The CGIAR is developing a co-ordinated approach to its research and innovation activities to better address the “gender gap” that refers to inequalities that prevent poor rural women from realizing their full potential to improve farm productivity, management of natural resources and livelihoods. Through the establishment of the Gender and Agriculture Research Network, the CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs) will come together in a joint effort to tackle those gender disparities that affect the CRPs’ impact on rural poverty reduction and the improvement of sustainable resource management, food security, nutrition and health. The Network will work with the 15 CRPs, to address shared gender research issues, and investigate common entry points where an understanding of the role of women in the management of new technologies and natural resources is essential for impact.
Under the facilitation of a full-time senior advisor on gender and research, the Network will bring together high-quality science, not just from across the CGIAR, but also from external academic and policy circles, thereby enabling collaboration in research, capacity development, and the publication and communication of research evidence on gender in agriculture. Assessing the CRPs’ capacity needs to implement research on gender-related issues will be a key activity in 2012. The development of strategic partnerships with non-CGIAR specialist institutions will be a hallmark of the Network’s approach to collaborative research
This cross-cutting initiative is expected to significantly help narrow the productivity gap between men and women farmers in developing countries. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the closing of this “gender gap” could raise total agricultural production enough to reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 12 to 17 percent, or 100 to 150 million people. The prime objective of gender research across the CRPs is to understand how best to close that gap.
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