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Tropentag 2021, September 15 - 17, hybrid conference, Germany

"Towards shifting paradigms in agriculture for a healthy and sustainable future"

The Gendered Yield Gap and Women’s Empowerment: Evidence from Smallholder Farmers in Uganda’s Central Region

Lukas Welk1, Christine Bosch1, Regina Birner1, Elizabeth Bryan2, Edward Kato3

1University of Hohenheim, Inst. of Agric. Sci. in the Tropics (Hans-Ruthenberg-Institute), Germany
2International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), United States
3International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Uganda


Despite a substantial increase in agricultural productivity in developing countries during the past decades, there is evidence of a significant gap between men’s and women’s agricultural productivity, estimated at roughly 25%. There are still knowledge gaps on the determinants of this gap and how it can be closed. There is particularly little information on how women’s empowerment influences agricultural productivity and yields. This study tries to contribute to filling this knowledge gap by using quantitative survey data collected for the project ‘Reaching Smallholder Women with Information Services and Resilience Strategies to Respond to Climate Change’ led by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). The objective of the proposed study is to understand the determinants of gendered differences in agricultural productivity. By exploring potential linkages between women’s empowerment and gendered yield gaps, the study aims to identify which indicators of women’s empowerment have a significant potential to narrowing the agricultural productivity gender gaps. The evidence will be drawn from an empirical analysis of a recent intrahousehold survey conducted in Uganda. To measure empowerment the Abbreviated Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (A-WEAI) developed by IFPRI is used. It consists of 5 domains of empowerment, including control over use of income and workload. Additionally, descriptive statistics will be used to show the yield and productivity differences between men and women cultivated plots as well as other potential relevant explanatory variables. To measure the impact of women’s empowerment and potential influencing variables a Kitagawa-Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition will be conducted. In this model, the gendered yield gap is decomposed into differences in the mean values of the endowments of the two groups and the group differences in the returns to these endowments. Results are expected to differ from similar and previous approaches, as gender differences are considered in greater detail, utilising several measures from the A-WEAI. This will provide in-depth understanding of the influence of women’s agency on yield and productivity gaps. The results may not only help to identify reasons for the productive and yield gaps between men and women but also help in finding solutions to reducing the gap and increasing the productivity.

Keywords: Gender yield gap, Kitagawa-Oaxaca-Blinder-decomposition, women's empowerment in agriculture

Contact Address: Lukas Welk, University of Hohenheim, Salbeiweg 16, Stuttgart, Germany, e-mail: lukas.welk@uni-hohenheim.de

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