Despite decades of agricultural research and development efforts and investments, the challenges of poverty and hunger persist. There is an increasing recognition that not integrating gender issues effectively in such efforts might be one reason for this.
Evidence exists to demonstrate how closing the gender gap in access to important resources can improve agricultural productivity and food security. Similarly, evidence also shows how just improving women’s access to resources might not lead to the long lasting and widespread impacts to which we aspire. The persistence of poverty, hunger and gender inequality calls for a change in the way we integrate gender in agricultural research in development programs.
Conventional efforts that fill gender gaps but do not address the underlying causes of existing inequalities are not sufficient. Transformative interventions that address the social norms and power relations causing disparities in resources, markets and technologies also are needed, along with innovative organizational change processes and activities that ensure that gender integration becomes part of standard agricultural research in development practice.
The 2012 workshop ‘Building Coalitions, Creating Change: An Agenda for Gender Transformative Research in Agricultural Development’ has been convened to develop a gender transformative research in development agenda for agriculture and, to build a community of thinkers and practitioners to take the ideas and actions forward.