Gender dynamics in the cattle sector in Central America: A literature review
This literature review (PDF) by CGIAR summarizes the research published about gender in the cattle sector in Central America. This includes the findings that (1) women lack access to and control over productive resources in the cattle sector and (2) extension services and training do not focus on women, likely because women’s contributions are undervalued. Cattle production is an important economic activity throughout Central America. Dairy production, in particular, is an important activity for many smallholder farmers in Costa Rica and across the Central America region. Women’s role in cattle production tends to be poorly valued and recognized, however. The paper then describes a successful project in Nicaragua and recommends areas for research. There is an urgent need to fill the enormous knowledge gap on gender dynamics in the dairy and cattle production value chains in the Central America region, especially in Costa Rica. This knowledge will increase recognition of women’s roles and contributions to the dairy and cattle valuechains; increase membership; and facilitate increased impact and uptake of training, credit facilities, and technologies for sustainable cattle production. Considering the important role women play in the management of cattle production and in decisionmaking concerning different activities and production technologies, their inclusion in extension programs would contribute to more effective uptake of new technology by farm households.