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Jacqueline Ashby


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  • These two motivations for closing the gender gap in agriculture are not mutually exclusive, but rather, reinforcing.
    Equality: “Gender equality matters intrinsically, because the ability to live the life of one’s own choosing and be spared from absolute deprivation is a basic human right and should be equal for everyone, independent of whether one is male or female” (WDR 2012).
    Efficiency: “Gender equality matters instrumentally, because greater gender equality contributes to economic efficiency and the achievement of other key development outcomes” (WDR 2012).
    While gender equality is an extremely important goal in its own right, today we are focusing on how it will help us achieve other development goals, including the CGIAR’s SLOs.
  • The World Bank, the FAO, and researchers across the CGIAR have made the case for gender equality, arguing that the different roles, rights, and responsibilities of men and women must be considered for development interventions to be successful.
    Here are a some examples of why the CGIAR cannot achieve the SLOs without closing the gender gap.
    Nutrition for the elderly reduces morbidity
  • This has been shown in an EC study and FAO has set targets on this
  • Transcript

    • 1. Gender and Food Security Jacqueline Ashby Senior Advisor, Gender and Research CGIAR Consortium
    • 2. Topics • Challenges for gender research in food security • Lessons from mainstreaming gender in CGIAR Research Programmes (CRPs) • Opportunities and challenges: operationalizing an effective gender research programme
    • 3. 1. Challenges for gender research in food security • The “gender gap” in agriculture • Risks • Opportunities
    • 4. The “gender gap” in agriculture (FAO, 2010) In most regions of the world, one out of five farms is headed by a women Women comprise about 40% of people working on farms in low- income countries Mali women collect firewood for cooking on the dry bed of the Niger River (photo on Flickr by United Nations).
    • 5. The “gender gap” in agriculture (FAO, 2010) Inequalities between women and men producers: • hold back agricultural productivity ( causing yield gaps of 20-25%) • perpetuate poverty and unsustainable resource use • make women more vulnerable to climate- change impacts on agriculture Photo P. Casier (CGIAR).
    • 6. Example: gender productivity gap in Ghana • Women are not confident of their rights to hold land left fallow. • So women fallow their plots less than their husbands, and achieve much lower yields Source: Goldstein 2008
    • 7. The “gender gap” in agriculture (FAO, 2010) Pervasive inequalities between women and men in: • Assets for agriculture --land, water, trees, fisheries, livestock, especially insecure property rights • Labor markets • Access to services- financial, advisory, business development • Knowledge and skills • Technology • Membership of farmer organizations • Policy Mali women collect firewood for cooking on the dry bed of the Niger River (photo on Flickr by United Nations).
    • 8. Making the case: Why close the gender gap in agriculture and food systems?
    • 9. Risks of ignoring the gender gap • Women don’t buy into proposed technologies or strategies if these are inappropriate (eg. more labor intensive) • Women can’t access or use information about recommended innovations • Women oppose or cannot invest in needed innovations Photo P. Casier (CGIAR).
    • 10. Example: technology is not adopted Review of 24 multivariate studies of technological input use, access, and adoption fertilizer, seed varieties, tools, pesticide use, access, and adoption. • 79 percent of studies found men have higher access to technologies • 59 percent of studies found the farmer’s sex has no significant effect on output once unequal farm size, credit, capital, extension and other factors are taken into account
    • 11. Risks: women are worse off and oppose innovations • Innovations increase drudgery for women • Women do not share increases in income when men control marketing • Thus, women face different incentives from men Photo P. Casier (CGIAR).
