet realised. An online discussion is being organised to share views and perspectives on how online platforms could be used more creatively and effectively to share experiences on a key area where information and lessons learned through various interventions from around the world are generally dispersed, that is the area of monitoring women’s land rights.
The objective of the online discussion is therefore twofold: (a) engage a collective reflection on ways of optimising the use of online platforms in efforts to promote equitable and sustainable natural governance and social justice; and, (b) to share experiences on approaches to monitoring women’s land rights.

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On the Origins of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough

This paper seeks to better understand the historic origins of current differences in norms and beliefs about the appropriate role of women in society. We test the hypothesis that traditional agricultural practices influenced the historic gender division of labor and the evolution and persistence of gender norms. We find that, consistent with existing hypotheses, the descendants of pre-industrial societies that practiced plough agriculture, today have lower rates of female participation in the work place, in politics, and in entrepreneurial activities, as well as attitudes reflecting gender inequality. We identify the causal impact of traditional plough use on gender norms today by exploiting variation in the historic geo-climatic suitability of the environment for growing crops that differentially benefited from the adoption of the plough. Our IV estimates, based on this variation, support the findings from OLS. To isolate the importance of cultural transmission as a mechanism, we examine female labor force participation of second generation immigrants living within the US.

25.06.2012