3 April, 2013
Companies have much to offer when it comes to helping female entrepreneurs in developing countries access markets, says Henrietta Miers. Ongoing research into controlling cassava diseases in Africa may boost crop yields. The main beneficiaries of this could be female processors of cassava crops — but only if improved yields come alongside better market access.
2 April, 2013
I have twin sons, and I'm bringing them up to be feminists. And anti-racist, and pro-gay rights. Their father is Ethiopian, and they've experienced being called racist names from time to time at primary school in the UK. Recently they've been called 'gay' by boys playing football, and last night one of them came home from the park, where some slightly older boys called him and his friends 'pussies'.
25 March, 2013
On March 5, 2013, at the Commission on the Status of Women 2013, the World YWCA hosted the session The Future Young Women Want: Putting women’s rights at the heart of the post-2015 development agenda with the official launch of the World YWCA report – The Future Young Women Want: A Global Call to Act. The report was produced through consultations, workshops, interviews and online surveys with young women from the YWCA movement. The launch brought together young women advocates, UN agencies, government representatives and women leaders from around the world.
25 March, 2013
Forty years after the green revolution dramatically increased agricultural output in much of the developing world a new revolution is taking place. As Olivier De Schutter, the United Nations special rapporteur on the right to food spotlighted in an op-ed in the New York Times earlier this month, men are leaving farms for work in the cities across much of the developing world and leaving management of the family farm to their wives.
21 March, 2013
The Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index—developed by USAID, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI)—tracks women’s engagement in agriculture in five areas: production, resources, income, leadership, and time use. Unlike any other tool, it also measures women’s empowerment relative to men within their households, providing a more robust understanding of gender dynamics within households and communities.
20 March, 2013
Sushila Murmu, a tribal woman in a nondescript hamlet called Paharpur located in the Kathikund block — 27 km from Dumka in Jharkhand, was struggling hard, till three years ago, to change the mindset of the villagers who had dashed her hopes of a better tomorrow. Today, when she looks back, she notes with satisfaction the entire village’s support for her. The journey, however, has been no cakewalk.
20 March, 2013
As a young girl, Vijay Laxmi was never allowed to visit her family farm in Bikaner. Rajput women, she was told, stay in purdah, their world restricted to their home and hearth. Even when Laxmi got married to Mahendra Singh of Jhajhar village in the neighbouring Jhunjhunu district, her life did not change much until last year when she got a chance to learn and, thereafter, earn a living without stepping out of her home.
19 March, 2013
Women play a signifiant role in the world’s economy. The income of a woman contributes to the household income and a woman is more likely than a man to invest her resources into the welfare of her family. However, women face many barriers. Challenges are faced upon entering the workforce, and then once they enter the workforce, they face additional challenges of lesser pay, harassment, and more.
7 March, 2013
In Cambodia, a country where fish constitute a vital source of dietary protein, the National Fisheries Administration (FiA) is planning a massive expansion in aquaculture production, aiming for the sector to produce 300,000 tonnes of fish per year by 2020, up from 40,000 tonnes in 2008. Currently, the most popular model for improving food security among poor rural households is extensive pond culture, with ponds varying in size from 80 - 300m2 and families using mostly on-farm products as feed. But a study in 2010 by WorldFish found that many poor farmers have insufficient land for pond building on this scale, and lack cash to buy feed and fingerlings. As a result, ponds have frequently become unproductive once project support is withdrawn.
7 March, 2013
In Sisum’s childhood home in a rural village of Bhutan, the men eat dinner first and the women must wait until they finish. But at her uncle’s house in the city, where she lived while in school, the family eats together. “Such practices are not allowed there,” she says. “They are all educated, and they feel it is not right.”
5 March, 2013
ACROSS the developing world, millions of people are migrating from farms to cities in search of work. The migrants are mostly men. As a result, women are increasingly on the front lines of the fight to sustain family farms. But pervasive discrimination, gender stereotypes and women’s low social standing have frustrated these women’s rise out of poverty and hunger.
14 February, 2013
In 2011, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs published an exhaustive report including studies of and recommendations for improving the lives of rural adolescent girls across the developing world. In Girls Grow: A Vital Force in Rural Economies, the Council describes the unique and unmatched plight of the young woman in a rural area.
13 February, 2013
“Daughters are a curse,” a mother hissed at me, enraged at the return home of a daughter whom she believed had been successfully married off. I first encountered the dark side of son preference that has long characterised South Asian societies as a young researcher carrying out field work in the village of Amarpur, Bangladesh, in 1979.
21 January, 2013
Food production in women’s fields could easily increase by 30% if we paid attention to gender when dealing with these four areas: demand for training and advice; extension methods and content; access to land, inputs and credit; and access to markets. This video targets research and development organisations, as well as agricultural service providers.
