Agricultural Technology and Gender Structure Theory: The Case of Women's Group-Fishponds in Bangladesh

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 16:15
Location: Hörsaal III (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
William SCARBOROUGH, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA
Barbara RISMAN, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA
Catherine MEOLA, International Food Policy Research Institute, USA
In this article, we illustrate the utility of gender structure theory (Risman 2004; Risman and Davis 2013) in providing a substantive framework for practitioners and researchers to conceptualize the task of gender mainstreaming. To do so, we use this theory to analyze the impact of a fish-polyculture program introduced through women’s-only groups in the Jessore District of Bangladesh. We use fixed effects regression models to study the relationship between technology adoption and the gender asset gap. Consistent with gender structure theory, we find that the effect of agricultural technology adoption on the gender asset gap is conditioned by levels of joint asset ownership (as an interactional-level characteristic) and wives’ level of education (as an individual-level characteristic). By conceptualizing gender as a complex structure of individual-, interactional-, and macro-level dimensions, gender structure theory allows us to understand why gender-sensitive development schemes sometimes produce unintentional results and how we can mitigate these consequences in future initiatives that include a central goal of progress towards gender equality.