The gender asset gap and its implications for agricultural and rural development

Ruth Meinzen-Dick*, Nancy Johnson, Agnes R. Quisumbing, Jemimah Njuki, Julia Andrea Behrman, Deborah Rubin, Amber Peterman, Elizabeth Waithanji

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

39 Scopus citations


Because gender differences in access, control, and use of assets are pervasive in the agricultural sector, agricultural development interventions are likely to have gender-differentiated impacts. This chapter proposes a conceptual framework to explore the potential linkages between gender, assets, and agricultural development projects in order to gain a better understanding of how agricultural development interventions may be expected to (positively or negatively) impact the gendered distribution of assets. It uses a broad definition of tangible and intangible assets-natural capital, physical capital, human capital, social capital, and political capital. The conceptual framework identifies linkages between the gendered distribution of assets and various livelihood strategies, shocks, and well-being, and discusses how agricultural development strategies may affect the gender asset gap. In addition, the framework explores the gendered pathways through which asset accumulation occurs, including attention to not only men's and women's assets but also those they share in joint control and ownership. Unlike previous frameworks, this model depicts the gendered dimensions of each component of the pathway in recognition of the evidence that men and women not only control, own, or dispose of assets in different ways, but also access, control, and own different kinds of assets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGender in Agriculture
Subtitle of host publicationClosing the Knowledge Gap
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9789401786164
ISBN (Print)9789401786157
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Agricultural development
  • Assets
  • Conceptual framework
  • Control and ownership
  • Gender
  • Inequalities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


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