On this International Women’s Day 2020, ILRI commits to strengthening women’s rights in livestock systems and enterprises

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This International Women’s Day (IWD) 2020, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) is supporting a campaign run by a new GENDER platform of CGIAR, the world’s largest agricultural research and innovation partnership for a food-secure future.

Trader Augusta Thomas sells chickens in Maputo’s Xipamanine traditional market, in Mozambique (photo credit: ILRI/Mann).

Achieving gender equality is vital to achieving sustainable, productive and climate-resilient food systems, says Nicoline de Haan, the acting coordinator of the GENDER platform. GENDER—which stands for ‘Generating Evidence and New Directions for Equitable Results’—is aiming not only to help achieve greater gender parity in agricultural development but also to show how gender equality is a prerequisite to realizing the proposed ‘One CGIAR’ vision of ending world hunger by 2030.

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day and a year-long UN Women campaign is: ‘I Am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights’.

While gender-related research cuts across all of ILRI’s research, it is a core product line of ILRI’s Policies, Institutions and Livelihoods (PIL) Program, which aims to achieve ‘more gender-equitable control of livestock assets through gender-transformative approaches and gender-responsive technology and innovation.

ILRI’s scientists undertake strategic research on the roles livestock systems can play in transforming gender relations and related social constructs. In this work, the researchers assess the barriers women livestock keepers in developing countries often face in accessing livestock technologies, services and markets and how these barriers limit women’s aspirations and livestock livelihoods as well as the contributions women make to household economies and well-being and to small-scale livestock systems and value chains more generally.

‘By developing livestock-based innovations appropriately tailored to women as well as men at the household, community and national levels, we aim to benefit the livestock sector as a whole’, says Isabelle Baltenweck, head of the PIL program. ‘We provide policymakers with evidence about how our livestock innovations can reduce the barriers women face in developing their livestock enterprises.’

As we move into the year of ‘I am generation equality: Realizing women’s rights’, ILRI’s gender team is pledging itself to support women’s rights in the livestock sector by making the livestock sector more gender equitable so that all in the sector can benefit. We hope you will join the ILRI gender team with ideas, solutions and opportunities. Please send these to Nicoline de Haan at n.dehaan [at] cgiar.org

In marking this day, we also have a few video clips of colleagues from across ILRI sharing their ‘aha moments’ when they realized the importance of gender equality for improving food, water, land, livestock and cropping systems. . . .

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