Integrating behavioral change to accelerate Women's Economic Empowerment
Two weeks ago I shared the Women’s Economic Empowerment Framework on this platform. In this blog I want to ask your attention for interesting research supporting the logic of this framework and translating it into action by the Enhancing Opportunities for Women's Enterprises (EOWE) programme
In many developing countries women’s productivity in agricultural businesses is lower than that of men. The key question is then: how do we diagnose this problem? Possible reasons for the lower productivity of women in agriculture may be that women have less access to inputs, finance, markets or knowledge.
Whereas increasing access to inputs, finance, markets and knowledge for female farmers makes sense in areas where access is lacking, it is also important to examine factors that could influence whether female farmers will actually make use of this access and benefit from it.
To get a better understanding of the barriers that female farmers and entrepreneurs face, the ‘Enhancing Opportunities for Women’s Enterprises’ (EOWE) programme conducted various gender studies in Kenya and Vietnam. These studies show that women entrepreneurs in agriculture indeed lack access to resources and business assets, but it also shows that gender norms and intra-household power relations influence female farmers’ control over resources and decision-making power in their households and the community.
The EOWE programme therefore complements its business support and policy influencing interventions with activities that focus on transforming key gender norms and power relations that prevent female farmers and agribusiness entrepreneurs from equally participating in and benefitting from economic activities. Through the gender transformative Balancing Benefits approach the EOWE programme is working with both women and men from the household through to the marketplace to generate equal income and business opportunities and to increase women’s economic empowerment. The programme implements Household Dialogues and Behavioural Change Communication interventions to change gender norms and power relations in order to promote more equitable relationships between men and women and a more socially enabling environment.
Read this blogpost about the findings of these studies and the household dialogues on the 'Women's Economic Empowerment in agriculture knowledge hub' of Oxfam.