Dataset on Women’s empowerment, land and donor-driven agricultural interventions in Eastern Zambia.
Key informant interviews were conducted during a scoping exercise to obtain preliminary insights into the operations of the three agricultural interventions that had been purposively selected as case studies. The selection was informed by the researchers’ knowledge of agricultural interventions in the Eastern Province of Zambia. A household questionnaire survey of 235 randomly selected households was later conducted. Of these households, 159 and 76 were participating in Norwegian and Chinese intervention projects, respectively. The survey was complemented by six focus group discussions (FGDs) and 12 key informant interviews. A triple-stream approach (women-only, men-only and mixed-gender FGDs) was used for the FGDs. We find that despite differences in project modalities, with the Chinese aid programme not having any explicit women empowerment goals while the Norwegian programmes claimed to mainstream gender, both modalities resulted in increased access and control over productive resources by women farmers. We conclude that gender mainstreaming in development aid programme and project design may not be a panacea for women empowerment and that interventions that do not demand any capital outlay from smallholders are more likely to engender women empowerment than those that do. It appears that women empowerment may take place as much as an indirect consequence of interventions as a consequence of interventions specifically addressing gender equality. It may also be the result of broader societal changes.