Promoting Gender Equality in Foreign Agricultural Investments: Lessons from Voluntary Sustainability Standards

Citation:

Sexsmith, Kathleen. 2017. Promoting Gender Equality in Foreign Agricultural Investments: Lessons from Voluntary Sustainability Standards. Winnipeg, Manitoba: International Institute for Sustainable Development.

Author: Kathleen Sexsmith

Annotation:

Summary:
"The purposes of this paper are three-fold. First, it seeks to analyze the gender-related content of the voluntary sustainability standards (VSSs) and the responsible investment frameworks. Second, it attempts to answer the question “Do VSSs improve gender equality?” And third, it aims to explore how the responsible investment frameworks can build on the successes and failures of the VSSs to improve gender equality in agricultural investment projects. It uses the experiences of VSSs to provide guidance for responsible investment frameworks because the latter are quite new, and only scant anecdotal evidence about their impacts is available. The research is based on a desk review of the certification criteria and principles of five major VSS initiatives and five responsible investment frameworks, a literature review of the impacts of VSS initiatives on gender inequalities, and a close reading of policy reports and scholarly literature on the main obstacles to gender equality in agriculture, particularly in contexts of foreign direct investment. The paper is organized as follows. Part One explains the conceptual framework for analyzing gender inequality in agriculture, with a particular focus on the impacts of foreign investment on gender inequality. Part Two assesses the integration of gender equality concerns in five VSS initiatives and five responsible investment frameworks. Part Three provides evidence on the impacts of VSS initiatives on gender equality, and briefly notes anecdotal findings regarding the relationship between responsible foreign investing and gender. Part Four makes recommendations for how this evidence guides the implementation of the responsible investment frameworks" (Sexsmith 2017, 2).

Topics: Agriculture, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality

Year: 2017

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