Empowering women in agribusiness through social and behaviour change
A publication series by SNV on the EOWE programme shares the experiences and initial impact of the first round of gender-transformative Household Dialogues conducted in Kenya and Vietnam in 2017. Gendered-specific behaviour and roles influences women’s decision-making power and control of resources and business assets. Tackling the inequalities between men and women in rural agricultural societies therefore requires a change in the gender norms that are at the root of these inequalities. To reflect on and transform restrictive gender norms and power relations, EOWE developed a contextualised Social and Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) strategy in order to create more equal income and business opportunities and a socially enabling environment for women entrepreneurship in agricultural value chains. The SBCC strategy consists of interventions at household and community level. At household level, the programme organised facilitated Household Dialogues among targeted family and/or community members to critically reflect and discuss on norms that prevent women from fully participating in and benefitting from economic activities. The multi-country publication (PDF) reveals that the gender-transformative household dialogue sessions impacted on rural women and men in both Kenya and Vietnam that they are now open to reflecting on and rethinking gender norms. The household dialogue sessions also facilitated positive shifts towards gender equitable attitudes, relations and behaviour in the households that participated in the sessions. The couples indicated that the changes in behaviour led to substantial benefits on a social and economic level for both men and women, which offers motivations to keep implementing gender equitable behaviour. However, there is a risk that the women and men who participated in the household dialogues fall back in old behaviours if the gender norms in their communities, which affect the way people act, feel, and think, remain unchanged.