16 January, 2013
Following the recent transformative gender reserach dialogue, 'Building Coalitions, Creating Change', held by WorldFish in Penang, Malaysia, the dialogue participants shared their inputs in a semi formal interview.
Leading gender researchers Andrea Rodericks (CARE India), Jacqueline Ashby (CGIAR Consortium), Eve Crowley (FAO), Jane Brown (Johns Hopkins University) and Augustin Kimonyo (PROMUNDO) share what they feel is the way forward for including gender research in agricultural research in development.
2 January, 2013
In celebration of the International Day of the Girl, we’re highlighting a new project that explores if training Zambian girls in negotiation skills can positively impact their health and education. Zambian girls are three times as likely as boys to drop out of school by the time they reach eighth grade, and when young girls struggle to stay in school, they may turn to male partners for resources. Early pregnancy can lead to high rates of maternal mortality, and sex with older partners might leave girls with little bargaining power to protect themselves, resulting in young Zambian women becoming HIV infected at twice the rate of their male peers.
2 January, 2013
When young girls struggle to stay in school, they risk not being able to develop the skills necessary to support themselves, and relying on male partners for resources who oftentimes demand sex in return. Such relationships are prevalent across sub-Saharan Africa, leaving young girls highly vulnerable to HIV infection and unwanted pregnancy, evidenced by the two-to-one ratio of HIV rates among young women versus their male counterparts.
22 November, 2012
What is the value of gender diversity in organizations, politics and society? To learn about the business case for gender equality, watch the Women and Public Policy Program of Harvard Kennedy School's new film, Gender Equality: The Smart Thing To Do. Discover what the evidence tells us from leaders in academia, business, development and politics.
22 November, 2012
KAMPALA, Nov 15 2012 (IPS) - Charles Kayongo of Uganda is a father of two girls aged five and three. And even though age-old traditions among his ethnic group, the Baganda, say a man should have an unlimited number of children and a son as an heir, Kayongo refuses to have more children.
Like a growing number of cash-strapped young parents in this landlocked East African nation who yearn for a modern lifestyle, he says that he and his wife, Eunice Kayongo, want a small family.
20 November, 2012
“People are more powerful than governments,” said Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Turning anxiously to her translator, the Nobel laureate added: “Please explain this to them.”
These were Ms. Suu Kyi’s words to workers under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme with whom she interacted at Govindapuram village, standing on the bund of a deep hole they were digging.
12 November, 2012
This has been a great year for women in power in Africa with the election of a second female president, the appointment of the first female head of the African Union and not one, but two female Nobel prizewinners.
In April we saw the election of Joyce Banda as president of Malawi; in June, Gambia's Fatou Bensouda was declared chief prosecutor of the international criminal court and in July Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma became the first female head of the African Union. This trio join Liberian president and Nobel prizewinner Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (video), Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Head of Africa at the World Economic Forum Elsie Kanza and founder of the Ethiopian commodity exchange Eleni Gabre Madhin in the ARISE100 list of women shaping modern Africa launched in the US and worldwide this week.
9 November, 2012
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.
6 November, 2012
For any organization trying to decide how best to achieve development impact, a good place to start is with a ‘Theory of Change’, or ToC. Formally defined as “a statement of the interconnected causal pathways that describe the types of interventions that bring about desired outcomes”, a ToC can be more plainly said to be a description of what you need to do to make a difference.
I was fortunate to recently attend a workshop here in Penang on Gender Transformative Research (GTR) in Agricultural Development, where ToCs were discussed. This was an important discussion because, as I explained in my last post, not all researchers are agreed about whether GTR should be pursued by agricultural research organizations. Without a compelling rationale that forms part of a clear theory of change that situation is likely to persist.
2 November, 2012
In this article I analyse the varied ways mobile phones are integrated into the daily lives of low-income people and the implications for courtship practices, marriage relations and kinship ties. Rather than offer a celebratory analysis of the mobile phone’s empowering effects, my ethnographic research reveals a more complex story, one that shows how the presence of the mobile both reinforces and undermines gender roles and institutions of authority. Conceptually, I argue that mobile communication provides insights into north Indian personhood as ‘nodal’, while also stimulating new practices and ideologies that render this technology central to the struggle for (and over) power and domination.
31 October, 2012
Paula Kantor and Ranjitha Puskur are Senior Scientists, and Miranda Morgan is a Post Doctoral Fellow at WorldFish in Penang, Malaysia. They are leading WorldFish’s efforts to integrate gender in its CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Sytems.
If agricultural development efforts are to effectively contribute to reducing poverty and food insecurity and help families adapt to the effects of climate change, agricultural researchers and practitioners must rethink how they integrate gender within their work. This was the consensus among participants at a recent workshop WorldFish hosted to discuss new approaches to gender integration in agriculture. But, why is change necessary?
