Roles, rights and risks
Legumes are often called “women’s crops” because women traditionally play a larger role in their cultivation, especially in Africa; while men play a larger role in the cultivation in other staple crops such as cereals, roots, tubers and bananas, and in off-farm employment. Women also play major roles in home processing and cooking of grain legumes. In Asia, the gender distribution of labor appears to be shifting; as men leave agricultural communities in search of urban employment, women assume men’s former farm tasks.
Grain Legumes recognizes that women have accumulated a wealth of legume-specific knowledge and expertise that should be tapped in legume research and development. Lessons learnt from previous legume interventions and elsewhere also indicate that positive and negative gender specific impacts are possible, and if not monitored and addressed in a timely fashion, could undermine the ultimate goal of improving the socio-economic welfare of the poor.
Overall, the vision of successful implementation of the gender strategy is that women will have greater access to, and improved ability to take advantage of the new technologies and market opportunities generated by Grain Legumes.
This should also decrease the drudgery in grain legume production and processing especially for women and should improve household food and nutritional security and income.
Our vision is that men and women will be equal beneficiaries of, and contributors to development, involved in participatory decision-making at all stages of the R4D of the Program.
The gender research in Grain Legumes is anchored through the following three set of research areas:
- Strategic gender research aims to identify targets for intervention that will have a gender specific outcome.
- Gender analytical research – this analyses the impact of gender on the outputs of the CRP and in related areas.
- Gender actions – these are steps taken within the CRP to attend to internal gender issues.
The Grain Legumes Gender Strategy recognizes these facts and describes how we will address them by deepening understanding of social inequity in target communities and so inform research priority, technology generation, deployment and promotion. In each region, gender studies that leverage existing knowledge and/or generate more specific information will be conducted.
This knowledge will be used to inform and/or modify design of R4D interventions:
- FP1 – improve targeting by elucidating the influences of social inequity on uptake and use of IPM strategies;
- FP2 & FP3 – support selection of traits that have gender implications;
- FP4 – clarify gender dimensions that may compound technology dissemination activities or access of women to markets;
- FP5 – define and rationalize social inequity considerations to aid knowledge management efforts.
Our research approach is three-pronged:
- Knowledge generation, mostly through strategic gender research, which will be used for strengthening relevance and targeting;
- Gender disaggregated data and analysis (integrated within the Product Lines, ensuring integration/mainstreaming of gender wherever relevant);
- Capacity building.