Tag Archives: gender

Five-country information for gender in fish production


A new working paper from WorldFish Center delves into some of the basic background information needed to develop research and development programs with a gender focus in aquaculture and fisheries production systems in Bangladesh, Cambodia, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands and Zambia.
Weeratunge, N., Chiuta, T.M., Choudhury, A., Ferrer, A., Hüsken, S.M.C., Kura, Y., Kusakabe, K., Madzudzo, E.,
Maetala, R., Naved, R., Schwarz, A., and Kantor, P. (2012). CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems. Penang, Malaysia. Working Paper: AAS-2012-21.
Abstract: “Aquatic agricultural systems (AAS) are systems in which the annual production dynamics of freshwater and/or coastal ecosystems contribute significantly to total household income. Improving the livelihood security and wellbeing of the estimated 250 million poor people dependent on AAS in Bangladesh, Cambodia, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands and Zambia is the goal of the Worldfish Center-led Consortium Research Program (CRP), “Harnessing the development potential of aquatic agricultural systems for development.” One component expected to contribute to sustainably achieving this goal is enhancing the gender and wider social equity of the social, economic and political systems within which the AAS function.
The CRP’s focus on social equity, and particularly gender equity, responds to the limited progress to date in enhancing the inclusiveness of development outcomes through interventions that offer improved availability of resources and technologies without addressing the wider social constraints that marginalized populations face in making use of them. The CRP aims to both offer improved availability and address the wider social constraints in order to determine whether a multi-level approach that engages with individuals, households and communities, as well as the wider social, economic and political contexts in which they function, is more successful in extending development’s benefits to women and other excluded groups. Designing the research in development initiatives to test this hypothesis requires a solid understanding of each CRP country’s social, cultural and economic contexts and of the variations across them. This paper provides an initial input into developing this knowledge, based on a review of literature on agriculture, aquaculture and gender relations within the five focal countries. Before delving into the findings of the literature review, the paper first justifies the expectation that successfully achieving lasting wellbeing improvements for poor women and men dependent on AAS rests in part on advances in gender equity, and in light of this justification, presents the AAS CRP’s conceptual framework for gender and social analysis.”

eGender resources from World Bank

The World Bank has released two new resources to complment its recent 2012 World Development Report (see our post). These resources will be useful to researchers and experts seeking statistics to give context to their work.

World Bank Little Data Book on Gender (2011)

Available online only as e-book, ‘this handy pocket guide is a quick reference for users interested in gender statistics. The book presents gender-disaggregated data for more than 200 economies in an easy country-by-country reference on demography, education, health, labor force, political participation and the Millennium Development Goals. The book’s summary pages cover regional and income group aggregates’.

View online: http://issuu.com/world.bank.publications/docs/9780821388815; http://data.worldbank.org/products/data-books/little-data-book-on-gender

Learning from gender research in agriculture

Bangaldesh. Photo: IFPRI, A. Quisumbing

Gender research is still sparse for gender and aquaculture, fisheries and the coasts. Gender studies are a little further advanced in agriculture and natural resource management. Very useful resource materials can be found from the work of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), one of the CGIAR Centers. Here are 5 links to IFPRI resources on gender and development.

  1. Gender Toolbox: http://www.ifpri.org/book-20/ourwork/researcharea/gender/gender-tool-box

Includes links to many valuable and essential analytical tools and sex-disaggregated databases and gender-sensitive databases.

   2.    Gender and collective action: http://www.ifpri.org/sites/default/files/publications/CAPRIWP64.pdf

CAPRI working paper, 2007, by Lauren Pandolfelli,  Ruth Meinzen-Dick and Stephan Dohrn

‘This paper presents a framework for investigating the intersection of collective action and gender; i.e. how gender-oriented analysis can foster more effective collective action in the context of agriculture and natural resource management and how collective action can be used as a vehicle for gender equity. We begin with definitions of the key concepts and then present three entry points for a gendered analysis of collective action-motivations, effectiveness, and impact on gender equity- vis-à-vis the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework (Oakerson 1992; Ostrom 1991). At the heart of this framework is the action arena, which is shaped by a host of initial conditions, including asset endowments, vulnerabilities, and legal and governance systems that influence a range of outcomes. Applying a gender lens to this framework, we present an analysis of how women and men experience the initial set of conditions differently and thus, have different motivations and capacities for engaging in collective action. Next, we look at how the gender composition of groups affects the effectiveness of collective action, and finally, at the impact of collective action on gender equity and women’s empowerment. We conclude with a discussion of how this framework can improve our understanding of gender and collective action in order to facilitate more effective collective action while fostering gender equity.’

