December 4-8 was an exciting week for CGIAR gender scientists! KIT Royal Tropical Institute hosted 90 participants – scientists from across CGIAR and partners – to come together for the first scientific conference and capacity development workshop of the CGIAR Collaborative Platform for Gender Research. Together the CGIAR gender community started to craft a collective story on gender research, making conceptual and thematic connections across the 12 CGIAR research programs and 15 CGIAR Centers. It was a wonderful opportunity for networking, learning and collaboration!
Forty-five scientists presented their gender research during the conference. Topics ranged from thematic – gender dimensions of migration, nutrition, policy, value chains, seed systems, climate change, land ownership, water, fish and livestock – to more conceptual explorations of masculinities, intersectionality, gender norms, agency and women’s empowerment.
Being in Europe allowed us to hear from regional gender specialists – from Wageningen University (Margreet van der Burg), KIT Royal Tropical Institute (Franz Wong, Julie Newton) as well as the UNESCO-IHE (Margreet Zwarteveen) and formerly University of East Anglia (Christine Okali). We also had contributions from Pennsylvania State University professors (Carolyn Sachs and Ann Tickamyer). These external gender specialists brought fresh eyes and new insights as to how CGIAR gender research speaks to broader discourse on gender and development and where we might be able to strengthen our efforts. Next year, we will look forward to hearing from gender specialists from another region of the world!
Gender priorities of donors were shared in an informative panel before the conference closed. We heard from Ria Ketting (European Commission), Holger Kirscht (German Society for International Cooperation), Melle Leenstra (Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade) and Vicki Wilde (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation). We were challenged to think big about the role of the Platform in the gender/agriculture space internationally and learned how these donors approach gender through mainstreaming, specific programs and support to learning of their partners.
Gender dynamics in seed systems grantees met to share their plans and explore common ground and differences in their research. To support our grantees on gender dynamics in seed systems, we had enlightening inputs from Michigan State University (Krista Isaacs), the Gender and Breeding Initiative/CGIAR Research Program on Roots Tubers and Bananas (Graham Thiele) and KIT Advisors working in the Integrated Seed Systems Development Program (Silvia Sarapura and Peter Gildemacher).
Communities of Practice on gender and water, breeding, climate-smart agriculture, nutrition, GENNOVATE shared tools and what they are up to. We also heard from colleagues working on the big data platform as to possible entry points for us to engage and ensure that gender dimensions are a part of emerging work on this.
For more information about the program, click here.
From 2017 to 2019, PIM, as part of its Flagship 6, housed the CGIAR Collaborative Platform for Gender Research, which aimed to increase the visibility and impact of gender research undertaken across the CGIAR. The Platform supported priority setting for gender research, strategic partnerships, capacity development, and collaboration between and among CGIAR programs, Centers, and partners. It coordinated research on various topics, including gender dynamics in seed systems, gender and value chains, and the “feminization” of agriculture, and initiated a forward-looking review of the CGIAR contributions on gender and aqua/agriculture and natural resource management. In January 2020, the Platform, now named GENDER (Generating Evidence and New Directions for Equitable Results), transitioned to its new stage under the leadership of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).