New GENNOVATE videos highlight changing gender norms in agriculture
Just in time for International Women’s Day, a series of videos have been published by the GENNOVATE initiative to raise awareness about and explore the interlinkages between gender norms, agency, and innovation in agriculture and natural resource management. The videos include stories of men and women from Mexico, Tanzania, and Nepal from the perspectives of local women and men themselves.
GENNOVATE is a global comparative research initiative conducted by 11 CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs), including MAIZE. Case studies for MAIZE were carried out in 27 villages in seven different countries.
In the first story from Mexico, an indigenous woman farmer breaks with traditional agricultural custom and learns to plow the land after her husband migrates to the US, while another a young woman entrepreneur takes advantage of shifting societal norms that open space for women to work for pay, by pursuing a tortilla business. In Tanzania, widows struggle after their husbands’ deaths to take over farm duties and fulfill their economic provider roles in order to feed themselves and their families. And in Nepal, women farmers face uncertainty due to an innovation that replaces manual farm tasks traditionally done by women.
The stories reflect a range of rural transformations taking place in farming communities around the world. They illustrate how such changes affect men and women differently in the context of local gender stereotypes and cultural norms. In the face of new challenges and opportunities, men and women devise strategies for moving their own projects forward, whether by conforming to, negotiating, or challenging local expectations.
One of the main objectives of GENNOVATE is to contribute to catalyzing a better understanding in the CGIAR of how gender norms influence women’s and men’s capacity to innovate in agriculture and natural resource management. The initiative strives for increased action in the CG to address gender-based constraints to achieve lasting and equitable outcomes. This requires broad mobilization at all levels. The various GENNOVATE outputs address different audiences, including CGIAR decision makers, scientists and research teams as well as donors and general public. The video accompanies peer-reviewed publications, the CRP-specific research reports and the set of GENNOVATE guidance notes for scientists and research teams, in showing the importance of integrating gender into agricultural R4D so that both men and women can engage with and benefit from CGIAR’s important work to improve livelihoods.