Moving forward from the International Year of Family Farming
Women and Family Farming
2014 was the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) and gender issues were given some attention throughout the year. However, in the broader context of strong concerns about land grabbing and food security, the debate tended to focus on small-scale farmers as a whole vs. corporate capital and large farms.
The present discussion paper was therefore conceived by the International Land Coalition (ILC) to bring more attention to gender dynamics and women’s rights in family farming. Crucial in this context are the assumptions related to the idea and definition of family and family roles, dynamics and structures. Family arrangements can vary and change according to family specificities and features at different times, and this matters very much from a gender perspective.
This paper takes stock of how gender dynamics and women’s rights were considered in the framework of studies and activities related to the IYFF. It also explores the lessons from three empirical studies commissioned by ILC for the IYFF, from China, India and Nicaragua, and considers what can be learned for addressing gender issues in family farming going forwards. It is based on an earlier discussion paper that was published online on 4 December 2014 to provoke thoughts and reflections on how to address gender dynamics and women’s rights in policy-making, projects, programmes and interventions around family farming during an ILC online discussion, hosted by the Land Portal, from 10-24 December 2014. It includes a summary of the contributions made during the online discussion and some overall conclusions and recommendations on the way forward.