Addressing gender constraints throughout our projects to ensure that men and women benefit equally from our programs, and have similar access to resources and markets.
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Gender integration involves identifying and addressing gender inequalities during strategy and project design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation.
Since the roles and power relations between men and women affect how an activity is implemented, it is essential that our programs address these issues on an ongoing basis.
In response to the growing evidence indicating that engaging women, men, boys and girls on gender issues is an essential component of effective development work, Land O’Lakes International Development staff around the world formed the Land O’Lakes International Development Gender Task Force. Consistent with Land O'Lakes Inc.’s Diversity and Inclusion initiative, we enacted a Gender Policy that ensures women and girls are fully integrated into our projects, and that all participants benefit equally.
To bring this about, we ensure that our development strategies facilitate women’s and girl’s participation, enable women to benefit from asset ownership and management, ensure women’s active and effective participation in household decisions, and build women’s capacity to play leadership roles within their communities. Not only is this important to women and their families, but gender integration results in positive food security and economic impacts.
Gender integration strategies often challenge traditional roles and practices. Nonetheless, we address gender constraints throughout the of our projects in order to reduce the social and cultural barriers that limit women’s participation and benefits. As part of this, we conduct an initial gender analysis apart from our baseline study. This enables us to identify all of the gender based constraints that may affect women and men, impede implementation, and reduce project impact. Once these are identified, we develop approaches and activities to address these constraints, and integrate them into our work plan. These include:
- Creating opportunities for girls and young women to attend and complete school, and participate in job training
- Conducting “couples” trainings in which husbands and wives learn the same agricultural techniques, and how to equitably share roles, responsibilities, and decisions around these activities and use of income
- Enabling women to fulfill critical roles along value chains
- Build the support of men for women’s involvement in agricultural and business activities
- Empowering women to play leadership roles in cooperatives and communities
In addition to addressing gender constraints, we also address the constraints that youth face.
Young men and women constitute at least 20 percent of the population in most of the countries where we work. Yet, they often lack access to appropriate educational and employment opportunities that provide adequate incomes. Additionally, many have lost interest in traditional agriculture. New opportunities – such as market-based enterprises and use of new technology – offer lucrative options for youth. As we design our projects we look for ways to connect youth to these opportunities.
for our Gender fact sheet