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Deconstructing the gender gap in rural financial inclusion

The cases of Mozambique and Tanzania










FAO. 2020. Deconstructing the gender gap in rural financial inclusion – The cases of Mozambique and Tanzania. Rome, FAO




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    Improving the gender-responsiveness of design and delivery of rural finance interventions through innovative approaches and mechanisms is important for promoting rural women’s economic empowerment. This document highlights practical and actionable approaches from the sector in order to guide the work of practitioners engaging at country level to pursue the above objective. Part I of this Technical Guidance Note provides an overview of the main barriers and constraints that inhibit rural women’s financial inclusion. Part II offers a step-by-step approach to analysing the state of gender equality within a specific country or context, with the purpose of diagnosing potential entry points for interventions that aim to increase rural women’s financial inclusion. It then offers a summary of best practices for addressing the main barriers to rural women’s access to and use of financial services, and offers various case studies to illustrate these best practices in action. The annex contains additional guidance and tools for conducting gender-focused diagnostic assessments and analysis.
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    Women's resilience to food price volatility: A policy response 2014
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    In a high and volatile food price setting, two aspects determine rural women’s ability to absorb and respond to shocks: the inequalities that create a gender gap in rural development and women’s traditional roles in society and the household. This discussion paper points to these two aspects that, in general terms, reduce women’s ability to cope with food price volatility. Rural women, traditionally responsible for providing food and health in the household, face major constraints in fulfilling their roles, rendering them more vulnerable to food price spikes. Major recommendations include building on rural women’s resiliency and mitigating negative coping strategies by reducing gender inequalities in rural development, and by providing safety nets that are appropriately designed to address rural women’s needs and limitations. Gender gaps in rural development refer to those in access to resources, better-paying jobs, infrastructure, public services, agricultural extension and technologies, as well as gaps in the levels of participation in farmers’ organizations and other public institutions. Better design in safety nets and other social protection programmes involves including mechanisms that are culturally sensitive, that reduce women’s time burden, and that provide the necessary transportation, child-care facilities, and other services and mechanisms to ensure their participation. Gender-transformative approaches in the implementation of p olicies and programmes, including capacity development on gender roles for the household as a whole, are essential for ending discrimination against women, which hinders their economic and social empowerment. Additional areas of research include gender-differentiated impacts of high food prices and volatility, both at the individual and household levels, and the effectiveness of safety nets and other social protection programmes designed to address rural women’s specific needs.
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    This publication is the third one in a row, following the background paper 'Enhancing the potential of family farming for poverty reduction and food security through gender-sensitive rural advisory services' and the Gender and Rural Advisory Services Assessment Tool (GRAST). It includes three cases studies from three continents and the good practices for promoting gender equality through RAS of the studied organziations as well as a collection of recommendations drawn from the good practices. The objective is to support RAS providers to adopt and adapt these good practices so that they can design and deliver truly gender-responsive services. Improving rural women's access to RAS can close the gender gap in agriculture. However, to do this both RAS clients and providers need to overcome several challenges. While the challenges women face to access RAS have been widely documented, there is a dearth of information regarding the good practices for designing and delivering fully gender-responsive RAS. This paper fills this gap by presenting good practices as well as systematized recommendations following the five areas of analysis of the GRAST. The case studies confirm that to provide truly gender-equitable RAS, holistic approach and systemic change are needed: the entire RAS system, including policies and institutions, staff attitudes and capacities must change. The perspective of gender equality need to become integral guiding principle within the enabling policy and organizational environment and culture.

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