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International Women’s Day 2016: Empowering women with data and evidence in Bangladesh

One of a researcher’s biggest fears is that research outputs go unread, gathering dust on people’s shelves before ending up in the recycling bin.  However, this fear was unfounded for our work on the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI), which has gone from esoteric research tool to a widely-used data collection tool that has inspired a new generation of policies and programs for women’s empowerment in Bangladesh.  Our long history of working in Bangladesh, coupled with an impressive record of policy engagement, made Bangladesh an ideal setting for asking the following research question:  How does one really empower women in agriculture?

Head over to IFPRI.org for the rest of the article. 

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Bearing the fruit of action: Gender-responsive participatory research and collective management of Native Fruit Trees

Participants create a Resource Map, showing the natural features of their landscape. Photo by Srinivas

A new post by Narasimha Hegde of LIFE Trust, Hugo A. H. Lamers of Bioversity International, and Marlene Elias of Bioversity International on the Landscapes for People, Food, and Nature blog discusses gender-responsive participatory action research methods for the sustainable management of native fruit trees.

Identifying knowledge differences between men and women from different socio-religious and cultural groups, and subsequently providing exposure on value chains and product development for NFTs were critical steps that led to positive changes in livelihoods, gender equality and social inclusion, and forest genetic resource management. The research process started with participatory exercises to understand, share and learn from the men and women in the village about their knowledge of native fruit trees.

Read the post here.

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Using participatory mapping with a gender lens to understand how landscapes are used for nutrition

Picture 1. Participatory mapping activity with community leaders from Nalitoya, Zambia. Photo by Trinidad del Rio.

Picture 1. Participatory mapping activity with community leaders from Nalitoya, Zambia. Photo by Trinidad del Rio.

Many rural people derive their sustenance from sources embedded in their landscape – the cropland, pasture, trees, forests and rivers of their surroundings. The diversity of food in people’s diets can be closely linked to how people manage the landscape. Yet there are often significant differences in how men and women interact with the landscape. Understanding differences between women and men’s use of the landscape and their spatial and temporal knowledge provides important insights for promoting food and nutrition security. This month, Natalia Estrada-Carmona, Post-Doctoral Fellow at Bioversity International, shares a participatory mapping method she has used in her research to engage women and men in discussions on how gender plays a role in landscape management, knowledge, and nutrition.

Read the full post here on the Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) Gender-Nutrition Idea Exchange blog.

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IFPRI Gender Methods Seminars Now Online

Since June of 2013, the IFPRI Gender Task Force has been hosting Gender Methods Seminars for IFPRI staff. These seminars rose out of a need, identified by IFPRI researchers, for guidance from top researchers in the field (both from IFPRI and from other organizations) on key gender methods to incorporate in research. The seminars are all available on the IFPRI Gender Topic page and cover a variety of topics, including the following:

Gender and Games – IFPRI Gender Methods Seminar from IFPRI Gender

As well as:

Men and Boys in Gender Research

The Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index

Data Needs for Gender Research

Women’s Empowerment in the DHS

Gender and Value Chains

Qualitative Field Research for Medium-Sized “N”

Cognitive Pre-Testing

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New IFPRI Discussion Papers from Gender Agriculture and Assets Project (GAAP):

The Gender Agriculture and Assets Project (GAAP), jointly led by IFPRI and ILRI, has released the first set of discussion papers detailing the findings of the GAAP.

Following the Project Notes , which summarized findings from all 8 projects, the Discussion Papers give more detail on specific projects in the portfolio.

IFPRI Discussion Paper on the CARE-Bangladesh Strengthening the Dairy Value Chain Project.

IFPRI Discussion Paper on the Landesa West Bengal Microplot Allocation Program.

IFPRI Discussion Paper on the BRAC Targeting the Ultra Poor Program in Bangladesh.

IFPRI Discusison Paper on the HKI Enhanced-Homestead Food Production program in Burkina Faso.

