Gender Mainstreaming It only takes one visit to an Ethiopian farming community to see that women play a significant role in the country’s rural agricultural economy. Women are responsible for a large part of the labor that produces many of Ethiopia’s main cereal crops, pulses, and livestock, particularly small ruminants and poultry.
However, a majority of the work done by women tends to be economically “invisible.” As a consequence, their important role is not translated into an equality of opportunities, especially when it comes to gaining access to productive resources, markets, and services.
In particular, some of the greater challenges female farmers face in comparison with their male counterparts include reduced availability to improved seed varieties, proper training, and extension services, along with reduced access to vital output markets in which to sell their goods.
A better balance
Addressing gender inequalities is one of the main crosscutting issues within the Agricultural Transformation Agency’s special initiatives focus. The ATA has developed a gender mainstreaming strategy to promote gender equality across all of its programming and organizational development processes. This strategy aims to ensure that all of the ATA’s work contributes to gender equality by monitoring and adjusting the impact that all of its programs and activities have on both women and men.
Some of the key objectives of the gender mainstreaming strategy include:
- Increase participation of women and girls in the ATA’s prioritized program areas
- Create more opportunities for women and girls to have equal access to, and control over, vital resources
- Balance the workload rural women and girls invest in agricultural activities
- Address challenges to existing attitudes and practices that perpetuate gender inequalities in the agriculture sector
The ATA’s Gender Mainstreaming unit is also collaborating with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Women’s Affairs & Affirmative Action Directorate to strengthen the gender equality and women’s empowerment efforts underway by both institutions.
The ATA is committed to continuing its work to further strengthen gender mainstreaming efforts throughout all of the Agency’s programs. Some specific areas of focus include:
Diagnostic Study – The ATA is preparing to execute an extensive diagnostic on the current state of Gender in Ethiopian Agriculture.
Capacity Building – Working with ATA staff and partners to expand their knowledge and understanding of gender equality issues and women empowerment approaches.
Cross Program Collaboration – Supporting both the Ministry of Agriculture’s and the Women’s Affairs & Affirmative Action Directorate’s gender focal units, while partnering with key stakeholders to further advance gender equality initiatives within the Agricultural Growth Program (AGP).
Gender Mainstreaming Resources : For a list of publications and links relating to Gender Mainstreaming click here.