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IFAD, FAO, and WFP celebration for International Women’s Day

The International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) have the pleasure to invite you to join them in celebrating the 2016 International Women’s Day at WFP Headquarters in Rome, Italy.

The joint International Women’s Day event will take place on Tuesday, 08 March 2016 from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM in the WFP Auditorium. 

The theme for the United Nations Observance of International Women’s Day 2016 is “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step it Up for Gender Equality’’.

More information is available below and in this event flyer: 2016 International Women’s Day

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Why paying attention to gender matters for climate change adaptation

By Elizabeth Bryan, Patti Kristjanson, and Claudia Ringler

Until recently, there has been little evidence supporting the need to focus on the gendered dimensions of agriculture and climate change. Why? Because few researchers have been talking to women in agriculture as well as men–both of whom contribute to solving the food security challenges posed by climate change.

However, new research based on gender-disaggregated data sheds light on gender differences in perceptions of climate change and the ability to adopt practices and technologies needed to increase resilience. These data also show that men and women have different preferences, needs, and priorities for the ways in which they respond to climate change. These findings point to the need for integrating a gender perspective into research on climate change as well as programs and projects focused on facilitating adaptation (and mitigation) on the ground.

Read on at IFPRI.org.

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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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USAID, IFPRI, and Landesa Panel: Women, Land, and Food

On October 27, 2015, from 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM, USAID, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Landesa will host a panel event to discuss the intersection of women’s empowerment, land rights and food security at IFPRI’s headquarters at 2033 K St NW, Washington, DC. The panel event is open to the public and will be streamed live online. Register to attend in-person or online.

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Takeaways from twenty years of gender and rural development research at IFPRI: Household decision making and women’s control over resources

Returning back home after working in field at Khagrachari, Bangladesh. Photo: Farha Khan. Source: Flickr (IFPRI Images)

Returning back home after working in field at Khagrachari, Bangladesh. Photo: Farha Khan. Source: Flickr (IFPRI Images)

The following blog by IFPRI gender experts Sophie Theis, Agnes Quisumbing, and Ruth Meinzen-Dick is the first in a four-part series leading up to the Policy Seminar on “Beijing +20 and Beyond: How Gender Research Is Changing the Landscape of Food Policy,” to be held on October 14, 2015 at IFPRI’s Washington, DC headquarters. The blog was originally posted on IFPRI.org.

It’s been twenty years since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action launched an agenda for gender equality as a human right, a condition for social justice, and a “necessary and fundamental prerequisite for equality, development, and peace.” Beijing set its sights on removing all barriers for women’s equal participation in public and private spheres. The past twenty years have provided the opportunity for significant learning about how to do so, in a vast range of “spheres.”

In this context of looking back to look forward, we take stock of research at IFPRI over the past 20 years that contributed to advancing gender equality by generating evidence from action, and compelling action from the evidence produced. See full list of publications (PDF 94K).

In this blog series, we review key takeaways from the last 20 years of IFPRI gender research. This first blog of four explores two early themes of IFPRI gender research:

  • unpacking the “black box” of household decision making
  • understanding the impact of resources controlled by women

Tune in to the next post in the blog series to see how gender research at IFPRI has evolved since then, and join us on October 14th for an IFPRI policy seminar celebrating Beijing+20.

Most of the articles are published in peer-reviewed journals, but the hyperlinks provided go to the open access versions of the publications, except where noted with an asterisk.

Household decision making: unpacking the “black box”:

  • Men and women within households do not make decisions “as one”; they do not always pool resources or have the same preferences.  Therefore, it matters who within the household is targeted for development interventions (Haddad et al. 1997); increasing women’s control of resources is associated with better education, health, and nutrition outcomes for children (Quisumbing, ed. 2003).  These findings from IFPRI’s gender research are used to draw out Implications for practitioners and policymakers across a wide range of programmatic areas in Quisumbing and McClafferty (2006).
  • Across societies as diverse as Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Indonesia, and South Africa, assets at marriage influence men’s and women’s bargaining power within marriage.  In Bangladesh and South Africa, women’s assets increase expenditure shares on education, while in Ethiopia, men’s assets have this effect (Quisumbing and Maluccio 2003)*.
  • Bargaining power affects some, but not all, aspects of individual welfare within the household (Fafchamps, Kebede, Quisumbing 2009). In Ethiopia, the relative nutritional status of spouses is associated with differences in cognitive ability, independent income and asset devolution upon divorce. Women’s empowerment benefits child nutrition and education. All in all, bargaining power may be weakly associated with some aspects of intrahousehold welfare because surveyed households are poor and have little room for disagreement over consumption.

