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 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Women and agricultural product...
 Women and economic access...
 Women and nutrition security
 Conclusions and recommendation...
 Back Cover
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Group Title: Women : the key to food security
Title: Women
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00085349/00001
 Material Information
Title: Women the key to food security
Physical Description: v, 22 p. : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Quisumbing, Ma. Agnes R ( Maria Agnes R )
International Food Policy Research Institute
Publisher: International Food Policy Research Institute
Place of Publication: Washington D.C
Publication Date: 1995
Subject: Women in agriculture   ( lcsh )
Food supply   ( lcsh )
Women nutritionists   ( lcsh )
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non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 17-21).
Statement of Responsibility: Agnes R. Quisumbing ... et al..
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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
    Women and agricultural production
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Women and economic access to food
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Women and nutrition security
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
    Conclusions and recommendations
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
    Back Cover
        Page 23
    Reprint permission notice
        Page 24
Full Text


Gas :4 1~ s

INTERNATIONAL The International Food Policy Research Institute was established
FOOD in 1975 to identify and analyze alternative national and interna-
POULCY tional strategies and policies for meeting food needs of the devel-
oping world on a sustainable basis, with particular emphasis on
RESEARCH low-income countries and on the poorer groups in those countries.
INSTITUTE W hile the research effort is geared to the precise objective of
contributing to the reduction of hunger and malnutrition, the factors involved are many and
.,ide-ranging. requiring analysis of underlying processes and extending beyond a narrowly
defined food sector. The Institute's research program reflects worldwide collaboration with
governments and private and public institutions interested in increasing food production and
improving the equity of its distribution Research results are disseminated to policymakers,
opinion former, administrators, pol::c analysts, researchers, and others concerned with
rational and international food and agricultural policy.

IFPRI is a member of the Consu:tat.ve G'o:up on international Agricultural Research and
receives support from Australia, Belgium, Canada Centre de cooperation international en
recherche agronomique pour le d6veloppement iCIRAD), China, Denmark, Food and
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Ford Foundation. France German Agency
for Technical Cooperation (GTZ), German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation
(BMZ), 'ndia Inter-American Development Bank. International Deeloopment Research
Centre (Canada), Interna:ional Fund for Agricultural De.'e!:ornent Japan, Netherlands
Norway, Overseas Development Instltute the P'i: Doces Rockefe'ler Founcation Spain,
Sweden Switzerland United Kingdom United Nations Development Programme, United
Nations Children's Fund United States, and the World Bank.


Washington, D.C.
August 1995

Preface v

Three Pillars of Food Security 1

Women and Agricultural Production 1

Women and Economic Access to Food 9

Women and Nutrition Security 12

Conclusions and Recommendations 15

Notes 17

Women's role in the economy has often
been underestimated, and their work in
agriculture has long been invisible. While
policymakers have targeted population,
health, and nutrition programs to women in
their reproductive roles, they have neglected
women as productive agents. This approach,
however, is changing. In the decade since
the 1985 World Conference on Women in
Nairobi, Kenya, new research has highlighted
the crucial role of women as farm managers
and farm workers all over the world. Growing
evidence shows that income in the hands of
women contributes more to household food
security and child nutrition than income
controlled by men. Such knowledge about
women's key role in food security is essen-
tial to the design and implementation of
effective programs to enhance their poten-
tial. The Fourth World Conference on
Women, in Beijing, China, in September
1995, provides a milepost for assessing
women's progress in the last decade, taking
stock of current knowledge, and building on
this knowledge to guide future policies.
The International Food Policy Research
Institute (IFPRI) places a high priority on
research to improve the understanding of
women's roles in agriculture and food secu-

rity. IFPRI's work in this area started with a
series of studies on the effects of agricultural
commercialization on women's income,
food consumption, and household and child
nutrition. Now, through a multicountry
research program called "Strengthening Food
Policy through Intrahousehold Analysis,"
IFPRI researchers are examining the
processes of family decisionmaking to learn
how resources are allocated within the
household. This research aims to inform
the design and implementation of more
effective food policy by taking into account
how women's access to and control over
productive resources, stakes in development
and food security, and responses to devel-
opment incentives differ from those of men.
This food policy report synthesizes cur-
rent research about the roles that women
play in ensuring food security in the devel-
oping world. It presents evidence on women
as food producers, as providers of food to
the household, and as contributors to
household nutrition security. In so doing, it
offers concrete proof that reducing gender
disparities by increasing women's physical
and human capital promotes agricultural
growth, greater income for women, and
better food and nutrition security for all.

.... ... A li gi~i.~E;
ail-.,yj 0w.1.*et t rltt &lmrs- .

AM ~

Eight hundred million people in the develop-
ing world currently face food insecurity, and
the challenge of meeting their food and nutri-
tional needs is likely to become greater in the
years ahead. Population growth, urbaniza-
tion, and the limited potential for increasing
production through the expansion of cultivated
area imply that for food needs to be met in
the future, yields will have to increase. While
agricultural research continues to develop
new varieties with higher yields and increased
tolerance to unfavorable environmental con-
ditions, an untapped source of agricultural
growth could lie in reducing the bias against
women in agriculture.
The three central ingredients, or pillars, of
food security are food availability, or ade-
quate food production; economic access to
available food; and nutritional security, which
often depends on the availability of nonfood
resources such as child care, health care,
clean water, and sanitation. Women play sig-

Sustainable production of food is the first pil-
lar of food security. In every region of the
developing world, but perhaps most in Africa,
millions of women work as farmers, farm
workers, and natural resource managers. In
doing so they contribute to national agricul-
tural output, maintenance of the environment,
and family food security. They make these
contributions despite unequal access to land,
to inputs such as improved seeds and fertiliz-
er, and to information. A growing body of evi-
dence indicates that if male-female access to
inputs were less unequal, substantial gains in
agricultural output would occur, benefiting
both women and men.

nificant, if not dominant, roles in supplying all
three ingredients necessary to achieve food
security in developing countries. But women
play these roles in the face of enormous
social, cultural, and economic constraints.
This report brings together the latest evi-
dence on the key roles that women play in
maintaining the three pillars of food security
and examines ways to strengthen the pillars
through policies and programs that enhance
women's abilities and resources to fulfill their
roles. A more equal distribution of existing
resources between women and men can
improve food security, but even greater gains
can be achieved by addressing the specific
constraints women face. By alleviating these
constraints and leveling the agricultural play-
ing field, such policies and programs will sub-
stantially contribute to meeting world food
needs and sharply reducing the numbers of
malnourished and food insecure people in
developing countries.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, where women and
men farm separate plots, women farmers
have traditionally been responsible for food
production. Estimates from the Food and
Agriculture Organization of the United
Nations (FAO) show that women account for
more than half the labor required to produce
the food consumed in the developing world,
and perhaps three-fourths in Sub-Saharan
Africa.1 Aggregate data suggest that African
women perform about 90 percent of the work
of processing food crops and providing
household water and fuelwood, 80 percent of

the work of food storage and transport from
farm to village, 90 percent of the work of hoe-
ing and weeding, and 60 percent of the work
of harvesting and marketing.2 Despite their
traditional specialization in food production,
women are becoming increasingly involved
in cash-crop cultivation.3
In Asia and Latin America, men and
women typically do not farm separate plots
but work together on the family farm. While it
is commonly believed that Asian agriculture
relies almost entirely on male labor, women
work as hired agricultural laborers or unpaid
family workers and contribute between 10
and 50 percent of labor for various crops.4 In
Latin America, women play an important role
in peasant agriculture. In Guatemala, for
example, women contribute a quarter of
family labor devoted to growing traditional
and export vegetables, and in Peru women's
share of labor across all crops is 25 percent.
Women in Latin America also contribute
significantly to harvesting, postharvest pro-
cessing, and marketing.5

Despite women's importance in agricultural
production, they usually have lower levels of
physical and human capital than men.

