Social norms and perceptions drive women’s participation in agricultural decisions in West Java, Indonesia
Increasing women’s participation in intrahousehold decision-making has been linked with increased agricultural productivity and economic development. Existing studies focus on identifying the decision-maker and exploring factors affecting women’s participation, yet the context in which households make decisions is generally ignored. This paper narrows this gap by investigating perceptions of women's participation and the roles of social norms in agricultural decision-making. It specifically applies a fine-scale quantitative responses tool and constructs a women’s participation index (WPI) to measure men’s and women’s perceptions regarding women’s participation in decisions about 21 agricultural activities. The study further examines the correlation between social norms in these perceptions as measured by the WPI for 439 couples in West Java, Indonesia. We find that first, men and women have different perceptions about women's decision-making in agricultural activities, but the same perceptions of the types of activities in which women have the most and the least participation. Second, joint decisions come in various combinations but overall, the women’s role is smaller. Third, social norms influence spouses' perceptions of decision-making participation, which explains most of the variation of the WPI. These results suggest that rigorous consideration of social norms is required to understand intrahousehold decision-making.
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Qanti, S.R., Peralta, A. & Zeng, D. Social norms and perceptions drive women’s participation in agricultural decisions in West Java, Indonesia. Agric Hum Values 39, 645–662 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10460-021-10277-z