Why Women Aren’t Using Your Ag App

Date published: Jan. 14, 2021

While being a part of ICTforAg was a great chance to reconnect and learn, it is amazing to me that we need to have conversations about the need to engage female farmers in AgTech. After all, Stamp’s Technology, Gender, and Power in Africa was first written in 1989 when I read it on microfiche, and little seems to have changed.

Agriculture is sexist. Poverty is sexist. And certainly, technology is sexist. These are three tenets that anyone working at the intersection of development and technology should inherently know, without the assistance of a “gender specialist.” How is it that technology advocates remain so blind to gender (and other) biases that are imbued in many software platforms and services? Far earlier than Stamp, Conway warned us about this phenomenon in technology in 1967, that any technology reflects the values of its creator. So when a white western software developer creates a crop management application for women in rural Mozambique – even if this developer served in the Peace Corps in Mali 15 years ago and focused on poultry initiatives – the result is not going to be a raging success.

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