Mozambique Gender,
Agriculture and Assets Project

Researched the role of gender in household decisions

In the Mozambique context, cultural barriers tend to limit women’s control of and access to household resources, such as cash, land and cattle. Men often own livestock, yet women care for animals and conduct most of the labor, including milking and sales. The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) supported Land O’Lakes to better understand how dairy cattle distribution impacts women and affects household decision-making processes when women are not the primary recipients. We surveyed households that received improved breed dairy cows and completed training sessions in dairy management under Land O’Lakes’ Manica Smallholder Dairy Development Program (MSDDP).

Results from the study indicated that women felt more confident to make joint decisions with their husbands and care for cows when they attended training. In addition to selling the milk in the market, many families consumed milk at home, which led households to believe that their nutrition had improved. As increased dairy income was realized, the power dynamics and decision-making processes changed because of women’s technical knowledge and involvement in dairy activities. The study also discovered that receiving cattle did not increase the gender asset gap within a household. Land O’Lakes continues to use the findings from the GAAP project to assess its larger impact — from a gender perspective — in new and existing programs across Africa and around the world.