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Resolving the Gender Empowerment Equation in agricultural research – a systems approach

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Presentation during IITA R4D week 2015 (23 - 27 Nov. 2015). By: Amare Tegbaru, John FitzSimons, Holger Kirscht and Per Hillbur.

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Resolving the Gender Empowerment Equation in agricultural research – a systems approach

  1. 1. www.iita.orgA member of CGIAR consortium Resolving the Gender Empowerment Equation in agricultural research – a systems approach Amare Tegbaru, John FitzSimons, Holger Kirscht and Per Hillbur 24th November 2015 (R4D Week 2015)
  2. 2. www.iita.orgA member of CGIAR consortium Resolving the Gender Empowerment Equation in agricultural research – a systems approach Amare Tegbaru¹*, John FitzSimons ², Holger Kirscht 3 and Per Hillbur 4 Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment Vol.13 (3&4): 2015
  3. 3. www.iita.orgA member of CGIAR consortium Research tradition is strongly oriented towards biophysical definition of systems The need to bridge the divide between social and technical aspects in systems research Emphasis is on developing more inclusive concept of “system” and systems research Introduction
  4. 4. www.iita.orgA member of CGIAR consortium Gender is an empirical category in the comparative analysis of men’s and women’s access to technologies, markets or resources Adds women to programs and quantify participation Focuses on awareness raising Focuses on individuals, symptoms of inequalities and quantification of gaps Draws conclusions from these quantified aggregates about inequalities Assumed to be more politically acceptable More readily applicable Traditional Commodity Focused Gender Research
  5. 5. www.iita.orgA member of CGIAR consortium Traditional Commodity Focused Gender Research • oversimplifies gender complexity and one size fits all • fails to view gender as part of how society works, and variations in context and constant change and dynamics • accepts the ‘social status quo’ without questioning whether and how existing norms and distributions of power affect women and men and create inequalities • offers little assurance that women, poor men and other marginalized groups will be able to take advantage of and benefit from new opportunities, including technologies • what is acceptable for women and men to do, to own and to control may continue to impose barriers
  6. 6. www.iita.orgA member of CGIAR consortium Gender is one among many other classification systems, such as those based on age, kinship, race, ethnicity, religion and social class Goes beyond responding to the immediate needs Placing innovative practices and options in the hands of both women and men to guide decision processes of transforming their social and gender relations within the system. Emphasis on aspects of ‘agency’, ‘power’ and ‘innovation’ in agricultural R4D activities Seeks to transform systems and structures that restrain the potential of poor and marginalized women and men to participate in and benefit from agricultural development Gender in Systems Research
  7. 7. www.iita.orgA member of CGIAR consortium • Long term change and transformation takes time • Establishing functional and viable innovative multi- stakeholder partnerships takes time • May be resource demanding Weaknesses or challenges Gender in Systems Research
  8. 8. www.iita.orgA member of CGIAR consortium Shift from commodity-focused social systems research Divide between social and technical aspects bridged by emphasis on agency, power and innovation A more inclusive concept of “system” and systems research - gender transformative Conclusion
  9. 9. www.iita.orgA member of CGIAR consortium

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