Gender matters in farm power
This report (PDF) published by KIT, CIMMYT and CGIAR explores how gender matters in small-scale farm power mechanization in African agriculture, particularly in maize-based systems. It investigates how inter-household gender dynamics affect women’s articulation of demand for and adoption of mechanization in Ethiopia and Kenya. The study offers a conceptual approach to grasp these gender dynamics, a gender analysis methodology, and a set of recommendations. The study finds that women in different households and in different sites experience high labor burden and intensity. Yet, only in exceptional cases, women articulate demand for mechanization and use tractor technology. This weak articulation is due to the complex interplay of values and assumptions, access to and control over resources, and intra-household decision making. Different factors influence this: 1) values and assumptions make women’s work invisible and go unrecognized; 2) women lack access to and control over a range of resources, including land, income, and extension services; 3) the gender division of labor exacerbates this limited access, because women’s time poverty negatively affects their access to resources and information; 4) decision-making is a male domain, and women are mostly excluded or merely informed. Many factors interlock and reinforce each other in undermining women’s opportunities to articulate demand and adopt mechanization technology or other options to reduce their labor burden. The authors recommend among others to take women’s need as an entry point for technology design; to engage with gender norms and values; and to ensure business modeling specifically for women.