Gender matters to food security. Gender influences which crops are grown and animals are raised and how. It affects who eats what, who eats first and who eats most. Gender influences everything from access to land, capital, decision-making, political power and how markets work.
This November, Agrilinks is diving headfirst into this critical, complex topic and helping unpack the multilayered issues around gender in agricultural systems in conjunction with USAID’s team of gender experts. We’re excited about the advances that have been made in recent years in gender-responsive programming within Feed the Future and the greater development community and look forward to a rich exchange on success and challenges in implementation.
To kick off the month, we’d like to share some great tools and other resources on the topic:
- GFSS Technical Guidance: Advancing Gender Equality and Female Empowerment frames Feed the Future's overall approach to Gender Equality and Female empowerment in relation to the Global Food Security Strategy with principles and resources for program design and implementation.
- This SPRING brief maps out the pathways by which women's empowerment improves nutritional outcomes. Enabling men to have a more active role in nutrition is important too, as these resources from the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services and the INGENAES project demonstrate.
- Agricultural research is as much about people as agronomy and innovation. These three Feed the Future Innovation Labs showcased in a recent Agrilinks webinar are doing gender-responsive research in post-harvest loss, soy and nutrition, providing important insights for future program design.
- The INGENAES project shows the power of building gender expertise into extension services to make them more effective for women farmers. Their page offers practical tools and training materials for extension actors. For example, one tool assesses how a particular agricultural technology might affect women’s labor or nutrition practices and “lesson plans” for nutrition education. The InnoVATE project too offers a wealth of lessons and resources on how agricultural education and training can better reach women.
- Women play an important, yet sometimes underappreciated, role in markets. In addition to being local traders, many women also play an important role in informal cross-border trade and food security in their own communities, as addressed in this Agrilinks event.
- The Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) and Gender Integration Framework (GIF) are helping build capacity to assess and program to improve gender equality and female empowerment in Feed the Future programs. The WEAI Resource Center and the Intervention Guide for the WEAI are useful supplemental tools. The field is learning more about how the different components of empowerment in the WEAI and GIF influence nutrition and agricultural productivity, as discussed in this report from International Food Policy Research Institute.
- Making strides toward gender equality requires understanding how to effectively drive behavioral change. This post offers “seven secrets” for designing successful gender-responsive programs.
- In many contexts, women are considered to be more vulnerable to the effects of climate fluctuations than men. This post offers important insights on gender and climate resilience.
We hope you’ll join the conversation on gender this month and invite you to share your learning on Agrilinks!