It is good to have the role of women in livestock production in Afghanistan highlighted - a very welcome contribution. The pastoral economy poses particular challenges, but offers particular opportunities for women
Contributions for 通过妇女赋权转变农业中的性别关系：改善营养成果的益处、挑战和权衡
Thanks for sharing HKI's strategy of addressing malnutrition in Bangladesh. Nurturing Connections seems to be working well as it appears to address gender norms in a sensitive rather than confrontational way; at the same time aware of not overburdening women. This often seems to be the trade-off in attempts to empower women that we end up adding to their burdens.
Livestock and fisheries are clearly important sectors for women's engagement and income, but often marginalised in agricultural policies that focus primarily on cultivated crops. From a nutritional dimension, these are important sources of protein. It is quite shocking to hear about the poor nutrition amongst fishing communities in Pakistan, as one would assume that fish is a part of their diet. Thank you for raising these issues, as when talking of agriculture, and women's and men's roles within it, we need to keep in mind that this term includes livestock, fisheries and even forestry/agro-forestry.
I have a suggestion.
When we discuss about nutritive materials for women , children , sick persons and old age people we have to take a few points into consideration. Persons those who required nutritive material in food must have the capacity of absorbing those in their system. For example those women who cook with traditional biomass stove regularly they suffer from several ailments and physical weaknesses. Around 600000 women die every year in India from influence of smoke from biomass stove. In this condition it is well understood how would be the condition of other women with traditional stoves. In this condition absorption of nutritive stuff requires induction of improved efficient stoves along with supply or making real availability of nutritive stuff for them. Unless the women become free from health drugery, we can not expect women empowerment is possible.
Thanks with warm regards
Dear FSN Forum,
I would like to share a specific example with reference to dietary diversity, women's engagement in agricultural and ecosystem services. This is the most crucial issue in rural areas due to changes in the land use systems and practices.
Most commonly, the changes in cropping systems as well as species growing in the common land affects their dietary diversity. In one of our field sites we observed that intake of wild greens was drastically reduced due to the changes in crops from millet species to cassava in agricultural fields and invasive growth of Lantana species in common areas which reduced the growth of such wild greens. Consequently the knowledge associated with the species, nutritional benefits and use among families declined over the last 5- 7 years among men and women. Earlier both men and women farmers were aware of the edible species and men supported in their collection while returning from the field (intake is at least five days in a week). Now the communities entirely depend upon other vegetables which are commonly available in markets. Intake rates of greens reduced to a large extent. This issue came up when we evaluated the outcomes/impacts of nutritional gardens. These insights and understanding helped the team to realign and revisit the interventions; document and share the gendered knowledge on wild green species; explore the possibility of its cultivation in the home gardens and field bunds; manage invasive species involving local PRIs; and create awareness among younger generations on local species and their importance. Identifying such nuanced field level issues and evolving strategies to address them would help to strengthen the linkages in rural areas.
Dear FSN Forum team,
I am a gender specialist of ICARDA and would like to post a story about the establishing the women based Village Based Seed Enterprise for the first time in Afghanistan.
The story is as following:
Establishing and Engaging Women in VBSE as a first Innovation in Afghanistan
ICARDA as a leading organization regarding formation of VBSE has a good previous experience in Afghanistan.
There are around 130 seed production companies which are formed by international organizations including ICARDA and FAO in different provinces of Afghanistan but all these companies were male dominated companies and the presence of women in such companies was not at all existent. In Afghanistan’s patriarchal social and cultural setup that is highly restrictive, seed production is considered to be primarily the task of men farmers. Women farmers have fewer opportunities to be involved, further deterred by their limited land rights.
Women comprise up to 65 percent of the agricultural workforce in rural areas, but their participation is primarily family-based and without remuneration, as it is not accorded a monetary value. Although women are rarely compensated for their labour, in terms of time allocated they make the majority of labour contributions to a range of marketed products (World Bank 2005).
Empowerment of women economically and socially is an essential factor in Afghanistan, not only for the well-being of individuals, families and rural communities, but also for overall economic productivity and giving them large presence in the agricultural workforce worldwide.
Engaging the women in commercial-agricultural activities will be a sustainable approach to improve the women status, establishing the woman-led VBSE as it is a new innovation in Afghanistan and this approach will bring a good income for them and will help us to achieve this purpose.
However, through community-based activities concerted efforts are being made by ICARDA and Afghanistan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) to encourage the active participation of Afghan women. Village Based Seed Enterprise (VBSE) model has been successfully tested in Afghanistan by ICARDA to resolve most of the problems related to the introduction and seed multiplication of newly developed improved varieties. This approach has demonstrated the potential of being replicated and scaled-up.
On the other hand, women had to be encouraged to accept social and security challenges and get involved in seed production and their skills had to be upgraded to compensate for their lack of previous experience in seed production.
