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Land Access by Gender

This metric compares the average area of land used solely or jointly by women compared to the average area of land used solely or jointly by men. Due to the complexity of intra-household labor allocation it is not possible to assume that those who work the land have decision-making power about the benefits from their labor; therefore, we suggest using the ability to decide how to use the harvest (sale or consumption) as a feasible metric for access to that land.

How to operationalize the metric

Method of data collection and data needed to compute the method:

Following Rao et al. (2016) we focus on control over the use of the harvest (e.g., home consumption, sale, trade). It is relatively simple in a household survey to add the question “Who is responsible for deciding what to do with the harvest?” for each field, where multiple household members can be selected. Joint responsibility of a field should not be interpreted automatically as equity and will need to be interpreted within the local context. Qualitative questions that could be useful for a deeper understanding of gendered responsibility include:

  • In this community, which fields are typically the responsibility of the man? Which fields are the responsibility of the woman? Why?
  • When someone says that they decide how to manage the harvest jointly as a household, what does that look like? How equal is the decision-making?

Where possible, land quality should be taken into consideration. For example, farmers’ subjective assessment of soil fertility could be used to analyze the differences in quality of land that men and women have access to. The monetary value of the land would also show land quality but accurately quantifying the market value for land is only possible where land markets are well developed.

Unit of analysis:

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Limitations regarding estimating and interpreting:

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