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Gender-inclusive, -responsive, and -transformative agricultural insurance: A literature review

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Gender / Youth / Social Inclusion
Rural Finance / Insurance
Anne G. Timu, Berber Kramer

In many low-income countries, agricultural producers face significant climate-related risks that undermine the resilience of their production and food supply systems. Agricultural insurance can help mitigate some of these risks, enabling farmers to increase farm investments, incomes, and food and nutritional security. This paper conducts a literature review to evaluate the extent to which agricultural insurance is gender-inclusive and gender-responsive (i.e., reaches and benefits both women and men), and whether there is potential for such insurance to empower women or even become gender-transformative. We find that existing agricultural insurance products are designed and delivered in ways that limit reach and benefits of insurance for women. Empirical research has focused less on the question whether insurance empowers women, let alone whether it has a transformative effect by changing institutional norms that perpetuate gender inequities. We present a case study of a crop insurance program in Kenya to discuss how agricultural insurance, if adequately designed, can have stronger impacts on gender-related outcomes. Empirically testing these approaches to agricultural insurance design is a key priority for future research.