These disparities persist because of legal,
social, and institutional factors that create
barriers for women.

Weak Land Rights
The laws governing women's rights to land
differ widely in various parts of the world.
Some religious laws forbid female landowner-
ship. Even when civil law gives women the
right to inherit land, local custom may rule
otherwise. In Sub-Saharan Africa, where
women have prime responsibility for food pro-
duction, they are generally limited to user (or
usufruct) rights to land, and then only with the
consent of a male relative. Some resettlement
and irrigation projects have actually worsened
women's rights to land by providing formal
titles only to men.6 This insecurity of tenure
reduces the likelihood that women will invest
much time and resources in usufruct land or
adopt environmentally sustainable farming
practices such as tree planting.
Such unequal land rights are reflected in
the smaller farm sizes of women farmers.
Women farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa, for
example, often farm smaller plots of land both
in absolute terms and in relation to household
size (Table 1). Women also tend to be allo-
cated poorer land, whose quality deteriorates
even further as it is intensively cultivated.
Many programs with redistributive objec-

Table 1-Size of holdings by gender of farm manager or household head, selected countries
Area per Person
Area Cultivated Household Size in Household

Country and Year Male Female Male Female Male Female
(hectares) (number of people) (hectares)
Kenya (1989) 2.6 1.7 8.6 8.0 0.30 0.21
Nigeria (1989) 2.6 0.8 7.6 4.9 0.34 0.16
Zambia (1986) 2.7 1.2 3.5 1.7 0.77 0.71
El Salvador (1988) (manzanasa) (manzanasa)
Cooperative members 0.78 0.49 5.3 4.8 0.15 0.10
Tenant beneficiaries 1.91 1.81 6.1 5.6 0.31 0.32
of land reform program
Sources: See page 20.
aA manzana is a measure of land area.

tives, such as land reform programs, often
fail to recognize women as potential benefi-
ciaries. A review of 13 land reform programs
in Latin America found that the majority have
not produced significant numbers of female
beneficiaries or even given attention to gen-
der as a beneficiary category.7 Even when
female heads of households are included as
potential beneficiaries, they may have lower
land allocations than male household heads.
In El Salvador, for example, among coopera-
tive members on former large estates, male
household heads were allocated significantly
larger areas than female heads.8 Recent
development projects have therefore
attempted to give women access to land
(Box 1).

Box 1
Strengthening Women's
Land Rights

Some development projects have made
innovative attempts to give women access
to land. A World Bank sericulture project in
India made it possible for women in Jammu
and Kashmir to obtain joint titleship to
mulberry gardens if they have a "no-
objection letter" from the husband or
landowner. In Andhra Pradesh, state land
grant schemes promoted women's access
to land. In Kamataka, project funds were
used to lease land for women's groups.
Similarly, obtaining land titles for female
heads of households is a priority in a small
farmer service project in Chile. Chile's
experience that farmers with secure land
tenure more readily accept new technology
has led that country to target rural land
titling efforts to the most difficult and
neediest cases, with rural women explicitly
recognized as beneficiaries.1
'A. R. Oulsumbing, Increasing Women's
Agricultural Productivity as Farmers and Workers.
Education and Social Policy Discussion Paper
No. 37 (Washington, D.C.. World Bank, 1994).

Limited Access to Common
Property Resources
Especially in rural areas, the livelihood of
families often depends on women's access
to communal land, nearby forests, and
waterways for supplies of food, fuelwood,
water for domestic consumption and
agricultural production, medicines, and
materials for craft production and house
building. As wives, females are almost
always granted only limited rights to these
resources, and their access is shrinking in
the face of state takeovers and the shift from
common property to private entitlement.
Women's declining access and lack of rights
to these resources may reduce their incen-
tives to conserve forest resources (Box 2).
Likewise, public irrigation systems are often
considered an area of male control, and
decisions about the use of irrigation water
are made without reference to women's
needs for their own production and domestic

Lack of Equipment and
Appropriate Technology
Female farmers generally own fewer tools
than men. Since farm capital contributes pos-
itively to yields, female farmers are likely to
have lower yields than male farmers.
Moreover, new technology has often been
inappropriate to women's needs. Recently,
however, international research efforts have
developed a number of machines that reduce
the drudgery of tasks largely performed by
women and that fit women's ergonomic
requirements. These new machines include
micro rice mills, direct seeding equipment,
transplanters, and threshing machines devel-
oped by the International Rice Research
Institute (IRRI) and cassava-processing
equipment developed by the International
Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA).
The effect of the adoption of labor-saving
equipment for agricultural production, howev-
er, depends on whether those affected are a

Box 2
Gender Bias and Property Rights

In Western Ghana and West Sumatra, property rights are evolving from communal to individual
ownership and from matrilineal to mixed-patrilineal inheritance systems. The evolution of inheritance
rules implies a shift from a system in which members of an extended family have partial rights to
land to one in which individual land rights-passed on from fathers to sons and daughters-
prevail. While daughters stand to inherit land, there is evidence that land inheritance is gradually
favoring sons.1
If property rights to cultivable land are established only for men, women may not have strong
incentives to adopt sustainable farming practices. This gender bias will be particularly important in
cases where the appropriate practice of natural resource management is labor-intensive, such as
tree planting. Indeed, a number of studies in Africa find that women farmers are less likely than men
to plant tree crops such as coffee and cocoa.2

1K. Otsuka and A. R. Quisumbing. "Gender and Forest Resource Management: A Comparative Study of Selective Areas
of Asia and Africa" (International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, D.C., 1994, mimeo).
2A R. Quisumbing, Gender Differences in Agricultural Productivity: A Survey of Empirical Evidence. Education and Social
Policy Discussion Paper No. 36 (Washington, D.C.: World Bank. 1994).

mix of smallholders looking for labor-saving investment in labor-saving technologies for
devices or hired laborers depending on women is frequently a low priority.
employment from larger farm households.
For women who farm their own plots, new Limited Contact with
agricultural technologies may reduce Agricultural Extension
drudgery and increase productivity. But for
female hired laborers, adoption of labor- Despite women's prominent role in agricul-
saving devices may mean the loss of ture, they do not get an appropriate share of
employment and income (Box 3). Also, agricultural extension advice and other ser-
where decisions about investment in equip- vices (such as seeds, fertilizer, and credit
ment are made principally by husbands, delivered through the agricultural extension

Box 3
Do Agricultural Technologies Help or Hurt Rural Women?

