The gendering of Ethiopia's agricultural policies: A critical feminist analysis

Elsevier, Women's Studies International Forum, Volume 83, 2020
Kristie Drucza, Maria del Carmen Rodriguez, and Betel Bekele Birhanu

This paper provides a critical feminist analysis of seven policies relating to gender equality in the agriculture sector of Ethiopia. A review of 22 major documents that outline legislation and policy frame the feminist analysis. Despite the strong commitment of the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) toward gender equality and gender mainstreaming, many of the policies analyzed do not integrate gender equality as a priority for the growth and development of the country and do not adequately mainstream gender. At best, there is an emphasis on increasing women's participation and integration, but few solid gender targets are set. Moreover, gender-specific policies have regressed since the 2006 National Action Plan on Gender Equality (NAP-GE) that proposed important gender-sensitive measures. This represents the paradox of gender relationships in Ethiopia, whereby the gains made are reverted as the government tried to hold onto power by suppressing human rights. Nevertheless, agriculture-related policies have significantly improved in gender-sensitivity over the same time, culminating with the approval of the Gender Equality Strategy for Ethiopia's Agricultural Sector (GESEA) in 2017. This paper explores some of the reasons why this change may have occurred and what can be learned from it.