Using the WEAI+ to explore gender equity and agricultural empowerment: Baseline evidence among men and women smallholder farmers in Ghana's Northern Region

Kathleen Ragsdale, Mary R. Read-Wahidi, Tianlan Wei, Edward Martey, Peter Goldsmith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We present results from the baseline Women's Empowerment in Agriculture Index+Soybean Modules (WEAI+), which was implemented among men and women smallholder farmers in Ghana's rural Northern Region. The WEAI+ provides a framework for quantitatively analyzing gender equity among respondents in four local districts that varied in soybean production. Analysis across the ten WEAI indicators found that a majority of respondents lacked adequate empowerment in workload and over one-third lacked adequate empowerment in autonomy in production (both percentages were nearly identical when disaggregated by gender). However, women farmers were significantly more likely to lack adequate empowerment in input in productive decisionmaking, purchase, sale, or transfer of assets, and speaking in public. After controlling for education, socioeconomic status, and district, women farmers still lacked adequate empowerment across these indicators, even among men and women farmers within the same household. Results suggest that providing culturally grounded opportunities to enhance women farmers' input into agricultural decisionmaking, control over assets, and public participation regarding important agricultural issues and access to technical trainings are critical entry points to increasing agricultural empowerment among women smallholder farmers in Ghana's Northern Region, and these may be applicable to other countries and regions in sub-Saharan Africa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-134
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Rural Studies
Volume64
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2018

Keywords

  • Agricultural empowerment
  • Gender equity
  • Ghana
  • Smallholder farmers
  • Soybean
  • WEAI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science

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