The distribution of the costs and benefits of technology adoption depends on the specific cultural
and social characteristics of a particular location. In one location in the Philippines, the introduction
of a mechanical thresher relieved both men and women of threshing and substantially speeded the
threshing process. As a result, rice farmers were able to grow a second crop of rice, which in turn
led to increased employment for women in transplanting, weeding, and harvesting. The benefits
substantially outweighed the small cost of reduced opportunities for manual labor in threshing. In
Bangladesh, however, the substitution of a mechanical rice mill for a traditional threshing implement
had a negative effect on poor and landless women who had previously earned income by providing
hand-pounding services. The negative effect resulted from cultural restrictions on women's leaving
their homestead for alternative employment.1

IT. R. Pans and P. Pingali, "Do Agricultural Technologies Help or Hurt Poor Farm Women?" paper presented at the
International Workshop on Enhancing Incomes of Rural Women through Suitably Engineered Systems, May 10-13, 1994,
International Rice Research Institute, Manila, Philippines.

system). In Africa, since women farm sepa-
rate plots and since husbands do not neces-
sarily share extension information with their
wives, women's access to extension services
is important. Evidence from a number of
Sub-Saharan African countries, however,
suggests that male farmers have greater
contact with extension services than do
female farmers (Table 2). A similar pattern
is evident among land reform beneficiaries in
El Salvador: male-headed households have
significantly higher access to technical assis-
tance than female-headed households.9
Four primary constraints limit women's
access to extension services. First, in many
places, cultural restrictions prevent male
extension officers from meeting with women
farmers. Second, domestic responsibilities
sometimes limit women's mobility, making it
harder for them to attend meetings and
courses away from home. Third, women are
less likely than men to speak the national
language, and extension services are often
not offered in the local language. Fourth,
there are not enough female extension
agents (Table 3).
One potential remedy is to increase the
number of women receiving appropriate
training to be agricultural extension agents.
A second is to give agricultural training to
women trained as community development

or home economics officers so that they can
work directly with women farmers. In
Guatemala, home economics officers were
trained in agriculture and farming systems
research. They are now cultivating demon-
stration plots with women farmers, and in
some places they have helped expand the
use of improved varieties among women
farmers by encouraging women to form
groups to produce seeds of maize, beans,
and tomatoes for themselves and for sale.
A third strategy is for extension agents,
whether men or women, to meet with farmers
in groups. This practice would reduce or
remove the cultural constraints against inter-
action between individual male extension
agents and female farmers and would have
the added benefit of enabling the sharing of
information by the women in the groups. The
group approach has been used successfully
in Botswana, Kenya, and Nigeria. In Zambia,
farmers' field days at which farmers look at
experimental materials are held separately
for men and women.
In the Philippines, agricultural extension
services have successfully used radio to
transmit information. Radio was used, for
example, for a course on integrated pest
management (IPM), with farmers periodically
sending in homework and tests for evalua-
tion.10 The use of radio was less successful

Table 2-Technical assistance received, by gender of household head
Indicator of Technical Male-headed Female-headed
Assistance Household Household
Percent of families ever visited by extension worker
Kenya (1989) 12 9
Nigeria (1989) 37 22
Tanzania (1984) 40 28
Zambia (1986) 60 19
Technical assistance score
El Salvador (1988)
Cooperative members 0.74 0.59
Tenant beneficiaries of land reform program 0.96 0.74
Sources: See page 21.
aBased on a score of 0 for no technical assistance, 1 for access to technical information (from mass media, for exam-
ple), and 2 for visits from agricultural extension agents.

Table 3-Number of farmers per extension agent and share of female extension agents
Women as Percentage of
All Field
Farmers per Extension Extension
Region Agent Staff Staff
Africa 1,809 11.1 7.0
Asia and Pacific 2,661 14.8 14.1
Near East 2,499 19.5 9.5
Latin America 2,940 14.5 13.9
Europe 431 15.7 6.6
North America 325 39.2 15.0
Source: K. Saito and D. Spurling, Developing Agricultural Extension for Women Farmers, Discussion Paper No. 156
(Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 1992).

in Mali, however, in large part because the
language on the radio was different from that
spoken locally.

Lack of Access to Credit
Women face a number of barriers to obtain-
ing credit. Property that is acceptable as col-
lateral, especially land, is usually held by
men, and formal financial institutions often
deem the types of valuables held by women
(such as jewelry) unacceptable. The transac-
tion costs involved in obtaining credit-
transportation costs, paperwork, time spent
waiting-may be higher for women than for
men owing to higher opportunity costs from
forgone activities. Indeed, in rural Kenya,
distance to a bank is a significant determi-
nant of the probability of obtaining credit for
women but not for men.11
Social and cultural barriers, women's
lower educational levels relative to men, and
their lack of familiarity with loan procedures
may also limit their mobility and interaction
with predominantly male credit officers or
moneylenders. Exclusion from local groups,
such as farmers' groups, may prevent
women from receiving not only extension
advice but also credit, particularly if the
extension worker plays an important role in
credit delivery. Women also tend to be
involved in the production of relatively low-
return crops that are not included in formal
sector lending programs.

Since the early 1980s, a number of
alternatives to the formal sector have given
women access to credit and financial ser-
vices.12 Most programs do not heavily sub-
sidize interest rates, and they link repayment
to future lending. Successful programs
typically reduce transaction costs, charge
commercial interest rates, establish deposit
facilities, target poor clients, develop income-
generating skills, strengthen existing local
institutions like farmers groups, and empha-
size the provision of financial services rather
than business training.

Lower Levels of Education
In the early 1980s, average literacy rates for
men in developing countries were over 50
percent, while over two-thirds of women were
still illiterate.13 This disparity continues to be
larger in rural areas, where educational
attainment is lower, and persists despite high
private rates of return to women's school-
ing14 and high social returns to women's edu-
cation.15 This gap has serious implications
for agricultural productivity and incomes.
Better-educated farmers are more likely to
adopt new technologies and to have access
to extension services. For example, a study
of coffee, a high-value crop, in Kenya found
that increasing the primary education of
women farmers not only causes them to
plant coffee trees more readily, but also
increases the adoption of coffee by other

women farmers, who are more likely to copy
women than men farmers.16 Underinvest-
ment in women's education thus has high
opportunity costs.

Gains from Removing Constraints
on Women Farmers
Barriers to women's increased productivity
and the use of their experience and knowl-
edge may impose a large opportunity cost to
society in terms of forgone output and
incomes, the magnitude of which is only now
being realized. For example, many studies
show that plots of land controlled by women
have lower yields than those controlled by
men. These lower yields are usually the
result of lower use of labor and fertilizer per
acre rather than managerial and technical
inefficiency (Box 4).17 Unequal rights and
obligations within the household, as well as
women's limited time and financial resources,
prevent women from applying the optimal
levels of inputs.
Given equal access to resources and
human capital, women farmers can achieve
yields equal to those of men or even, as
some studies show, significantly higher.18
One study estimates that yields among
Kenyan women farmers could increase
by 7 percent if they were given the same
average levels of age (or experience), educa-
tion, and inputs as those possessed by the
entire sample of male and female farmers.19
Yields could increase by as much as 24 per-
cent if all women farmers had primary
schooling.20 If women had the same experi-
ence, education, and inputs as men, yields
could increase by 9 to 24 percent. These
results, however, need to be taken with cau-
tion since the simulations do not address
how input levels can actually be increased.21
To the extent that better-educated farmers
are more likely to use modern inputs, the
key to increasing agricultural productivity
may lie in educating women in rural areas
and increasing their human and physical

Box 4
Agricultural Inputs and
Female-controlled Farm Plots

Detailed data from Burkina Faso show that
resources are allocated inefficiently across
plots controlled by different members of the
household. Plots controlled by women are
farmed less intensively than similar plots
controlled by men in the same household
and simultaneously planted with the same
crop. Much less male labor per hectare is
devoted to plots controlled by women than
to similar plots controlled by men. Child
labor and unpaid exchange labor are also
applied more intensively to plots controlled
by men. Lastly, virtually all fertilizer is con-
centrated in plots controlled by men, even
though each additional unit of fertilizer
applied to a plot results in progressively
smaller increases in output. The less inten-
sive application of resources on women's
plots results in lower yields. One study esti-
mates that the value of household output
could be increased by 10-20 percent by
reallocating currently used inputs across
'H. Alderman, J. Hoddinott, L. Haddad, and C.
Udry, Gender Differentials in Farm Productivity:
Implications for Household Efficiency and Agricultural
Policy, Food and Consumption Division Discussion
Paper 7 (Washinglon, D.C.: International Food Policy
Research Institute, 1995).

