Change in the making: progress reports on CGIAR gender research

Change in the making: progress reports on CGIAR gender research

Agriculture in the developing world faces formidable challenges, which range from increased food demand to climate change impacts, and whose scope and complexity are evolving rapidly. The opportunities to address these challenges through collaborative research are also considerable, however, and provide grounds for optimism that renewed efforts in agricultural science can succeed. CGIAR has committed itself to making a critical difference in gender equity in agriculture. This has involved, in the first instance, a rapid transition in our research from merely enumerating the women affected by science-based innovations to a more comprehensive and targeted approach for bringing positive change to women as well as men.

In 2012, CGIAR started mainstreaming gender into the new global CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs) and, by 2014–2015, CGIAR had stepped up its investment in gender research from 2% to 14% of the total budget. This represents a significant effort to reverse years of under-investment in support for women in agriculture, as called for by the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development (Farnworth, 2010). CGIAR research aims to deliver clear and practical explanations of gender relations, which can provide researchers in all areas of our work with a sound basis for developing innovations that are more gender responsive or transformative and for putting these innovations to work through development partners. The ultimate goal is to empower poor women as well as men, so they can benefit tangibly from the adoption and sustained use of CGIAR innovations, resulting in more gender-equitable distribution of food and income.

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