by Kristi Foster
Livelihood- and climate focused agricultural practices help farmers to sustainably increase their farm productivity and build resilience to climate change, while contributing to mitigation. But how does this type of farming — commonly known as climate-smart agriculture or CSA — interact with gender in real-life communities?
In the newly released policy brief, Addressing Gender in Climate-Smart Smallholder Agriculture researchers from CARE International, the CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) share their insights on gender. The brief highlights the importance of a flexible learning approach in advancing gender equity goals and improving outcomes for farmers and projects.
The Sustainable Agriculture in a Changing Climate (SACC) project, on which the policy brief is based, has gleaned several important insights into gender and CSA: Read more »
by Sarah McKune and Chesney McOmber
In a world that is rapidly becoming more connected through the internet, mobile phones and other Information Communication Technologies (ICTs), climate information has a new potential to reach farmers in rural communities worldwide and make a significant difference in their ability to successfully adapt to their changing environment.
However, despite the great potential of emerging communication technologies, the question remains whether those farmers who are most vulnerable to environmental shocks are able to access and utilize the tools to effectively manage the associated risk. Read more »
By Emily Boone and Cecilia Schubert
CCAFS is currently exploring ways to improve women’s role in climate change mitigation activities and decisions. In the light of this, our Pro-poor mitigation research theme has released a Working Paper, “A Gender Strategy for Pro-Poor Climate Change Mitigation”, which examines gender-related problems and opportunities associated with low emissions agricultural development. Read more »
by Cecilia Schubert
A recent article by the New York Times reminds us that women in developing countries are increasingly left behind to sustain family farms, as the men migrate to cities in search for work. But discrimination, gender stereotypes and women’s low social status limit their access to fertilizer, seeds, credit, technical assistance and membership in cooperatives and unions. Therefore, there is a great risk that any adaptative response to communities affected by climate change is not complete if gender is not considered.
The need for a gender-focus in adaptation work was also discussed in one of our more recent Working Papers, “Using a gender lens to explore farmers’ adaptation options in the face of climate change” originating from the researchers investigating gender in the context of climate change, food security and agriculture.
Getting to grips with gender in a food and farming context Read more »
by Floriane Clement
International climate change debates are often based upon simplistic assumptions of how men and women perceive and address risks and uncertainty. For instance, women are commonly portrayed as a homogenous group who are always more vulnerable than men to climate change simply because they are women. Yet the relationship between gender, poverty and vulnerability is neither straightforward, nor universal (Arora-Jonsson, 2011).
Just to illustrate, in some areas of Nepal it was found that poor women from landless households are more likely to attend community meetings and speak up because they feel less constrained by social norms than women from higher class and caste (Agarwal, 2010). They have therefore a higher capability to influence community decisions that might affect their vulnerability. Read more »
By Aditi Kapoor
I was apprehensive. The training of trainers (ToT) had gone off well, and our partner organisation, the Bihar Mahila Samakhya, was well versed in carrying out training programmes, boasted good training facilities, had demonstrative experience of mobilising rural elected women and enjoyed a certain degree of acceptance by the district administration. The State Panchyati Raj Department had circulated a letter to all District Administration heads to ensure that elected women leaders would be able to attend the training workshops. Yet, I was nervous.
There were many questions in my mind: Would the trainers be able to bring to the fore the complex links between ‘Gender, Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security,’ the topic for training? Would the trainers remember what they had learnt from the many presentations at the ToT?? Would they be able to use the training manual effectively? Would they be able to link the subject matter of the training to the lives of their trainees? Would the elected women trainers really participate in the roll out of the trainings across 17 districts?
by Cecilia Schubert
Robert Carlson, President of World Farmers' Organisation (WFO) took part in the High-level discussion at Agriculture, Landscapes and Livelihoods Day (ALL5) held earlier this month in Doha, Qatar. His message to the audience members was not unclear, as he demanded action on food security and farmers now.
He pointed out that the United Nations has never before been faced with such a critical and enormous challenge - feeding hundreds of thousands of additional human beings every day, under a changing climate. Food production needs to be increased. And farmers need help to adapt. Read more »
By Nadia Manning-Thomas
One of the main principles of the work of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) is that agricultural production and resource management under climate change demand new ways of thinking about risk, about vulnerability and about resilience. It requires us to question what is needed in terms of policies, institutions, governance to support these changes. Unfortunately, many research efforts focusing on climate change issues do not take gender considerations into account. We’re therefore not getting the full story! Read more »
By Aditi Kapoor
A few weeks back, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) South Asia organised a training program for women living in Patna Bihar, on "Gender, Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security". Patna is prone to floods and one of the most vulnerable areas to climate change shocks. These pre-conditions makes it necessary to raise awareness among villagers about the climatic changes and how to adapt. The objective of the program was to initiate a strategy which includes building capacity among women to deal with climate change. The main challenge with the training was to make sure the women got enough of it - to ensure they felt confident in training others and with that become future trainers to other women. The women discussed and shared experiences on how gender actually plays an important role when it comes to the impacts of climate change. This because men and women in the village shoulder different tasks within the household and on the farm, based on gender and cutural- and social norms that are dfficult to change. Read more »
By Caity Peterson
Most of us would think that the way to make women better farmers is to empower women farmers. The logic is there. The directness of the approach is appealing. So what are we missing?
On day one of the Second Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development, (GCARD2), the Policy Forum on Agricultural Innovation for Rural Women gave conference-goers a taste of progressive research and initiatives aiming to improve the state of rural women for food security.
We may not realize it, but women, especially in Africa, prefer to get their information from other women. They can relate better, they feel more comfortable and are more willing to work together. With men, they have less confidence and are less likely to open up. Read more »
CCAFS Coordinating Unit - University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Science, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Rolighedsvej 21, DK-1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark, phone +45 35331046; Email ccafs [at] cgiar [dot] org, EAN 5790000279012
Lead Center - International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)