Posted February 1999
| Bolivia, Burundi, Nepal, Pakistan, Tunisia
| Costa Rica
| Niger (1)
| Niger (2)
| Sikkim (India)
Good practices in gender mainstreaming and implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action
Project sheet: Honduras
Project Title: "Incorporation of farmer women to the productive process and consolidation of the reformed sector groups"
Project duration: Stage I (1983-1986): Credit and technical assistance; Stage II (1987-1989): Training; Stage III (1993 - on-going): Institutionalisation
Executing agency/agencies: FAO and UNDP
Implementing agency/agencies: Professional Training Institute (PTI), "Save the Children" (NGO), National Agrarian Institute (INA), Natural Resources Secretariat (SRN), Agricultural Development National Bank (BANADESA).
Project cost: US$ 151,820
(FAO, Government of the Netherlands, Government of Norway)
In Honduras, promotion of women's participation in productive activities began in the 1970's in order to strengthen the "reformed sector" made up of organised farmer groups that had benefited from the agrarian reform. The Agrarian Reform Program appropriated 225,000 hectares of land, benefiting around 1,800 farmer enterprises, of which only 70% were allotted parcels of land. Within farmer enterprises of the reformed sector, women usually participate in agricultural activities as men's "assistants", cultivating the family or collective parcels of land. Sometimes they are remunerated for their work, however, their wages are always inferior to men's.
In order to continue with the promotion of work, the Government of Honduras agreed together with UNDP and FAO to execute the project. This was the first step in a process which is still ongoing and which has been developed through five projects funded by the Government of the Netherlands and FAO, in three phases. The first two phases were based on the Women in Development (WID) approach, whilst the last phase was based on the gender approach. Work has been carried out directly with women and grassroots groups through a bottom-up approach, to create conditions that would subsequently permit the integration of a gender perspective in institutional/ organisational structures and in government policies and programmes.
Specific changes resulting from the project
- A methodological training model for semi-technical women farmers (Link Producers-LPs) validated, documented and distributed to various institutions, and educational material placed at the disposal of public institutions, NGOs and development projects;
- Institutional technical teams trained in using the methodological model;
- Technical women farmers trained in theoretical-practical aspects related to the execution of productive projects, creating a multiplying effect for the benefit of approximately 5,000 rural women;
- A rural self-management financing model through the Rural Saving and Credit Banks (RSCB) system.
- Improvement of the National Agriculture Institution (INA) land title award mechanisms;
- A gender-responsive revision process of the agricultural policies of the sector, with representatives of NGOs, public institutions, rural organizations and women groups.
What was planned
First phase objectives:
- Provide technical support for the organisation of women;
- Provide technical and financial assistance for the identification, proposal and execution of small projects that would contribute to improve family incomes and to stimulate the participation of women;
- Provide technical and entrepreneurial management training to the beneficiaries.
Second phase objectives:
- Reinforce the organization of rural women;
- Sensitise the rural population, and the government staff;
- Improve agricultural training techniques;
- they can strengthen their role in the family economy;
- Train women farmers to act as intermediaries between the extension system and groups of local women.
Third phase objectives:
- Institutionalise the training methodology of Link Producers (LPs) to guarantee the expansion, consolidation and sustainability of the results achieved in previous years;
- Strengthen the organised groups of women farmers through technical follow-up of their activities by the NGOs and rural organisations;
- Promote a more extensive and effective participation of women in the agrarian reform process through revision and efficient application of the policy regarding women;
- Define the role of NGOs and Rural Organisations.
What was the strategy
It was considered essential to adopt a strategy directed towards:
- Strengthening rural organizations so that they will be able to "participate" in proposing policies affecting rural women.
- Sensitising personnel of entities and members of organizations regarding the important role played by women in productive areas and, therefore, in food security and reduction of poverty.
- Linking grassroots groups with organizational and institutional management, and incorporate gender into policies, programmes, and structures of public and private institutions.
Who was involved
The Professional Training Institute (PTI) and the NGO "Save the Children" for LP training. Honduran Foundation for Mixed Farming research and six rural organisations. The National Agrarian Institute (INA). The Natural resources Secretariat (SRN). The Agricultural Development National Bank (BANADESA).
- Due to the acknowledgement of the efficiency of the LP methodology as a tool to promote gender-responsive agricultural and rural development, the Honduran government intends to implement this methodology in six regions of the country through a specific project to be funded by the Government of Japan.
- Completion of the ongoing project is foreseen for the year 1998. The national authorities have expressed their interest in following-up with a new project that would aim at copying the LP methodology and strengthen technical capacities to integrate gender analysis into rural development. The overall development objective will be to contribute to the reduction of rural poverty levels through practices and policies based on gender equality. This will be achieved through two intermediate objectives: the first will support integration of the gender approach in mixed farming public sector programmes, strategies, projects and policies; and the second will be to strengthen and evaluate the productive and management capacity of women farmers given the basic role they play in food security and, thus, in household living conditions.
What was learned, factors contributing to success
- On one hand, the Women and Development approach is reflected in the valorisation of the productive, organisational and promotional role of women in the execution of mechanisms for financing and obtaining access to productive resources. On the other hand, the gender approach has been gradually introduced into various institutions, facilitating a modification of the institutional framework and leading to the revision of mixed farming sector policies to include the concept of equality;
- The consolidation of women's role as productive agents demands, apart from credit and technical assistance, significant action with regard to education (literacy) and training. Within this context, the development of a training procedure was particularly relevant. The results were very successful since it was possible to put into practice and validate the LP methodology.
- The elimination of some legislative provisions that conditioned women's access to rural land and the modification of some institutional mechanisms that limited the efficient development of women as mixed farming producers.
- The strengthening of women's rural organisations and the presence of women farmers in the national farmers movement.
- The approval of the National Policy for Women and the creation of various commissions and committees to support women's role in the mixed farming sector.
- Application of the methodology in other regions of Honduras, as well as in rural organisations, NGOs and other development programmes.
- The creation of Rural Saving and Credit Banks resulting from the deficit of institutional agricultural credit has contributed to the access of women farmer groups and poor farmers to financial resources to carry out productive and service projects.
- Elaboration of the outline for the Action Plan on gender equality in agriculture to establish a more equitable participation in rural development for women.
For more information, contact:
Women in Development Service
Women and Population Division
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100, Rome, Italy
Tel: +39.06.5705.5102 Fax: +39.06.5705.2004