Women’s economic empowerment in agricultural production: a case study of Gergera watershed project

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Cullen, Solange
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University College Cork
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Women’s empowerment, agriculture and food and nutrition security are all crucial elements of development agendas. These issues are intricately linked and possess potential to progress poverty reduction, hunger and economic growth. The aim of this study was to explore issues of women’s economic empowerment in agriculture and how these constraints link to food and nutrition security in Gergera Watershed, Tigray, Ethiopia. The research was carried out in association with ICRAF and UCC’s Action Research Programme ‘Developing an Innovation and Learning Platform for Enhanced Economic Opportunities and Resilience in Gergera Watershed. The study presents empirical data on empowerment levels and food and nutrition indicators. It also provides the perspectives of women and men, on the change of women’s roles within the community, and attitudes towards enhancing women’s economic empowerment through increasing market-orientated agriculture. The main findings of the study show that women have an empowerment status of ‘medium’ in the area, it indicated a higher number of women in male headed households were empowered. Workload is the main burden to all respondents. The food and nutrition status of households correlated with empowerment and wealth groups scores. The poorest and most disempowered having the worst diet and food consumption. The findings show extreme willingness to invest in market led agriculture, if it is collective farming and marketing. There was a feeling that women are prepared to empower themselves and each other to benefit from improved livelihood outcomes.
Women's empowerment , Agricultural development , Nutrition & food security , Multi-dimensional measurements , Gender equality
Cullen, S. M. 2019. Women’s economic empowerment in agricultural production: a case study of Gergera watershed project. MRes Thesis, University College Cork.