CGIAR Gender

Gender norms and agency

Isabel Pérez Vásquez from Santa Ana, Oaxaca. Photo: Peter Lowe/CGIAR MAIZE
Isabel Pérez Vásquez from Santa Ana, Oaxaca. Photo: Peter Lowe/CGIAR MAIZE

In 2015, fieldwork in a large-scale investigation of gender norms and agency in agricultural innovation was completed in 26 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

In total, an estimated 8,000 men and women from 135 rural communities provided testimony on how gender norms – social rules prescribing men’s and women’s daily behaviors – affect the uptake of agricultural innovations.

By searching for broad patterns and important case studies on a global scale, this collaboration between 11 CGIAR Research Programs and their partners will guide efforts to better integrate gender in agricultural research.

Anuprita Shukla, an investigator from Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU), coordinated fieldwork for the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan under GCU professor Tahseen Jafry, who led the South Asia component of the study.

Shukla trained and led country-level researchers as they travelled between remote areas, rigorously applying the same methodology to gather the comparative data needed for the study.

Describing the challenges and rewards of the experience, Shukla had this to say:

“GENNOVATE is different from most research, because CIMMYT is already rooted in local communities and possesses the structure for this empirical evidence to actually improve new technologies and create more innovation for local people.”


Read more about GENNOVATE here

Note: this story is part of the 2015 CIMMYT Annual report series.