Unrecognized Exoertise

Women suffer not only from lower levels of
education and lack of access to information,
but also from a lack of recognition of the
expertise they have acquired. Women have
detailed, complex knowledge of seeds and
the growing systems of which they are in
charge. In Zambia's intricate chitimene sys-
tem, for example, in which forest and fallow

areas are brought into crop production with
the felling, harvesting, and burning of woody
vegetation, both men and women have
detailed knowledge of local woodland and
fallow land species, their growing patterns,
their agronomic attributes, and their uses.
Each sex, however, specializes in knowledge
of certain species.22 Recent research is
demonstrating the value of women's
indigenous knowledge base as a source of
productivity growth (Box 5).

Box 5
Using Women's Indigenous
Knowledge Base

Scientists at the Institut des Sciences
Agronomiques du Rwanda (ISAR) and the
Centro Internacional de Agricultura
Tropical (CIAT) in Colombia collaborated
with local women farmers to breed
improved bean varieties. Previously, the
breeders' predictions of the 2 or 3 bean
varieties that displayed most potential
under actual growing conditions had result-
ed in mildly successful increases in bean
productivity. In this collaboration, the
women farmers were invited to examine
more than 20 bean varieties at the
research station and take home and grow
the 2 or 3 they thought most promising.
The women planted these varieties using
their own methods for experimenting with
new varieties. Although the women's crite-
ria for selection were not confined to yield,
which had been the breeders' primary
measure for ranking, the selections of the
women farmers outperformed the selec-
tions of the bean breeders in terms of yield
by 60-90 percent. Farmers were still grow-
ing their own choices six seasons later.1

'L Sperling and B. Ntabomvura, "Integrating
Farmer Experts into On-Stalion Research," in Tools
lor the Field: Methodologies Handbook for Gender
Analysis in Agriculture, ed. H. S. Feldstein and J.
Jiggins (West Hartford. Conn.. U.S.A.: Kumanan
Press, 1994).

Few Women Agricultural Scientists
The number of women who work as agricul-
tural research scientists or extension agents
has been, until recently, minuscule. All conti-
nents are now experiencing a rising enroll-
ment of women in agricultural science, but
the numbers are still low. Once trained as
scientists, they are often given responsibility
for anything to do with women, whether it is
within their discipline or not. Their skills are
underused, and they face workplace difficul-
ties related to their minority status.
One innovative program, the Winrock
International program for African Women
Leaders in Agriculture and the Environment,
focuses on increasing the number of African
women scientists through access to educa-
tion and African-based research opportunities
for M.S. and Ph.D. students. The program
recognizes that scholarships and degrees
are not always enough for women scientists
to be effective and to attain higher positions.
The program therefore includes managerial
training for women, with specific preparation
for being a minority in a male-dominated
workplace. The program also trains both
male and female scientists in gender analy-
sis, to improve their diagnostic skills about
desirable new technologies and to help them
to understand women farmers and their spe-
cific needs.

Women's Absence in Agricultural
and Environmental Decisionmaking

Women are overlooked as decisionmakers
both at the farm level and at the policy level.
For too long, much agricultural research has
ignored the on-the-ground reality of farming
systems and farmer preferences, resulting in
lost opportunities and miscalculated priori-
ties. Several international agricultural
research centers have demonstrated that
incorporating the views of farmers early in
the research process results in more produc-
tive research, and these centers have helped

many national systems do the same. These
centers, however, have focused on male
farmers; the explicit inclusion of women's
knowledge and perspectives in this process
has been much slower, and this delay
remains an obstacle to meeting the needs
of women producers.
The process of listening to-and learning
from-female farmers can be facilitated by
increasing the representation of women in
agricultural policymaking bodies. Relatively
few women have yet reached senior man-
agement positions in public and independent
research and training institutions, ministries
with responsibilities for agriculture and the

environment, and environmental nongovern-
mental organizations.
One interesting attempt to ensure that
women's views are incorporated into local
decisions is taking place in Burkina Faso,
where the World Bank has undertaken a
project on community decisionmaking about
community land management. The imple-
mentation manual has specific instructions
on how to ensure the participation of women,
including the stipulation that in voting on
community land management plans, 30 per-
cent of those voting in favor must be women
for a plan to pass.23

. .. ., ... ,, .. ..... .... .

The second pillar of food security is econom-
ic access to available food. A household's
access to food depends greatly on its real
income. In recent years, a growing number of
studies have shown that improvements in
household welfare depend not only on the
level of household income, but also on who
earns that income. These studies find that
women, relative to men, tend to spend their
income disproportionately on food for the
family. Moreover, women's incomes are more
strongly associated with improvements in
children's health and nutritional status than
are men's incomes.

Women's decisions to engage in income-
earning activities involve complex trade-offs,
and the ultimate effects of women's employ-
ment on household nutrition security depend
on the specific setting. Sufficient evidence
supports the argument that women's employ-
ment, especially for low-income households,

may be good not only for women's own
welfare, but also for the rest of the house-
hold members.24 Most of this evidence per-
tains to the positive effects that women's
incomes have on household food security
and nutrition.
A number of studies conducted during
the 1980s suggest that men and women
spend income under their control in system-
atically different ways.25 Women typically
spend a high proportion of their income on
food and health care for children, as well as
other goods for general household consump-
tion. In contrast, men retain discretionary
control over a higher proportion of their own
incomes for personal expenditures. The find-
ings of these studies were subsequently con-
firmed by more recent studies that provide
quantitative measures of the different effects
of men's and women's income (Box 6).
Evidence from Africa, Asia, and Latin
America shows that women's income has a
greater effect on household food security and
preschooler nutrition than men's income
(Table 4). In southwestern Kenya, for a given
household income level, female-controlled
income share had a positive and significant

Box 6
Women's Income and Household Food Security

Evidence to support the greater impact of women's income on household food security is increasing.
In Rwanda, cash income earned by women is positively and significantly associated with household
calorie consumption.' Although female incomes were lower than total male incomes and men had
more than 10 times as much off-farm eamings as women, there were no female-headed households
with severely malnourished children and a less than proportional number were found to be calorie-
deficient.2 In C8te d'lvoire, the share of household cash income earned by women in the household
has a positive and significant effect on the budget share for food.3 Lastly, in the Philippines, after con-
trolling for overall household total expenditures, female income share has been shown to have a posi-
tive and significant association with household calorie availability, household budget shares of
medical care and child's schooling (important nonfood inputs into nutrition), and preschooler weight
for age. The probability of preschooler fever and diarrhea is also lower in families where women eam
higher incomes.4

'J. von Braun, H. de Haen, and J. BlanKen, Commercialization of Agriculture under Population Pressure: Effects on
Production. Consumption, and Nutrition in Rwanda, Research Report 85 (Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy
Research Institute, 1991).
2J. von Braun and G. Wiegand-Jahn, incomee Sources and Income Uses of the Malnourished Poor in Northwest
Rwanda," in Income Sources of Malnourished People in Rural Areas: Microlevel Information and Policy Implications,
ed. J. von Braun and R. Pandya-Lorch, Working Paper on Commercialization of Agnculture and Nuintion No. 5 (Washington,
D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute, 1991).
3L. Haddad and J. Hoddinott, "Household Resource Allocation in the C6te d'lvoire: Inferences from Expenditure Data," in
Poverty and Rural Development, ed. T. A. Lloyd and W. O. Mornssey (London: Macmillan, forthcoming).
4M. Garcia, "Impact of Female Sources of Income on Food Demand among Rural Households in the Philippines,"
Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture 30, no. 2 (1991): 109-124.

