Gender in Agriculture Partnership

Transforming agriculture to empower women and deliver food, nutrition and income security

Gender in Agriculture Sourcebook

Recognizing the role of gender equality, key development organizations have engaged in a process of mainstreaming gender into agricultural development. The World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) have made some progress in their gender-mainstreaming strategies and have recently embarked on more action-oriented processes of gender integration (Curry and Tempelman 2006; FAO 2007; IFAD 2003; World Bank 2006, 2008).

Analytical capacity is being strengthened, and data collection and analysis have been improved to include gender-specific variables and indicators in these three agencies. The Gender and Development Program of the International Food Policy Research Institute has contributed significantly toward this strengthening of analytical capacity (see also IFPRI 2007a, 2007b; Quisumbing and McClafferty 2006a, 2006b). Capacity building of staff has also been implemented (see Module 2) with the development community, and improvement has occurred in the way gender issues and women’s empowerment are addressed throughout the project cycle, starting with project design (GENRD 2006, 2007; IFAD 2003; World Bank 2006). However, studies have highlighted the need to ensure greater continuity between design and implementation to integrate women more fully into mainstream development activities, and the current challenge is to shift the emphasis toward actual implementation and supervision (GENRD 2006, 2007; IFAD 2003).

One of the often-cited reasons for inadequately addressing gender is that practitioners lack the tools, know-how, and good practices to integrate gender perspectives in their work, especially now that the sector itself is undergoing profound changes. Some cite the abundance of tools, the many available handbooks and toolkits, but often one wonders where to start. Others mention lack of training of development practitioners in using the tools, lack of accountability in processes to show results on gender equality, and lack of resources: budget and competent human resources to deliver wellthought-out design, implementation, and monitoring.

Although these concerns can be addressed effectively only through concerted efforts, the  Gender in Agriculture Sourcebook is developed to respond to some of these needs. The Sourcebook  compiles the good practices and innovative activities that successfully integrated gender into their project and program design for sharing and learning. It synthesizes in one place knowledge, experience, and tools, which are currently scattered in many different places, and it provides an up-to-date understanding of gender issues and the complexities linking gender equality, sustainable livelihoods, and food security in one volume, especially in the context of the rapidly changing agriculture sector.

The  Sourcebook is the outcome of joint planning, continued interest in gender and agriculture, and concerted efforts by the World Bank, FAO, and IFAD. The purpose of the  Sourcebook is to act as a guide for practitioners and technical staff in addressing gender issues and integrating gender-responsive actions in the design and implementation of agricultural projects and programs. It speaks not with gender specialists on how to improve their skills but rather reaches out to technical experts to guide them in thinking through how to integrate gender dimensions into their operations. The  Sourcebook aims to deliver practical advice, guidelines, principles, and descriptions and illustrations of approaches that have worked so far to achieve the goal of effective gender mainstreaming in the agricultural operations of development agencies. It captures and expands the main messages of the  World Development Report 2008: Agriculture for Development  and is considered an important tool to facilitate the operationalization and implementation of the report’s key principles on gender equality and women’s empowerment . The  Sourcebook focuses on agricultural livelihoods, with agriculture  defined broadly as “agriculture, forestry, fisheries, livestock, land and water, agro-industries, and environment,”

Type of resource: 
The World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization, International Fund for Agricultural Development