Human capital and resources controlled by women:

  • An important example of evidence to action, in 1997 the Government of Mexico, drew on the findings from the intrahousehold literature that resources under women’s control are important for child welfare for the design and implementation of PROGRESA (now called Oportunidades).  PROGRESA was a large, conditional cash transfer program targeting transfers to the mother within the household, conditional on children attending school and going to health clinics.  A subsequent evaluation of PROGRESA showed the program increased enrollment rates in secondary education for girls and yields positive impacts on child health and nutrition, educational attainment, and lifetime earnings of the poor (Skoufias 2001).
  • The findings of the evaluation of PROGRESA, in turn, influenced other countries to follow suit.  InConditional Cash Transfers in Latin America, Adato and Hoddinott (2010) analyze evidence from case studies of CCTs in Brazil, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua, considering their costs, impacts on education, health, nutrition, and food consumption, and how CCT programs affect social and gender relations.
  • Hallman (2003) finds that in Bangladesh, maternal and paternal shares of assets acquired before and during marriage have different impacts on boys’ and girls’ health.  A higher share of current assets held by fathers reduces boys’ illness days, while a higher share of pre-wedding assets held by mothers’ reduces girls’ morbidity.


Gender 360 Summit for 2015 to target gender equality


FHI360 is hosting the 2015 Gender 360 Summit on Thursday, June 11, 2015.

Visit their site to learn more about the summit, and make sure to RSVP by June 3, 2015.

View the program here: Gender 360 Summit Program

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UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality: now accepting proposals

UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality is pleased to announce its third call for proposals. This year the Fund welcomes submissions from women-led civil society organizations with innovative, high-impact, and multi-stakeholder women’s rights and gender equality programmes that help jumpstart progress towards the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

The Fund will grant applications in the areas of:

  • Women’s economic empowerment: Can include efforts to expand women’s equal opportunities to access and control economic resources, promote women’s sustainable entrepreneurship, access to decent work and equal pay, and shared responsibility within the household.
  •  Women’s political empowerment: Can include efforts to promote women’s full and effective leadership and political participation at all levels of decision-making and in all spheres of life, or initiatives to help design, enforce and implement new and existing gender equality laws and policies, or to shift social norms and practices toward greater respect for and enjoyment of women’s equal rights.

UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality was launched in 2009 to accelerate implementation of gender equality commitments worldwide. It is the organization’s leading global grant mechanism and multi-donor Fund dedicated to rights-based programming in the two overlapping thematic areas of women’s economic and political empowerment. Since 2009, the Fund has disbursed over USD 56 million to fund 96 programmes in 72 countries.

Interested applicants are encouraged to read the call for proposals (available in Arabic, English, French, Russian, and Spanish) and start preparing for the online application process, open from 9 March to 5 April 2015.

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Publication: Transnational Land Deals and Gender Equality: Utilitarian and Human Rights Approaches

This article by Poul Wosberg, published in Feminist Economics, is freely available from Routledge Social Sciences journals until June 30, 2015: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13545701.2013.862341#.VNt2_8msyuw


Transnational land deals pose vexing normative (ethical) questions, not least concerning gendered participation and outcomes. This article explores utilitarian and human rights approaches to gender equality in selected policy initiatives on the land deals. While global policy literature manifests growing attention to women in agriculture, the review found the analysis of gender in early policy initiatives to be absent or weak. Utilitarian arguments were used to justify deals but rarely presented women’s participation as a means of social progress or so-called smart economics. Human rights documents were more likely to be critical of the deals and to mention gender, though with little elaboration. While to some extent amended by the emphasis on gender equality in the 2012 Voluntary Guidelines on tenure governance, failures to mobilize the feminist potential in utilitarian and human rights approaches call for more proactive gender analysis and advocacy when addressing transnational land deals as gendered power struggles.

Other key publications from Routledge Social Sciences journals can be accessed here.

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Policy Reform toward Gender Equality in Ethiopia: Little by Little the Egg Begins to Walk

A new article by IFPRI researchers Neha Kumar and Agnes Quisumbing in World Development is available open access here.

Summary: There is growing interest in how reforms in different policy areas can be formulated in order to be consistent in promoting gender equality and empowering women. We use data from the Ethiopian Rural Household Survey (ERHS) to show how two seemingly unrelated reforms—community-based land registration, undertaken since 2003, and changes in the Family Code implemented in 2000—may have created conditions that reinforce each other in improving gender equity. Our findings suggest that the land registration process and the reform of the Family Code had mutually reinforcing effects on women’s rights and welfare.

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New article from Melinda Gates: “Putting women and girls at the center of development”

The development field needs to be more serious about gender inequities and women’s empowerment. By ignoring gender inequities, many development projects fail to achieve their objective. And when development organizations do not focus on women’s empowerment, they neglect the fact that empowered women have the potential to transform their societies. I also review the Gates Foundation’s record on gender and propose some approaches to improve it.

For the full article published September 12 in Science, click here.