Published on March 11, 2014
Gender transformative approaches in nutrition and aquatic agricultural interventions Workshop on “Inspiring Change: Institutionalizing Gender in Nutrition and Agriculture Interventions” 9 March 2014 Afrina Choudhury Paula Kantor and Miranda Morgan, WorldFish
Contents: Examples of two women-targeted technologies Study findings that substantiate the need for Gender Transformative Approaches (GTA) What are Gender Transformative Approaches (GTAs), conceptually and practically?
Women targeted technologies: two examples
CAGES Why women targeted? NUTRITION CLOSE TO HOME FOR EASY ACCESS (time and labor burden, mobility and access constraints ) INCOME OPPORTUNITY AS UNDERUTILISED RESOURCE PUT INTO PRODUCTIVE USE NO NEED FOR OWNERSHIP OF COMMON WATER BODIES CAGE FISH INCREASE CONSUMPTION OPTIONS WOMEN ARE OFTEN IN CHARGE OF HH CONSUMPTION DECISIONS WORLDFISH ADAPTIVE RESEARCH <FISH COMPONENTS>
POND POLYCULTUR E Why women targeted? NUTRITION CLOSE TO HOME FOR EASY ACCESS (time and labor burden, mobility and access constraints) MORE CONTROL OVER HOMESTEAD ASSETS INCOME OPPORTUNITY FROM AN UNDERUTILISED RESOURCE (without hindering other usage) SMALL FISH CAN BE GROWN WITH LARGE FISH WITHOUT MUCH EXTRA COST SMALL FISH CAN BE MULTIHARVESTED CONSUMPTION CONCERNS OVER RETURNS FOR INVESTMENT COMBATED SMALL FISH HIGH IN MICRO-NUTRIENTS NUTRITIOUS VEGETABLES CAN BE GROWN ON DYKES WORLDFISH ADAPTIVE RESEARCH <FISH COMPONENTS>
Is targeting women with technologies enough? Even when we do: • Recognize and respond to the specific needs and realities of men and women based on their existing roles and responsibilities • Build capacity and skills of women • Link them to markets • Try to build them up as Demonstration farmers and leaders • Provide credit access, etc Does targeting or involving women automatically lead to benefits for women or more equitable gender relations? Furthermore – how do we sustain any positive changes and benefits for women and their families?
Recently conducted study examines these notions
Introduction to research study Rationale: Research on agriculture and aquaculture technologies focuses on testing and refining them to increase output. Need to understand how the social and gender relations in a local context shape how women and men adopt, use and adapt these technologies. Such knowledge will help to design more appropriate technologies and dissemination strategies that lead to independent uptake, sustained use and equitable development outcomes Research question: How do gender relations shape the uptake and use of aquaculture technologies?
Study findings: Technology users are embedded in a range of relationships
Relationships inside household • Want to involve or target women but this requires the whole household to consent to attend training, provide inputs and investment, provide labor time • Attending training can affect these relationships E.g. Going to the training and taking on new roles can create tension within HH “My husband also doesn’t like all this. He also doesn’t like that I went to the meeting. The woman should stay at home. Fish farming is done by the men…” – Training affects the type of work women are perceived to be able to do – Training affects how much work women do E.g. Training can increase workload One woman (pond adopter in Khulna in her 30’s with secondary education): “[Husbands say,] ‘you have learnt everything, fish farming along with vegetable farming. We (husbands) don’t have to do anything, you all can do’. Saying this, they leave it to us. Now [because of] training I am in another hassle, now the husband’s don’t do, we have to do.” • Household relationships can affect who controls the money and benefits “Even if the money stays in their hands, we are the ones who spend it…they don’t spend anything. They bring the money and put it in our hands.” (male respondent, Barisal)
Relationships among group • Both benefits and drawbacks from a group – Strong relationships help to foster technology use and benefit, especially for women E.g. Groups can help to pool financial resources or labor “If I’m away, [my wife] can call our neighbours, like my brother’s wife. That is why this project was kept jointly” (male respondent, Barisal) – Lack of trust and certain power dynamics can affect the potential for pooling resources and sharing knowledge E.g. Unequal allocation of work among women cage adopters, leads to problem of free riding and feeling of unfairness. In a village in Barisal, one woman in her 20’s said she felt that she did more work than everyone else: “When doing it together, someone does more. The person’s house that the food is in, he gives food on two extra days. The person who doesn’t have the food in his house, he doesn’t remember, he stays busy in other work. And if each one is on his own, they will remember about the work, that, the work of looking after the fish has to be done first. Otherwise one sits in expectation of the other.” (Female respondent, Barisal)
Inequalities within the community can lead to problems within households E.g. Inequality between demonstration farmer (who gets inputs) and other farmers (who do not receive inputs) can contribute to this and lead to disheartenment “If anyone fails in any paper in an exam then how does the heart feel and this fish that [the demonstration farmer] got, how does her heart feel and us who didn’t get the fish, how do our hearts feel?...my husband also says, you go swaying to the meeting and come back swaying, only Anwar fisherman’s wife got the fish…” This has implications “My husband prohibited me from going to the [next] meeting. ‘You have been going to the meeting for so many days but they don’t give you anything’. That is why the husband says it’s bad or forbids me” (female respondent, Khulna) Another woman from the same village said: “my husband doesn’t help me with my work anymore … my husband says they don’t give you anything in your meeting”
• Potential trade-offs in testing technologies: between testing the feasibility of a new AQ technology and decreasing poverty. E.g. choosing an appropriate pond to test and demonstrate technologies may mean choosing a household that is not poor “Those who can afford to release fish worth 1000/2000 taka, they were given fish and those who do not have the ability to release fish, they weren’t given fish. That’s why i say that the poor constantly have bear kicks….our space is small that is why we didn’t get fish” • Managing expectations • Facilitating independent use: What processes? What technologies? What additional skills? Relationships outside village
The need for Gender Transformativ e Approaches
Why gender transformative? • Practice lagging behind understanding • ‘empowerment lite’ does not lead to real and sustained change • Technical approaches/gap filling (e.g. delivering technologies to women) – can accept/reinforce inequity • Gender integration without social change limits sustainability of impacts “The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. ……so we must think and act anew” Abraham Lincoln 1809-1865
Key features of Gender Transformative Approach • Understands people and social diversity in their context • Engages with both women and men • Addresses unequal power relations • Enables critical learning, reflection & questioning • Fosters dynamic & multi- scale change processes
Gender transformative research Integrates efforts to redress gender disparities in resources, markets and technologies with complementary actions to address underlying social norms and power relations
GTA mechanisms: plans and possibilities • Household Approaches to foster more equitable intra- household decision making & relationships • Participatory Action Research, experiential learning to build new capacities and recognition of those capacities • Technology training approaches that integrate social issue awareness (e.g.: HKI manual) • Strategic gender initiatives to foster change in norms, attitudes and practices for positive development outcomes (e.g. Communications for social change campaigns targeting different groups) • Supporting collective action and networks
Thank you! Research for development initiatives whose goal is to typically fill “gender gaps” and focus “…on the separate characteristics of women and men rather than on the way that social institutions work together to create and maintain advantages and disadvantages” are highly problematic and fail to sustainably reduce gaps in poverty between women and men (Okali 2011)
Gender transformative approaches in nutrition and aquatic agricultural interventions by Afrina Choudhury,Paula Kantor and Miranda Morgan,WorldFish.
... Gender Transformative ... Gender transformative approaches in nutrition and aquatic agricultural interventions by Afrina Choudhury,Paula Kantor and ...