Assessing women s empowerment among rice farming households in Bangladesh, Eastern India, and Nepal. M.L. Malabayabas, T. Paris, and D.

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1 Assessing women s empowerment among rice farming households in Bangladesh, Eastern India, and Nepal M.L. Malabayabas, T. Paris, and D. Gauchan

2 Importance of Rice in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal It accounts for 32% of world s rice area Staple food and livelihood for 400 Million poor people (below $1.25/day) Rice accounts for 73 %, 40% and 30% of calorie intake in Bangladesh, Nepal and India, respectively. Rainfed ecosystem common in the three location

3 Yield (t/ha) Rice yield trends ( ) t/ha 4.00 Bangladesh India Nepal t/ha t/ha Year

4 Yield (t/ha) Rice yield trends in South Asia ( ) (Rainfed region and season) 6.00 BLD-Aman E.India Nepal Years

5 Yield (t/ha) Rice yield trends in South Asia ( ) (Rainfed region and season) BLD-Boro E.India BLD-Aman Nepal Years

6 Estimated stress-prone rice area in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal (wet season) Submergence 9%-55% Drought 10%-19% Murali, Nelson, Thenkabail, and Singh, 2011

7 Stress Characterization Drought Submergence Salinity (coastal) Frequency Once in 2-3 years Once in 2-5 years Regular Duration days 3-30 days Dry season & early wet season Timing Jun-Jul (early), Sep-Oct (terminal) Jul-Sep Mar-Jun

8 Key Questions What are the roles of women in stress-prone areas? What are the women s contribution in terms of labor participation in rice farming and income? What are the factors influencing women empowerment?

9 Women Empowerment Index A measure used in assessing women empowerment using 16 gender-related indicators Decisions pertaining to rice production and overall activities of rice farming households in stressprone areas

10 Women empowerment index WE var i 16 i 1 X i 16 N = 16 indicators (decisions which pertains to rice production, income allocation, and other livelihood activities) Ratings: 1 = husband solely makes the decision 2 = husband makes the decision even the wife is present 3 = husband and wife make the decision 4 = wife makes the decision even the husband is present 5 = wife solely makes the decision

11 STRASA Baseline Survey Sites India: 11 districts Bangladesh: 5 districts Nepal: 3 districts Total households: 1,900 GIS, IRRI

12 Key results: Household characteristics Gender of HH heads: Mainly male dominated Household size: Average of 5-6 members Age of the respondent: Middle age between years Female years Respondent s education: 4-6 years of schooling Female 2-4 years Primary occupation: Agriculture for 85%-93%

13 Farm characteristics Bangladesh Eastern India Nepal Average farm size (ha) Gross rice area to gross cropped area (%) Cropping intensity Area under modern variety (%)

14 Locations Income sources Nepal Eastern India Non-farm Farm/off-farm/sale animals Non-rice Rice Bangladesh Percentage of incom e (%)

15 Sources of income Non-Farm Income sources (male) Small-scale Bangladesh Eastern India Nepal Remittance Pension Others Fruits Forestry Fishing Business Bangladesh 63.6% eastern India 80.2% Nepal 93.3% Salary Percentage of male non-farm income (%)

16 Activities Female participation in rice farming Postharvest activities Bangladesh eastern India Nepal Threshing Harvesting Irrigation Weeding Application of organic fertilizer Crop establishment methods Land preparation Share of women (%)

17 Women empowerment Index (WEI) in Bangladesh, eastern India, and Nepal Decision-making Bangladesh eastern India What rice variety(ies) to grow Who and number of farm laborers to hire Whether to sell/consume harvested crop Quantity of output to sell and consume When and where to sell the harvested crop What price at which to sell the output What farm implements to purchase Whether to slaughter and sell animals Adoption of technology in rice production Allocation of farm income Allocation of household income What types of food to consume in times of crisis Children s education Number of children to raise Participation in voting/politics Where to borrow Overall WEI Nepal

18 Percentage of hh (%) WEI of the households Husband only (1) Husband>Wife (2) Husband=Wife (3) Husband < Wife (4) Wife (5) Rating Bangladesh eastern India Nepal

19 Factors affecting WEI (Probit analysis) H>W=1 and H=W=0 VARIABLES Probit coefficient Marginal Effects Age of the wife Years of education (wife) Share of female labor (%) Share of female income (%) Farm size (ha) 0.111* Percentage of MV (% area) *** Percentage of rice sold (%) *** Stress_sub (1=submergence; 0 otherwise) Stress_drought (1=drought; 0 otherwise) Poor_nonpoor (1=poor; 0 otherwise) ** Country_India (1=India; 0 otherwise) 0.826*** Constant 0.417* *** p<0.01, ** p<0.05, * p<0.1

20 Summary and Implication Men had more opportunities to engage in non-farm jobs than women (63%-93%). Remittances from migration has become the important source of non-farm income in Nepal. Limited women empowerment across the three countries. Farm size, area under modern varieties, share of rice sold are the major factors influencing the empowerment among women. Focus on areas where women has high decision-making authority like post-harvest and marketing activities (trainings on seed management practices)

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