Women’s empowerment in cotton growing: a case in Northern Benin
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This article addresses the economic and social impacts for women growing cotton through the interrelated dimensions of resource, agency and achievements in women’s empowerment. Women’s growing cotton is explained by analyzing their characteristics and those of their husbands and of the other women, in the perspective of intra household negotiations and in the specific context and recent history of cotton production. Our study found a noticeable share of 20 percent of farms where women and their husbands simultaneously earned cotton income and where women spent less time in the fields while enjoying better decision-making power. This new status of income generation and role sharing within households is a win-win situation, benefitting from a change in social norms which required an extra-household chock, a period of cotton sector uncertainty in an exacerbated monetization context. As monetization keeps on prevailing in all African countries, it should favor further women’s empowerment.Keywords: Income, Household, Bargaining Power, Social Norms.