Gender, assets, and agricultural development programs: A conceptual framework

Ruth Suseela Meinzen-Dick, Nancy L. Johnson, Agnes R. Quisumbing, Julia Njuki, Julia A. Behrman, Deborah Rubin, Amber Peterman


Access to, control over, and ownership of assets are critical components of well-being. Assets can be used to generate income, as collateral for access to credit, and as stores of wealth. They can also be used to cope with shocks such as natural disasters or family health crises. Assets can also increase social status. However, assets are unequally distributed, both between rich and poor and between men and women (Deere and Doss 2006). Asset distribution within the household influences individuals’ bargaining power in the household, which in turn affects household and individual well-being, as reflected in food security, nutrition, and education. This brief explores the potential linkages among gender, assets, and agricultural development projects in order to gain a better understanding of how agricultural development interventions are likely to impact the gendered distribution of assets.