March Is Gender Month on Agrilinks
This post is written by Farzana Ramzan and Aslihan Kes.
Welcome to Gender Month 2022 on Agrilinks! This month we will share information on a variety of topics, including on the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index; the Gender, Climate and Nutrition and Advancing Women’s Empowerment activities; and more stories and updates from our partners.
Below are a few important highlights:
- The White House released the first-ever National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality.
- The 10-year anniversary in February of the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI), a first-of-its-kind measure of women’s empowerment and gender equality in the agriculture sector, developed by Feed the Future, the International Food Policy Research Institute and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative.
- The updated U.S. Global Food Security Strategy was released in October 2021. The strategy now includes equity and inclusion among its new priority areas of emphasis and action, recognizing the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on women and girls and acknowledging that building back better requires intentional, accelerated effort and an inclusive approach.
The National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality is a government-wide effort to advance gender equity and equality. The strategy identifies 10 interconnected priorities to advance gender equity and equality: 1) economic security, 2) gender-based violence, 3) health, 4) education, 5) justice and immigration, 6) human rights and equality under the law, 7) security and humanitarian relief, 8) climate change, 9) science and technology and 10) democracy, participation and leadership.
The WEAI is the first-ever direct measure of women’s empowerment and inclusion in the agriculture sector and was launched in 2012 at the United Nations (UN) Commission on the Status of Women. On February 16, 2022, USAID, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) co-organized a special event, A Decade of the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI): Lessons from Using Empowerment Metrics. This event reflected on applications of WEAI and project-level WEAI in diverse contexts, the evolution of the tool and findings from studies using pro-WEAI. Diverse users of the instrument also shared their experiences and key lessons. Use the link above to watch the event and the fantastic video from global WEAI users!
On March 24, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. EDT, USAID, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, IFPRI and BMGF will co-host an event on WEAI at the 66th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women. This side event will provide an opportunity to discuss and reflect on WEAI and its impact for measuring and tracking gender equity and equality. The discussion will also identify policy-relevant and actionable WEAI-based insights that countries and partners would like to see for the Women’s Empowerment Metric for National Statistical Systems (WEMNS) and present a vision for the next 10 years of women’s empowerment metrics. Use this calendar link to register for the event.
New WEAI resources available:
- In response to growing demand for WEAI surveys, IFPRI, with support from USAID, BMGF and the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH), developed a distance learning course for WEAI and pro-WEAI designed to meet the needs of a range of users (e.g., quantitative analysts, monitoring and evaluation specialists, donors and field supervisors) by teaching specific skills related to the WEAI in an online learning environment. The first module of the course is now available! Digital certification will be provided upon successful completion.
- Which WEAI instrument is right for you? This interactive tool will guide you through a series of questions to help you identify the best version for your purpose. Once you have identified the right WEAI, check out the latest versions, guidelines, qualitative protocols and publications on the WEAI Resource Center.
As the development community continues its efforts to address the secondary impacts of COVID-19, data and evidence are critical to inform priorities for action. To capture the gendered impacts of the pandemic and lockdowns, the Feed the Future Gender, Climate Change and Nutrition (GCAN) Activity conducted phone surveys in seven Feed the Future countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The results summarized in this cross-country report point to significant income losses and depleted savings among households. Women reported greater food and water insecurity compared to men, including worrying about insufficient food and eating less than usual. As the researchers underscore, “the results make it clear that proactive investments will be needed, including social safety nets, favorable credit policies, nutrition and water investments, to ensure that the crisis does not further widen the gender gap in resources and achievements in rural areas of low- and middle-income countries.”
For so many women and girls already more vulnerable to shocks and stresses, the COVID-19 pandemic has only had a multiplier effect. As another recent publication from GCAN underscores, gendered roles across food systems and gender-based differences in access to resources more generally shape men and women’s exposure and sensitivity to shocks and stresses.
We are investing in understanding the gendered dimensions of climate change, including the relationship between gender and climate-smart agriculture. On February 2, 2022, CGAN and the CGIAR Gender Platform hosted a virtual webinar and workshop to discuss priorities to strengthen gender in research and capacity building for climate action. You can watch the presentations from the webinar on their website.
During this month, several blogs on Agrilinks will further explore the gender and climate linkages and highlight policy and programmatic approaches to strengthen women’s resilience to climate shocks. We invite you to join in these conversations throughout the month.
Theme month webinar
Changing Male Perception Toward Domestic Duties in Rwanda
Using Inclusive Market Research to Increase Women's Empowerment
Advancing Women’s Economic Empowerment through Private Sector Engagement
Q&A: Working with PepsiCo to Build the Business Case for Private Sector Investment in Women’s Empowerment