What do we mean by ‘women’s crops’? A mixed methods approach
This ICRISAT study (PDF) aimed to revisit this issue of gender and commercialization of crops. They developed a ‘women’s crop tool’ that measures how much control women have over different crops. This tool was used to compare women’s perceived level of control at different stages of commercialization and to compare the perceptions of men and women regarding women’s control. The study reveals interesting insights from both a methodological point of view and in terms of outcomes on strategic, operational and financial control between women and men over 4 crops in Eastern Zambia. The mixed method of quantative household surveys and focus group discussions yielded starkly different results, which are discussed. And mechanization of groundnut shelling and greater commercialization did pull in male labor, but women did not perceive a loss of operational or financial control, although men challenge that. ‘The power to name’ plays an important role in household and community perceptions of power, as do gender roles, cultural norms and conjugal contracts in a balancing act for women.