Agricultural Development Initiatives Should Focus On Empowering Women For Best Outcomes

Inter Press Service: Women and Malnutrition in Africa
Raghav Gaiha, professorial research fellow at the Global Development Institute at the University of Manchester, and Vani S. Kulkarni, lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania

“…[A]gricultural development has enormous potential to make significant contribution in reducing malnutrition and the associated ill health. … The resources and income flows that women control often have positive impacts on household health and nutrition. … Agricultural programs and policies that empower and enable women and that involve them in decisions and activities throughout the life of the program achieve greater nutritional impacts. … [T]here are improved impacts on nutrition if agricultural interventions are targeted to women and when specific work is done around women’s empowerment …, mediated through women’s time use, women’s own health and nutrition status, and women’s access to and control over resources as well as intrahousehold decision-making power. That this may be dismissed out of hand is not unlikely either, given the persistence of male dominance” (10/31).