CGIAR research team addresses gender dynamics in the breeding process

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In product development, a gender-inclusive process can enhance equality between genders, and when women’s and men’s voices are heard, it effectively informs the breeding process. While there is growing recognition of women’s vital role in informal/farmer-led breeding processes, knowledge on how and when to involve men and women farmers and how gender-responsive breeding can advance gender equality is limited.

Plant and animal breeding aims to improve the genetics or traits of breeding products and produce desired characteristics towards food security and better livelihoods. There is a critical need to understand women and men’s priorities assigned to genetically determined traits in meeting these objectives.

A recent study shows what CGIAR has done to address gender dynamics in current breeding structures and processes while ensuring breeding programs advance gender equality. The study focused on technology choices concerning the plant variety or animal/fish breed by resource-poor smallholders in low-income countries. It also explored how CGIAR and public breeding programs generate options based on user needs, preferences, and constraints and the institutional requirements needed to develop them to contribute to gender equality and women empowerment. Béla Teeken, an Associate Social and Gender Scientist at IITA, was part of the research team.

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