World Conference on Animal Production, Nov 2008, Cape Town, South Africa

An invited paper on Promoting gender equality and empowering women through livestock (PDF file: 1.29MB), co-authored by Ann Waters-Bayer and Brigid Letty, was presented by Ann at a symposium on The Role of Livestock in Developing Communities. This symposium, organised by the University of the Free State (UFS) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), highlighted the importance of livestock in alleviating poverty and promoting human health, and provided a forum for analysing the contribution of livestock to social and economic development. The Prolinnova paper looks at key issues that impact on gender equality when livestock-related interventions are made in the name of development: issues related to men's and women's roles and responsibilities, rights of ownership over livestock, access to livestock services and markets, and decision-making powers regarding inputs, outputs and income. It points to positive initiatives that empower women, such as through recognising and stimulating their innovativeness in livestock-keeping, and enhancing their ability to organise themselves so as to strengthen their negotiating position and access to benefits. The UFS/ILRI symposium was part of the Tenth World Conference on Animal Production (WCAP), held 23-28 November 2008 in Cape Town, hosted by the South African Department of Agriculture. Brigid and Ann also prepared a poster on Local innovation by women livestock-keepers in South Africa (PDF file: 1MB), which was displayed at the WCAP. The Prolinnova paper will be a chapter in a book to be edited by the symposium organisers in 2009.