Gender in Agriculture

pp 91-115


The Gender Asset Gap and Its Implications for Agricultural and Rural Development

  • Ruth Meinzen-DickAffiliated withEnvironment and Production Technology Division, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Email author 
  • , Nancy JohnsonAffiliated withIFPRI, Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH)
  • , Agnes R. QuisumbingAffiliated withPoverty, Health, and Nutrition Division, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
  • , Jemimah NjukiAffiliated withSenior Program Officer, International Development Research Center
  • , Julia A. BehrmanAffiliated withDepartment of Sociology, New York University
  • , Deborah RubinAffiliated withCultural Practice, LLC
  • , Amber PetermanAffiliated withDepartment of Public Policy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • , Elizabeth WaithanjiAffiliated withInternational Livestock Research Institute

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Because gender differences in access, control, and use of assets are pervasive in the agricultural sector, agricultural development interventions are likely to have gender-differentiated impacts. This chapter proposes a conceptual framework to explore the potential linkages between gender, assets, and agricultural development projects in order to gain a better understanding of how agricultural development interventions may be expected to (positively or negatively) impact the gendered distribution of assets. It uses a broad definition of tangible and intangible assets—natural capital, physical capital, human capital, social capital, and political capital. The conceptual framework identifies linkages between the gendered distribution of assets and various livelihood strategies, shocks, and well-being, and discusses how agricultural development strategies may affect the gender asset gap. In addition, the framework explores the gendered pathways through which asset accumulation occurs, including attention to not only men’s and women’s assets but also those they share in joint control and ownership. Unlike previous frameworks, this model depicts the gendered dimensions of each component of the pathway in recognition of the evidence that men and women not only control, own, or dispose of assets in different ways, but also access, control, and own different kinds of assets.


Gender Assets Control and ownership Inequalities Conceptual framework Agricultural development