Title Page
 Why raise gender issues?
 A rationale for a gender perspective...
 Gender issues in the donor...
 Does gender make a difference?
 CGIAR recommendations and actions:...
 The ICW 1987 seminar on differential...
 Strategies for gender issues: Examples...
 Why is the gender question...
 Next steps

Title: Gender issues in the CGIAR system : lessons and strategies from within
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00089999/00001
 Material Information
Title: Gender issues in the CGIAR system : lessons and strategies from within
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Poats, Susan V.
Donor: Marianne Schmink ( endowment )
Publication Date: 1990
Copyright Date: 1990
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00089999
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Title Page
    Why raise gender issues?
        Page 1
    A rationale for a gender perspective in agricultural research
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Gender issues in the donor community
        Page 5
    Does gender make a difference?
        Page 6
        Page 7
    CGIAR recommendations and actions: 1981-86
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
    The ICW 1987 seminar on differential users: Summary and recommendations on gender issues
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
    Strategies for gender issues: Examples from the system
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
    Why is the gender question so difficult?
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
    Next steps
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
Full Text



Susan V. Poats2

February 1990

1 Paper prepared for the 1990 CGIAR Mid-Term Meeting, The Hague, 21-25 May.
I would like thank Hilary Feldstein, Michael Collinson, Cheryl Danley, Janice
Jiggins, Jacqueline Ashby, Abe-Goldman, Myra Buvinic, Jean Weidemann and Judith
Carney for sharing their experiences, ideas and concerns with me in the
preparation of this paper. I would also like to thank Lois Stanford for helping
me in the preparation of an early draft of this report.

2 Co-Director of the Gender and Agriculture Project, Population Council,
New York. As of April 1, 1990, Dr. Poats joined the Centro Internacional de
Agriculture Tropical (CIAT) as the Social Scientist for the Cassava Program and
is based in Quito, Ecuador.

I. Why Raise Gender Issues ?

Gender issues3 are not new to the Consultative Group on International
Agricultural Research (CGIAR) System. Indeed, the importance of gender issues
in agricultural research and women's roles in agricultural production and food
systems have been discussed by members of the CGIAR System on several
occasions during the past decade. Explicit recommendations concerning gender
issues have been made by the System itself to the member International
Agricultural Research Centers (IARCs):

To incorporate the gender variable in research methods and analysis,

to include more women farmers in the IARC technology generation

to increase the numbers of women from National Agricultural Research
and Extension Systems (NARES) in IARC training programs,

and to engage more women professionals in the ranks of IARC
scientific staff, management and boards.

While certain Centers have made exceptional progress in adapting and
implementing many of these recommendations, adoption of the recommendations
across the CGIAR system is quite uneven. Some appear to have ignored the
recommendations altogether.

What factors contribute to adoption of a gender perspective among those
Center's that have done so successfully? Why have the other IARCs found it
difficult to deal with gender issues? What "next steps" should be taken by
the CGIAR System to ensure system-wide attention to gender?

3A note on terminology: Sex refers to the physical and biological
differences between men and women. These differences are congenital and
relatively universal and unchanging. The term "gender" refers to a social rather
than biological construct. It describes the socially determined attributes of
men and women, including male and female roles. As a social construct, gender
roles are based on learned behavior and are flexible and variable across and
within cultures. Gender is a useful socioeconomic variable to analyze roles,
responsibilities, constraints, opportunities and incentives of the people
involved in research and development efforts. "Gender blindness" is the
inability to perceive different gender roles and responsibilities, the perception
that all farmers are male (or neuter), and the failure to realize that research
and project activities can have different effects on men and women. "Gender
analysis" is the analysis of the intersection of male and female roles and
responsibilities with research or project goals, strategies, and outcomes, at
any stage of the project cycle. The focus of gender analysis is less on equity
for women and more on the effectiveness and efficiency of development activities.
Effective gender analysis, however, ultimately leads to better definition of
human resource needs and capabilities, results in more equitable allocation of
resources and benefits and revision of the gender imbalance that exists among
the professionals involved in research and development.

