Integrating behavioural change to accelerate women’s economic empowerment
This blog from SNV elaborates on the how behavioral change within the household can accelerate women’s empowerment. For development interventions to be successful people need to behave and choose in certain ways. For example, for new advanced agricultural practices to provide benefits, farmers must adopt and use them. Behavior thus affects whether the provision of advanced farming technologies have the effect they are intended to achieve. Whereas increasing access to inputs, finance, markets and knowledge for female farmers makes sense in areas where access is lacking, it is also important to examine factors that could influence whether female farmers will actually make use of this access and benefit from it. To get a better understanding of the barriers that female farmers and entrepreneurs face, various gender studies were done by SNV in Kenya and Vietnam. These studies show that women entrepreneurs in agriculture indeed lack access to resources and business assets, but it also shows that gender norms and intra-household power relations influence female farmers’ control over resources and decision-making power in their households and the community. The SNV project therefore complements its business support and policy influencing interventions with activities that focus on transforming key gender norms and power relations that prevent female farmers and agri-business entrepreneurs from equally participating in and benefiting from economic activities. Both in Vietnam and Kenya, time-use turned out to be the biggest barrier for women to equally participate and compete in economic activities. In both countries, taking care of household chores is perceived a women’s job, with women spending four times more time on household chores than men.
The blog is based on a study carried out under the ‘Enhancing Opportunities for Women’s Enterprises’ (EOWE) programme, which is being implemented between 2016 and 2020 in Kenya and Vietnam with funding from the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the ‘Funding Leadership Opportunities for Women’ (FLOW) framework.