    • 12. Case –Tanzania village studies • Rainy season is now much shorter: farmers in the two villages studied adapted by growing more drought- tolerant crops. • Faster-maturing sorghum and maize plus new varieties of sesame and sunflower were introduced • Increased marketing of food crops, sorghum and maize, traditionally grown by women increased their workloads • New crops-- sesame and sunflower-- increased income but led to more weeding work for women. • Women did not benefit from the profits: all grain is typically sold by men, and women are less likely than men to control the cash received. Source: Nelson & Stathers 2009
    • 13. Opportunity: Transformative Approaches • Female autonomy is an important determinant of productivity and earnings of rural women producers Source Buvinic 2013
    • 14. Gender relations affect autonomy in: (1) Decisions about agricultural production and marketing (2) Power over use of resources like land, water and livestock (3) Control over food availability, spending and income (4) Leadership in the community and bargaining power in markets (5) Time use and workloads
    • 15. Example: improving value chains without transforming autonomy. • Women didn’t market increased horticulture production because they don’t control the land or the income generated (Burkina Faso & Uganda) • Men removed dairy cattle far away from the homestead to prevent women from increasing their household bargaining power from sales of milk (Kenya) Source: Quisumbing et al 2013
    • 16. Example: improved autonomy, Mozambique 2002: the Towards Sustainable Nutrition Improvement Project targeted improved vitamin intake among children under five •Sweet potato was a “women’s crop” in 72% of farms but women sold it in only 48% •Women farmers tested high-yielding varieties and were directly involved in their evaluation and selection. •Women and men of all ages identified practices that could reduce women’s workloads •RESULT: 90 percent of farmers adopted, vitamin A intake increased 8 times for children in adopter households
    • 17. Example: economic empowerment Decision power (54 Asian communities): • Community-level gender norms are more important determinants of empowerment than women’s personal characteristics (e.g. education, landownership) • Domestic violence is equally important Source: Mason & Smith 2003
    • 18. 2. Lessons from mainstreaming Gender in CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs) 1981: first position paper on gender in the CGIAR 2011: first CGIAR-wide gender research strategy
    • 19. Value Proposition: Gender and System Level Outcomes
    • 20. • Identify key barriers to empowerment in agriculture • Increase scale, scope and significance of gender research • Understand broad trends in changing gender relations that matter • Work with implementation partners to design transformative interventions Core challenges of CRP Gender Strategies
    • 21. Core challenges of CRP Gender Strategies • Diagnose o Barriers that research can address o Barriers that research can address with partners o Barriers best left to others o Maximize extrapolation and generalizability • Improve the data and methods – Collect better sex- disaggregated data – Drill down into gender relations
    • 22. Implement a program-wide Gender Strategy • Accountability
    • 23. Gender Budget: a must! • Many CRP proposals lacked a gender budget • Dedicated funds for gender research must be earmarked at the planning stage of research • Monitor performance
    • 24. Clear Deliverables All CRPs must: •Have an approved gender strategy that is implemented within 6 months of their inception •Report outputs with demonstrable and measurable benefits to women farmers in target areas within 4 years following inception of the CRP. •By 2015 train and recruit to ensure sufficient gender expertise. Objective • To improve the relevance of the CGIAR's research to poor women as well as men (reduced poverty and hunger, improved health and environmental resilience) in all the geographical areas where the work is implemented and targeted by end of 2012. • By 2015 progress towards these outcomes will be measurable.
    • 25. Hold programs accountable CGIAR Consortium Board approved policy states that funds can be withheld if Program plans of work and budget or annual reports do not meet expected standards of gender mainstreaming i.e. - Appropriate research outputs and outcomes - Adequate funds allocated - Gender-responsive research approaches - Results that benefit men and women and improve women’s empowerment Objective • To improve the relevance of the CGIAR's research to poor women as well as men (reduced poverty and hunger, improved health and environmental resilience) in all the geographical areas where the work is implemented and targeted by end of 2012. • By 2015 progress towards these outcomes will be measurable.
    • 26. Build Research Capacity Gender Strategy requires: • high calibre social scientists •gender awareness and accountability at all management levels •partnerships capable of leveraging gender equality for positive impact
    • 27. Gender Postdoctoral Fellows and University Partnership Scheme 20 new postdoctoral fellowships 3 University partnerships for mentoring research quality
    • 28. 3. Opportunities and challenges operationalizing an effective gender research programme • Promote gender awareness at all levels • Ensure performance monitoring of gender in research and accountability for its deliverables • Invest in capacity development • Install policy supporting gender and diversity in the workplace
    • 29. Promising interventions linking gender and food security • A suite of integrated services designed to reach poor women farmers: land rights, farmer groups, savings and loans, technologies and training
    • 30. Autonomy EG. In Malawi, women with profitable farms: • Cultivate high value cash (not subsistence) crops • Belong to village savings and credit unions • Control farmland, decide what to grow and how to spend their earnings Source Dimova & Gang 2013
    • 31. Thanks! How we do research/ Research on gender in agriculture