Political strategies

Policymakers discuss strategies to tackle gender stereotypes in agribusiness

Stakeholders as well as policy makers gathered on Thursday to strategize that will help address gender dynamics in the delivery of agricultural extension services.

During the public policy dialogue organized by the Uganda Management Institute (UMI) in partnership with Feed the Future, USAID, it was noted that stereotypical gender dynamics are one of the biggest challenges facing food security in Uganda.

These pointed out that at the household and community level, women and children continue to compete for survival against the interests of their husbands and fathers whose survival interests transcend the household, including; leisure, social status and political interests at the expense of the family.

In his opening speech, the Hon. Bwino Fred Kyakulaga, the Minister of State for Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries (MAAIF) noted that while women provide 70% of the labor engaged in agricultural production, they control less than 20% of production.

He added that although the government is aware of gender issues in policies, programs and interventions, there is a gap in practice.

Dr. Kasozi S. Mulindwa, Director of Curriculum and Student Affairs at the Uganda Management Institute, commended the government for its involvement in coordinating gender issues, noting that the dialogue will go a long way in informing decision makers on the best solutions to to address gender issues. problems in the execution of agricultural extension services.

Anthony Nyungu, Party Leader, Feed the Future, noted that the dialogue is timely as they are in the final stages of their partnership with MAAIF, to have the national agricultural extension strategy revised.

“We are also helping several agencies to develop gender strategies, including MAAIF, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives and others. So the outcome of this dialogue becomes a very important contribution to the ongoing work that we are collaborating with with various agencies,” he said.

A study titled “Gender and Agricultural Extension Services; Implications for Income and Food Security in Uganda” revealed that agricultural extension services in Uganda are generally not gender-sensitive since they do not address the underlying causes of gender inequality.

“As a result of that; the gender productivity gap persisted even when several extension reforms were implemented and women continued to earn low incomes from their agricultural activities.

Among the key recommendations, Dr. Narisi Mubangizi, Makerere University School of Agriculture, noted that culturally and socially embedded patriarchal servitude in women’s and youth’s access to and use of key productive assets, especially especially land, should be addressed.

He said this can be done through deliberate efforts to sensitize men of all age groups to the impacts of gender inequalities in access, control, use and benefits from productive assets.

“Institutions and the enforcement of laws and policies that promote gender equality in terms of productivity assets are also needed, as well as the popularization of existing laws relating to the ownership and use of assets so that the ordinary person can clearly understand them and claim their rights,” he stressed.