Building a gender-transformative extension and advisory facilitation system in Sub-Saharan Africa
This paper (PDF) at Agri-gender, focusses on the debate around conceptualizations of what women and men do in farming in order to see what they actually do. The authors provide evidence for a “conceptual lock in” in rural advisory services, one that constructs farmers as male regardless of the reality of female farmers on the ground. They show that this not only hampers access by women to advisory services, it also fails to tackle the underlying gender inequalities that prevent both women and men from maximizing their decision-making capacity and economic potential. Tackling the underlying gender relations that hamper access and implementation should be a priority, according to the authors. A model for a “gender-transformative extension and advisory facilitation system” is introduced. The model posits the extension and advisory services as a facilitation system. An important recommendation is to capture, integrate, and scale out existing “best bet practices” to build an empowering extension and advisory facilitation system in order to effect broader social change.