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New grant equips researchers to advance gender-responsive agricultural research in sub-Saharan Africa

GREAT Pilot Course_low resolution

GREAT (Gender-responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation) is a new project that will equip researchers to create more inclusive and effective agricultural systems by addressing the priorities of both women and men in sub-Saharan Africa.


 Achieving greater parity among women and men in sub-Saharan Africa so they more equally share the benefits of agricultural research is the goal of an initiative announced today, on International Women’s Day, in the spirit of the Pledge for Parity campaign.

The $5M grant to equip researchers to create more inclusive and effective agricultural systems by addressing the priorities of both women and men in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has been awarded to Cornell University, in partnership with Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Gender-responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation, or GREAT, will deliver training to agricultural researchers from SSA in the theory and practice of gender-responsive research in the key areas of root, tuber, and banana breeding; grain and legume breeding; small ruminant breeding; dairy and legume value chains; nutrition and food systems; knowledge exchange (extension); and agricultural mechanization.

“Women play critical roles in food production and processing, but their input is frequently overlooked by agricultural researchers,” said Hale Ann Tufan, gender specialist and adjunct professor with International Programs in Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, who will lead the project for Cornell. “Gender-blind research projects and products inadvertently increase the burden on women and limit the potential positive impact of research outputs.”

“GREAT will increase opportunities for equitable participation and the sharing of benefits from agricultural research and improve the outcomes for smallholder women farmers, entrepreneurs, and farmer organizations across sub-Saharan Africa,” said Margaret Mangheni, associate professor at Makerere University who has over 20 years of experience with gender-sensitive agricultural development projects in Uganda and across Africa. Mangheni will lead the project at Makerere.

GREAT will train researchers to address the priorities of both women and men when setting project goals, implementing projects, and measuring and communicating project outcomes.

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Vacancies with UN-Women

UN Women is recruiting:

For all their vacancies visit the following weblink: http://www.unwomen.org/en/about-us/employment

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Consultant opportunity with World Bank Gender Innovation Lab

The World Bank’s Africa Region Gender Innovation Lab seeks a Short Term Consultant (STC) to produce a gender-disaggregated cross-country analysis of well-being using the new Listening to Africa (L2A) survey.

The STC will be responsible to produce a gender-disaggregated cross-country analysis of well-being using the new Listening to Africa (L2A) survey. The L2A uses mobile phone technologies to collect high-frequency household panel data on a wide range of topics including education, health, labor, housing, assets, electricity and transport, consumption, nutrition and food security, security and violence, subjective well-being, agriculture, shocks and coping strategies, as well as water, sanitation and hygiene. L2A surveys are currently being implemented in Madagascar, Malawi, Togo (Lome), Senegal and Tanzania.

Findings from this research will be published as a WB-GIL report, which seeks to allow better understanding of gender disparities in Africa as well as of what can be done to address them.

About the Gender Innovation Lab: 

The Gender Innovation Lab (GIL) supports rigorous research to build the evidence base for effective gender policies. The impact objective of the Gender Innovation Lab is to increase governments’ and the private sector’s take-up of effective policies that address the underlying causes of gender inequality in Africa, particularly by promoting growth through women’s economic and social empowerment.

Read the full Terms of Reference here: L2A Survey STC_GIL

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New post on EnGendering Data Blog: Debunking the myth of female labor in African agriculture

Working in the field. Ghana. Photo Credit: Curt Carnemark / World Bank

Working in the field. Ghana. Photo Credit: Curt Carnemark / World Bank

EnGendering Data, a blog on improving data on the role of gender in agriculture, has a new post on female labor in African agriculture. Cheryl Doss shares new studies that “offer our most detailed understanding to date of rural economies in Africa” and challenge the widely cited “fact” that women in Africa provide 60-80% of the labor in agriculture. She then encourages a shift of focus to the question of how to effectively invest in women’s agricultural productivity, drawing on empirical evidence to chart a course.

Read the full post on the blog, here.

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Gender Links recruiting Executive Director (Southern Africa)

Gender Links is a Southern African NGO, founded in 2001, committed to a region in which women and men are able to realize their full potential and participate equally in all aspects of public and private life.

The ED is responsible for implementation of the vision and mission of the organisation; its operations, programs, human resources, training, fundraising, research, monitoring, evaluation and learning as well as sustainability.  The role involves managing a team which works towards gender equality in Southern Africa – with all the complexity that involves – fund-raising and advocacy, budgeting and strategic planning, reporting to the Board and working with government and other partners.

See the full announcement here.

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Job opportunity: Deputy Director, Gender Responsive Agriculture (AWARD)

AWARD is recruiting for the position of Deputy Director, Gender Responsive Agriculture.

