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Gender Mainstreaming in Cassava research

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Gender Mainstreaming in Cassava research
Gender in relation to breeding: a confusion that however brought back: the end users’ preferences
The need to study tacit knowledge

A simplification of gender in relation to breeding
Sex disaggregated data

What is gender research?
Intersectionality

Combining field trials with gender research

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Gender Mainstreaming in Cassava research

  1. 1. IITA is a member of the CGIAR Consortium www.iita.org www.iita.org IITA is a member of the CGIAR Consortium Gender Mainstreaming in Cassava Research CBU team building workshop 7-11 February 2017 Agbetu, Ogun State
  2. 2. IITA is a member of the CGIAR Consortium www.iita.org www.iita.org IITA is a member of the CGIAR Consortium Outline - Gender in relation to breeding: a confusion that however brought back: the end users’ preferences The need to study tacit knowledge - A simplification of gender in relation to breeding Sex disaggregated data - What is gender research? Intersectionality - Combining field trials with gender research - Exercise/your advice
  3. 3. IITA is a member of the CGIAR Consortium www.iita.org www.iita.org IITA is a member of the CGIAR Consortium “We cannot work with the many and specific preferences for men and women provided to us by social scientist, we need one or two extra criteria from which we can work but these long lists do not mean anything to us” (cassava breeder) “Including gender directly into breeding is often just impossible, we are now just becoming capable of creating a good hybrid, so how can we bring on board such gender specific traits” (banana breeder)
  4. 4. IITA is a member of the CGIAR Consortium www.iita.org www.iita.org IITA is a member of the CGIAR Consortium CGIAR has long time been improving varieties but still: “In Malawi for example, the question remains why three improved varieties of pigeon pea, which were developed with supposed market-desired traits, have received zero levels of adoption, whereas the local Nthawajuni variety has spread throughout the country to dominate 80% of the planted area?” (mentioned in the CGIAR ‘gender and breeding’ conference in Nairobi, November 2016)
  5. 5. IITA is a member of the CGIAR Consortium www.iita.org www.iita.org IITA is a member of the CGIAR Consortium As imposed by donors Gender research has brought back the insight that end user preferences can be: • Very specific • Can often not be known on the dialectic level and can therefore not always be identified fully trough dialectic (language) tools such as interviews and focus group discussions. => Most of the desired properties are tacitly known, end users just know what works and what does not
  6. 6. IITA is a member of the CGIAR Consortium www.iita.org www.iita.org IITA is a member of the CGIAR Consortium (After Michael Polanyi chemist and philosopher)
  7. 7. IITA is a member of the CGIAR Consortium www.iita.org www.iita.org IITA is a member of the CGIAR Consortium Nonaka (1991)* emphasizes that the sharing of tacit knowledge takes place through joint activities and requires physical proximity. *Nonaka, I. (1991) "The knowledge creating company." Harvard Business Review, 69, (Nov-Dec), 96-104
  8. 8. IITA is a member of the CGIAR Consortium www.iita.org www.iita.org IITA is a member of the CGIAR Consortium A misconception of Gender research in relation to breeding: ‘Gender is only comparing men and women’s variety preferences’ This statement can even be considered politically and ethically incorrect. Why are we distinguishing between men and women beforehand, before we even know how this sex difference is being, articulated within society?
  9. 9. IITA is a member of the CGIAR Consortium www.iita.org www.iita.org IITA is a member of the CGIAR Consortium Oloasbikan et al. (forthcoming) have shown that specific end users preferences are task group dependent. Because different task groups perform different work on cassava cultivation and processing they have different preferences but these preferences do not necessary contradict because the preferences are related to the different working conditions of the task groups. Task groups happen to be organized along gender lines:  men and women do cultivation of cassava  mainly women do the processing of cassava into mainly gari, but also into fufu, lafun, tapioca. This is something very different than initially labelling men and women as different groups!
  10. 10. IITA is a member of the CGIAR Consortium www.iita.org www.iita.org IITA is a member of the CGIAR Consortium So instead of narrowly focusing on sex disaggregated data we need to look at the different task groups and their possibilities to do their work as they would like it to do, this to strive towards equity. But within and between task groups there are people that have a different status. E.g there are processing groups that have different identity/status: Richer ones, ethnically different, organized along guild, neighborhood etc. So it is now to know the different possibilities of these groups to develop themselves according to their aspirations.
  11. 11. IITA is a member of the CGIAR Consortium www.iita.org www.iita.org IITA is a member of the CGIAR Consortium So what is Gender Research? Gender research is to study how sex differences are articulated (used) to create identity, possibilities and restrictions for individuals within a certain section within a community (the richer or poorer, different ethnic groups, those having a different history or belonging to a certain guild e.g. ‘blacksmiths’, the elders or youth). Hence the word “intersectionality”
  12. 12. IITA is a member of the CGIAR Consortium www.iita.org www.iita.org IITA is a member of the CGIAR Consortium With regards to Gender the cassava breeding unit has already come a long way! We have been taken gender seriously and gender has been widely discussed and integrated much further than within other breeding units! So our main focus should be to further define the different task groups and the sections they belong to and their aspirations and how gender is used to create possibilities and/ or restrictions within the society that these groups live.
  13. 13. IITA is a member of the CGIAR Consortium www.iita.org www.iita.org IITA is a member of the CGIAR Consortium Combining tacit evaluation of what farmers like and why, with gender ! • Set up field trails together with farmers/processors to evaluate the varieties they are already using together with those commonly used within Nigeria (informed by the Cassava Monitoring Study) as well as with some promising new lines • In stead of verbally asking what farmer/processors prefer: evaluate with them the varieties from planting to processing => Then investigate the ones they really like and see what the properties of these varieties are (to discover new breeding criteria) • Next to a general trial in the village that includes all varieties to be tested: give 3 or 4 varieties to a group of farmer/processors (mainly women) and see: • Where they plant them (in which field) • How they organize the work (who gets involved) • Who becomes interested • What will be the communication among group members and which members become more dominant and why (what is their gendered position, how do they relate to decision making power of men and other women)
  14. 14. IITA is a member of the CGIAR Consortium www.iita.org www.iita.org IITA is a member of the CGIAR Consortium Rabbi et al (forthcoming)
  15. 15. IITA is a member of the CGIAR Consortium www.iita.org www.iita.org IITA is a member of the CGIAR Consortium Trials to be set up in 3 communities Set up for each community: 10 farmers/processors each individually evaluating 3 to 4 varieties Community plot Including all varieties
  16. 16. IITA is a member of the CGIAR Consortium www.iita.org www.iita.org IITA is a member of the CGIAR Consortium Exercise: 1. What are your ideas about how ethnic group, economic status, guild, etc. and other sections within society will influence the way gender is used to create difference in opportunities between men and women? 2. What would be the ideal surface of the individual plots to be evaluated by the 10 farmers? 3. How would you best choose the 10 farmer processors so that they represent the different groups in the village. Or should they be randomly chosen and the outcome of the whole research will show the different groups as we investigate how the 10 farmers deal with the experiment and with whom the communicate and interact?

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