Guided by these questions, this paper addresses five topics. Beginning
with a brief overview of the rationale for including gender issues in
agricultural research and development, the paper then summarizes the existing
sets of recommendations made to the CGIAR System concerning gender issues. A
synthesis of the discussion and recommendations made on differential user
groups and gender issues at the 1987 International Centers Week Seminar is
included. Mindful of the large number of recommendations already "on the
books," the next section highlights the innovative strategies and approaches
taken by some Centers to deal with certain gender issues. This is followed
with an analysis of the underlying reasons for the difficulties within the
IARC community of incorporating gender sensitive research and development.
Based on this analysis and drawing upon the successful experiences from within
the System, the final part of the paper moves the discussion beyond the
existing recommendations to next steps and alternative strategies to assist
the CGIAR System in achieving a better gender balance in the methods and
operation of its research program.

This paper has been written in direct response to a request made by
several of the CGIAR donor representatives at the last International Centers
Week (ICW-1989). During the meeting, they raised the question of what
progress had been made by the IARCs in dealing with gender issues since the
seminar conducted during the 1987 ICW that drew attention to differential
users and technology. They requested that the topic be placed on the agenda
at this mid-term meeting of the CGIAR System. The overarching concern of
these donors and others is not directed just at the CGIAR system, but rather
represents a global concern for monitoring the progress of research and
development organizations in incorporating appropriate gender perspectives.

As this mid-term meeting of the CGIAR marks the beginning of the 1990s
and the last decade of this century, it is timely to take stock of where we
are in reaching gender equity in the international system for agricultural

II. A Rationale for a Gender Perspective in Agricultural Research.

In a recent IDRC technical study, Patricia Stamp poses two key questions
regarding technology development and transfer that are very relevant to the
work of the CGIAR System. First, she asks whether the outcome envisaged is
really development. "Unless women and -- by intimate but not previously self-
evident implication -- children are unequivocally served, society itself has
not been served" (Stamp 1989:2). She observes that over the past 15 years
there has been

"an emerging moral and scientific commitment to the truth that women are
half of humanity and that gender relations are as fundamental a shaping
force in society as are economic relations or political structure.
Indeed, there is no political economy that is gender neutral, as those
who are willing to look discover. In development discourse, women are
no longer entirely invisible, even if they still get far from equal
time" (Ibid.)

The second question posed by Stamp is whether Third World social reality
has been adequately considered in technology generation and transfer studies
and projects. She argues, in harmony with a growing consensus of development
practitioners, that "it is no longer possible to view technology as artefact
or to avoid the difficult task of examining our underlying assumptions about
Third World societies" (Ibid.) She then calls upon all of us to test the
scientific accuracy of each development study by asking whether gender
variables have been properly accounted for.

To a large extent, what the CGIAR Donors are calling for is this "gender
test". Gender analysis is now recognized by many development institutions as
an important aspect of the design, implementation and evaluation of
development projects. The fact that women are critical to agricultural
production and that their access to necessary resources and effective
technologies is often constrained by gender barriers is confirmed in the
explosion of literature on gender and development and the increasing number of
conferences and workshops on the topic in the international research and
development community.

However, there is considerable difference between voicing concern for
gender -- that is, being "sensitized" -- and incorporating gender as an
analytical variable in the research and development equation. The gap between
sensitization and incorporation varies across the different development
sectors. In agricultural research institutions, sensitization is,
unfortunately, not widespread, and the gap between the few sensitized voices
and actual incorporation is deep. What might be called the general "culture"
of agricultural research institutions often serves to compound the "normal"
difficulties of introducing gender analysis. Important among these cultural
features and their implications are:

a general belief that technology alone will solve problems;

a view of technology as "neutral" to socioeconomic differences among

increasing disciplinary and technical specialization and reliance on
reductionist research methods that encourage technical fixes rather
than integrated approaches;

relatively recent and scanty inclusion of non-economic social
sciences in technology development and thus the absence of relevant
gender sensitive methodologies;

a generally conservative political climate institutionally that makes
the subject of gender seem like a radical intrusion rather than a
call for greater efficiency of resource use;

the language of agricultural research which has tended until only
recently to make women invisible by referring to farmers and
researchers only as "he";

and, the extremely low numbers or absence of women among professional
or management ranks of research and extension institutions which
contributes to the male orientation of the research agenda.