    3.   Engendering agriculture and agricultural research: http://www.ifpri.org/publication/engendering-agricultural-research

By Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Agnes Quisumbing, Julia Behrman, Patricia Biermayr-Jenzano, Vicki Wilde, Marco Noordeloos, Catherine Ragasa,  and Nienke Beintema

‘This paper makes a case for gender equity in the agricultural R&D system. It reviews the evidence on exactly why it is important to pay attention to gender issues in agriculture and why it is necessary to recognize women’s distinct food-security roles throughout the entire value chain—for both food and nonfood crops, marketed and nonmarketed commodities. The authors examine whether women are factored into the work of research institutions, and whether research institutions effectively focus on women’s needs. In short, are these institutions conducting research by and for women? The paper’s conceptual framework demonstrates the need to integrate gender into setting agricultural priorities; conducting the research itself; designing, implementing, and adopting extension services; and evaluating their impacts. It concludes with recommendations regarding how to make these suggested changes.’

  4.   Gender and policy blog: http://genderfoodpolicy.wordpress.com/  

‘This blog is a space to share announcements, news items, multimedia, research tools, resources and links to publications on the topic of gender and food policy (including issues such as hunger, food security, nutrition, governance, land, agriculture etc).’  

   4.   IFPRI’s work on gender and development: http://www.ifpri.org/book-20/ourwork/researcharea/gender

IFPIR’s main webpage giving a guide to their gender work and related resources.

   5.   IFPRI’s contributions to the World Development Report 2012 on Gender Equality and Development: Gender Equity and Development: http://www.ifpri.org/blog/gender-equality-and-development


Communicating Gender and Rural Development

FAO has just released a new handbook, “Communicating Gender for Rural Development.” This  handbook contains good materials and clarifies some concepts. “Gender is at once a sociological concept, a development approach, an operational strategy and an analytical method”. Have a look especially at the schematic on page 16.

What does Equality Mean to You?

The World Bank is holding an Open Forum on Gender – Getting to Equal. The main open online forum will happen on 20 September, but you can participate in advance and help raise the profile of the importance of gender in aquaculture and fisheries.

Link: http://live.worldbank.org/open-forum-gender

Participate in 3 ways:

1) SUBMIT IDEAS about ways “to get to equal” and overcome gender inequality in your community.  Tell your friends to agree with your idea – the most popular ones will be debated during the Open Forum.

2) PARTICIPATE IN THE CHAT FORUM beginning Tuesday, September 20 at 12 pm Washington, DC, time. The ideas will feed into discussions during a 24-hour online global chat forum hosted by gender activists, entrepreneurs, and academics. Sign up for an email reminder on the right.

3) WATCH THE LIVE DEBATE on Wednesday, September 21 at 10 am Washington, DC, time.  Hosted by CNN International’s Hala Gorani, a distinguished panel of experts including World Bank President Robert Zoellick and Nike Foundation’s Maria Eitel of the Girl Effect campaign, among others, will continue the discussion about your ideas in a live webcast debate.

Watch and replay previous Open Forum events: Food Crisis, Open Development Solutions, Jumpstarting Jobs, and Development Now – A Changing Landsape.

Thank you to Angela Lentisco (FAO-Spain-RFLP) for bringing this opportunity to our attention.

Influencing change, gender mainstreaming

Recommended reading!

Guinea pig farmer, DR Congo. Photo: CIAT

Influencing Change: Mainstreaming Gender Perspectives in Agricultural Research and Development in Eastern and Central Africa.”

Edited by: Barun Gurung, Elizabeth Ssendiwala, Michael Waithaka

Link to download publication

Part of the CGIAR Particiaptory Research and Gender Analysis Program, the project from which this very useful report came sought to influence the policies of agricultural research and development systems, while improving implementation and delivery of services directly benefitting vulnerable groups, such as poor women, through improved targeting. It wanted to develop mechanisms in national agricultural R&D institutions for making gender an explicit criterion for programming and effectiveness, and to enable the organizations to think more deeply about gender relations, away from the earlier “add women and stir approach”.

The researchers identified four challenges:

1. the limitations of the R&D institutions to effect real changes in social relations of their constituency groups, the small scale farmers

2. the tendency within the R&D institutions to define gender mainstreaming only in instrumental terms (investment in women has high pay-offs) and subsequently focus narrowly on emphasizing women’s visibility and their capacities and needs. This instrumental approach to mainstreaming emphasizes reliance on ‘tool kits’ and ‘checklists.’

