It is now widely recognized that gender equality is critical for increasing agricultural productivity, reducing poverty and improving food and nutrition security. Transforming agriculture, will require addressing current gender inequalities.
Despite their significant contribution to the agricultural sector worldwide, women, on average, have access to fewer resources than do men. The FAO suggests that equalizing access to agricultural resources could increase yields by 20-30% and reduce the world’s hungry by 12-17%; these estimates, however, are based on the very limited data that are currently available.
The availability of contextual gender data is critical in understanding what needs to be done and how programs should be designed to impact on women and on reducing inequalities. More often than not however, sex disaggregated data is often not available, which constrains the design of gender responsive programs. The unavailability of data also limits the ability of researchers, policy makers and program managers to measure the extent to which programs or policies are effective in addressing gender inequalities and to even determine what amount of resources should go into gender and women’s empowerment programs leading to the common adage of ‘what doesn’t get measured, doesn’t get done’.