Evidence from Malawi: Why agricultural and nutrition education programs should engage both women and men in households
Gender norms and inequalities are an important factor in Malawi’s ongoing food security problems. They shape agricultural practices and production, knowledge acquisition, innovation, food choices—and ultimately household food security and nutrition. Women have generally lower levels of education and lack decision-making power over fertility, farming, and resource allocation, all contributing to food insecurity. Gender norms may also restrict women’s ability to attend agriculture trainings and put that knowledge into practice.
Typically, agriculture and nutrition education programs focus on addressing the lack of women’s access to trainings. But our recent paper, published in Global Food Security, paints a more nuanced picture of this challenge in Malawi. The findings suggest that agricultural and nutrition information programs be more carefully targeted to different problems specific to different gendered household types and to promote collaboration between men and women.