3. the ‘logic of bureaucracies’ or how bureaucracies react to new challenges. When a new challenge is posed, the bureaucracy’s response will be determined by the level of threat or opportunity. When it comes to gender equality or women’s rights, both the opportunity and threat are low.

4. the culture of organizations is influenced by the larger society in which they are situated.

The project developed and trialed approaches to gender mainstreaming for meeting these challenges in agricultural R&D institutes of the following East African countries: DR Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

For fisheries and aquaculture specialists, the Introduction and Project Evaluation chapters will be of most interest, unless you work in one of the project countries, in which case you will find your country chapter also of interest.

FAO commits to action on women, gender

Read the FAO release

The recently concluded FAO 37th Conference, 25 June – 2 July 2011, endorsed the recommendations of FAO’s State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA) 2010-11 “Women in Agriculture: Closing the gender gap for development,” and committed to strengthening support to women in agriculture and to closing the gender gap in access to agricultural inputs, services and opportunities in order to increase economic growth and global food security. The Conference also urged the elimination of all forms of legal and customary discrimination against women, particularly in access to land, financial services, rural employment, agricultural technology and extension services. It called on countries, donors and civil society to ensure that all agricultural programmes and projects take account of the different roles and responsibilities of men and women and the constraints they face in agriculture and rural employment, and recommended that gender be mainstreamed throughout FAO’s work.

In side event dialogue on 27 June, the DG-elect, Dr. Graziano Da Silva also stated that he would work to make gender equality in agriculture and rural development a priority for FAO under his tenure. “I would like to see this item reflected in the budget for three regions: Latin America, Africa and Asia, where the role of women in food is crucial. We should set this clearly in the budget. We should set this as priority.


Bangladesh women shrimp farmers at training course. Photo: M. Nuruzzaman

Catch up here on our comprehensive overview of all 48 presentations and posters from GAF3. Presenters from 21 countries covered the following geographic areas: global – 9 presentations; countries – Asia: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam; Africa: Namibia, Tanzania; regions; South and Southeast Asia, Pacific, Europe.

The report, SHINING A LIGHT ON GENDER IN AQUACULTURE AND FISHERIES, discovered some common threads among the many papers.

  • The social context of gender needs deeper diagnosis than gender alone in order to understand the complex ‘back stories’ of women and communities.
  • Women are still invisible and often marginal in the fish sector, trade and in natural resource management, although mainstream exceptions exist
  • The conundrum of women’s access to micro-finance yet lack of progress in building assets; and
  • The struggles and successes of achieving gender equality in institutions.

 Messages of hope also emerged, founded on intrinsic community and personal resilience strategies and innovations such as training and inclusive governance.

All those of us involved with GAF3 wish to express our gratitude for the support of the:

  • Asian Fisheries Society
  • Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
  • National Network on Women in Fisheries in the Philippines, Inc.
  • FAO-Spain Regional Fisheries Livelihood Programme for South and Southeast Asia
  • Indian Council of Agricultural Research
  • Shanghai Ocean University
  • Mundus Maris
  • plus the personal support of all presenters and their organizations.

Read more

FAO RFLP Newsletter features its GAF3 contributors

The RFLP participants: (from left) Angela Lentisco, Nguyen Dang Hao, Heng Ponley, Bandara Basnayake and Rosario Segundina P. Gaerlan.

GAF3: Dr Stella Williams makes a point. In foreground is RFLP presenter Dr Nguyen Dang Nao, Hue University

RFLP May Newsletter

In its first newsletter, (6 May 2011), RFLP featured its particiaption at GAF3. the Newsletter noted: RFLP ‘helped facilitate the sharing of knowledge and experiences on gender issues in fisheries by supporting the attendance of participants from Viet Nam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and the Philippines to the 3rd Global Symposium on Gender and Fisheries (3GAF) in Shanghai, China 21 to 23 of April.’

The Newsletter also features articles on work on co-management, safety at sea, community, vocational training, micro-finance and many other interesting topics in the Spanish-funded Programme’s project countries, namely: Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Timor Leste, Vietnam.

Better Science, Better Fish, Better Life

M. Williams delivering 9AFAF Keynote Address (Photo: Jiang YS)

Opening Keynote Address at the 9th Asian Fisheries and Aquaculture Forum – Better Science, Better Fish, Better Life-w links – includes women’s contributions  to production, fish value chains and the changing gender balance among university graduates for the fisheries and aquaculture sectors.

See news on the Opening Ceremony at:


Meryl Williams