These characteristics reflect deep-seated values that have made it
difficult for agricultural research to effectively reach out to low-resource
or small farmers with relevant technology, much less to even speak of a gender
perspective in the development of the technology.

During the past 15 years, a growing client-orientation and a gradual
shift towards on-farm experimentation has occurred as a result of several new
interdisciplinary approaches to agricultural technology development. Most
important among these are farming systems research and extension (FSR/E) and
farmer-participatory or user-oriented research. By focusing more directly on
lower resource farmers and their behavior in response to technology, these
approaches have allowed, at last, for the differences between men's and
women's roles in production to begin to be recognized and for the assumed
homogeneity of the farm household to be replaced by the concept of "intra-
household dynamics".

The reorientation and methodologies embodied in the on-farm, client-
oriented approach have fundamentally altered the relationship between social
science and agriculture in three key ways that have provided fertile ground
for the incorporation of gender analysis:

1) expanding the range of social science disciplines engaged in
agricultural development work,

2) placing social scientists on technology development teams, and

3) developing institutional structures to provide a home base for the
social sciences in agriculture.

These changes have expanded the perspective of existing agricultural
staff and brought new professionals, many with gender analysis expertise, into
the agricultural field. Application of gender analysis tools to the iterative
procedures of client-oriented technology development is beginning to change
the way production problems are identified, the understanding of division of
labor, and the nature of farmer participation.

The tools of gender analysis are more than checklists or guidelines for
data collection. Instead, they are analytical frameworks designed
specifically to deal with gender issues (Overholt et al. 1985; Feldstein and
Poats, 1990). They lead to the design of interventions and action strategies
which will ensure that men and women are better integrated into on-going
development efforts.

In a recent FAO study, the incorporation of gender frameworks into the
work of research and development organizations has been shown to be intimately
linked to five conditions:

1) making changes in policy mandates;

2) having senior management and leadership support and involvement;

3) implementing gender-explicit evaluation and monitoring mechanisms;

4) having sufficient professional staff with gender expertise; and

5) enhancing overall human resource capacity through training (Poats
and Russo, 1989.)

Available evidence indicates that while the first four conditions are
necessary, the fifth appears to be critical.

A survey of projects using on-farm research approaches found that while
there was a correlation between having women and/or social scientists on teams
and whether or not gender analysis was conducted, not all women or social
scientists were successful in conducting gender analysis (Poats, Gearing and
Russo 1989.) Their presence did not guarantee attention to gender issues.
However, in all cases where training (either formal or informal) in gender
issues and analysis occurred, project members did subsequently conduct or
improve gender analysis. Training of professional staff across and up and
down the hierarchy of a project or an organization can significantly alter
cultural views that have caused gender blindness and can be a critical step in
learning how to do gender analysis and how to incorporate gender sensitivity
as part of the normal way of doing good work.

III. Gender Issues in the Donor Community.

The FAO study mentioned above reported on a number of organizations that
are using training as a key tool for promoting the incorporation of gender
analysis. Among the institutions included in the study were: the World Bank,
the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Canadian
International Development Agency (CIDA), the United Nations Development
Program (UNDP), the International Development Research Centre (IDRC),
the Australian International Development Assistance Bureau (AIDAB), the
Overseas Development Administration (ODA), the Swedish International
Development Agency (SIDA), the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), the United
Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and a number of U.S., Canadian, European and
Indian Universities. Institution-wide training courses designed to introduce
gender issues in development and to train staff in the use of gender analysis
tools have been key elements in the process of incorporating a gender
perspective into the development agendas of these organizations.

In another study, Eva Rathgeber (1987), Women in Development specialist
at IDRC, reviewed the official position taken by nine donors on gender issues
and described the efforts they are making to ensure a greater benefit for
women from development aid projects. Like those described in the FAO study,
many of these donors are major actors in the support of the CGIAR System. It
is clear that as a result of specific policy statements, training of project
managers and designers, and qualified leadership in the subject matter, many
donors are now guiding their funding choices with explicit attention to gender
issues. This fact alone provides a strong rationale for the CGIAR Centers to

strength the attention given to gender in the agenda for international
agricultural research and development.

