Tadesse Desalegne/IWMI

Gender, Poverty and Institutions

Equity in natural resource management and agricultural production

It is estimated that agricultural food production will need to increase by as much as 40% by 2050 to feed the growing global population. At the same time, land, river and ocean resources are under pressure from overuse and poor management, thus creating a double challenge: how do we boost production while protecting the environment? The solution may be to engage with women and enhance their role in agriculture.

The potential of women in agriculture is often underestimated. Ensuring that women have equal access and opportunity to participate in agricultural development will be essential to strengthening agricultural production and improving natural resource management. 

Volta farmer
A farmer in the Volta region prepares food.

The Gender, Poverty and Institutions cross-cutting research theme works to ensure that women have greater access to, decision-making power over and increased benefits from natural resources and agriculture. To do so, the theme employs three overarching strategies: 

  • ensuring WLE research responds to the needs and demands of women
  • supporting strategic gender research
  • building partnerships that promote research on gender equity in agriculture and natural resource management at the regional level

Accomplishing greater equity in natural resources management and agriculture is a central prerequisite to achieving the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystem (WLE)'s vision of sustainable agricultural intensification.

Breaking the gender mold

There are many gender mainstreaming workshops that take place each year. Few are successful at motivating behavior change. But a workshop organized by WLE partner ICARDA in Gondar, Ethiopia was different. Some researchers came to argue that gender mainstreaming isn’t necessary. They left as supporters of the approach. [Read more]

In South Asia, migration matters for women and men

As a shifting climate and economic development make agricultural-based livelihoods increasingly less viable, men are migrating from rural areas in search of better employment and opportunity. Women are usually left behind with an increased workload but limited access to capital and resources. [Read more]