Gender Matters: Climate Change, Gender Bias, and Women’s Farming in the Global South and North

Agriculture 267 (10):1-25 (2020)
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Abstract

Can investing in women’s agriculture increase productivity? This paper argues that it can. We assess climate and gender bias impacts on women’s production in the global South and North and challenge the male model of agricultural development to argue further that women’s farming approaches can be more sustainable. Level-based analysis (global, regional, local) draws on a literature review, including the authors’ published longitudinal field research in Ghana and the United States. Women farmers are shown to be undervalued and to work harder, with fewer resources, for less compensation; gender bias challenges are shared globally while economic disparities differentiate; breaches of distributive, gender, and intergenerational justices as well as compromise of food sovereignty affect women everywhere. We conclude that investing in women’s agriculture needs more than standard approaches of capital and technology investment. Effective ‘investment’ would include systemic interventions into agricultural policy, governance, education, and industry; be directed at men as well as women; and use gender metrics, for example, quotas, budgets, vulnerability and impacts assessments, to generate assessment reports and track gender parity in agriculture. Increasing women’s access, capacity, and productivity cannot succeed without men’s awareness and proactivity. Systemic change can increase productivity and sustainability

Author Profiles

Samantha Noll
Washington State University
Patricia Glazebrook
Washington State University

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