Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

Deepening our Engagement with Gender Dimensions in Agriculture

The Feed the Future Advancing Women’s Empowerment (AWE) Program was delighted to partner with Agrilinks this October to raise awareness about the impacts of gender-based violence in agriculture programming. All month, we shared an engaging series of blog posts, culminating in a webinar that offered valuable insights and resources about this topic.

This online engagement was the first of many opportunities for learning and sharing with AWE. Today, we are pleased to announce the launch of our Learning and Research Agenda, which focuses on key areas for expanding evidence on good practices and technologies that address persistent barriers to women’s empowerment in agriculture and food systems. We are launching two streams of research and learning:

  • Good practices in agricultural programming to address gender-based violence
  • Good practices for women’s empowerment “beyond production”

Our first activities under the gender-based violence stream include identifying resources for implementers and piloting tools and guidelines to improve implementers’ and other stakeholders’ ability to mitigate and respond to gender-based violence in agriculture programming. Initial activities under the beyond production stream include identifying promising practices for promoting women’s empowerment, assessing impact, and sharing learning.

As these streams develop, we will share learning and resources — and collaborating with you along the way! As a recipient of our newsletter, you’ll be among the first to receive updates on the AWE Learning and Research Agenda from our team. Please invite your colleagues and partners to sign up as well.

Blog series on gender dimensions in agriculture

Articles throughout October looked at a range of ways to uncover and respond to gender-based violence in agricultural programs and communities. We explored how child marriage can hinder agricultural productivity and shared a model for identifying and addressing risk factors for child, early, and forced marriage in agriculture programming. We also looked at how to integrate gender-responsive thinking to respond to unintended consequences in land rights interventions and cash transfer programs.

Program teams from Burkina Faso, Burundi, and Tanzania shared emerging evidence and reflections on how agriculture and food security-focused programs can adapt and integrate gender-responsive methodologies, such as time diaries to reveal inequities in household labor and encourage men to adopt gender-transformative thinking and become champions for reducing gender-based violence in rural and agricultural communities. Stories like these demonstrate the power and potential of integrating gender dimensions in our work across many sectors. Such work considers male engagement as an important part of the equation.

We also looked to the future. Our partners at the Catalyst Project shared an exciting initiative, the RISE Challenge, designed to test interventions and policies to reduce gender-based violence in natural resource stewardship. This is an important convening of the environment and gender equality communities around a challenge that affects people and governments worldwide. And, we shared ideas for engaging the private sector as an ally for mitigating and responding to gender-based violence, including a rich discussion with presenters from Unilever during a webinar on October 30.

Finally, we shared tools such as the project-level Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (or pro-WEAI), which is being developed to assess aspects of women’s empowerment and track their changes in a project setting. This and other tools are available in the sidebar.

“What’s Lurking in Your Value Chain?” webinar

This webinar explored the hidden costs of gender-based violence in programs focused on agriculture. The discussion featured the perspectives of implementers, donors, and the private sector. From our panelists, we learned more about the Feed the Future NAFAKA II program in Tanzania (implemented by ACDI/VOCA) and that team’s experience in identifying and responding to gender-based violence with NAFAKA-supported communities. We were also privileged to hear from representatives from Unilever, who shared the company’s protocols and standards for countering gender-based violence in the global supply chain.

You can find a recording of the webinar and supporting resources, please visit this page on Agrilinks.

We’re excited about the advances that have been made in gender-responsive programming for agriculture and food security, and we look forward to continuing this rich exchange. We hope you’ll continue to share your lessons and questions with the AWE Program and Agrilinks!