“Feminization” of agriculture: Building evidence to debunk myths on current challenges and opportunities

Myths and assumptions persist regarding women in agriculture that hinder the development of effective food security policies. A systematic understanding of opportunities and risks women face in the agricultural sector and agricultural value chains is lacking, as is the gendered impact of male outmigration. Unpacking the dynamics of agricultural transformation — exploring and challenging the so-called “feminization of agriculture” — will provide opportunities for more evidence-based decision-making and policymaking and it will prevent the further proliferation of myths.

This project seeks to validate and/or challenge persistent assumptions about women and gender dynamics in agriculture and related sectors, including agroforestry, fish agro-food systems, and other natural resource domains. This project will fund three out of nine projects that will draw on both qualitative and quantitative data to analyze how gender roles and responsibilities in agriculture are changing.

The project will build evidence on the changing gender dynamics in agriculture and related sectors and compare evidence on the feminization of agriculture across domains and regions. Among the issues to be reviewed are how women are challenging their gender and caste identities to enhance their livelihoods. Evidence generated will provide up-to-date data on gender and agriculture to inform more relevant policymaking and programming.

Project ID


Project status



24 months

IDRC Officer

Sandra Gagnon

Total funding

CA$ 247,300


South Asia, South of Sahara


Agriculture and Food Security

Project Leader

Bjorn Van Campenhout


International Food Policy Research Institute/Institut international de recherche sur les politiques alimentaires/Instituto Internacional de Investigaciones sobre Politicas Alimentarias

Institution Country

United States

Institution Website