Gender in agric and climate change policies: Tanzania and Uganda

Good progress but major challenges remain in gender integration efforts in agric and climate change policies in Tanzania and Uganda, study.

Dar es Salaam, 31/1/17. While both Uganda and Tanzania have made great strides in strengthening the gender component in their policies on agriculture and climate change, a lot still needs to be done including allocating  resources and better planning of activities and strategies for gender transformation. This in turn will contribute to efforts to reduce poverty and achieve economic growth in an equitable manner.

These are the findings of the latest research from the Policy Action for Climate Change Adaptation (PACCA) that is led by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and supported by theCGIAR Program on Climate Change and Food Security (CCAFS). The key findings were recently published in two Info Notes: Towards gender responsive policy formulation and budgeting in the agricultural sector: Opportunities and challenges in Uganda and Gender responsive policy formulation and budgeting in Tanzania: Do plans and budgets match?

In Tanzania, the researchers analyzed 75 documents from the national, district, and ward levels and primary quantitative budget data at the district level while in Uganda, 83 agri-food policies and strategies at national, district and sub-county levels were analyzed.

In both countries, the majority of the documents reviewed presented some degree of gender integration, demonstrating the countries' efforts to progressively strengthen the gender component of their agri-food policies and strategic planning documents. However, within the policies, gender issues were mostly seen as women’s issues with women being generally stereotypically portrayed as vulnerable and marginalized by society with limited access to land and resources. These characterizations reinforce gender inequalities and might even become counter-productive.

We therefore recommend that gender issues in agricultural policies should refer to men’s, women’s, and youth challenges, opportunities, perceptions, and preferences,” said Mariola Acosta, Research fellow at IITA -Uganda and PhD candidate at Wageningen University who was also one of the researchers.

The other researchers were Dr Edidah Ampaire, Social Scientist and PACCA Project Coordinator and Dr Laurence Jassogne, a Systems Agronomist, both from IITA-Uganda. 

The study also found gaps in gender planning and implementation at both national and lower governance levels such as at district and sub-district levels. In Tanzania, while the majority of the national policies and strategies sufficiently integrated gender issues, they lacked clear implementation plans and appropriate budgetary allocations. At district level, the budgeting was not done consistently―some districts budgeted, some did not, while others started and stopped.

In Uganda, similarly, budget allocations for gender issues at sub-county and district levels were low, fluctuating from year to year and with sharp differences between estimated and actual budgets. This makes the planning and implementation of gender mainstreaming activities extremely challenging. Furthermore, the gender activities planned and implemented at district and sub-county levels were largely informative such as the celebration of International Women’s Day. 

In view of these results, the researchers recommend, among others, that the two East African governments increase efforts in streamlining gender integration from the national to the local levels, increase budget allocation, and improve gender planning to focus on gender transformation. The study also recommended the need to create gender awareness among policy makers and practitioners across levels and build the capacity of extension personnel to appraise and deal with gender issues. - IITA

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