effect on household calorie consumption,
while men's income had a negative effect.26
A study using Taiwanese data finds that, after
holding per capital household income con-
stant, women's income share has a signifi-
cant and positive effect on household budget
shares of staples and education and a nega-
tive effect on budget shares allocated to alco-
hol and cigarettes.27 In Guatemala, the
average yearly profits from nontraditional
agricultural export crops would increase
household food expenditures by twice as
much if they were controlled by women
rather than their husbands.28 Finally, one of
the most careful studies ever conducted on
the welfare effects of male and female
incomes shows that the positive effect on the
probability that a child will survive in urban
Brazil is almost 20 times greater when cer-
tain income sources accrue to women rather
than men.29

Why do men and women tend to spend
income differently? Societal and cultural
norms may assign women the role of "gate-
keepers," in which they ensure that house-
hold members, especially children, receive
an adequate share of available food.
Alternatively, women may prefer to spend
more on children's daily needs because they
spend more time with them. Women may
also face different constraints than do men.
To minimize the competing demands on their
time, for example, women may spend more
on food because they purchase more expen-
sive calories that take less time to prepare.
Finally, women and men may have different
income flows and thus different transaction
costs. In other words, since women's income
tends to come more frequently and in smaller
amounts, it may be more readily spent on
household daily subsistence needs than
lumpier seasonal income, which tends to

Table 4-Effects of income earned by men and women on household welfare

Ratio of
Effect of
Income to
That of
Effect of Effect of Men's
Country Effect on Women's Income Men's Income Income
Kenya Household Positive Negative ...
calorie level
Taiwan Household budget Negative Negative 1.3
share of alcohol
Guatemala Food expenditures Positive Positive 2
Brazil Child weight for Positive Positive 4.2
Brazil Child survival Positive Positive 18.2
Source: See page 21.

come to men and is likely to be spent on
more expensive items.30 A recent study test-
ed this hypothesis by controlling for the flows
of incomes earned by men and women in
Niger.31 The findings indicate that the timing
of female income flows has a significant
effect on both total household expenditures
and food expenditures in a given season,
while the timing of male income flows has no
effect. This suggests that women have less
access than men do to resources that tend
to even out consumption, such as credit
and savings. Thus, both the timing of
overall household income and the flow of
income by gender influence seasonal food

Since income is a critical determinant of a
household's ability to obtain food, poverty is a
major threat to household food security. The
combination of poverty and gender inequality
poses an even greater threat because of the
positive nutritional outcomes associated with
increasing women's incomes and the empiri-
cal finding that inequality within households
tends to decline as households become bet-
ter off.

A careful review of past studies finds that
women are slightly overrepresented in poor
households. New evidence from 11 data sets
in 10 countries shows that there are more
women than men as a proportion of adults in
the lowest income group, but this is signifi-
cantly different from the highest income
group only in countries with extreme gender
Given the positive nutritional outcomes
associated with increasing women's
incomes, the growing percentage of female-
headed households around the world is a
cause for concern, for past studies suggest
an association between female headship and
poverty.33 Closer analysis of poverty mea-
sures of individuals in male-headed and
female-headed households in rural Ghana
and Bangladesh shows that there are signifi-
cantly more persons in female-headed
households below the poverty line.34 Poor
access to education and other resources that
tend to raise income levels thus has serious
implications for the growing number of
women who are the sole income-earners for
their families.
One key dimension of poverty that analy-
ses using total expenditures or income often
fail to adequately take into account is time.

When time spent on home production (such
as child care and fetching wood and water) is
included in the computation of full household
income, women contribute between 40 and
60 percent of household income.35 Any

The third pillar of food security is the achieve-
ment of nutrition security-that is, adequate
nutritional status in terms of protein, energy,
micronutrients, and minerals for all house-
hold members. Adequate availability of food
at the household level is necessary to
achieve nutrition security, but it is not suffi-
cient. Other key contributors to good nutrition
are adequate health and child care and
access to clean water and good sanitation.
Ensuring the nutrition security of the house-
hold, through the combination of both food
and other resources, is almost the exclusive
domain of women. Women's ability to man-
age these resources is especially important
for the more vulnerable members of the
household, such as children.

A critical underpinning to both the availability
and use of these complementary inputs is
time. Almost without exception, nonfood con-
tributors to nutrition require complementary
time investments, and in general this invest-
ment is made by women.

Agricultural and Domestic Production
Given women's roles in agricultural produc-
tion, domestic production, and reproduction,
women in developing countries are relatively
short of time compared with men. Given that
domestic production and reproduction are
almost entirely within the female domain, one
might expect that their time in agricultural
production would be lower than men's.

efforts to increase women's cash income
must take into account the conflicting
demands from domestic responsibilities and
the need for women to maintain their own
nutritional status.

However, data from Botswana, Burkina Faso,
Kenya, Nigeria, and Zambia show that this is
not the case (Box 7).36
Added to the burden of agricultural pro-
duction is the role of domestic production,
including food preparation and the collection
of fuelwood and water. In many regions of
the world, women spend up to five hours per
day collecting fuelwood and water and up to
four hours per day preparing food.37

Care of Household Members
The provision of "care," namely, paying
adequate time and attention to meeting the
physical, mental, and social needs of grow-
ing children and other household members,
is a crucial input into good nutrition. Care
affects nutrition security in two broad ways:
first, through feeding practices such as
breast-feeding and the preparation of
nutritious foods for weaned infants and oth-
ers in the household, and second, through
health and hygiene practices such as the
bathing of children and the washing of
hands before food preparation. These
caring behaviors, particularly in relation to
children, are time-intensive, yet time alloca-
tion studies consistently show relatively low
periods of time being spent in direct child
care. In a study of Bangladesh, Botswana,
Ghana, Kenya, and the Philippines, time
recorded in direct child care was generally
less than one hour, except in Botswana and
the Philippines. By design, all households in
the Philippine sample had at least one
preschool child, and yet even there time in

Box 7
Women's Agricultural Production
in Zambia

In Zambia, women are responsible for 49
percent of family labor allocated to crop
production, while men supply 39 percent
and children supply 12 percent. Moreover,
the traditional view that women specialize
in food crop production and men in cash-
crop production in Sub-Saharan Africa is
not necessarily true. In Zambia, women's
commitment of labor to cash crops-hybrid
maize, sunflowers, and cotton-is not
insignificant. Women contribute 44 percent
of total family labor to hybrid maize and 38
percent to cotton and sunflowers.
Labor Share of Household Members in
Cultivating Selected Crops in Zambia
Percent of Labor by Crop


a -
HyB'ri :- .:, I4.*a.8M1U-N 7 ;" "'a rit At armops
COUOhtiwfrflaws-Ifm Ott iosi WumAlbMO -

Effects n dar 6 1 A W'` 6i Coriiaeij,-rfa'
Nutriritn,tieaar rh Report100' f ngto g n, D.C.: -
Intemlimonal Food Policy Resemoah Institute. 1994),
Table 18.

child care was generally only around two
hours per day.38
Women constantly face difficult choices
in their time allocation decisions. During
times of economic hardship, women often
assume the burden of adjustment. They
absorb shocks to household welfare by
expanding their already tightly stretched
working day, often to the detriment of their
own health and nutrition. The rapid pace of
urbanization in many countries and

increased female labor force participation
imply even greater demands on women's
time. Women turn to processed foods and
"street foods" to save time and try to find sub-
stitutes for child care so they can participate
in the labor market. Increased time spent in
income-generation activities (translated into
higher food expenditures) and in using health
and education facilities can improve child
nutrition, but the loss of direct time spent in
child care may offset this. Devoting more
time to generating income may also worsen
women's own nutrition.39 However, increas-
ing female employment outside the home
may increase women's bargaining power
within the household. Development of tech-
nology that relieves women's time burdens in
agricultural production and household main-
tenance without sacrificing their ability to earn
independent incomes is therefore critical.

