CGIAR Gender News

Stepping up for South Asian women

Women working Photo: P. Lowe/CIMMYT

Through the CSISA project, CIMMYT is helping female farmers in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal to receive the recognition and opportunities they deserve.

Women play an integral role in all stages of agrifood systems, yet their unpaid labor is often culturally and economically devalued and ignored. As agriculture becomes more female-oriented, women are left with a double workload of caring in the home and laboring in the fields, leaving no time for leisure. Training programs are often developed with only male farmers in mind, and women can be completely excluded when it comes to mechanization.

The Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA), established by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), and implemented jointly with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), is empowering women to become active participants in farming, improving their abilities and confidence through training, expanded access to machinery and better crop management practices.