Gender analysis and research


Gender research across the FTA Flagships

Gender refers to the economic, political and cultural attributes associated with being a man or a woman. These attributes vary between and within countries and can change over time. Gender roles are the socially defined tasks, responsibilities and behaviors that are considered appropriate for women and men in a particular community. It is important to understand the complexity of gender roles as this results in identifying opportunities for improving forest management and for achieving greater equity. Overlooking gender differences can result in incorrect assessments of the tradeoffs and effects of policies on forest communities.

Gender (or gender-relevant) research is embedded into each theme of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry, with guidance and training by gender specialists. Gender analysis shows institutional and cultural contexts that entrench inequity and lead to squandering opportunities to improve women’s lives, which is essential to achieve sustainability. Having a cross-cutting gender theme provides

  • the support processes, tools and approaches needed to improve the quality and volume of gender-responsive research in FTA,
  • a road map for scientists, their managers and partners and
  • a more systematic approach to designing and implementing gender-responsive research.

Addressing gaps in understanding gender roles will be vital to improving forest management policies, in particular for the equitable allocation of resources and distribution of benefits.

The gender theme in FTA Phase II will prioritize a transformative approach to gender equality by focusing on analyzing structural barriers and drivers of change in tree-based and forested landscapes, and how these affect men and women’s capabilities to:

(i) control assets and resources;

(ii) value and distribute unremunerated labor; and

(iii) meaningfully participate in decision-making at the household and community levels.

The research proposed complements the articulation of gender dimensions undertaken within each of the FPs by exploring the gender norms, institutions and power relations that are structural barriers to gender equality. Gender research and mainstreaming in FTA will link with the PIM-led gender platform to enhance synergies and amplify contributions to the achievement of the CGIAR gender IDO ‘Equity and inclusion achieved’.

Key research questions:

  • What are the effects of different sector policies in creating constraining or enabling environments for women’s access to and control over forests, trees and other productive resources?
  • What types of institutional arrangements promote meaningful participation of men and women in decisions related to forest restoration and management? Under what conditions does such participation translate into more equitable benefit-sharing and sustainable natural resources management?
  • What are the structural causes of gender differentiated impacts of climate change, and what factors strengthen the voice, influence and entitlements of marginalized groups resulting from adaptation and mitigation policies and interventions?
  • What types of strategies, institutional arrangements, interventions and safeguards should be used to improve gender responsiveness of FTA value chains and business models? How can potential synergies be amplified – and trade-offs mitigated – between the gender responsiveness and the environmental and economic sustainability of such business models?
  • What is the impact of gender differences in patterns of migration and mobility (male-led, women-led, mixed-gender) on women’s voices and influence in forest governance? Which types of policies, institutional arrangements and interventions foster enabling environments for women and men to benefit from migration and multi-local livelihoods in forested landscapes?
  • What type of extension arrangements will improve the uptake and gender responsiveness of forestry and agroforestry technologies and planting materials and create opportunities for women’s empowerment?