Closing the Knowledge Gap on Gender in Agriculture



This introductory chapter provides an overview of the book, Gender in Agriculture: Closing the Knowledge Gap. The book grew out of collaborative work done for Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) flagship report, The State of Food and Agriculture 2010–11, Women in agriculture: Closing the gender gap for development, highlighting the important and varied roles of women in agriculture, their unequal access to productive resources and opportunities relative to men, and the gains that could be achieved by closing the gender gap in agriculture. This book provides a more thorough treatment of the conceptual and empirical basis of the FAO report, and fills a niche in the literature for a standard reference for the analysis of gender issues in agriculture. This chapter defines basic concepts related to sex and gender and discusses changes in the way gender issues have been conceptualized in agriculture from the work of Ester Boserup, to the Women in Development (WID) and Gender and Development (GAD) debate, to current approaches that recognize the importance of both women and men and the interplay between the two in agriculture. It traces how gender issues have been addressed institutionally and discusses shifting paradigms in the economic analysis of the household, including how demographic processes surrounding household formation and dissolution, gender differences across the life cycle, and migration have implications for the gender gap in agriculture. It then provides a summary of each of the chapters, suggests areas for future research, and explores implications for development policy and practice.


Gender gaps Agriculture Data and methods Assets Research, development and extension (R D & E) 


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Copyright information

© Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Poverty, Health, and Nutrition DivisionInternational Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)Washington, DCUSA
  2. 2.Environment and Production Technology DivisionInternational Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)Washington, DCUSA
  3. 3.The State of Food and Agriculture, Agricultural Development Economics Division, Economic and Social Development DepartmentFood and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)RomeItaly
  4. 4.Agricultural Development Economics Division, Economic and Social Development DepartmentFood and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)RomeItaly
  5. 5.Department of SociologyNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  6. 6.Department of Public PolicyUniversity of North Carolina, Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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