Is gender mainstreaming viable?

Gender mainstreaming is a global strategy to ensure gender-equality in agriculture and other economic sectors. However, the operationalization of gender mainstreaming is often contested in the global south.

Using a concurrent mixed method design, this study investigates if the gender mainstreaming narratives embedded in agricultural extension and food security policies in Ethiopia are practical for improving agriculture-based gendered development among smallholder users of climate-smart agricultural technologies.

Results demonstrate that women smallholders’ needs that are essential to the use of agricultural technologies are overlooked. Despite they are “users” of agricultural technologies; women’s access to agricultural inputs and extension services is restricted. There is a lack of synchronized activities and strategies to guide the implementation of gender mainstreaming, as well as separate gender budgets to address gendered agricultural problems.

Increasing agricultural production is a national policy goal, although gender equality in production growth is not a key priority in the implementations of agricultural policies. Although improvement in the institutionalization and implementation of the GAD approach for addressing strategic gender needs is a priority in gender mainstreaming, an interchangeable and concurrent institutionalization and implementation of the Women in Development approach for addressing practical gender needs and the Women Culture and Development approach for addressing constraints that emanate from the multiple realities and identities of women are also required.

Identifying and addressing the practical gender needs of women and problems that emanate from their multiple identities and realities are essential prerequisites for the practicality of gender mainstreaming for gender equality in agricultural development. Furthermore, there is a need to design and implement locally specific gender-mainstreaming strategies that address the distinct needs of women smallholders, as well as separate gender budgets to reach local contexts.

Read more in Gender Issues:
Is Gender Mainstreaming Viable? Empirical Analysis of the Practicality of Policies for Agriculture-Based Gendered Development in Ethiopia by Meseret Tsige, Gry Synnevåg & Jens B. Aune.

Published 16. August 2019 - 15:55 - Updated 22. April 2020 - 13:17