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Online Discussion: Data Gaps on Gender Equality

From January 27th through February 14th, an online discussion on data gaps on gender equality is taking place at the Wikigender website. The outcomes and main findings of the discussion will be synthesized and presented at a side event occuring in March 2014 at the 58th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women. Each of the three weeks of the discussion has a thematic focus, as follows:

Week 1: January 27- The Socioeconomic Empowerment of Women

Week 2: February 3 – Violence Against Women

Week 3: February 10 – The Civic and Political Participation of Women

Join the discussion here.

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New IFPRI Discussion Paper: Gender Inequalities in Ownership and Control of Land in Africa: Myths versus Reality

Over the past decade, stakeholders have made a variety of generalized claims concerning women’s landownership, both globally and in Africa. Typically, these claims include statements with single statistics, such as “women own less than 2 percent of the world’s land” or “women own approximately 15 percent of land in Africa south of the Sahara.” These claims are problematic because they are not substantiated by empirical evidence, do not reflect variations in landownership across or within countries, do not acknowledge differences in landownership regimes, nor address comparative ownership by men in the same contexts. Neither do they address the difference between ownership and control of land. The lack of a clear understanding behind statistics on gender and land also leads to an inability to clearly articulate a policy response to the potential inequalities faced by women and men. The objective of a new paper by Cheryl Doss, Chiara Kovarik, Amber Peterman, Agnes Quisumbing and Mara van den Bold, Gender inequalities in ownership and control of land in Africa:  Myth versus reality,  is to explore, conceptually and empirically, the levels and relative inequalities in landownership between women and men in African countries.

The review investigates the extent of women’s land ownership in sub Saharan Africa, using nationally representative data sets.  The paper highlights the need to clarify what we mean when we provide statistics on women’s land ownership—what do we mean by ownership, and what land are we talking about.  Most of the available data is not consistent on these points.  Where there is data available, there is a very mixed picture of women’s land ownership, and broad generalizations hide that important variability.

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Publication: Do Shocks Affect Men’s and Women’s Assets Differently? A review of literature and new evidence from Bangladesh and Uganda

A new IFPRI Discussion Paper, Do Shocks Affect Men’s and Women’s Assets Differently? A review of literature and new evidence from Bangladesh and Uganda  is now available. This paper attempts to expand understanding of the gender-differentiated impact of shocks on assets through a literature review on shocks and gendered asset dynamics and an analysis of new panel data (2007 and 2009) from Uganda and Bangladesh looking at the impact of negative shocks and positive events on men’s and women’s assets.

(PHND) IFPRI 01113 – Do Shocks Affect Men’s and Women’s Assets Differently?

A Review of Literature and New Evidence from Bangladesh and Uganda

Agnes R. Quisumbing, Neha Kumar, and Julia A. Behrman





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Publication: Environmental and Gender Impacts of Land Tenure Regularization in Africa: Pilot Evidence from Rwanda

Although increased global demand for land has led to renewed interest in African land tenure, few models to address these issues quickly and at the required scale have been identified or evaluated. The case of Rwanda’s nation-wide and relatively low-cost land tenure regularization program is thus of great interest.

A new working paper paper by the World Bank (Authors: Daniel Ayalew Ali, Klaus Deininger, and Markus Goldstein, August 2011) evaluates the short-term impact (some 2.5 years after completion) of the pilots undertaken to fine-tune the approach using a geographic discontinuity design with spatial fixed effects. Three key findings emerge from the analysis.

  • First, the program improved land access for legally married women (about 76 percent of married couples) and prompted better recordation of inheritance rights without gender bias.
  • Second, the analysis finds a very large impact on investment and maintenance of soil conservation measures. This effect was particularly pronounced for female headed households, suggesting that this group had suffered from high levels of tenure insecurity, which the program managed to reduce.
  • Third, land market activity declined, allowing rejection of the hypothesis that the program caused a wave of distress sales or widespread landlessness by vulnerable people. Implications for program design and policy are also discussed.

Access the working paper here.

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News: In Kenya, Survey of Female Farmers Uncovers Challenges

A World Bank survey in Kenya that seeks women’s input and data to inform agricultural policy shows that female farmers have limited access to water, energy and finance, and few women own property they can use as collateral for loans. As agriculture becomes ‘feminized’ and men abandon farms to work in cities, policies must change to meet women’s needs. Read more here: http://go.worldbank.org/ETKDJPYK70