CGIAR Gender

Engagement with local gender norms key for equitable, sustainable agricultural development, say experts

Arminda Solís poses on her tractor in Comapala, Chiapas, Mexico. Photo: Peter Lowe/CGIAR MAIZE

A provocative new article in the journal Development In Practice uses evidence from the global comparative research initiative GENNOVATE to make a powerful call for changing the way development researchers work to reach greater gender equity in agricultural innovations.

The article authors, including CIMMYT researcher Lone Badstue and CGIAR Research Program Manager Victor Kommerell, point out that gender norms —  the social rules that frame what is considered appropriate for a woman and a man to be and do in their society —  constitute a critical component for improved agricultural livelihoods that has been largely ignored by agricultural research for development (AR4D).

The views expressed by the authors are informed by experience and evidence from GENNOVATE, a collaborative research initiative among eight CGIAR Research Programs, including the CGIAR Research Program on Wheat on how gender norms and agency interact to shape agricultural change at local levels. They advocate for approaches which engage with local gender norms and challenge underlying structures of inequality.

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