Changing gender roles in agriculture?: Evidence from 20 years of data in Ghana

Isabel Lambrecht, Monica Schuster, Sarah Asare, Laura Pelleriaux
ifpri discussion paper

At a time when donors and governments are increasing efforts to mainstream gender in agriculture, it is critical to revisit long-standing wisdom about gender inequalities in agriculture to be able to more efficiently design and evaluate policy interventions. Many stylized facts about women in agriculture have been repeated for decades. Did nothing really change? Is some of this conventional wisdom simply maintained over time, or has it always been inaccurate? We use longitudinal data from Ghana to assess some of the facts and to evaluate whether gender patterns have changed over time. We focus on five main themes: land, cropping patterns, market participation, agricultural inputs, and employment. We add to the literature by showing new facts and evidence from more than 20 years. Results are varied and highlight the difficulty of making general statements about gender in agriculture.