Promotion of women enterprise in developing countries is essential to reduce poverty. Women are good communicators and more conscious to make more profits. They are very intelligent in marketing and it will be encouraging while they use the technology and machinery.
Approaches of Women’s Engagement in Seed Production
Close consultation with ICARDA’s national and international experts and numerous meetings in various social categories such as CDCs, DDA, DAIL, directorate of women's affairs, female farmers and male members of their families have been taken to engage women in VBSEs.
With great efforts by accepting insecurity, environmental and social challenges it was very challenging but possible.
The followings ways have been done to achieve this purpose:
ü The women farmers and female headed households have been recognized and mobilized in each targeted districts by close consultation of CDC, DAIL, DoWa and other partners or relevant projects.
ü Agreement of male members of the families is very important for sustainable presence of women in the VBSEs. Because of that, we visited male members of the families to convince them to allow their family members to take part in VBSE.
ü Involving of family couples, husband- wife, brother -sister and mother-son and father- daughter should be considered, because it obtained more women permission of families to work and increase their mobility.
ü According to project commitment, small farmers should be recognized and involved the family couples from small farmers in VBSEs. Because they need to work and have their own business to bring a real change in their life and their economic situation, it will be acceptable for them to work together with their female members of their families and other small farmers families. Usually the big farmers and well known persons don’t need to involve their female members of their families in VBSE and they don’t like to show their wives or daughters to others.
ü Women should believe on their power and capability. They should be encouraged to take a meaningful part in VBSE by us. Because of that, we had some close and informal meetings with them and their families.
Along with four VBSE establishments in Kabul and Logar, one woman-led and one mixed-women and men VBSE were formed in Parwan province – “Hurra Jalali Agriculture Service and Seed Production Company” and “Jabaulsaraj Sabz Agriculture Service and Seed Production Company”.
They were registered with the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA) and have received the investment license. They were registered with the National Seed Board (NSB) and Afghanistan National Seed Organization (ANSOR) as well. Women farmers from these companies were given foundation seeds and chemical Fertilizer by ICARDA-CLAP Project and they produced certified seeds from it which will be distributed for other communities and villages.
All female members of mentioned companies have their own allocated lands for seed production and shared their capital for running the business as well as the male members. There were some organizations which interested to see these women and hear about their stories. By establishing the two mentioned VBSEs, the other women encouraged getting membership of these companies.
After these enterprises, some male dominated companies encouraged to accept the membership of women as well. Parwan-e- Bastan is one of these companies that didn’t have any female members previously, but nowadays, seven female farmers have got the membership of this company.
Women are very excited about this seed distribution. They feel confident about starting a seed business very soon. It has further encouraged women’s for participating in seed companies. ‘Parwan-e- Bastan was one of them.
In spite of many challenges, these companies will be sustainable in a closed and conflicted society, as of Afghanistan.
It is hoped that these companies will be supported by government, national and international organizations for sustainable existence.
Few women own land and where they do, fewer still exercise control over it (AREU, 2008). Access to land in Afghanistan is largely obtained through inheritance. According to Shari’a law, women can inherit land as daughters or as wives upon the death of a husband. The Civil Code of 1978 governs inheritance law in Afghanistan and is based on Islamic jurisprudence. Widows are to receive one eighth of the property or one quarter, if they have children. Where there is more than one wife, this proportion is shared among them. Provision for widows is priority. Daughters should receive half of their brother’s share. Although the law dictates that women have rights to inherit as daughters and as wives, the reality is different, particularly for daughters. In short, the inheritance of land is affected by numerous factors that largely stem from the position of women in the households. Women’s access to land is thus tied to a system that prioritises land ownership by men as the breadwinners of the family, increases women’s economic dependence as wives and later as sisters (in the event of widowhood, divorce, or desertion), and necessitates women’s compliance with these rules to assure livelihood security
The majority of female farmers, who are motivated to produce seeds, do not have sufficient land to qualify for seed production due to the current land tenure system, which restrict them from owning land. However, this challenge is slowly overcome by farmers consolidating their land for seed production and hiring land from institutions such as churches.
Women working in closed quite challenging societies of Afghanistan, Women don’t have much willing to involve in seed production. Because they are more interested in incomes that can be achieved in short time, heavy duties in seed production companies and lack of access to land are the reasons that women are not much interested in this field.
The heavy tasks on the field for seed production, presence of male farmers in VBSE and due to some social, cultural problems, and excuses in rural are some courses to have men and women in same companies.
There were many national level consultations/workshops/seminars held in Bangladesh last two years on Nutrition. e.g. Multisectoral engagement like coordination with other ministries with health, food security & nutrition, ending hunger etc. Now it’s time for a grounded nutrition program which is more important rather than consultation. Everybody knows the pros and cons of the nutrition programming. In Bangladesh women were engaged with nutrition since many years. They are involving with court yard gardening, home based poultry livestock etc. Yet they do not have enough knowledge on nutrition value or cooking practice.
