Good practice for collecting sex-disaggregated agriculture data


Jemimah Njuki

It is now widely recognized that gender equality is critical for increasing agricultural productivity, reducing poverty and improving food and nutrition security. Transforming agriculture, will require addressing current gender inequalities.

Despite their significant contribution to the agricultural sector worldwide, women, on average, have access to fewer resources than do men. The FAO suggests that equalizing access to agricultural resources could increase yields by 20-30% and reduce the world’s hungry by 12-17%; these estimates, however, are based on the very limited data that are currently available.

The availability of contextual gender data is critical in understanding what needs to be done and how programs should be designed to impact on women and on reducing inequalities. More often than not however, sex disaggregated data is often not available, which constrains the design of gender responsive programs. The unavailability of data also limits the ability of researchers, policy makers and program managers to measure the extent to which programs or policies are effective in addressing gender inequalities and to even determine what amount of resources should go into gender and women’s empowerment programs leading to the common adage of ‘what doesn’t get measured, doesn’t get done’.


To transform African agriculture, women must be at the centre


Jemimah Njuki

Globally, women provide 43% of the agricultural labour. In Africa, this percentage is higher with women contributing as much as 70% of the agricultural labour. They do this despite the many constraints that they face. More often than not, women are not the land owners, they are not the inheritors of land, they are not the family bankers, they are not the ones who went to school, they are not the ones who show up for meetings and trainings, and more often than not they are not at the table when decisions are made.

We all know and all acknowledge about the important role of women, as farmers, as care givers, as marketers, as firewood fetchers, as feeders of the continent. And yet commitments to transform agriculture do not include commitments to empower women smallholder farmers.

There has to be a recognition that women are at the centre of African agriculture and we cannot talk about Africa’s transformation without talking about its women.

In a recent meeting at the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRF 2014), a panel discussion organised jointly by IDRC, UN Women and the AU Commission came up with 5 key recommendations for investments in women to truly transform African agriculture;