International Women’s Day – What’s new in research?

March 6, 2015

International Women’s Day on 8 March is an opportunity to look at the gender component of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests Trees and Agroforestry. Here are a few stories and examples of what researchers have been up to:

CIAT has published a 6-minute animation about 3 reasons why agricultural research should be gender inclusive, and 3 ways to do it.

Under the title Through the lens: women from the Western Ghats forest, Bioversity International’s Ewa Hermanowicz reflects on lessons learned from the resilient women she met while filming in India on the sidelines of an research project that takes a participatory and gender-responsive approach.

Watch two of her videos on the subject:

Participatory research for social learning and conservation of forest fruit trees

Bioversity International and Life Trust work with local communities of the beautiful forests of India’s Western Ghats – one of the planet’s major biodiversity spots. Different gender and socio-cultural groups were brought together to exchange their knowledge on native fruit trees. This resulted in the creation of a women’s group to sell new products from local fruits. The film documents the experience of Yenki and Nageveni, members of this women’s group, and Narasimha Hegde, the researcher who led the project in the field.

Climbing to survive

Bioversity International and Life Trust work with local communities of the beautiful forests of India’s Western Ghats – one of the planet’s major biodiversity spots. Different gender and socio-cultural groups were brought together to exchange their knowledge on native fruit trees. This resulted in the creation of a women’s group to sell new products from local fruits. The film documents the experience of Yenki, a member of this women’s group.

Kiran Asher from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) is convinced that women are to gender what trees are to torests, watch and see for yourself what she means by this

Gender and forests are re-emerging as central in the global sustainable development agenda. CIFOR and other forestry and environmental research organizations attempting to integrate “gender” into their research can learn from 40 years of scholarship on gender, development, and environment. Just as a collection of trees does not make a forest, “gender” is not simply a collection of women, or relations between women and men. Extensive analytical and empirical work on “gender” reveals that there is much heterogeneity among women, and that their social positions depend not just on their relations with men but are interconnected with their class, ethnicity, geographic location, and age. That is, understanding the gendered dynamics of forest management and/or sustainable development requires acknowledging the heterogeneity of gender relations and the fact that they are not just a product of local factors but are also shaped by broader political and economic forces.

And last but not least, Ann Larson, also from CIFOR, explains the need for a gender-relevant approach to REDD+ this video interview, recorded at the Global Landscapes Forum 2014 in Lima in December – and still relevant.

Scientists and indigenous leaders at the Forum in Peru stressed the need to consider how climate change might affect men and women differently, and to incorporate gender into studies of both mitigation and adaptation.  “If we don’t take a gendered approach, we’re likely to do more harm than good for women,” Anne Larson said. “In the REDD+ context, if the status quo is inequitable then interventions that don’t understand and address those inequities from the beginning are doomed to perpetuate them.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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