Gender mainstreaming and doing gender research

The process to “Gender Expert” in gender and agriculture: Learning from the GREAT model

Elisabeth Garner

The goals of gender equity and the resulting increased attention to and funding for gender mainstreaming have increased the number of gender experts. This is true throughout policy and development organizations, as well as agricultural research institutes as donors and program requirements demand social equity goals. While previous discussions have focused on the experience of gender experts within institutions, there is limited discussion on how gender experts acquire their expertise and whether there are variations among this expertise. The Gender-responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation (GREAT) model provides a unique opportunity to consider the “gender expert” in agriculture and rural development. Using the GREAT model as the context, this paper examines the potential of gender trainings to support the development of gender expertise, and the limitations of that process. The result is an examination of the term “gender expert” and its use given the diversity of knowledge and experience that can fall under its understanding.

Doing GREAT: Genesis and evolution of a gender training program for agricultural researchers

Margaret Najjingo Mangheni

Women play a critical role in agriculture, especially in developing countries, despite gender-based constraints which limit their contribution. Women’s empowerment has been strongly linked to achievement of development outcomes thus gaining precedence in global development discussion. While several studies have investigated the notions of empowerment, masculinities and social/gender norms, these thematic areas have been studied in isolation regardless of their linkages. For example, evidence indicates that masculinities and social norms are anchored in sociocultural contexts and are thus bound to vary in different agricultural systems. How do these themes intersect? Using a mixed-methods approach, we interrogated the interconnection of women’s empowerment, masculinities and social norms, and how these influence household food security and women’s income. Qualitative case studies helped understand local constructions of masculinities and femininities, women’s empowerment, and how these in turn influence development outcomes. The findings on masculinities and women empowerment are presented by Businge et al., femininities and women’s economic empowerment by Shimali et al. and community perception of women’s empowerment by Nakyewa et al. (all submitted for this conference). A quantitative survey (to be conducted in July-August 2022) will be used to measure the level and drivers of women’s empowerment and project outcomes, as well as household food security and women’s income, using pro-WEAI with an add-on masculinities module. This paper will present a synthesis of the qualitative and quantitative evidence around the interconnections between women empowerment, masculinities, household food security and women’s income.

Do water, energy and food policies in support of solar irrigation enable gender-transformative changes? Evidence from policy analysis in Bangladesh and Nepal

Manohara Khadka

Solar-powered irrigation pumps (SIPs) are emerging as a popular technology to address water, energy and climate change challenges in South Asia, while enhancing livelihoods and food security. SIPs are deemed to be women-friendly renewable energy technology (RETs) because of their design, operation systems and safety. While gender dimensions of natural resources are well documented, the extent to which water, energy and food (WEF) policies—including policies to promote SIP technologies in South Asian countries—conceptualize and operationalize gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) are not well understood. We draw on a gender-transformative analysis approach and rank WEF policies on a continuum ranging from 0–3 (denoting gender blind, gender aware, gender-responsive and gender-transformative). We employ this method to review 37 WEF sectoral policies of Bangladesh and Nepal. We find that while national governments are committed to gender equality and women’s advancement, and enshrine these principles in their Constitution, these higher level aspirational principles are not always adopted in WEF sector policies. We find that WEF policies are aware of the need to include GESI and social equity in sectoral programming, yet operational rules for implementation of these policies often fail to challenge the structural barriers that prevent women and marginalized groups from participating in and benefiting from WEF policies, including the deployment of SIP technologies. This calls for transformation not only in the project implementation, but also in the policymaking processes of the WEF sectors in the South Asia region.

Gender mainstreaming from an institutional perspective: Cases of small and micro irrigation projects in Ethiopia

Likimyelesh Nigussie

Achieving gender equality in irrigation can result in greater production, income and job opportunities while building climate resilience in sub-Saharan Africa. To aid integration of gender in the planning and implementation of irrigation programs, national irrigation agencies, donors and researchers have been assisting project implementers to formulate a gender mainstreaming strategy. However, as efforts to close gender gaps in irrigation have been increasing, little is known about how interaction among institutions at different scales determines success of gender mainstreaming strategies. The study presents a qualitative analysis of how multi-level institutional context shapes the success of gender mainstreaming strategies, by examining nine small and micro irrigation development projects in Ethiopia. Specifically, it analyzed how rules, roles and capacities shape gender mainstreaming strategy in different irrigation development projects. Results show that “rule-based” strategy adopted by small scheme-based irrigation projects, emphasizes policies and rules to ensure equal participation in development and decision-making, and capacity development of individuals and institutions. Results also show “role-based” strategy adopted by projects promoting small and micro irrigation technologies focuses on challenging social norms—to address issues of power and workload imbalance—and developing the capacity of actors, including farmers. Both strategies prescribe certain numbers for women and employ participatory approaches to ensure gender equality. However, negative stereotypes about women held by family, community and the private sector militate against the success of gender mainstreaming. Further, institutional biases and limited capacities reproduce gender inequality by reinforcing gender norms. This implies, enhancing the success of gender mainstreaming strategies call for a holistic approach that facilitate transformative change at different scale through broad based partnership between actors at scale.