African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) is accelerating agricultural gains across Sub-Saharan Africa by investing in the scientific and leadership skills of Africa’s leading women agricultural scientists. This position will work closely with the Director on major initiatives that raise AWARD’s regional and global profile as a leader in the Gender Responsive Agriculture Agenda. The incumbent will oversee AWARD’s Monitoring, Learning & Evaluation, Communications, and Data Analysis units, ensuring that they support the program (both internally and externally) in building an expertly informed focus on gender responsive agriculture for Africa.  The ideal candidate will be a compelling leader, able to translate data on gender and agriculture into compelling narratives and action points, and share these in a variety of formats with key players in global agriculture arena.

Please see the full announcement here.

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New publication on agricultural R&D in Africa: Promoting Women’s Participation in Agricultural Research

by Nienke Beintema, Head of the Agricultural Science & Technology Indicators (ASTI) initiative, IFPRI

While the number of female researchers employed in the agricultural research and development (R&D) in Africa south of the Sahara (SSA) has increased substantially in recent years, women are still significantly underrepresented in many countries.

This is one of the findings of a recently released report, Taking Stock of National Agricultural R&D Capacity in Africa south of the Sahara, produced by IFPRI’s Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators (ASTI), which summarizes recent progress in the development of the region’s national agricultural research systems.

In a 2011 sample of 37 SSA countries, only 22 percent of all agricultural researchers were female (see figure). In general, Southern African countries employed comparatively more female researchers, whereas women’s representation in agricultural research in West Africa, as well as in Eritrea, Ethiopia, and DR Congo, was particularly low (10 percent or less).


As of 2011, there was little difference in the shares of female researchers by qualification level. Notably, however, only 13 percent of agricultural researchers in their 50s and 60s were female, whereas a quarter of those aged 40 years or younger were female, which could indicate a shift toward greater gender balance over time.

Although female involvement in agricultural R&D has grown, both in absolute and relative terms, most high-level research and management positions are still held by men. Consequently, women have less influence in policy- and decisionmaking processes.

African women face unique challenges in pursuing careers in agricultural research, but a number of countries have instituted various policies and reforms to promote gender equality, and evidence indicates that research agencies are taking steps to recruit more female researchers. These efforts all represent positive progress, although significant scope for further improvement remains.

The new ASTI report highlights additional human resource and investments challenges to national agricultural research systems as well as provides various successful policy changes already adopted in some SSA countries to address these challenges and which can offer valuable lessons for others.


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Landesa publishes women’s land rights guides & infographic on women’s land rights

View original announcement here: http://www.landesa.org/news/landesa-publishes-womens-land-rights-guides-for-development-practicioners/

The Landesa Center for Women’s Land Rights has created four new practice guides, which are practical resources for development practitioners, researchers, lawyers, advocates, and scholars to assess the situation for women’s land rights in three countries: Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. They address both the formal legal structure and the customary framework that impact women’s secure access to land. A fourth guide, International Agreements and How to Build a Legal Case for Women’s Land Rights, provides insights and guidance on using international conventions (e.g. CEDAW) and regional agreements (e.g. The Banjul Charter) to build a case for women’s land rights at the national level.

Landesa has also produced a new infographic, the first to document the wide range of benefits that flow from women’s land tenure security. The infographic makes clear that women’s secure tenure can help us reach a number of our most critical sustainable development goals – from improved nutrition, education, and resiliency, to reduced domestic violence.  | Full size view of the infographic

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New CCAFS Working Paper reveals gender gap in adaptation capacity to climate change in Africa

The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security (CCAFS) has published a new working paper, How resilient are farming households, communities, men and women to a changing climate in Africa? (PDF), that highlights the gender gap in ownership of productive land and access to agricultural support services in Sub-Saharan Africa– both of which are critical for adapting to climate change. Here’s the abstract of the paper:

Social, economic and institutional factors and driving forces enhance or hinder the adaptation capacity of agricultural and pastoral households and communities. The effectiveness of the resulting adaptation strategies influences the nature and extent of the impact of multiple stresses and shocks, including climate change’s, at the local-level.

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Gender-Based Policies and Economic Growth

The World Bank’s policy note series Economic Premise recently put out a note on “Measuring the Effect of Gender-Based Policies on Economic Growth”. The note lays out a framework for quantifying the growth effects of gender-based policies in developing economies, a powerful and practical tool for policy makers and policy researchers. This tool was developed recently in the context of a research project sponsored by the World Bank. The framework is based on analysis using a computable overlapping generations model that accounts for the impact of access to infrastructure on women’s time allocation, as well as human capital accumulation and inter- and intragenerational health externalities. The analysis also presents illustrative gender-based experiments in a version calibrated for a low-income country (Benin).

To read the note, click here.