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Topic: Gender

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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.

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Gender in agriculture sourcebook

With contributions from more than 100 specialists in gender, agriculture and rural development. Combines descriptive accounts of national and international experiences in agricultural investment with practical guidance on designing strategies that capitalize on gender equality and women's empowerment.

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Gendered Impacts of Conservation Agriculture and Paradox of Herbicide Use among Smallholder Farmers

Progress H. Nyanga, Fred H. Johnsen, Thomson H. Kalinda

Conservation Agriculture (CA) is increasingly taking a central stage in agricultural policies and rural development among developing countries like Zambia. The challenge of gender gaps in agriculture has persisted despite efforts of gender mainstreaming. This paper assesses gender based impacts of conservation agriculture (CA) basins among smallholder farmers under the Conservation Agriculture Programme (CAP) in Zambia. Qualitative and quantitative approaches were used to collect data. Quantitative data was analysed mainly by descriptive statistics and qualitative data by thematic and content analysis. Results indicated that women and children experienced reduction in labour with respect to clearing of fields before tillage and during weeding where herbicides were used correctly. Improvement in household food security was also reported. Digging of CA basins was labour intensive and the chaka hoe was heavy for women. Labour requirement for women and children was more than for men during hand weeding. Herbicides have increased labour requirements for men because they are predominantly involved in spraying. Women needed to reduce their labour during weeding but feared that the use of herbicides would increase food insecurity during hunger peak period. This was because the use of herbicides is inconsistent with the practice of mixed cropping and selection of valuable wild vegetables that were important for food security. Results suggest that usage of herbicide such as atrazine could have health concerns that may affect women more than men. Use of herbicides raises questions as to what extent CA is environmentally sustainable. Interventions in CA need to be both gender sensitive and minimise tradeoffs between health concerns, socio-economic benefits and environmental sustainability.

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Gender and climate change research in agriculture and food security for rural development

This guide focuses on the household and community level and provides users with resources and tools for collecting, analysing and sharing gender-sensitive information about agricultural communities, households and individual household members who are facing climatic changes.