The cost of the gender gap in agricultural productivity
This concise report (PDF) by UNWomen estimates the monetary value of the gender gap, its associated costs and the effectiveness of certain policies and interventions in agricultural productivity. The report focuses on the countries Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda. However, the analysis can be replicated by policy makers from other countries since the methodology and data used to quantify the costs of the gender gap and to determine to what extend different factors contribute to the gender gap are aptly presented in two Appendices. While women comprise a large proportion of the agricultural labor force in Sub-Saharan Africa (30-80%), they are consistently found to be less productive than their male counterparts. Women tend to have unequal access to key agricultural inputs, like labor, knowledge, fertilizer and improved seeds. The study provides further evidence that reducing the gender gap could translate into significant poverty reduction and improved nutritional outcomes. The report provides a unique quantification of the costs in terms of lost growth opportunities and an estimate of what societies, economies and communities would gain were the gender gaps in agriculture to be addressed. The authors estimate that the gender gap amounts to US$100 million in Malawi, US$105 million in Tanzania, and US$67 million in Uganda per year. The report also provides guidance as to the factors that must be targeted in order to close the gender gap by improving opportunities for women farmers. It concludes with a set of general policy recommendations on how women’s empowerment, agriculture productivity and economic growth can be addressed in an integrated manner and thereby contributes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals at the national level. The report is accompanied by a policy brief (PDF) and also presented as a poster (PDF).