Isabelle Oude-Egberink's Confirmation Presentation

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Isabelle Oude-Egberink's Confirmation Presentation

We invite you to attend the Confirmation Presentation of Isabelle Oude-Egberink, a Master of Arts (Research) candidate within the School of Social Sciences, in the Faculty of Arts, Business and Law.

Title: The Impacts of Farmer Organisations for Women in Preah Vihear, Cambodia

Presenter: Isabelle Oude-Egberink

When: Tuesday 18 December from 11am-1pm

Where: Building E, E1.04

Abstract: A feminisation of agriculture in Cambodia, by increased male out-migration has left women taking fuller responsibility for smallholder farming. Women’s’ increased workload and their lack of access to key resources such as extension services, formal credit and new agricultural equipment impairs their ability to participate fully in the agricultural sector and pursue agricultural livelihoods with higher economic and wellbeing benefits. Greater attention is needed to find ways to assist women to adapt to changing demographics in rural areas. One way is to cooperate as a group in order to improve their productive capacity and bargaining power. Collective approaches to agricultural production have benefited women in developing countries by improving their access to resources, increasing productivity, and increasing decision-making power in agriculture. Collective approaches therefore hold the potential to include women more in the agricultural sector and to connect them to agricultural resources. In Cambodia, farmer organisations have become popular ways through which smallholders, in particular women, are being supported to improve agricultural productivity and livelihoods. Despite this enthusiasm within the development community, there is an overall lack of research on women’s agricultural livelihoods in Southeast Asia and limited academic critique that evaluates the effectiveness of farmer organisations for women in this region. Increasing urbanisation, industrialisation and globalisation of rural areas in Southeast Asia point to the need for continued awareness of women’s experiences and avenues to support agricultural livelihoods that are cognisant of those experiences. What is particularly unclear is how farmer organisations may enable women to adapt under conditions of feminisation of agriculture, the socio-economic characteristics of the women who participate and what factors enable women to benefit. This research proposes a case study of Preah Vihear Province, Cambodia, one of the poorest provinces but with a large density of farmer organisations. I will compare the impacts of different agricultural cooperatives and farmer groups for women, and in doing so, contribute to improving current knowledge on women’s agricultural livelihoods in Southeast Asia and the effectiveness of farmer organisations for women.

Bio: Isabelle is a Masters candidate here at USC. During her undergraduate studies, Isabelle became inspired by the potential of cooperatives in delivering future social support and in enabling resource poor communities to work together to achieve common interests. Agricultural development in developing countries is increasingly investing in women and in group approaches, such as agricultural cooperatives, to ensure food security, economic and social empowerment. Isabelle is committed to understanding the extent to which international development is in touch with those it seeks to help.

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We look forward to seeing you there.

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