"Gender-based inequalities constrain women’s ability to participate in efforts to enhance agricultural production and reduce poverty and food insecurity. To resolve this, development organizations have targeted women and more recently “mainstreamed” gender within their agricultural aid programs. Through an analysis of agricultural-related development aid, we examine whether funded agricultural projects have increasingly targeted women and/or gender.
Our results show that the number of agricultural aid projects and the dollar amounts targeting women/gender increased between 1978 and 2003. However, the increase was modest and, as a percentage of all agricultural development aid, has declined since the late 1990s. Significantly, this decline occurs at a time when there are an increasing number of women engaged in agriculture. Our findings suggest that the rhetoric of gender mainstreaming outstrips efforts to develop projects aimed at women and gender inequality and that the concept may be being used to legitimize a decline in focusing explicitly on women."