Adolescence is a pivotal time of life in which people form gender norms, so there is a window of opportunity for gender transformation through youth and agriculture programming during those years. Socio-cultural norms play an important role in shaping young people’s decisions to engage in work. Family members especially carry different expectations for the young males and females in the household and allow them different levels of decision-making freedom. Both young men and women face barriers in starting and operating a business, but in many contexts young females tend to have fewer networks and positive role models who support women’s entrepreneurship. Young women are particularly constrained in the work world by domestic and childcare responsibilities as well as restrictions on physical mobility, and many services (e.g. training or banking hours/locations) do not accommodate for these constraints.

While there is a growing body of work on women’s empowerment in agri-food systems, the literature generally does not distinguish between different age cohorts or life stages (e.g. head of household, child/parental status, marital status, etc.). Also, women’s empowerment approaches tend to overlook the needs of and pressures faced by adolescent males who are coming of age in the agriculture sector. Further investigation is required on the intersections of youth and gender dynamics in agriculture.

The Girl Effect: What Do Boys Have to Do with It?

This discussion paper argues for a “gender and developmental perspective” to explore “what boys have to do with the ‘girl effect’”— namely, how to work with girls and boys alike to achieve gender transformation. This approach seeks to combine the lenses of gender and developmental psychology to better understand gendered behavior in adolescents over their life cycle, with a focus on adolescence (generally defined as ages 10 to 19). The paper first reviews theories explaining the development of adolescent gender identities, drawing from developmental biology, psychology, and sociology. It then reviews available program data to identify promising approaches to promote gender equality and identifies priority questions for future investments in research and practice.

Causal Mapping of the Gender Integration Framework

This briefing paper summarizes the research behind the Feed the Future Gender Integration Framework (GIF), a USAID programmatic tool developed to better understand how programs are addressing constraints to women’s empowerment in the agricultural sector. Since this framework makes no explicit mention of youth, age or developmental stage/ life stage, nor does it address youth-specific issues for males, youth-inclusive programs using the GIF may require adaptations to this tool to account for these considerations.

Promoting Gender-Equitable Opportunities in Agricultural Value Chains: A Handbook

This handbook provides readers with an understanding of agricultural value chains from a gender perspective. The handbook helps practitioners become familiar with how gender issues affect agricultural value chains, presents a process for analyzing gender issues in agricultural value chains, and discusses strategies for addressing gender issues in agricultural value chains. Several examples in this handbook account for the experiences of girls and boys as well as that of young women and men.

Gender in Value Chains. Practical toolkit to integrate a gender perspective in agricultural value chain development

This toolkit provides practical tools for integrating a gender perspective in agricultural value chain development projects. It covers the following: selecting value chains which have the potential to contribute to increased women’s empowerment and gender equality; conducting a gender-sensitive value chain analysis; interventions at different entry points in the chain; and gender-sensitive tools for measuring interventions. Some of the tools mention youth and are applicable to working with youth.

Gender in Youth Livelihoods and Workforce Development Programs

This program note summarizes key gender issues in youth livelihoods and workforce development programs and discusses the USAID-funded EQUIP3 program approach to addressing gender, using examples from specific youth projects. It does not specifically mention the agriculture sector, but rather discusses general considerations related to youth in the workforce.

“Teaching Gender to Secondary and Tertiary Students” Online Training Course

This is a series of five modules on teaching gender to secondary and tertiary students. The modules are intended for teachers and facilitators to engage youth in gender-based discussions of agricultural careers. The goal of the training for youth is to enable them to consider career paths primarily by interest and skill rather than being limited by an internalized or societal gender bias. The modules include concepts of “sex” vs. “gender,” household dynamics, activities outside the home, and societal influences on traditional gender roles in agriculture.

“Gender in Agriculture, Education and Training,” Online Training Course

This e-learning module provides insight into the gender issues in formal agricultural education programs. It also presents promising practices or strategies for addressing gender issues and encouraging girls in the agricultural sciences. It also offers lesson plans for teachers at the secondary and tertiary levels.