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Gender, assets, and agricultural development programs: A conceptual framework:

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  • Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela
  • Johnson, Nancy
  • Quisumbing, Agnes R.
  • Njuki, Jemimah
  • Behrman, Julia A.
  • Rubin, Deborah
  • Peterman, Amber
  • Waithanji, Elizabeth

Abstract

Being able to access, control, and own productive assets such as land, labor, finance, and social capital enables people to create stable and productive lives. Yet relatively little is known about how agricultural development programs can most effectively deliver these outcomes of well-being, empowerment, and higher income in a way that acknowledges differential access to and control over assets by men and women. After reviewing the literature on gender and assets, this paper offers a conceptual framework for understanding the gendered pathways through which asset accumulation occurs, including attention to not only men’s and women’s assets but also those they share in joint control and ownership. Unlike previous frameworks, this model depicts the gendered dimensions of each component of the pathway in recognition of the evidence that men and women not only control, own, or dispose of assets in different ways, but also access, control, and own different kinds of assets. The framework generates gender-specific hypotheses that can be tested empirically: i) Different types of assets enable different livelihoods, with a greater stock and diversity of assets being associated with more diverse livelihoods and better well-being outcomes; ii) Men and women use different types of assets to cope with different types of shocks; iii) Interventions that increase men’s and women’s stock of a particular asset improve the bargaining power of the individual(s) who control that asset; and iv) Interventions and policies that reduce the gender gap in assets are better able to achieve development outcomes related to food security, health, and nutrition and other aspects of well-being related to agency and empowerment. The implications of these gender differences for designing agricultural development interventions to increase asset growth and returns to assets as well as for value chain development are discussed. Based on this analysis, additional gaps in knowledge and possible investigations to address them are identified.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series CAPRi working papers with number 99.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fpr:worpps:99

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Related research

Keywords: assets; agricultural development; conceptual framework; food security; gender; intrahousehold allocation; livelihood; welfare;

References

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  1. Kumar, Neha & Quisumbing, Agnes R., 2010. "Does social capital build women's assets?: The long-term impacts of group-based and individual dissemination of agricultural technology in Bangladesh," CAPRi working papers 97, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Rubin, Deborah & Manfre, Cristina & Waithanji, Elizabeth & van den Bold, Mara & Olney, Deanna K. & Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela, 2014. "Closing the gender asset gap: Learning from value chain development in Africa and Asia:," IFPRI discussion papers 1321, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Savath, Vivien & Fletschner, Diana & Peterman, Amber & Santos, Florence, 2014. "Land, assets, and livelihoods: Gendered analysis of evidence from Odisha State in India:," IFPRI discussion papers 1323, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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