Livestock Innovations, Social Norms, and Women’s Empowerment in the Global South

Published Date
March 22, 2022
Type
Journal Article
Livestock Innovations, Social Norms, and Women’s Empowerment in the Global South
Authors:
Alessandra Galiè
Dina Najjar, Patti Petesch, Lone Bech Badstue, Cathy Rozel Farnworth

Livestock have strong empowerment potential, particularly for women. They offer millions
of women in the Global South the opportunity to provide protein-rich foods for home consumption
and sale. Livestock provide women with income and opportunities to expand their livelihood portfolios
and can strengthen women’s decision-making power. Fully realizing livestock’s empowerment
potential for women is necessary for sustainable livestock development. It requires, though, that
gender-equitable dynamics and norms are supported in rural communities. We draw on 73 village
cases from 13 countries to explore women’s experiences with livestock-based livelihoods and technological
innovations. Our analysis follows a gender empowerment framework comprised of four
interdependent domains—recognition of women as livestock keepers, access to resources, access to
opportunities, and decision making as a cross-cutting domain—which must come together if women
are to become empowered through livestock. We find improved livestock breeds and associated
innovations, such as fodder choppers or training, to provide significant benefits to women who can
access these. This, nonetheless, has accentuated women’s double burdens. Another challenge is that
even as women may be recognized in their community as livestock keepers, this recognition is much
less common among external institutions. We present a case where this institutional recognition is
forthcoming and illuminate the synergetic and empowering pathways unleashed by this as well as
the barriers that remain.

Citation:
Alessandra Galiè, Dina Najjar, Patti Petesch, Lone Bech Badstue, Cathy Farnworth. (22/3/2022). Livestock Innovations, Social Norms, and Women’s Empowerment in the Global South. Sustainability, 14 (7), pp. 1-20.
Keywords:
innovations
gender norms
gender
rajasthan
livestock
women’s empowerment