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Considering Gender in Farmers' Groups: A Case Study From Madagascar

Considering Gender in Farmers Groups: A Case Study From Madagascar   

This case study offers rich insights about gender roles and gender dynamics within 14 farmers' groups in Madagascar. The findings and recommendations will help improve how Catholic Relief Services and its partners address gender equity when designing agriculture and food security programs.

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Key Findings

  • High performance of farmers' groups was linked to the education and literacy of members rather than to gender equity.
  • The five farmers’ groups in this study that integrated women more effectively in decision-making processes had high performance scores and more satisfaction with their group performance.
  • The average gender equity score of all farmers’ groups studied was 64 percent. This relatively high score illustrates that women did indeed participate in group activities and had access to information and resources. However, fewer than half of the groups effectively involved women in decision-making, and men played dominant leadership roles in the groups.
  • Belonging to a farmers’ group does not always benefit poorer, more vulnerable female-headed households.
  • In some cases, belonging to a farmers’ group increased workloads for women members. Increased workloads were often offset by help from female members of extended family (grandmothers or younger sisters)—not by a more equitable division of household tasks between men and women.


Introduction 1
Background 3
    Study purpose and methodology 4
Key Findings 7
    Group performance and gender equity 7
    Household wellbeing and gender equity 13
    Community influences on gender equity in farmers' groups and households 17
Lessons Learned and Recommendations for Future Programs 19
References 21

Publication details

Authors: CRS Madagascar
Publisher: Catholic Relief Services (November 2012)
Booklet: 28 pages
Language: English
Dimensions: 6 x 9 inches

Posted on November 6, 2012

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