Research into rural livelihoods shows that food security will not be achieved unless women farmers are treated as economic agents in their own right. While farmers often seek to increase their influence through collective action, this avenue is only of limited use to women, since most rural organisations are male-dominated and marginalise women’s voices. This article looks at the National Federation of Cooperatives (FENACOOP), a mixed-sex rural organisation in Nicaragua, and its efforts to engage women farmers in meaningful participation. The experience shows that there are no simple recipes for successful gender mainstreaming, and captures good practices to illustrate how farmers’ organisations can respond more effectively to women’s specific interests and priorities.
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