CGIAR Gender News

‘Seeds of Change’ update – Day 3

Seeds of Change participants Photo: Patrick Cape/ACIAR.

The third and final day of the Seeds of Change conference (April 4) created space for funders’ perspectives. Indeed Jayne Curnow, Research Program manager at the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) kicked off the day by challenging us to be prepared for the backlash against gender equality, and to reach out to our colleagues who don’t understand gender and use their language and adapt to them to get chances of integrating gender research into other disciplinary fields.

Jayne Curnow was followed by Vicki Wilde, Senior Program Officer, Agricultural Development and Women’s Economic Empowerment at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She challenged all participants to make gender research centrally about women and about economics, and to find ways to find pathways that get us out of the sandwich between system failure and challenging social norms.

See the recorded livestreamed keynote by Jayne Curnow and Vicki Wilde:

The keynote was followed by the final set of parallel sessions (39 presentations, five panel discussions and one roundtable conversation). These were covered under the following themes:

  • Gender and nutrition in vegetable value chains
  • Gender and migration
  • Measuring impact on gender equality and women’s empowerment
  • Gender and technologies
  • Agrarian change and gendered division of labour
  • Gender integration in value chains and market systems research: strategies and ways forward
  • Gender and value chains
  • Empowerment
  • Innovative practices supporting women’s work
  • Theory to practice: a social norms approach
  • Emerging areas for gender integration in agrifood systems research
  • Capacity development for enabling gender integration: Insights from experience

During lunch, another film (‘Good Cooks’) was screened in the main hall.

The final part of the day featured the last plenary session the ‘Provocations plenary’, bringing together all keynote speakers and key organizers from the past three days: Rhiannon Pyburn and Barbara Pamphilon with discussants Jayne Curnow, Cheryl Doss, Naila Kabeer, Kuntala Lihiri-Dutt, Cynthia McDougall, Hazel Malapit, Sally Moyle, Ranjitha Puskur and Vicki Wilde.

Naila Kabeer (LSE) reacting at the 'provocations plenary' (photo credit: Sean Davey / ACIAR)
Naila Kabeer (LSE) reacting at the ‘provocations plenary’ (photo credit: Sean Davey / ACIAR)

The powerhouse panel gave a series of very sharp provocations and invitations to the participants, among which:

  • Look into two under-evidenced areas: women’s mobility and time use
  • Include an intersectional approach to go beyond binaries, and ask people we work with: what future do they want to create?
  • Address the elephant in the room: sexual harassment
  • Embrace systematic change with directors, CEOs, middle managers to have key performance indicators here and now to achieve gender equality
  • Engage with policy analysis and communicate differently, meet biophysical scientists, policy-makers and all others halfway, making an effort to understand their view points and needs
  • And a final set of ‘hopes‘: Let’s focus on our individual agency for change, come up with exciting new research (not ‘same old same old‘), stretch out of silos, look at generosity of spirit, collaborate!!!

Watch the provocations plenary:

Jayne Curnow, Rhiannon Pyburn and Barbara Pamphilon, the co-conveners of the ‘Seeds of Change’ conference, thanked everyone for their active participation and the experience was closed by a native Australian ‘smoking ceremony’.

The seeds are sown now. Here’s to sprouting!

Watch this space for more information regarding presentations, interviews and outputs from ‘Seeds of Change‘.