31 October, 2012
Every year, as a result of prenatal sex selection, 1.5 million girls around the world are missing at birth—it is as if the entire female population of Nairobi simply disappeared. This alarming trend is the result of a perfect storm of three phenomena: the underlying and deep-seated gender inequities that lead parents to value sons over daughters; a trend toward smaller families; and modern medical technologies that can determine fetal sex early and cheaply.
30 October, 2012
UNRISD interview with Supriya Garikipati, development economist, following the event “Gender and Agriculture after Neoliberalism” held at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland.
29 October, 2012
I spent the better part of this week at the Bhutan+10 conference on ‘Gender and Sustainable Mountain Development in a Changing World”. This meeting brought together academics, policy makers, social advocates and professionals focused on sustainable mountain development, and how gender dynamics impact that process. It was quite refreshing to be at a meeting that touched on issues that I don’t focus on in my every day work.
23 October, 2012
Productivity losses due to the agriculture "gender gap" are straining global economies, a conference has heard. This was the consensus of gender scientists and agricultural researchers at a workshop in Malaysia that aimed to develop an agenda for gender transformative research for the agricultural sector. The conference, held in Penang this month, was convened by the CGIAR Consortium. According to Paula Kantor, a senior gender scientist at the Malaysia-based WorldFish, gender disparities persist in "access to resources, markets and technologies, even after decades of research and interventions on gender".
22 October, 2012
[KUALA LUMPUR] Productivity losses due to the agriculture "gender gap" are straining global economies, a conference has heard. This was the consensus of gender scientists and agricultural researchers at a workshop in Malaysia that aimed to develop an agenda for gender transformative research for the agricultural sector.
17 October, 2012
ISLAMABAD: While commemorating World Food Day, women farmers from different parts of the country, in collaboration with ActionAid Pakistan, on Tuesday arranged an innovative stunt activity in the federal capital for informing the impact of increasing food prices on small farmers, particularly the women who are denied the right to land despite the fact that they produce more than 60 percent food for the country while they own merely one or two percent of the total land.
17 October, 2012
DHAKA - Bangladesh, often cited as a model of progress in achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), appears to be sliding backwards when it comes to dealing with violence against women (VAW). Police statistics and assessments by non-government organisations (NGOs) working to establish women’s rights show that there is in an increasing trend in VAW.
13 October, 2012
The International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) was observed at the weekend with a rally and seminar held at the University of Dhaka. Participating in the rally was WorldFish Bangladesh and the Swiss Agency for Development & Cooperation.
12 October, 2012
Despite decades of agricultural research and development efforts, the challenges of poverty and hunger persist. Experts now recognize that effectively integrating gender issues in such projects will help to improve food security, wellbeing and equity. WorldFish, the organization leading the CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS), hosted a group of renowned agricultural and gender researchers and practitioners at their Headquarters in Penang last week to engage in a dialogue to develop an agenda for gender transformative research in development for the agricultural sector.
9 October, 2012
Last week, the Building Coalitions, Creating Change workshop brought together donors, researchers and practitioners on gender and development to discuss a gender transformative approach to agricultural research in development (a recent Expiscor blog post explains this idea in more detail). The workshop was a major step forward, with participants giving us the benefit of their considerable knowledge, experience and energy. With their help, we have really started to get to grips with putting this concept into practice.
5 October, 2012
In a previous Expiscor blog post WorldFish Director General Stephen Hall laid out the rationale for adopting a gender transformative approach that goes beyond just considering the symptoms of gender disparity, and addresses the social norms and attitudes that lie behind them. The CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems has placed a transformative approach at the heart of its gender strategy. But how can this be turned into a reality?
3 October, 2012
Rachel Kyte, Chair of the CGIAR Fund Council and World Bank Vice Presicent of Sustainable Development, sends a video message to the Building Coalitions, Creating Change workshop to highlight gender disparities in agricultural development. "Globally, only 10-20% of land owners are women, and in many countries that number is even lower. Female farmers tend to have smaller plots with poorer soils," she says.
2 October, 2012
I believe a gender transformative approach is key if WorldFish is to achieve the development impacts it is looking for – but what is it and how will it affect our organizational culture? I was recently asked by a member of WorldFish staff if I would share on film why we have placed a gender transformative approach at the center of our efforts to achieve development impact. Of course, that was something I was happy to do, and I think we did a reasonable job of explaining why our choice of approach to gender matters.
26 September, 2012
Despite decades of agricultural research and development efforts, the challenges of poverty and hunger persist. There is a growing recognition that integrating gender issues effectively in such efforts will help to improve food security, wellbeing and equity. Effective gender integration requires actions that foster gender equality in access to resources, and that help communities to understand and challenge the social norms that create inequalities between men and women. This is the basis of a gender transformative approach.
25 September, 2012
The Director General of WorldFish, Steve Hall and Patrick Dugan, Director of the CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems share a candid conversation on gender research.