The Consortium Gender Strategy commits the CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs) to developing agricultural technologies, farming systems, and policies to support rural women in improving agricultural productivity and their livelihoods. The CGIAR Gender and Agriculture Research Network was set up to promote cross-cutting research to benefit rural women and integrate gender into all CRPs.
The approach has two strands. The first is to build capacity to address the gender dimensions of agricultural research and development at the Consortium level, and the second is to integrate gender into individual programs. All CRPs are required to consider gender in research and to monitor gender outcomes.
Gender is central to the four CGIAR strategic objectives of reducing poverty, improving food security, improving nutrition and health, and working towards sustainable, resilient agroecosystems. CRPs and their partners join forces to address gender issues, for example to improve women’s access to markets as a way to reduce poverty, and improve food security and nutrition. CRPs are undertaking research to develop more inclusive and gender-equitable commodity and food value chains for rice, maize, wheat, legumes, roots and tubers, as well as for forest, fish, and livestock products.
Consortium Gender Strategy
Gender inequalities affect technology, land, water, forests, livestock, and fisheries, education, income, investment, and labor. The Consortium Gender Strategy, launched in 2010, covers both gender in research, and gender in the workplace.
Each CRP is developing a strategy for integrating gender into research. The CRPs will also collaborate on cross-program research, capacity development, and knowledge sharing through the CGIAR Gender and Agriculture Research Network. A human resources specialist at the Consortium level will be responsible for gender in the workplace.
The Strategy sets out clear and enforceable accountability mechanisms, and measures for deploying first-class scientific talent to gender research. To ensure accountability, research results, the resources allocated to achieve results, and the gender expertise deployed for research will be monitored. Efficiency and coherence in managing diversity in the workplace will be addressed across programs, and will build on the achievements of the earlier Gender and Diversity Program.
CGIAR Research Program gender strategies
Each CRP is developing a four-year strategy for delivering measurable benefits to women farmers in target areas. CRP gender strategies involve two approaches: strategic gender research to deepen understanding of how gender disparities or gender relations affect agricultural innovation, productivity, and sustainability; and integrating gender analysis into research on topics such as plant breeding, adapting to climate change and integrated pest management.
The results of research on gender and gender analysis will be made available to development partners as well as researchers, with the aim of benefiting both men and women. Progress on CRP gender strategies is reported annually as part of the Consortium monitoring and evaluation system.
Previous CGIAR research on gender
The CGIAR has a long history of analyzing gender issues to identify innovations that benefit poor rural women. In the 1980s the International Rice Research Institute developed the Women in Rice Farming Systems Program which reduced drudgery and gave women more access to new rice production and postharvest technology.
For almost two decades, the International Food Policy Research Institute Intra-Household Research Program has demonstrated that gender-disaggregated economic models are fundamental to shaping food policy. These models show that women producers have unequal access to land, credit, agricultural extension agents, and technology, and that this unequal access prevents them from producing as efficiently as men.
The Participatory Research and Gender Analysis Program coordinated by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) from 1997 to 2011, demonstrated how engaging women farmers in crucial technology design and development decisions related to new varieties improves adoption by women.
The CGIAR Gender and Diversity Program promoted proactive development, recruitment, and retention of women scientists and managers in the system and among national partners.