Women's Crop Tool for Gendered Assessment of Control in Smallholder Agricultural Production

Center (ownership): 
Orr, A and Tsusaka, T W and Kee-Tui, S H and Msere, H
Primary contact: 
Tool typology: 
Gender in value chains
Long name: 

Women's Crop Tool for Gendered Assessment of Control in Smallholder Agricultural Production


The women’s crop tool attempts to elicit women’s and men’s levels of control over important decision making (land allocation, land preparation, use of inputs, weeding, use of labor, harvesting, marketing, use of income) for their main crops. Both qualitative (FGDs) and quantitative (HH survey) measurements can be done to collect sex-disaggregated data on control. This can reveal both women’s and men’s perception of their own control and each other’s control. Further, to explore the impact of value chain interventions on gender, the compound indicator of control can be used as the dependent variable, while treatment (value chain intervention) is the explanatory variable. The output has been published in journal articles, discussion papers, conference papers and presentations, and PIM blogs, all of which have been leveraged to create awareness in the research communities. The tool is being used by researchers in Department of Agricultural Research Services, Malawi, CRP-Grain Legumes, Arizona State University, and International Rice Research Institute, and is being studied by extension workers in Eastern Zambia and Malawi. The tool is being adapted into both paper and electronic questionnaires in Malawi, Zambia, India, and Zimbabwe.

ICRISAT developed a ‘women’s crop tool’ that measures how much control women have over different crops. We used this tool to compare women’s perceived level of control at different stages of commercialization and to compare the perceptions of men and women regarding women’s control. Here are six hypotheses to test: 1. Women have greater control over some crops than others; 2. Men and women have conflicting views on women’s level of control; 3. Women maintain their control over groundnuts by allowing men control over other crops; 4. The higher women’s share of the workload, the greater their control over the crop; 5. Machine shelling of groundnut does not reduce women’s control; and 6. Commercialization of groundnut does not reduce women’s control.
Type of tool: 
Both quantitative and qualitative

Measuring ‘women’s ‘control’

Figure 1 shows the tool we developed to measure ‘women’s control’. The crops (C1 – C4) in  each quadrant are the crops for which women’s control is compared. The decisions (D1 – D6)  are the key decisions for crop production and sale for which the degree of women’s control is  measured. The scores (S1 – S6) measure the degree of control that women have over these  key decisions. Finally, the weights (W1 – W6) are the relative importance that women give to  these key decisions (D1 – D6). The weighted scores are aggregated to produce a gender  control index.

The household-level sex-disaggregated weighted gender control index (WGCI) can be  defined for each crop as follows:

 where the subscript j is a decision, k is the number of decisions, g refers to either male(husband) or female(main wife).



Orr, A and Tsusaka, T W and Kee-Tui, S H and Msere, H (2014). What do we mean by ‘women’s crops’? A mixed methods approach (Series paper Number 23). [ICRISAT Socioeconomics Discussion Paper Series]. http://oar.icrisat.org/8331/

Orr, A., Tsusaka, T., Kee-Tui, S. H., and Msere, H. (2016) What Do We Mean by ‘Women's Crops'? Commercialisation, Gender and the Power to Name. J. Int. Dev., 28: 919–937. doi: 10.1002/jid.3224.

Alastair Orr, Sabine Homann Kee-Tui, Takujii Tsusaka, Harry Msere, Thabani Dube & Trinity Senda (2016) Are there “women’s crops”? A new tool for gender and agriculture, Development in Practice, 26:8, 984-997, accessed at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09614524.2016.1226264

​Tsusaka, ​T.W., Orr, A., Msere, H.W., Homann-KeeTui, S., Maimisa, P., Twanje, G.H., Botha​, R. 2016. “Do Commercialization and Mechanization of a “Women’s Crop” Disempower Women Farmers? Evidence from Zambia and Malawi” Accepted by the 2016 Agricultural & Applied Economics Association, Boston, MA, July 31-August 2, 26pp. accessed at http://purl.umn.edu/235885

Florence Nakazi, Jemimah Njuki, Michael Adrogu Ugen, Paul Aseete, Enid Katungi, Eliud Birachi, Ruth Kabanyoro, Isaac Joseph Mugagga and Grace Nanyonjo 2016. Is bean really a women’s crop? Men and women’s participation in bean production in Uganda. Agriculture & Food Security20176:22 DOI: 10.1186/s40066-017-0102-z accessed at https://agricultureandfoodsecurity.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s4...

Spatial coverage: 
First released on: 
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Last version on: 
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Conceptual framework: 
Target audience: 
Development practitioner