New network builds research skills in gender equity, climate-smart agriculture and food security

Photo: C. Schubert (CCAFS)

In 2013, CCAFS established a Gender, Agriculture and Climate Change Research Network to strengthen research on the gender aspects of climate change adaptation and mitigation. Men and women in low-income countries are often not equally vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, due to differences in access to resources, land and information.

Until now, policy makers have overlooked the potential of rural women to get involved in climate adaptation and mitigation. In the interests of fostering equity, adapting to climate change and ensuring food security, it is vital to address the different needs and interests of men and women. Researchers in the new network are exploring how their research can contribute.

One of the network’s main strategies is to strengthen the ability of CCAFS partners to do gender-sensitive research. With this in mind, 50 professionals took part in a Gender Training and Strategizing Workshop in Nairobi in October. Participants came from national research agricultural systems (NARS), NGOs and CGIAR organizations in all CCAFS regions.

They learned how to design studies and choose research methods that would enable them to take account of male and female farmers’ different perspectives. They reviewed existing research tools, including some that CCAFS has itself developed. They also discussed how to develop research strategies for their organizations that could simultaneously promote gender equity, effective climate adaptation and food security.

The new network arose from the gender strategy that CCAFS developed in 2013.

“I am going to apply what I have learned here in my research. I especially liked the Harvard model; we use the Harvard model to identify gender issues in an area”. Chitpasong Kousonsavath, Faculty of Agriculture, National University of Laos

41% of CCAFS research activities integrate gender.