Women's Empowerment

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Gender role Pages: 13 (3980 words) Published: June 18, 2013
Special Topics on Agricultural Development & International Cooperation Final Report ********

Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture

Instructor: Dr. Rebecca H. Chung Date June 3rd, 2013

National Pingtung University Of Science and Technology Department of Tropical Agriculture and International Cooperation

Contents
1. Introduction ................................................................................................... 1 2. Definition of women empowerment ........................................................... 1 3. The contribution of women in agriculture ................................................. 2 4. The constraints of women for agricultural development .......................... 3 5. Recomendations to empower women in agriculture ................................. 6 6. Conclusion...................................................................................................... 8 References .......................................................................................................... 10 List of Figures .................................................................................................... 12

Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture

1. Introduction
The international development community has recognized that agriculture is an engine of growth and poverty reduction in countries where it is the main occupation of the poor. But the agricultural sector in many developing countries is underperforming, in part because women, who represent a crucial resource in agriculture and the rural economy through their roles as farmers, labourers and entrepreneurs, almost everywhere face more severe constraints than men in access to productive resources and this significantly limits their potential in enhancing productivity. They are often at a severe disadvantage when it comes to securing land tenure rights or owning land outright, owning livestock, accessing financial services, receiving the kind of extension services and resources that will grow her output. Women in agriculture play a vital role in wide range of activities including producing agricultural crops, tending animals, processing and preparing food, working for wages in agricultural or other rural enterprises, collecting fuel and water, engaging in trade and marketing, caring for family members and maintaining their homes. Many of these activities are not defined as, thereby contributing to sustainable agricultural development. To achieve inclusive agricultural growth, empowering women by having comprehensive understanding about work participation, gender issues, drudgery and health and nutritional status is necessary.

2. Definition of women empowerment
Most of the literature researched shows that even though definitions of women‟s empowerment may differ, the majority of writers at least agree on the fact that empowerment is a process, and more specifically a process of change, enabling people to gain the power so neatly incorporated in the word “empowerment”. Women‟s empowerment is a process of change in which women are significant actors in the process of change that is being described or measured (Malhotra et al., 2002). The change is about women regaining the ability to make decisions and affect outcome that is important to themselves and their families (Kabeer, 1999). Women empowerment considers women as agents of that change rather than merely as its recipients. Waterhouse and Neville (2005) describes women‟s empowerment as “A process of transforming gender relations through groups or individuals developing awareness of women‟s subordination and building their capacity to challenge it”. Krishna (2003) gives the following definition: “The process of 1

increasing the capacity of women to make choices and to transform these choices into desired actions and outcomes”. Kabee Kabeer (2001) defines empowerment as „the expansion in people's ability to make strategic life choices in a context where this ability was...
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