Challenges and opportunities for women’s economic empowerment in agriculture
This blog (PDF) by Raymond Brandes from SNV elaborates on the challenges and opportunities for women’s economic empowerment in agriculture. Brandes is global programme manager of SNV’s ‘Enhancing Opportunities for Women’s Enterprises’ (EOWE) programme, which is funded by the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the ‘Funding Leadership Opportunities for Women’ (FLOW) framework. Brandes states that over the past several years, there has been increasing evidence regarding the importance of women’s economic participation, both for the advancement of women’s rights and gender equality, as well as for the economic well-being of families, communities, sectors and nations. In the blog Brandes elaborates on the intervention strategy of a programme that builds on the Balancing Benefits framework which is developed by SNV as a gender-transformative, integrated fourfold approach which stimulates household and community dialogue to challenge gender norms that shape resource allocation patterns. Men are engaged in the dialogues too, and role models and community influencers are identified to act as change agents. Brandes argues that to make the shift away from “gender neutral” (but really gender blind) service provision, companies need to disaggregate client data by sex, so that they can identify and differentiate women’s market segments. Only then can organisations begin to understand women’s specific needs and constraints, whether they’re seeking access to farm equipment or financial services, and design and deliver products accordingly.