Protecting female nutritional status is impor-
tant in providing a head start for children's
nutritional status. Through prepregnancy nutri-
tional status, weight gain during pregnancy,
diet during lactation, and breastmilk produc-
tion, better-nourished mothers lead to higher-
birth-weight infants and better-nourished
children. Birth weight is the single biggest
determinant of neonatal and infant mortality
and of child growth up to the age of seven.
A number of maternal factors have been
shown to be significant determinants of birth
weight; most important are the mother's
prepregnancy weight and weight gain during
pregnancy. Women entering pregnancy with a
low weight are several times more likely to
produce a low-birth-weight baby (that is, an
infant weighing less than 2.5 kilograms). As
the prepregnancy weight of the mother
increases, mean birth weight increases and
the incidence of low birth weight decreases.40
Infant birth weight and maternal weight

gain during pregnancy are highly correlated.
In addition, this prenatal weight gain is asso-
ciated with a decrease in the incidence of
premature birth (gestational age of less than
37 weeks). Moreover, if nutritional status
before pregnancy, as measured by low
prepregnancy weight, is inadequate, weight
gain during pregnancy becomes even more
important in influencing neonatal outcomes.
Evidence also suggests that fetal and
early childhood malnutrition can lead to
other serious disease, such as non-insulin-
dependent diabetes, coronary heart disease,
hypertension, and strokes, occurring in mid-
adulthood onward.41 Additionally, the micro-
nutrient status of HIV-infected pregnant
women, who compose up to 30 percent
of pregnant women in some of the worst-
affected countries, has been shown to influ-
ence whether an infant is born HIV infected.
A study in Malawi indicated that as the vitamin
A status of the pregnant woman worsened
the likelihood of the infant's being born HIV
positive increased.42
A less well documented observation is
that women may act as shock absorbers
through the liquidation of their own nutrition-
al status. Studies of the seasonality of
maternal and preschooler nutrition status
have observed that in times of food surplus
women's nutritional status returns to normal
more quickly than that of preschoolers, but
in the lean season female nutritional status
is depleted more rapidly than that of
preschoolers.43 The physical labor per-
formed by Ghanaian women, for example,
particularly in agriculture, appears to have
a negative effect on their own nutritional
status.44 In Ghana women participating in
a credit program designed to intensify the
cultivation of rice and vegetables had a
lower nutritional status than women partici-
pating in a credit program targeted to food
processing that reduced the energy required
to do the task.45

Most of the evidence on biases in the alloca-
tion of food within households emanates
from South Asia, strongly suggesting that a
strong pro-male and pro-adult bias in terms
of the quantity of food intake exists in that
region.46 Some of this bias can be explained
by the specialization of adult males in energy-
intensive tasks.47 However, boys are also
favored in food distribution, especially during
the lean season.48 There is less evidence
for a pro-male bias from Latin America and
Sub-Saharan Africa.

While the discrimination within households in
terms of food distribution in South Asia may
be one factor explaining higher female mor-
tality rates among infants and children, it is
probably better explained by inequities in
other inputs into child survival. The unequal
distribution of resources other than food,
such as health care and mother's caregiving
time, within the household may be detrimen-
tal to the health and nutrition of women and
girls. Evidence of boy-girl discrimination in
the allocation of such resources also comes
mostly from South Asia.49 Quantity and quali-
ty of health care and survival probabilities
after diarrhea episodes are all reported to
favor boys. In Pakistan, lower-income house-
holds seek care more often for boys than for
girls and are likely to use higher-quality
providers for boys.50 Indeed, in India, breast-
feeding duration is longer for boys, partly
because there is less urgency to have anoth-
er child after a boy.51 In rural Bangladesh the
risk of dying from severe malnutrition is more
than twice as high for girls as for boys.52

Women in developing countries currently
play a crucial role in meeting the food and
nutrition needs of their families through all
three pillars of food security-food produc-
tion, economic access to food, and nutrition
security-but they do so with inadequate
resources. If the constraints confronting
women farmers were removed and women
were granted access to the resources avail-
able to male farmers, they could make signifi-
cant contributions to eradicating the food
insecurity faced by millions of people. To
allow women to fulfill their potential in gener-
ating food security, national governments and
international organizations must take policy
steps in three broad areas.

Women's ability to fulfill their roles as food
producers can be enhanced by improving
women's access to resources, technology,
and information. Efforts must be made to
safeguard women's traditional rights to land
through nondiscriminatory registration and
titling and the explicit inclusion of women as
sole or joint beneficiaries in land reform pro-
grams. Guaranteeing the sustainable use of
the natural resource base will also enable
women to have continuing access to the for-
est products needed for their livelihoods.
Innovative credit programs using nontradi-
tional forms of collateral and local institutions
(like women's groups) can ensure that
women are able to obtain access to credit.
Programs can support the development of
farm technology that takes into account
women's needs and their knowledge of
indigenous farming systems.
Providing effective agricultural extension
services to women as farm managers is
essential to increasing the adoption of new

technologies and realizing productivity gains
in agriculture. Extension messages can be
made more appropriate to female farmers
and delivered cost-effectively using local
institutions. More female extension agents
can be recruited, particularly in rural areas,
and additional training can be provided to
female local experts to enable them to be
extension providers. Male extension agents
can be trained to work more closely with
women in settings that are culturally accept-
able, such as women's groups. Such groups
can also improve access to infrastructure by
serving as marketing cooperatives and com-
munal irrigation associations. A revised
incentive system can be used to encourage
all extension officers to work with women
Increasing education for girls, particularly
in rural areas, is one way to ensure the next
generation's stock of human capital. Where
there are cultural barriers, governments and
communities can find appropriate mecha-
nisms to increase girls' enrollment, such as
hiring more female teachers, building
separate schools for girls, and providing
scholarships, books, and uniforms to girls.
Increasing the number of female high school
graduates will also, over time, provide a pool
of potential agricultural extension officers.
Governments and donors can support
the training of more women in the agricultural
and related sciences. With increased support
from governments and donors, such highly
trained women can be included in decision-
making positions in all agricultural and envi-
ronmental departments of government,
bilateral, and multilateral agencies. Finally,
governments should ensure that the work-
place, in agriculture as elsewhere, offers
equal opportunity to women in terms of both
hiring and the training and work opportunities
that contribute to advancement.

To maximize the positive effect that women's
incomes have on household food security
and nutrition, efforts must be made to
increase women's ability to generate and
control income. Women are often prevented
from participating in more remunerative
employment opportunities because of the
constraints of home production. Strategies
should be geared toward increasing women's
productivity both in paid work (whether in
agriculture or other sectors) and in domestic
production, so women can increase their
incomes without sacrificing additional time,
their children's welfare, or their own health
and nutritional status. Such strategies can
include the development of technologies to
reduce time spent in traditional home produc-
tion activities such as milling and fetching
water and the provision of community child-
care facilities. More important, education and
training may be the most crucial investments
to be made in women who do not have phys-
ical assets such as land. General education
and skills training may also help many
women gain employment outside agriculture.

