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Social transformation to end gender inequalities

A rethink is needed in how agricultural research and development addresses gender (© Minkoh, FAO/SFLP)
A rethink is needed in how agricultural research and development addresses gender
© Minkoh, FAO/SFLP

Despite 40 years of gender being on the development agenda, inequalities have persisted which are greatly hampering progress in reducing poverty and food insecurity. A rethink is needed in how agricultural research and development addresses gender, with a new focus on approaches that challenge the norms and power relations that enable social inequalities to exist and persist. This was the consensus among participants at a recent workshop organised by WorldFish to discuss new approaches to integrating gender in agricultural development.

In sharing experiences, workshop participants recognised that while many agricultural opportunities and technologies have been created for women, their capacity to take advantage of these continues to be restricted by social norms governing what is acceptable for men and women to be, do, own and control. "Until the agricultural research community begins to work with women and men to address the barriers to gender equality found within the 'social status quo', it cannot hope to bring about lasting improvements in poverty, food security and resilience," state three WorldFish gender specialists in a post-workshop opinion piece.

In addressing how this might be done, Paula Kantor, Ranjitha Puskur and Miranda Morgan recommend the integration of 'gender transformative approaches' to agricultural development. Recognising that such approaches fall outside the core mission of research institutes, they call for the building of partnerships to learn how gender transformative change in agriculture can be made a reality.

Date published: November 2012

 

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