The impact of agricultural co-operatives on women's empowerment: Evidence from Uganda

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4 Citations (Scopus)


This article contributes to understanding the potential of agricultural co-operatives to boost women's empowerment and close gender gaps in sub-Saharan Africa. It provides quasi-experimental evidence of the impact of membership of an agricultural co-operative on women's capabilities, their power and ability to influence decisions, and intra-household productive and reproductive labour divisions. It uses the P'KWI Farmer to Farmer Co-operative Society in north-eastern Uganda as a case study. It shows that being a member of P'KWI has a significantly positive impact on economic wellbeing, knowledge and adoption of agronomic practices, especially among women. Co-operative membership has a particularly strong positive impact on women's decision making power at the household, group and community levels. Intra-household domestic and farm related labour divisions, however, did not change as a result of co-operative membership and remain disadvantageous for women. The article concludes that agricultural co-operatives can make a significant difference for women's empowerment, provided that they actively and consistently address the bottlenecks to achieve gender equality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-27
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Co-operative Organization and Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Agricultural co-operatives
  • Gender roles
  • Sub-Saharan africa
  • Uganda
  • Women's empowerment

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