Good health and adequate nutrition are
important to women at all stages of their
lives. Women need to protect their own
health and nutritional status to be able to ful-
fill their productive and reproductive roles.53
In targeting appropriate development or safe-
ty net programs toward women, the focus
should be on those that increase women's
income-earning potential while reducing the
energy or time intensity of their activities.
Such efforts should also be supported by
programs addressing girls' and women's
specific health needs-especially in relation
to puberty, pregnancy, and lactation. These
include programs to relieve iron deficiency
anemia, vitamin A and iodine deficiencies,
general reproductive health care, and pre-
and postnatal care. Lastly, women need to be
empowered to seek health care for them-
selves and for those who depend on them for
food and nutrition security.


1. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Women and Developing Agriculture,
Women in Agriculture Series No. 4 (Rome, 1985).
2. Ibid.; and World Bank, Women in Development: Issues for Economic and SectorAnalysis,
Policy, Planning, and Research Working Paper No. 269 (Washington, D.C., 1989).
3. K. Saito, D. Spurling, and H. Mekonnen, Raising the Productivity of Women Farmers in Sub-
Saharan Africa, Discussion Paper No. 230 (Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 1994).
4. A. R. Quisumbing, Increasing Women's Agricultural Productivity as Farmers and Workers,
Education and Social Policy Discussion Paper No. 37 (Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 1994).
5. C. D. Deere and M. Leon, Women in Andean Agriculture: Peasant Production and Rural
Wage Employment in Colombia and Peru, Women, Work, and Development Series No. 4
(Geneva: International Labour Office, 1982).
6. See J. Dey, "Women in African Rice Farming Systems," in International Rice Research
Institute, Women in Rice Farming: Proceedings of a Conference on Women in Rice Farming
Systems (Brookfield, Vt., U.S.A.: Gower Publishers, 1985), pp. 419-444; and J. von Braun and
P. Webb, 'The Impact of New Crop Technology on the Agricultural Division of Labor in a West
African Setting," Economic Development and Cultural Change 37, no. 3 (1989): 513-534.
7. C. D. Deere, "The Latin American Agrarian Reform Experience," in Rural Women and State
Policy: Feminist Perspectives on Latin American Agricultural Development, ed. C. D. Deere
and M. Leon (Boulder, Colo., U.S.A.: Westview Press, 1987).
8. S. Lastarria-Cornhiel, "Female Farmers and Agricultural Production in El Salvador,"
Development and Change 19, no. 4 (1988): 585-615.
9. Ibid.
10. T. H. Stuart, "Bridging the Information Gap in Integrated Pest Management," in Tools for the
Field: Methodologies Handbook for Gender Analysis in Agriculture, ed. H. S. Feldstein and J.
Jiggins (West Hartford, Conn., U.S.A.: Kumarian Press, 1994).
11. Saito, Spurling, and Mekonnen, Raising the Productivity of Women Farmers in Sub-Saharan
12. S. Holt and H. Ribe, Developing Financial Institutions for the Poor and Reducing Barriers to
Access for Women, Discussion Paper No. 117 (Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 1991).
13. J. Seager and A. Olson, "Women in the World: An International Atlas" (New York: Simon and
Schuster, 1986), cited in I. Jazairy, M. Alamgir, and T. Panuccio, The State of World Rural
Poverty: An Inquiry into Its Causes and Consequences (New York: New York University Press
for the International Fund for Agricultural Development, 1992).
14. A. R. Quisumbing, Gender Differences in Agricultural Productivity: A Survey of Empirical
Evidence, Education and Social Policy Discussion Paper No. 36 (Washington, D.C.: World
Bank, 1994).

15. K. Subbarao and L. Raney, "Social Gains to Female Education," Economic Development and
Cultural Change, forthcoming.

16. K. Berger and J. Gunning, personal communication, 1992.

17. C. Udry, "Gender, Agricultural Production, and the Theory of the Household" (Evanston, Ill.,
U.S.A.: Department of Economics, Northwestern University, 1994, mimeo).

18. These simulations were also reported in World Bank, Enhancing Women's Participation in
Economic Development (Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 1994).

19. These simulations were based on coefficients estimated for maize farmers in Kenya. See P.
Moock, "The Efficiency of Women as Farm Managers: Kenya," American Journal of
Agricultural Economics 58, no. 5 (1976): 831-835.

20. Simulations based on coefficients from Saito, Spurling, and Mekonnen, Raising the
Productivity of Women Farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa.

21. For a more technical discussion, see Quisumbing, Gender Differences in Agricultural

22. D. E. Rocheleau, "Gender, Resource Management and the Rural Landscape: Implications for
Agroforestry and Farming Systems Research," in Gender Issues in Farming Systems Research
and Extension, ed. Susan V. Poats, Marianne Schmink, and Anita Spring, Westview Special
Studies in Agriculture and Science Policy (Boulder, Colo., U.S.A.: Westview Press, 1988).

23. D. Spurling, personal communication, 1995.

24. L. Haddad, "The Impact of Women's Employment Status on Household Food Security at
Different Income Levels in Ghana," Food and Nutrition Bulletin 14, no. 4 (1992): 341-344.

25. See, for example, G. Guyer, Household Budgets and Women's Incomes, African Studies
Center Working Paper No. 28 (Boston: Boston University, 1980); E. Fapohunda, "The
Nonpooling Household: A Challenge to Theory," in A Home Divided, ed. D. Dwyer and J.
Bruce (Stanford, Calif., U.S.A.: Stanford University Press, 1988); R. Tripp, "Farmers and
Traders: Some Economic Determinants of Nutritional Status in Northern Ghana," Food and
Nutrition 8, no. 1 (1982): 3-12; D. Dwyer and J. Bruce, A Home Divided: Women and Income
in the Third World (Stanford, Calif., U.S.A.: Stanford University Press, 1988); and J. Pahl,
"The Allocation of Money within Marriage," Sociological Review 32 (May 1983): 237-264.

26. E. Kennedy, "Income Sources of the Rural Poor in Southwestern Kenya," in Income Sources
of Malnourished People in Rural Areas: Microlevel Information and Policy Implications, ed. J.
von Braun and R. Pandya-Lorch, Working Paper on Commercialization of Agriculture and
Nutrition No. 5 (Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute, 1991).

27. D. Thomas and C. L. Chen, Income Shares and Shares of Income: Empirical Tests of Models
of Household Resource Allocations, Labor and Population Program Working Paper No. 94-08
(Santa Monica, Calif., U.S.A.: Rand Corporation, 1994).

28. E. Katz, "Intrahousehold Resource Allocation in the Guatemalan Central Highlands:
The Impact of Non-traditional Agricultural Exports" (Ph.D. diss., University of Wisconsin,
Madison, 1992).

29. D. Thomas, "Intrahousehold Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Journal of Human
Resources 25, no. 4 (1990): 635-664.

30. S. Hamilton, B. Popkin, and D. Spicer, Women and Nutrition in Third World Countries (New
York: Begin and Garvey, Praeger Special Studies, 1984).

31. J. Hopkins, C. Levin, and L. Haddad, "Women's Income and Household Expenditure
Patterns: Gender or Flow? Evidence from Niger," American Journal of Agricultural Economics
76, no. 5 (1994): 1219-1225.

32. L. Haddad, C. Peha, A. Quisumbing, and A. Slack, Poverty and Nutrition within Households:
Review and New Evidence, report written in collaboration with the Nutrition Unit, World Health
Organization (Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute, 1995).

33. This association, however, is uneven and unpredictable and depends on the poverty mea-
sures and definitions of headship used as well as whether differences among female headed-
households are explored.

