The following areas of research were chosen for coverage in EBA 2017: availability of gender-disaggregated data, restrictions on women’s employment and activity, women’s participation and leadership in collective groups and nondiscrimination legal provisions. These questions build on findings from the Women, Business and the Law dataset, which already identifies many relevant constraints.
- Availability of gender-disaggregated data: Regulation can ensure banks and MFIs collect gender-disaggregated data by including such requirements in their reporting obligations. The land topic provides information on the availability of gender-disaggregated data on land ownership across 38 countries.
- Restrictions to women’s employment and activity: Regulations restricting women’s participation in certain professions actually deny income-generating opportunities to women and shrink the pool of workers that firms can employ. Identifying employment restrictions in the agricultural and agribusiness sector can complement the sectors already identified by the Women, Business and the Law dataset, including construction, factory work, metalworking and mining. EBA collected data on employment restrictions in the context of handling pesticides or fertilizers, driving trucks and using agricultural tractors.
- Women’s membership and participation in producer organizations: Limitations on the ability of women to become members of organizations such as agricultural cooperatives
compromise their ability to capitalize and commercialize their produce, and turn smallholdings into profitable agribusinesses. Strong laws and regulations stipulate mandatory membership criteria that cooperatives apply to all member applicants, to avoid the development of bylaws that may restrict women’s participation. Membership criteria requiring land ownership or full-time farm employment, or restricting membership to heads of household or to one member per household, have a tendency to limit women’s access to member-based institutions on a de facto basis. Encouraging women to hold leadership positions in local organizations also plays an important role in promoting gender equality. Quotas can establish the necessary critical mass of women as members and leaders to engender change in policy and the institutional culture and lead to more productive, profitable organizations.
- Nondiscrimination: EBA also collected data on whether specific laws on producer organizations, financial cooperatives and water user organizations require them to adhere to principles of nondiscrimination and if gender is specified as a protected category. A nondiscrimination provision is based on the principle of fairness and equality under the law. It prohibits discrimination in the treatment of members regardless of gender, profession, income and so on. For instance, it may include language requiring fair terms for women and men when joining as a member or applying for a loan.
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