Exploration of cultural norms and practices influencing women’s participation in chickpea participatory varietal selection training activities: A case study of Ada’a and Ensaro districts, Shewa Region, Ethiopia
In order to encourage gender equality in delivery of varietal knowledge to male and female farmers in Ada’a and Ensaro districts of Ethiopia, chickpea breeders set a policy that each male farmer would bring along his wife to participatory varietal selection sessions. Women farmers did not attend planned trainings as expected. Using small-n approach, the ‘reasons’ women in these communities did not take up the training opportunities were explored. Vignettes designed to depict the lives of a typical Ethiopian couple were used to exploring negotiations between husband and wife on ‘participation’ decisions. Short radius of movement, labour burden, sex of extension agents, intimacy and harmony in the home emerge as key factors considered by women. We propose dialogue between men, women, the old and the young to initiate transformation of gender relations to cede ‘space for women’, to build capacities to support chickpea production, and agriculture in Ethiopia.Keywords: Cultural norms, women’s participation, agricultural trainings, participatory varietal selection, chickpea, Ethiopia.