34. Haddad, Peha, Quisumbing, and Slack, Poverty and Nutrition within Households: Review and
New Evidence.

35. L. Goldschmidt-Clermont, Economic Evaluation of Unpaid Work in the Household: Africa,
Asia, Latin America, and Oceania, Women, Work, and Development Series No. 14 (Geneva:
International Labor Organization, 1987).

36. For information on women's labor input into food and cash crops in Burkina Faso, Kenya, and
Nigeria, see Saito, Spurling, and Mekonnen, Raising the Productivity of Women Farmers in
Sub-Saharan Africa. For time allocation data on Botswana, see L. R. Brown and L. Haddad,
Time Allocation Patterns and Time Burdens: A Gendered Analysis of Seven Countries
(Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute, 1994). The data from
Zambia are found in S. Kumar, Adoption of Hybrid Maize in Zambia: Effects on Gender
Roles, Food Consumption, and Nutrition, Research Report No. 100 (Washington, D.C.:
International Food Policy Research Institute, 1994).

37. See Brown and Haddad, Time Allocation Patterns and Time Burdens: A Gendered Analysis
of Seven Countries, and J. McGuire and B. Popkin, Helping Women Improve Nutrition in the
Developing World: Beating the Zero Sum Game, Technical Paper No. 114 (Washington, D.C.:
World Bank, 1990).

38. See Brown and Haddad, Time Allocation Patterns and Time Burdens: A Gendered Analysis
of Seven Countries.
39. See L. R. Brown, Y. Yohannes, and P. Webb, "Rural Labor-intensive Public Works: Impacts
on Preschooler Nutrition: Evidence from Niger," American Journal of Agricultural Economics
76, no. 5 (1994): 1213-1218; and L. Haddad, 'The Impact of Women's Employment Status
on Household Food Security at Different Income Levels in Ghana."

40. A. Lechtig, C. Yarbrough, C. Klein, E. Habicht, J. P. Martorell, and H. Delgado, "Influence of
Maternal Nutrition on Birth Weight," American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 28, no. 11 (1975):

41. D. Barker, "Rise and Fall of Western Diseases," Nature (United Kingdom) 338 (March 30,
1989): 371-372.

42. R. D. Semba, P. G. Miotti, J. D. Chiphangwi, A. J. Saah, J. K. Canner, G. A. Dallabetta, and
D. R. Hoover, "Maternal Vitamin A Deficiency and Mother to Child Transmission of HIV-1,"
Lancet 343, no. 8913 (1994): 1593-1597.

43. E. Kennedy, P. Peters, and L. Haddad, "Effects of Gender of Head of Household on Women's
and Children's Nutritional Status," in Nutrition in the Nineties, ed. M. Biswas and Gabr
(Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

44. P. Higgins and H. Alderman, "Labor and Women's Nutrition: A Study of Energy Expenditure,
Fertility, and Nutritional Status in Ghana" (Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 1992, mimeo).

45. Kennedy, Peters, and Haddad, "Effects of Gender of Head of Household on Women's and
Children's Nutritional Status."

46. Haddad, Penia, Quisumbing, and Slack, Poverty and Nutrition within Households.

47. M. M. Pitt, M. R. Rosenzweig, and M. N. Hassan, "Productivity, Health, and Inequality in the
Intrahousehold Distribution of Food in Low-Income Countries," American Economic Review
70, no. 5 (1990): 1139-1156.

48. J. Behrman, "Intrahousehold Allocation of Nutrients in Rural India: Are Boys Favored? Do
Parents Exhibit Inequality? Oxford Economic Papers 40, no. 1 (1988): 32-54.

49. Haddad, Penia, Quisumbing, and Slack, Poverty and Nutrition within Households.

50. H. Alderman and P. Gertler, "Family Resources and Gender Differences in Human Capital
Investments: The Demand for Children's Medical Care in Pakistan," in Intrahousehold
Resource Allocation: Methods, Application, and Policy, ed. L. Haddad, J. Hoddinott, and H.
Alderman (Baltimore, Md., U.S.A.: Johns Hopkins University Press, forthcoming).

51. B. Miller, The Endangered Sex: Neglect of Female Children in Rural North India (Ithaca, N.Y.,
U.S.A.: Cornell University Press, 1981).

52. V. Faveau, A. Briend, J. Chakraborty, and A. M. Sarder, 'The Contribution of Severe
Malnutrition to Child Mortality in Rural Bangladesh: Implications for Targeting Nutritional
Interventions," Food and Nutrition Bulletin 12, no. 3 (1990): 215-219.

53. McGuire and Popkin, Helping Women Improve Nutrition in the Developing World: Beating the
Zero Sum Game.

Table Sources

Table 1: Kenya 1989 and Nigeria 1989: K. Saito, D. Spurling, and H. Mekonnen, Raising the
Productivity of Women Farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa, Discussion Paper No. 230 (Washington,
D.C.: World Bank, 1994); Zambia 1986: E. Sikapande, "An Evaluation of the Training and Visit (T
& V) System of Agricultural Extension in Eastern Province, Zambia" (M.S. thesis, University of
Illinois, 1988); El Salvador: S. Lastarria-Cornhiel, "Female Farmers and Agricultural Production in
El Salvador," Development and Change 19, no. 4 (1988): 585-615.

Table 2: Kenya 1989 and Nigeria 1989: K. Saito, D. Spurling, and H. Mekonnen, Raising the
Productivity of Women Farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa, Discussion Paper No. 230 (Washington,
D.C.: World Bank, 1994); Tanzania 1984: ,1. M. Mollel, "An Evaluation of the Training and Visit (T
& V) System of Agricultural Extension in Muheza District, Tanga Region, Tanzania" (M.S. thesis,
University of Illinois, 1986); Zambia 1986: E. Sikapande, "An Evaluation of the Training and Visit (T
& V) System of Agricultural Extension in Eastern Province, Zambia" (M.S. thesis, University of
Illinois, 1988); El Salvador 1988: S. Lastarria-Cornhiel, "Female Farmers and Agricultural
Production in El Salvador," Development and Change 19, no. 4 (1988): 585-615.

Table 4: Kenya: E. Kennedy, "Income Sources of the Rural Poor in Southwestern Kenya," in
Income Sources of Malnourished People in Rural Areas: Microlevel Information and Policy
Implications, ed. J. von Braun and R. Pandya-Lorch, Working Paper on Commercialization of
Agriculture and Nutrition No. 5 (Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute,
1991); Taiwan: D. Thomas and C. L. Chen, Income Shares and Shares of Income: Empirical Tests
of Models of Household Resource Allocations, Labor and Population Program Working Paper No.
94-08 (Santa Monica, Calif., U.S.A.: Rand Corporation, 1994); Guatemala: E. Katz,
"Intrahousehold Resource Allocation in the Guatemalan Central Highlands: The Impact of
Nontraditional Agricultural Exports" (Ph.D. diss., University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1992); Brazil:
D. Thomas, "Like Father, Like Son; Like Mother, Like Daughter: Parental Resources and Child
Height," Journal of Human Resources 29, no. 4 (1994): 950-988.

Agnes R. Quisumbing is a research fellow and Lynn R. Brown is a research analyst in IFPRI's
Food Consumption and Nutrition Division. Hilary Sims Feldstein is program leader, gender
analysis, in the Gender Program of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
(CGIAR). Lawrence Haddad is director of IFPRI's Food Consumption and Nutrition Division.
Christine Peia is a visiting researcher at IFPRI.

IF R 1-0/6250 oS FA S-0/6743 '. E-AI IFPI@C NETC

with permission from the
International Food Policy
Research Institute

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