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Gender in WHEAT


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This poster was presented by Lone Badstue (MAIZE / WHEAT / CIMMYT) for the pre-Annual Scientific Conference meeting organized for the CGIAR research program gender research coordinators on 4 December.
The annual scientific conference of the CGIAR collaborative platform for gender research took place on 5-6 December 2017 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where the Platform is hosted (by KIT Royal Tropical Institute).

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Gender in WHEAT

  1. 1. Introduction Farming takes place in the midst of complex social relationships, at household level, group and community level, market system level and the wider society (Figure 1). Gender is a key structuring element in this context, often intersecting with other social identities such as age, caste and ethnicity, and enabling or constraining opportunities and outcomes differently, for different social groups. Power relations at each of these levels affect the extent to which women, and men, can access, use and benefit from technologies. WHEAT recognizes that in order to design and undertake agricultural R4D that is both technically and socially robust, it is necessary to understand and take into account how agri-food systems operate across different social enabling environments. WHEAT Phase II prioritizes building the evidence base on gender relations in wheat-based systems. In particular, research focuses on understanding how gender affects vulnerability, risk management and coping strategies, technology adoption and project outcomes in wheat-based systems. The aim is to contribute towards equality of opportunity and outcomes from wheat R4D among resource-poor women, men and youth farmers. The integration of gender in WHEAT is conceived as a process of continual improvement, in which research design and practice, and research management frameworks and procedures, are designed to complement and reinforce each other. The WHEAT Gender Strategy follows a two-pronged approach: (1) integrative gender research as part of other technical research, e.g., socioeconomic research, wheat breeding or crop management; and (2) strategic gender research to further expand the knowledge base concerning gender specifically in relation to wheat-based farming and livelihoods. Both of these avenues contribute to inform and deepen the relevance of other WHEAT research themes, as well as overall CRP priority setting and targeting, in order to enhance the impact of wheat agri-food systems R4D. NGOs, research institutes, donors, govt. Market system Group & community Adopting household Adopting woman or man Figure 1: Gender amidst complex social relationships Flagship gender objectives Selected research questions FP1: Enhancing WHEAT’s R4D strategy for impact To strengthen the evidence base on gender in wheat- based systems and livelihoods; and ensure that foresight and targeting, adoption and impact studies, as well as wheat- related value chain development interventions, are informed by a gender and social inclusion perspective. • How do the roles, resources, constraints and priorities of women and men of different age groups differ in wheat agri-food systems (AFS)? What are the implications of this, e.g., for technology development and diffusion? • How do gender relations and access to resources influence adoption of new wheat technologies by women and men of different age groups? And how does the introduction of new technologies influence gender relations? • What is the capacity for gender-responsive technology generation and dissemination of R&D partners, including advisory services, input and service providers, and seed enterprises? • What are the gendered impacts of wheat R4D, who benefits, and how? FP2: Novel diversity and tools for improving genetic gains and breeding efficiency To ensure that perspectives of male and female end users are taken into account in up-stream targeting and decision making. • How can we ensure that efforts to increase genetic gain benefit both men and women wheat farmers and consumers in particular contexts? • What traits are relevant for key beneficiary groups, and how are they related to gender? How can downstream gender research and analysis findings along continuum from discovery of new knowledge to achievement of systemic change inform up-stream targeting and decision making? FP3: Better varieties reach farmers faster Understanding gender- differentiated preferences/ constraints in relation to specific traits in wheat germplasm, and the implications hereof in relation to priority setting and targeting of wheat breeding strategies. • What are the traits or combinations of traits related to wheat that men and women farmers and consumers in different contexts and social groups prioritize? How are these similar or different for men and women? To what extent are they related to gender-specific labor burdens? (e.g., weeding, post-harvest, nutrition). • How, and to what extent, are these needs, preferences and constraints considered in wheat breeding? • What factors influence men’s and women’s ability to access, use and benefit from improved wheat varieties? Do these factors affect men and women in the same or different ways? • How do farmers, especially women, access information about seed? What are key issues for developing gender-sensitive variety promotion and decision support information? FP4: Sustainable intensification of wheat- based farming systems To ensure that sustainable intensification of wheat-based systems and livelihoods takes gender and social disparities into account and delivers positive benefits to both men and women of different social groups. • What types of institutional arrangements and business models can enhance the ability of poor women farmers, youth and marginalized groups to access and benefit from more efficient and labor-saving technologies? • What are potential trade-offs of sustainable intensification technologies from a gender and social inclusion perspective? And what approaches can help mitigate these? • How do social and gender norms constrain/enhance individuals’ ability to engage in agricultural innovation processes? And what are effective measures to address barriers to social inclusion in technology development and dissemination? Contribution towards a CGIAR-wide gender research framework Thematic: gender and social dimensions of innovation processes in wheat-based AFS, strong focus on institutions as barriers to/enablers of gender equality Approach: continual improvement, mixed methods, collaboration, dialogue Process: building evidence and capacity for improved outcomes and impact The WHEAT gender strategy impact logic Key gender concepts The concepts underlying WHEAT’s gender agenda include: • Gender equality entails the concept that all human beings are free to develop their personal abilities and make choices without the limitations set by stereotypes, rigid gender roles or prejudices. Gender equality means that the different behaviors, aspirations and the needs of women and men are considered, valued and favored equally. It does not mean that women and men have to become the same, but that their rights, responsibilities and opportunities will not depend on whether they are born male or female. • Empowerment implies people – both women and men – taking control over their lives by setting their own agendas, gaining skills (or having their own skills and knowledge recognized), increasing their self-confidence, solving problems and developing self-reliance. It is both a process and an outcome. • Agency refers to the capacity to make strategic life decisions and act upon them. • Gender-transformative approaches actively strive to examine, question and change rigid gender norms and the imbalance of power as a means of achieving development goals as well as meeting gender equity objectives. • Gender-responsive (or -aware) approaches are designed to meet both women’s and men’s needs. Gender Equality and Social Inclusion in WHEAT Research Outputs Research Outcomes Impact Gender-sensitive guidelines re: technology promotion; and farmer decision support information Innovative, gender-responsive and -transformative crop and farm management practices Trait pipelines for R4D addressing characteristics of special importance to women Sex-disaggregated data sets re: farmer preferences, technology adoption, crop management, etc. Sensitization of NARS and advisory services re: gender in wheat technology development and diffusion Sustainable intensification frameworks with social equity and gender analysis integrated Reduced vulnerability and increased benefits from wheat production to both female and male small-scale wheat farmers through increased gender equality in the access to and use of appropriate, improved wheat technologies and management practices, developed with special consideration of their needs and preferences Increased gender responsiveness of wheat R&D partners reflected in gender- responsive and -inclusive business models and practices, and inclusive institutional arrangements that increase gender and social equity in the distribution of benefits from sustainable intensification and increased market integration Research priority setting and targeting informed by gender research and analysis Peer-reviewed articles, policy briefs and tools for gender- responsive wheat R4D Improved livelihoods of smallholder families due to improved equality of opportunity and outcomes between women and men wheat farmers