International Women's Day 2021

A woman cutting spinach for cooking competition during the Nutrition month celebration in Pinlaung, Shan.

A woman cutting spinach for a cooking competition during the nutrition month celebration in Pinlaung, Shan, Myanmar in August 2020.


Gender equality is a cornerstone of future food systems, and International Women’s Day 2021 offers an important moment to make that message heard.

One full year after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are wiser to the important leadership roles women hold in global food systems. Yet, much remains to be done to ensure that women enjoy the same rights, benefits and opportunities as men.

System shocks, such as COVID-19, may undo much of the gender-related progress made over the past decade. As we look toward the United Nations Food Systems Summit later this year, we must make the case for including women on equal footing with men, in food systems dialogues, development and in reality.

Only when both women and men are able to contribute to food systems equally can they successfully nourish families, communities and entire nations, today and in the future.

Insights from CGIAR gender experts

El Comercio: Las mujeres alimentarán nuestro futuro / Women hold the seeds of a stronger food system for Peru

"For women’s specific needs and preferences to be met, women must be involved at the beginning of the process to design, develop and scale new varieties and other productive technologies."—Dr. Vivian Polar, CGIAR Gender Specialist, International Potato Center (CIP).

Read more at El Comercio

Al Jazeera: To close its labor gender gap, India must address its data gap

"Only through extensive research that provides detailed data on the specific needs and struggles of all working women, including those in informal employment, can we come up with effective strategies to close the gender gap in India’s labor force.”—Dr. Ranjitha Puskur, CGIAR Senior Gender Researcher, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

Read more at Al Jazeera


AllAfrica: The invisible generation holding the key to Africa's future food security

"It has become accepted wisdom that young Africans are turning away from agriculture, but in reality, this only tells half of the story"—Dr. Esther Njuguna-Mungai, CGIAR gender specialist, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), on the invisible generation holding the key to Africa’s future food security.



Find the latest gender research news, publications and more from across CGIAR in our International Women’s Day newsletter.

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CGIAR innovations for gender equality

Women’s realities are often overlooked in agricultural development, holding back entire societies. For decades, CGIAR innovations have broken down barriers to gender equality, building stronger food systems for all.

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