Despite decades of agricultural research and development efforts, the challenges of poverty and hunger persist. There is a growing recognition that integrating gender issues effectively in such efforts will help to improve food security, well-being and equity.
Effective gender integration requires actions that foster gender equality in access to resources, and that help communities to understand and challenge the social norms that create inequalities between men and women. This is the basis of a gender transformative approach.
Renowned agricultural and gender researchers and practitioners will meet at WorldFish Headquarters in Penang during 3-5 October to engage in a dialogue to develop an agenda for gender transformative research in development for the agricultural sector.
Hosted by WorldFish, the workshop Building Coalitions, Creating Change: An Agenda for Gender Transformative Research in Agricultural Development, aims to review existing approaches to gender transformation in development to identify good practices and lessons learned.
The event provides a space to discuss and share experiences in gender and development research and practice in agriculture and other sectors.
“The workshop provides a critical opportunity to shape the content of the policy and programming attention that gender integration in agriculture currently is receiving”, says Dr. Paula Kantor, WorldFish gender researcher, and a workshop organizer.
“It will create a community of practice with an agenda for action aimed at fostering experimentation and learning about what transformative approaches work, where and how. All of this will contribute to efforts to make gender transformative approaches more common in the agriculture sector”, she adds.
Gender specialists Dr. Jacqueline Ashby from CGIAR Consortium, Dr. Eve Crowley from FAO, and Sylvia Cabus of USAID will participate in the workshop along with 36 others to discuss how to apply gender transformative approaches in agricultural research and development projects, and what organizational change processes are needed to support this.
Dr. Kantor stated that the need for a gender transformative approach stems from the persistence of gender disparities in access to resources, markets and technologies, even after decades of research and interventions.
“This persistence highlights that existing approaches to integrating gender into agricultural research don’t go far enough. Many approaches aim to close gender gaps without understanding or addressing their causes”, Dr. Kantor explains.
If successful, transformative approaches will help to expand the quality of life choices for men and women, including changes in their roles and responsibilities within households and communities.
This will lead to shared decision-making in communities, greater equality between men and women, and more lasting improvements in agricultural productivity and food security.
WorldFish, a member of the CGIAR Consortium, is an international, nonprofit research organization committed to reducing poverty and hunger through fisheries and aquaculture.
CGIAR is a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future. Its science is carried out by the 15 research centers who are members of the CGIAR Consortium in collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations.
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