The World Bank in collaboration with the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) recently launched the Gender in Agriculture Sourcebook. The Sourcebook contains 30 detailed case studies and over 300 highlighted projects sharing gender mainstreaming knowledge on a range of development interventions in agriculture from rural infrastructure to education.
In describing the sourcebook, the World Bank released an apt statement:
Women play a vital role as agricultural producers and as agents of food and nutritional security. Yet relative to men, they have less access to productive assets such as land and services such as finance and extension. A variety of constraints impinge upon their ability to participate in collective action as members of agricultural cooperative or water user associations. In both centralized and decentralized governance systems, women tend to lack political voice.
Gender inequalities result in less food2 being grown, less income being earned, and higher levels of poverty and food insecurity. Agriculture in low-income developing countries is a sector with exceptionally high impact in terms of its potential to reduce poverty. Yet for agricultural growth to fulfill this potential, gender disparities must be addressed and effectively reduced.