I would suggest to desk review others documents and immediately design and implement nutrition programmes on the ground to avoid duplication, so that nutritional status will be better for our children, adolescents, mothers and others.
Food and climate justice has been a major issue of coastal communities in Pakistan. The community is vulnerable to both food insecurity and climate change impacts. Sindh despite being the richest in natural resources is a highly food insecure province in Pakistan. No legal tool or law is available ensuring food security to the people in Sindh
Despite having 14 million acres under crop cultivation in Sindh, over 71 per cent of households in the province are food insecure — the highest level of food insecurity among the provinces and region. Of these food insecure households, 34pc are food insecure with moderate hunger and 17pc are food insecure with severe hunger, according to a report drafted by the provincial planning and development department.
Not only agriculture but fishing communities are suffering an epidemic of disability in Karachi, Thatha, Sanghar and Jamshoro. Researchers say malnutrition is the cause. Hence, the government must be blamed for visiting this calamity on them. There has been no policy for fishing in the country. This is what has made life and livelihoods impossible for the fisherfolk.
According to the Health & Nutrition Development Society (HNDS), the fisherfolk have the highest number of disabled persons per union council. The HNDS carried out a survey of 11,014 households and found 5148 suffered disability. Children are the main victims. The research studied 3460 households in Landhi, 3304 households in Rehri and 4250 households in Ibrahim Hyderi. Results shocked everyone. Some 2250 were identified as disabled in Rehri, 1286 in Ibrahim Hyderi and 1612 in the Landhi union council.
Persons with disabilities (PWD) comprise 15% of the total population in Pakistan, says the World Health Organization (WHO). Families normally hide disability due to the social stigma attached. Parents also fear their child might be abused outside. Children are kept at home to ensure safety. Families want to avoid community reactions. So data collection is difficult. Perhaps that is why the Pakistani authorities give a lower figure.
In an era of virtual advancement eating healthy food has become a highly stressed upon issue because of increasing cases of malnutrition. Despite the fact, that deficiencies of macronutrients have been studied for decades, it has come to the point of focus that the deficiencies of micronutrients is also of great concern not only in underdeveloped countries but also in highly developed societies. In Pakistan only, the mortality rate of children under five is 89 per 1,000 live births just because of micronutrient deficiencies. Today every consumer prefers healthy yet convenient food products which contribute to an overall nutritious diet. Food manufacturers have responded by creating innovative products such as dietary, modified or functional foods. In addition to being nutritious, functional foods also provide the consumer with a health benefit and are expected to become a major growth sector. It is important to introduce value added products in market on cheaper prices so that people from all family backgrounds can avail these products and overcome micronutrient deficiencies and hidden hunger
Economic opportunity for landless women either through homestead gardening or poultry or goat rearing linking with existing opportunities either from government or non-government organizations has created capacity to take the family level decisions especially about their children's nutrition and also children's education. Women used to use useless lands owned by the government like alongside cannel or roads with a free allocation negotiated with government departments as lease. It is also giving them opportunity to control over their income from those sources that has great impact on their respect by their family level counterpart. Women’s income has increased their mobility in the community even to market. This is the result of a project named Women Economic Empowerment through Nutritive Initiatives (WEENI) which was implemented by Plan International Bangladesh a couple of years back.
ENGLISH TRANSLATION BELOW
El problema de la desnutrición a nivel mundial se ha generado por la falta de educación en la sociedad, ya que el alta índice de natalidad en sociedades poco favorecidas no es controlado por falta de interés de los gobiernos y esto ha llevado un aumento en la pobreza de esos sectores.
Las mujeres tienen un papel muy importante, porque han sido las administradoras de los bienes de la familia, por eso es muy importante llevar una educación al núcleo familiar y esto implica capacitar a la ama de casa para el mejor aprovechamiento de sus recursos.
La educación en agrícola debe tener por objetivo el mejor aprovechamiento de los recursos, tomando en cuenta los mejores cultivos de esa tierra, temporal y el aprovechamiento de los residuos de estos para enriquecer nuevamente la tierra.
En conclusión, debemos exigir a los gobiernos, universidades y población en general en apoyar programas para mejorar la educación agrícola, de aprovechamientos de recursos y nutrición en estas poblaciones poco favorecidas.
The problem of malnutrition worldwide has been generated by the lack of education, as the high birth rate in less favored societies is not controlled because of a lack of interest of governments, and this has led to an increase of poverty in these sectors.
Women play a very important role, because they do manage the family assets. Hence, it is very important to bring education to the family nucleus and this involves training housewives in the best use of resources.
Agricultural education should aim at the best use of resources, considering the best crops in the area, and the temporary use of waste of these to enrich the soil again.
In conclusion, we should urge governments, universities and the general public to support programs to improve agricultural education, resource exploitation and nutrition for these less favored populations.