Back ASSESSMENT OF WOMEN EMPOWERMENT AND GENDER PARITY AMONG RURAL HOUSEHOLDS IN PROSELL (NATIONALS ONLY)

Introduction

Oxfam, in partnership with Development Exchange Centre (DEC), is implementing a 54-month Project funded by the European Union and Taraba State of northern Nigeria. The Project is titled “European Union Support to Food Security and Resilience in Taraba State (PROSELL)”. The project intends to empower women and youths by enhancing their abilities for transformative leadership, access required services, produce optimally, and earn more income from economic activities. It is being implemented in 80 rural communities across six (6) Local Government Areas of Taraba State. The Local Government Areas of implementation are; Ardo-Kola, Donga, Kurmi, Takum, Wukari and Zing.

In the past three years, PROSELL has supported resilience strengthening of a targeted 40,000 farming households in their agricultural productivity, rural financial inclusion, market access, and job creation along crops, fish and livestock value chains. Interventions are being delivered to enhance adaptive capacities of small-scale farmers to climate change and promote cooperation and mutual benefits for farmers, livestock owners, and all value chain actors in the targeted six (6) Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Taraba State. As a development project, interventions have been targeted at addressing the root causes of inequalities (gender, income, social etc) and systemic inefficiencies in economic empowerment among others.

The following are the specific objectives and intended outcomes of the project:

i. To increase income of small scale farmers by enhancing their agricultural productivity, market access, and job creation along crop, fish and livestock value chains.

ii. To enhance adaptive capacities and resilience of small-scale farming households to climate change.

iii. To promote cooperation and mutual benefits of farmers, livestock owners, and all value chain actors.

Rationale

There has always been the call for the implementation of inclusive intervention programmes that can address the root causes of gender and social inequalities among vulnerable groups across the world. Oxfam holds a belief that in order to end poverty, issues of inequalities (gender & social) especially of women and girls must be challenged in a purposeful and systemic manner. In spite of growing efforts at addressing this agelong developmental challenge, several individuals, groups, people, communities and geographies are still facing the damaging effects of unequal access to productive assets, life opportunities, income, social services, and leadership opportunities. Several barriers to gender justice and parity have been identified which includes peoples’ negative social and cultural norms, religious beliefs, nature of political systems, and largely the prevailing patriarchal nature of human societies which confers undue dominant privilege on the male gender, at the expense of the female gender who is often perceived by the society, as being subordinate.

Recent developments are further widening gender gaps and the hope to achieve just and inclusive economies may be dimmed by several factors mentioned above. Climate change realities and their impacts have aggravated the gloomy outlook with unfavoured disaggregated impacts on women and girls in rural communities especially. COVID-19, in its unimaginable ravage, completely destabilised the equilibrium being pursued and imposed heavier care burden on women and girls which may take another century to clear out. Also of note is the rural-urban disaggregation of impacts on women empowerment and access to opportunities with those in rural locations across Nigeria being far worse off than their counterparts in the urban areas.

In May 2020, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) published its 2019 Report of the National Living Standard Survey (NLSS) with damning realities. In the report, while national poverty headcount rate stood at 40.1%, it was 52.1% for rural areas and 18% for urban locations indicating rural-urban disparity. Nigeria has a population of about 206 million people out of which 49.33% are females[1], and about 50% of the population lives in rural areas[2]. In the same report, the poverty headcount rate by educational level and sex of household head showed that 32.74% of women in rural locations of Nigeria have primary education compared to 50.33% of men in the same locations. In terms of income generating activity by sex of household heads, 39.02% of women in rural areas have their income from agriculture alone while 63.2% of men are making incomes from only agricultural enterprises, this also shows inequality in income from the same source. 33.79% of women have diversified income sources compared to 53.25% of men in rural locations across Nigeria. The picture painted by the NLSS Report of the NBS holds true for disparity experienced by women in accessing finance, agricultural inputs, healthcare services, and leadership opportunities among others.

The PROSELL Project was designed and being implemented to challenge gender injustice against women in terms of participation, access, and empowerment. The project has a target for 60% women and youth participation and empowerment across all its intervention areas. At the end of its third year of implementation, the project had supported close to 40,000 households represented by 52.4% women across 80 rural communities in 6 LGAs of Taraba State. These women (and men) were organized, trained, and targeted for relevant interventions through their Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs). The VSL approach made it possible for communities to be reached, organized, and influenced to pursue strategic change goals that are considered appropriate to strengthening the resilience of rural people. The project has been able to open up social and economic spaces for women in rural areas to thrive through several empowerment activities including training on income generating activities (IGAs)and improved agricultural practices, access to credit and social insurance through their VSLAs, acquisition of productive and household assets, and community leadership among others.

Purpose and Scope of Assignment

This assessment will help in documenting relevant outcome level indicators of PROSELL as part of the midterm evaluation of the project. Specifically, the scope of this assessment will be on the empowerment, economic and group management outcomes. These three types of outcomes will further be considered in the following manner:

The purpose of this consultancy is to acquire the services of a seasoned professional (individual or firm) towards establishing the relevance of PROSELL’s intervention components at empowering rural women and in promoting gender parity. The following objectives are of interest:

i. Analyse the outcomes of PROSELL’s interventions on Women Empowerment Agency and Gender Parity in Taraba State.

ii. Determine the inhibiting and enabling predictors of women economic empowerment and gender parity in Taraba State.

iii. Assess the level of social and behavioural changes that have taken place at households and community levels in relation to women empowerment and gender parity;

iv. Determine key social and behavioural changes that have taken place across rural communities where the project is being implemented; and

v. Obtain recommendations in all areas identified above, founded on evidences, for future program designs and knowledge management.

This research will support Oxfam’s, and partners’, efforts at providing evidence that gender inequality issues, relevant to the objectives of the project, are being adequately addressed with verifiable improvements. The study will be focusing on the degree to which women have been empowered in their households and communities and the degree of inequalities between women and men (who are married or in some other form of partnerships) using the following sub-indices:

I. The Five Domains of Empowerment (5DE):

· Domain I - Decision making over agricultural production (or related agricultural value chain activity): access to knowledge about production, in-person training and extension services etc.

· Domain II - Access to productive resources: ownership, access, and control over lands; community-managed savings groups, inclusive financial products, financial education; social and behaviour change etc.

· Domain III - Control over use of income and expenditure: access to training on entrepreneurship (income generating activities, financial literacy etc), smallholder sourcing scheme, secured deposit mechanisms, employment opportunities for women, social and behaviour change at the household and community levels, control over income etc.

· Domain IV - Group participation and leadership: participation in groups, leadership in groups, literacy and numeracy training, political education and participation etc.

· Domain IV - Time allocation: time and labour savings technologies, unpaid household care works, gender disaggregated time poverty, and men’s support to their spouses at the household levels etc.

II. Gender Parity Index (GPI): this refers to women empowerment relative to men within the same household by comparing their 5DE profiles.

This vacancy is archived.

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