Towards integrated analysis of gender relations in farming systems analysis

K. Hemminger, B.B. Bock, J.C.J. Groot, M. Michalscheck, C.J. Timler

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Gender sensitivity in agricultural research and development is considered to be crucial for effectively contributing to gender equity, but also for improving the effectiveness of Agricultural interventions in terms of poverty alleviation and improvement of household nutrition. Yet farming systems research often neglects the analysis of gender relations even when working in the context
of smallholder households. More than 30 years of research have repeatedly revealed that women hold an important role in smallholder agricultural production. In many cases, women contribute the bigger part of agricultural labor and are responsible for certain domains of production on which they
have special local knowledge. Their responsibility for household nutrition has often been emphasized. Yet, because farming systems analysis and the modeling tools used for it often focus only on biophysical and economic data, women’s special needs, preferences and constraints are
not considered when innovations for the design or improvement of farming systems are developed. Therefore it is the aim of this study to integrate the analysis of gender relations in farming systems research.
The study focuses on the conceptualization, i.e. the identification of relevant gender issues and their causal relations based on literature review and expert interviews. This information was used to identify possible extensions or changes to whole farm models. So far, the inclusion of sexdisaggregated
labor profiles as well as separate household units by gender seems promising.
The conceptual part of the study was complemented by a two week pilot study in the Eastern Province of Zambia, location to the ‘Sustainable intensification of maize-legume-livestock integrated farming systems in Eastern and Southern Africa’ (SIMLESA) project, led by the International
Institute on Tropical Agriculture and one of the three regional projects of the Africa RISING program (Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation). Interviews with female farmers were conducted to complement detailed household characterizations performed with data on female labor burdens and intra household decision-making. These data will be used to test
possible extensions for whole-farm models.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventInternational Conference on Integrated Systems Research - IITA, Ibadan, Nigeria
Duration: 3 Mar 20156 Mar 2015


ConferenceInternational Conference on Integrated Systems Research


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