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Gender Analysis report

CASCAPE is committed to mainstream gender issues in its interventions. To this end, the project implemented a gender activity analysis to analyse the gendered effect of the introduction of new technologies and to propose interventions to improve gender mainstreaming in the project. The study was carried out in the six participating clusters (Addis Ababa, Bahir Dar, Haramaya, Hawassa, Jimma, Mekelle).

Background of the study

Understanding gender roles is fundamental as these attributes are different between men and women. Failure to recognise them will negatively affect the achievement of effective agricultural development. The CASCAPE project is committed to mainstream gender issues in its interventions. To this end, the project decided to implement a gender activity analysis to analyse the current situation and to propose interventions to improve gender mainstreaming in the project. The study was carried out in the six participating university clusters. In each cluster, a particular crop was selected as a target crop and issues related to gender roles and constraints were assessed. 116 respondents (49% male and 51% female farmers participating in the CASCAPE project) were randomly selected and interviewed using semi-structured questionnaires. Besides, a focus group discussion (FGDs) was conducted separately with women and men groups in each cluster.

Key findings

-    The study found that women across all clusters are almost equally involved in all farm activities, except for oxen ploughing which is exclusively done by men. Weeding, fertilizing and threshing are generally tasks where women play a dominant role.
-    The daily activity calendar showed that on the whole, women have a heavy work load and much less leisure and sleep time than men, particularly in the peak season (on average 17,6 hours per day).
-    The decision-making analysis clearly showed that most decisions on how to spend resources and how to use the harvested crops were in the hands of men. However, in most cases women had some to full control over decisions regarding poultry and home-garden products (which are mostly home consumed).

Gendered effect on the introduction of new technologies

The study also found out that male farmers were very positive about the new technologies that they were being introduced to. Attributes like better yield and increased income from the target crop were some of the reasons. Likewise, women were also positive about these new technologies, though most of them reported that newly introduced technologies have increased their work burden significantly.

Access to training

Both female headed households and wives of male headed households complained that they do not have access to trainings on improved agricultural practices and other relevant topics. They explained that men receive training and consequently have to transfer the new knowledge /skill to their respective wives.

Recommendations

-    Given that women are equally involved in agricultural production it is important to train them. This will in turn result in increased farm output as well as family income. Moreover, it will have a positive effect on women’s self-esteem of being perceived as a professional farmer.
-    Given the heavy workload for women, and given the fact that new technologies tend to increase their workload, the project committed itself to identify and introduce labour saving and gender sensitive technologies based on women’s needs.
-    To achieve this it is important to increase awareness among the project team and main partners (especially extension agents) on the importance to include women in extension services, and also taking women’s needs and views into account during technology testing and introduction.

For more information: see the full report.

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