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Addressing women's work burden










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    Book (stand-alone)
    Running Out of Time: The Reduction of women's work burden in agricultural production 2015
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    Based on a broad literature review, this publication discusses rural women’s time poverty in agriculture, elaborates on its possible causes and implications and provides insight into the various types of constraints that affect the adoption of solutions for reducing work burden. This paper raises questions about the adequacy of women’s access to technologies, services and infrastructure and about the control women have over their time, given their major contributions to agriculture. It also look s into the available labour-saving technologies, practices and services that can support women to better address the demands derived from the domestic and productive spheres and improve their well-being. The reader is presented with an overview of successfully-tested technologies, services and resource management practices in the context of water, energy, information and communication. The findings elaborated in this paper feed a set of recommendations provided for policy makers and development partners. A gender-transformative approach at community and household level is suggested as a way forward to promote women’s increased control over the allocation of their time.
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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Women farmers and sustainable mechanization
    Improving lives and livelihoods in the Hindu Kush Himalaya
    2021
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    Women farmers and sustainable mechanization: Improving lives and livelihoods in the Hindu Kush Himalaya Episode I: The Nepal chapter Mountain agriculture is physically demanding and time-consuming. Rural women, who mostly work as subsistence farmers while also performing domestic work and communal activities, often face a poverty trap, undermining their well-being. Despite increasing labor participation in this sector, women remain invisible as active players and agents of change. A range of new and inexpensive agriculture machinery, adapted to local conditions, could potentially enhance labor productivity, reduce work burden and drudgery, and enable women to gain new skills and knowledge that can transform rural gender relations and reduce inequalities. It could also allow them to shift from subsistence to more market-oriented farming. However, the extent to which these technologies are available, suitably introduced (by individual use or via extension services), or adopted by women farmers in the HKH is still not clear. Given this background, ICIMOD and the FAO have come together to organize a series of country-specific (Nepal, Bhutan, and Myanmar) and regional webinars to discuss current mechanization gaps, and identify good practices and possible solutions for improving and facilitating women’s active participation in agriculture. The webinar series The webinar series will discuss strategies contributing to the process of mainstreaming and institutionalizing successful efforts of agricultural mechanization for improving productivity while also reducing drudgery for women farmers. Objectives The specific objectives of the webinar series are:
    • Share lessons learned from projects, programmes, and policies focusing on agricultural mechanization for women in the HKH
    • Showcase successful examples and solutions of agricultural mechanization used in the HKH
    • Identify key actionable solutions and approaches to promote agricultural mechanization in the HKH
    Each webinar will conclude with a call for action to align policy with practice to leverage technology to address the constraints and solutions that women farmers face for sustainable, efficient, and profitable farming.
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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Women farmers’ access to sustainable agricultural mechanization
    A way to reduce drudgery and optimize farm management in Nepal
    2022
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    With the massive out-migration of men from the villages, women’s work has increased at both household and farm levels. Women thus face additional work burdens and challenges in securing their households’ food security and livelihoods. There is an urgent need to respond to women farmers’ demands and constraints along the value chain to reduce their drudgery and make their farming more profitable (Ghale and Gurung, 2020). Women need access to sustainable agricultural mechanization (SAM) to manage their farms efficiently, profitably and timely. In response to the problems and constraints faced by women farmers to access SAM, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the Government of Nepal (GoN), initiated a Technical Cooperation Programme in Nepal. The project established two Custom hiring centres (CHC) managed by mechanization committees represented mostly by women, who made up more than 75 percent of the committee (FAO, 2022). Custom hiring centres provide mechanization services for a fee to their members. The established CHC benefit more than 250 members in the two districts through access to timely mechanization services for rice, maize, wheat and vegetables value chains (FAO, 2022). Their establishment allowed reducing drudgery, improving farm management and saving time and money. Custom hiring centres are equipped with a diverse range of machines, tools and equipment to respond to the demand for mechanization services throughout the year. These centres also serve as extension enterprises for farmers to observe, test or use agri -machinery (FAO, 2021b).

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