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Gender integration in CGIAR Research Programs

August 16, 2012

The move to integrate gender in the organizational and research agenda of the CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs) and Centers is gaining speed, also due to the formation of the ‘CGIAR Gender and Agriculture Research Network’ earlier this year. The network consists of Lead Gender Specialists from each of the 15 CRPs, as well as other social and biological scientists committed to the integration of gender in agricultural research for development.

This network of highly energetic women and men reunited at a workshop hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation during 25-27 July 2012 in Seattle, USA. The objective was to discuss how CGIAR research can contribute to closing the gender gap in agriculture and to explore opportunities for collaboration in gender-responsive research across CRPs. Lone Badstue, CIMMYT Gender Specialist, represented the MAIZE and WHEAT CRPs, and CIMMYT Socioeconomist Tina Beuchelt also participated.

NetworkGroupPhoto“The workshop was a great opportunity to share ideas and lessons learned, to exchange concepts of different gender strategies, as well as to discuss the latest gender-related research methods,” said Beuchelt. The workshop identified four themes for cross-program research on gender and agriculture: (1) engendering agricultural value chains; (2) gender-transformative approaches; (3) gender and technology adoption and diffusion; and (4) gender and nutrition. The participants also agreed upon a shared set of gender-responsive research outcomes that can be jointly monitored to assess progress towards CGIAR System Level Outcomes. Furthermore, they discussed how to measure these outcomes and agreed to continue collaboration on the development and measurement of a shared set of genderresponsive indicators.

An inspiring presentation by Eve Crowley, Deputy Director of the Food and Agriculture Organization´s Gender, Equity and Rural Development Division, provided valuable insights on critical success factors for mainstreaming gender in the CRPs and identified good practices that promote mainstreaming.

Topics to work on were many and time flew by in the workshop. As a follow-up to the workshop, a set of joint CRP concept papers on the integration of gender in the CGIAR research agenda will be developed. The group parted sharing the spirit of working together on this topic highly relevant to all CRPs.