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Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small-Scale Irrigation: Technical Workshops on gender and irrigation

Reposted from the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small-Scale Irrigation (ILSSI) website.

Upcoming workshops in Ghana (April 13-14) and Tanzania (April 20-21) will carry forward this dialogue and forge new networks of government agents and practitioners working at the interface of gender and irrigation. If you work in these countries and would like more information about these workshops, please contact Sophie Theis from IFPRI.

IWMI ethiopia photo

On March 9-10, 2016, the first in a series of Feed the Future ILSSI workshops to strengthen capacity on gender and water was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (agenda, pdf), convened by the International Food Policy Research Institute, the International Water Management Institute, and the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Over 45 participants from the Ethiopian government, NGOs, and research institutes joined for two days of interactive presentations, trainings, and discussion on gender issues in agricultural water management. Workshop materials, including presentations and videos, can be accessed here (Day 1 and Day 2).

The workshop series was motivated by the fact that control over water is essential for productive agriculture, but we have limited knowledge about whether women’s water needs are being met. ILSSI is addressing this knowledge gap, through research and capacity building-for-development in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Ghana to identify the technological, economic, and cultural factors limiting women’s ability to irrigate.


The workshop involved presentations from the Women’s Affairs Directorate in the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Agricultural Transformation Agency, and IFPRI describing the state of knowledge on women’s access to water and the benefits of gender equality in water. A dozen NGOs and researchers shared case studies on their work overcoming barriers to women’s access to water. Presenters pointed out that women do have distinct needs that are not being met, and a one-size-fits all irrigation promotion policy is insufficient to achieve national gender equality, food security, and climate resilience goals. (Photo Credits: Apollo Habtamu/IWMI )

Building on early findings from qualitative and quantitative research in Ethiopia, Ghana, and Tanzania, the ILSSI team is developing a diagnostic checklist that water-related interventions can draw on to identify the key factors limiting women’s control over water. This instrument is being further refined through these workshops.

In the Ethiopia workshop, participants practiced using the checklist to apply gender concepts to the case study discussions. Participants expressed interest in using the checklist to promote dialogue with communities about solutions to gendered water needs and proposed using the checklist to inform Ministry of Agriculture gender mainstreaming guidelines.


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How Women Can Maximize the Nutrition and Health Benefits of Irrigation for All

In a new A4NH Gender-Nutrition Idea Exchange post, Elizabeth Bryan builds on the agriculture-nutrition framework to examine the gendered pathways through which small-scale irrigation can affect nutrition and health outcomes. Read the blogpost here

Also, in case you missed it: In response to increasing interest in how health has bearings on the gender-agriculture-nutrition framework, A4NH organized a seminar on Agriculture, Gender, and Health: Tracing the Links on October 20, 2015. The seminar provided three case studies in how gender dynamics in rural livelihoods influence health, and in turn, nutrition. The presentations are available in the following links:

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A4NH/IFPRI Gender Seminar: Gender, Agriculture, and Health: Tracing the Links

UPDATE: Recording of the screencast and presentations are now available on Slideshare.

The CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) and the IFPRI Gender Task Force invite you to:

Gender, Agriculture, and Health: Tracing the Links


Three 15-minute presentations from:

Kelly Jones on livelihood shocks and sexual health

Research Fellow, Markets, Trade, and Institutions Division, IFPRI

Elizabeth Bryan on irrigation, gender, and health

Senior Research Analyst, Environment Production and Technology Division, IFPRI

Delia Grace on gender-sensitive participatory risk assessment for food safety

Program Manager, Food Safety and Zoonoses, ILRI and A4NH

Chair: Hazel Malapit

Research Coordinator, A4NH and IFPRI Poverty, Health, Nutrition Division

October 20, 2015


IFPRI Conference Room 6A

Please find instructions for joining virtually at the end of this message.

How can we take into account health in our agriculture, nutrition, and gender research? Health and nutrition are closely interrelated: health status influences nutritional outcomes, by mediating a person’s ability to utilize nutrients and lead a healthy life, and nutritional status influences health, by mediating a person’s vulnerability to various illnesses. Both health and nutrition are directly and indirectly affected by rural livelihood decisions related to agriculture, livestock, and water management. Livelihood decisions and duties are gendered, in that social identity influences an individual’s options and choices. Men and women’s exposure to health risks, capacity to provide health care, and access to health services often vary due to these differing roles and rights.

This seminar provides three case studies in how gender dynamics in rural livelihoods influence health, and in turn, nutrition. Intended as an introduction to topics in gender, health, and agriculture, the seminar will help researchers familiar with the agriculture-to-nutrition pathways begin to think about how health has bearings on this framework.

