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Exploring gender inclusion within farming families and organizations

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Creating strong and thriving farmer organizations

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Question 1: How do you bring the men/husbands on board to support this gender approach?

Answer: Couple seminars are facilitated through which both the husband and wife attend the training. The topics covered in this training emphasize the importance of women and men and the entire household working together for increased production and income. Also, the project encourages farmer organizations to have the membership of both men and the importance of women in participation in leadership positions. 

In Tanzania, trainings under the Gender Household Approach are called household development trainings to influence men attendance. In Central America, trainings that are specifically aimed towards men, focus on leadership, empowerment and masculinity.  

Question 2: Looking back to when farmer families started the program, what changes have you seen in their family dynamic? How have their attitudes and reception to these topics changed?

Answer: There are many positive changes in family dynamics and attitudes, including:

  • Joint decision-making improved family dynamics and increased income, food security, and household wellbeing 
  • Men became more transparent about the household income and women were involved in decisions about coffee production
  • Better time distribution for everyone in the household
  • Family members are more opened to participate in household trainings

 Question 3: Are women or youth using some technological device in the field? or to gather savings?

Answer: In Tanzania, participants currently contribute to their savings by using mobile money transfer technology. During this time we are exploring various saving digital solutions suitable for farmers that will enable them conduct saving session without having physical meetingsIn Central America, we are improving our monitoring and evaluation by involving more ICT’s, using tools such as SurveyCTO and Commcare to involve more families into using these services. Women and youth specifically, have responded well and are very receptive to this type of technology. We are still in the early stages and would be very happy to find partners that could help us improve the use of Information and communications technology (ICT). 

Question 4: Could you please share your predictions on the long-term impact of the pandemic and how it might affect the gender disparity and other challenges of producers?

Answer: The spread of Corona pandemic limits women and men participation in farmer field schools and other group training activities which enable farmers to share experiences and learn from each other on the good agricultural practices In addition, women and men are limited to meet for their saving and credit sessions which enables them to access micro-loans to finance their farming activities. This might affect the household income and production. However, we are certain that those who have been trained or have been part of the gender approach will be able to respond much better. They will distribute their responsibilities evenly, will initiate changes in their homes and coffee farms that will make them more resilient, and maintain better connection to their farmer organizations and resources needed to adjust with the situation. 

 

Additional Resources

If you would like additional information on our HRNS Household Gender Approach, we encourage you to explore the following materials:

  1. Women in coffee&climate – Central America: Video
  2. Brief overview on the Gender Household Approach in Uganda
  3. Recording of the webinar on the impact of the HRNS Gender Household Approach by HRNS and Els Lecoutere
  4. A brief video documentation and a blog post on Els Lecoutere’s work in the field
  5. Polling answers and statistics from the FAO
  6. A guest blog by Els Lecoutere on her work

Further research papers and a practical monitoring toolkit by Els Lecoutere:

  1. Monitoring changes in intrahousehold decision-making and evaluating its impact
  2. Joint forces – The impact of intrahousehold cooperation on welfare in East African agricultural households
  3. Improving intrahousehold cooperation for efficient smallholder farming. A field experiment in central Uganda
  4. Making spouses cooperate in Ugandan agricultural households – Experimental evidence of distributional treatment effects

More stories about COVID-19:

Webinar: United by Change

View the recording! Additional Resources: Read more about our key findings by downloading our two flyers here: Blogpost: How to address COVID-19 in smallholder communities A blogpost from our HRNS Managing Director: Michael Opitz Webinar Questions & Answers ...