Changing gender relations in agriculture and food security

Crawford School of Public Policy
Image by Nishith Tanny

Event details


Date & time

Tuesday 30 November 2021


Online via Zoom


Nishith Tanny, Crawford School

Please join us for this webinar, hosted by the Resources, Environment and Development group (RE&D), Crawford School of Public Policy. PhD candidate Nishith Tanny will present insights from her research on Changing gender relations in agriculture and food security .


While women’s contribution to agriculture attracts widespread attention from policy-makers and development practitioners, attempts to enhance women’s control over agriculture and support nutritional well-being frequently fall short of expectations. Recently policy has increasingly sought to reduce the gender gap in agriculture and support food and nutrition security outcomes by increasing women’s agency and building the capacity of women as farmers. However, to date, policy narratives on this issue inadequately address the complex causal relations at the intra-household level. This paper uses a case study from north-western Bangladesh, combining ethnographic investigation and quantitative analyses across three villages. This paper questions how women from different agrarian classes control agriculture and investigates how this relates to their nutritional well-being. This paper focuses on intra-household gender relations and nutritional well-being, building a conceptual framework for exploring gender dynamics and power relations and connecting this to women’s engagement in agriculture. I advance two arguments. First, when husbands recognize women’s contribution to agriculture, this can improve food and nutrition security at the intra-household level. Women’s increased agency and control over labour and income remain critical to this recognition process. Second, this paper argues that enhancing a woman’s decision-making and individual agency in agriculture is insufficient unless policy actions increase agricultural wages and women’s ownership of productive resources.

Speaker biography: [Nishith Tanny]( is a faculty member at the Bangladesh Agricultural University. Currently, she is doing PhD at Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University. She holds the prestigious ANU HDR Fee Merit Scholarship and University Research Scholarship. Her PhD research focuses on agrarian class relations, gender, nutrition interventions and food security. She published in the areas of gender and development and the adoption of improved farm practices by farmers.

Supervisory panel: John McCarthy, Tamara Jacka, Jayne Curnow and Grant Walton

Updated:  29 June 2022/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team