In the seminar, Kelly Jones will present on recent research that traces how livelihood shocks may increase HIV transmission through higher-risk sex, especially for women. Elizabeth Bryan will share early-stage research on the links between small-scale irrigation adoption, gender, and health and nutrition outcomes. Delia Grace will introduce a gender-sensitive participatory risk assessment framework for addressing food safety.

We hope you can join this special Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) and the IFPRI Gender Task Force seminar in person at IFPRI or online via GoToMeeting (instructions below).

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International Forum for Women’s Food Leadership

October 27-28, 2015
1957 E Street NW, 6th Floor, Lindner Family Commons

Organized by the Women’s Food Leadership Initiative in collaboration with the Global Gender Program of George Washington University

This two-day public event brings together women food leaders from Latin America and Africa, food policy professionals, and academics to discuss what works in promoting women’s agricultural entrepreneurship. Panelists will address successful strategies for starting, growing, and managing agribusinesses. Keynote speakers will offer perspectives based on grounded experience and point the way forward.

Please RSVP here

For more information on speakers and the daily agenda, check out the Women’s Food Leadership Initiative website 

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Ask Ag About… M&E for Gender Integration


Agrilinks Online Discussion on Thursday, Sept. 10 // 12:00-1:00 pm EDT

This month’s Agrilinks “Ask Ag” online discussion will explore monitoring and evaluation for gender integration in agriculture and food security projects. We’ll be featuring a team of experts from the USAID Bureau for Food Security that specializes in M&E and gender. Participants and organizations are encouraged to share questions, comments, links, and resources in the discussion area before and during the event.

When: Thursday September 10, 12:00-1:00 pm EDT

Where: http://agrilinks.org/events/ask-ag-about-me-gender-integration

In addition to robust contributions from the Agrilinks community, this chat will feature a team of experts from the USAID Bureau for Food Security including Emily Hogue, Team Leader for Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning; Krista Jacobs, Gender Advisor; Farzana Ramzan, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist; and Grace Hoerner, Presidential Management Fellow.

Questions for Consideration:

  • How can you tell if a project is integrating gender well?
  • Is gender integration getting sufficient attention in M&E and project monitoring frameworks?
  • Are current, commonly used indicators giving us a clear idea of the efficacy of gender integration efforts?
  • How does proper monitoring help to identify and correct for any negative impacts that may result from gender integration in programming?

In addition to asking questions, don’t forget to share your own experiences and perspectives on gender integration!

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Agricultural biodiversity, value chains and women’s empowerment event at Milan Expo (Sept 17)

Bioversity International is hosting an event at the Milan Expo, September 17, 10:30 – 18:30.

 Did you know that women and agricultural biodiversity are closely linked? Every day, women grow, harvest, process, cook, buy or sell a diversity of food and agricultural products to sustain their families, contributing to the conservation of agricultural biodiversity while feeding the world.

 To celebrate these women, on the occasion of Expo Milano 2015 and the European Year of Development,  the Italian Government, Bioversity International and partners invite you to attend the ‘Agricultural biodiversity, value chains and women’s empowerment’ event.

 Leaders of international organizations engaged in agricultural development and women farmers – custodians of agricultural biodiversity – coming from India, Mali, Bolivia and Italy will gather to discuss and agree on priority actions to strengthen the role of women, reap more sustainable harvests and achieve resilient food systems through the conservation and use of agricultural biodiversity. A press conference with a buffet will follow the morning session.

 The event will end with a cooking demonstration and a tasting of Indian snacks and other traditional dishes.

Watch the video teaser, learn more and tweet about it using #BioWomen.
Web streaming will be also available — register here.

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Event: Empowering Women through Political Participation and Empowering Politics through Women’s Participation

July 30, 2015, 9:00am-2:30pm

1957 E Street NW, 6th Floor, Lindner Family Commons

The Global Gender Program

The Elliott School of International Affairs

The George Washington University

Welcome: Barbara Miller
Director, Global Gender Program

Keynote address: Homa Hoodfar
Professor of Anthropology at Concordia University, Canada

Professor Hoodfar’s research lies in the intersection of political economy and gender and development in Muslim contexts and in unrevealing and understanding the complexities and implications of micro-macro linkages between social policies and women’s lives. She has studied survival and empowerment strategies among those marginalized by legal constraints particular in the area of family law and citizenship, economic penury, the women’s movement and civil society, women in local and national politics and displacement, with a focus on women and younger people in Egypt, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and among Canadian Muslims. She has published extensively on reproductive health policies, their discursive justifications, and their implications for women’s lives. She has been actively involved in the Women Living Under Muslim Laws network since the 1980s.

Panels and discussion
[details forthcoming]
Buffet lunch
[RSVP required]
Please RSVP here