IV. Does Gender Make a Difference.

For those who have added gender analysis to their toolkits for the
diagnosis of farm level problems and the design or adaption of new technology,
the response is an overwhelming yes. Examples of the difference gender makes
can be found in much of the literature cited in the case studies and other
references to this paper. There are several efforts in progress to further
document methodologies used where gender made a difference. A few examples
from agricultural research on food crops and livestock, the key concerns of
the CGIAR System, may be useful for those who are unfamiliar with gender
issues or are still skeptical.

In Colombia, an on-farm bean and fertilizer research project (Ashby
1990) did not initially include women's perspectives on bean varieties because
prevailing wisdom at the time held that only men were engaged in the
production of beans. Cued by some unexplainable anomalies in the preferences
by some households for bean varieties designated as unmarketable by the
project researchers, the team decided to use participant observation tools to
further explore internal household decision-making about bean variety
preferences and selection. They learned of the multiple roles of beans in the
household and the women's key role in influencing the choice of bean varieties
for production. As a result the team retained bean varieties in the on-farm
testing program that would have otherwise been discarded by breeders.
Including both men and women as users of beans revealed new information about
the characteristics and the process that farmers use to guide bean selection
or rejection. These proved valuable to bean breeders and subsequently made a
difference to the direction of the bean research in the project.

In Zambia, Chabala and Gichiru (1990) documented the experiences of an
on-farm research team (agronomist, agricultural economist and extension
specialist) that conducted its early diagnosis of productions problems only
among male farmers. Growing concern over timeliness and competing needs for
labor as the critical constraint to improving crop production led the team to
conduct a detailed study of household labor resources and allocation.
Recognition of the increasing population of female headed households in the
research area (some 30Z or more of all households due to male out-migration
primarily to mining regions) led to shifts in the approaches used to identify
recommendation domains and potential users of technology. Reducing the labor
requirement especially among women responsible for weeding became a research
priority and led to an experiment mixing maize, the dominant men's crop, with
beans, a key cash crop grown by women. Both crops were traditionally grown
separately. By combining them, the researchers hoped to take advantage of
well-known complementary nutritional interactions as well as decreasing the
amount of weeding time, since both could be weeded simultaneously. However,
in farmer evaluations of the technology that included both female and male
farmer participants in the trial, women voiced their negative reactions to the
technology. When beans were planted on land normally allocated to maize, the
women lost ownership of the beans and men benefited from the cash generated by

their sales. Since men and women operated separate income streams within
households and each had different responsibilities to fulfil with their cash,
loss of the bean income to women could decrease the welfare of the household
as a whole. Researchers were informed by this experience of gender
differences in the criteria for a "successful" technology. Their next
research steps would have to consider whether women's ownership of beans could
be retained while using mixed cropping technology or if other labor conserving
technologies would "fit" more appropriately with the existing gender
segregated cropping system.

A final example comes for the Philippines and concerns an integrated
pest management (IPM) project (Adalla, 1988). The project initially worked
with male farmer cooperators. IPM is generally considered as a concept that
is difficult initially to comprehend and involves a lot of management
decision-making. As such, IPM is often thought to take longer time to learn
and as a technology, more difficult to adopt. In the project, though
researchers felt farmers were beginning to understand the concept, few if any
were adopting. In searching for an explanation, researchers found that though
men did indeed do the physical labor associated with managing pests, women
also played a crucial role. "It was the wife who dictated the specific brand
or kind of pesticides to buy and the dosage to use, based on friend's
recommendations or based on experiences of the husband as to which poison
kills most. However, in a tight financial situation the decision is to settle
for the least expensive kind..." (Adalla, 1988). Even if the male farmers did
see a potential value in IPM, their wives continued to purchase pesticides.
Once the researchers understood the role women played in determining the
choices in pest management technology, women were invited to participate
directly in the IPM discussions and training. Subsequently, there was an
increase in the use of IPM because women understood the alternatives to
pesticides. In addition, involvement of the women resulted in a project to
develop IPM tools appropriate to their vegetable gardens.

These three examples, dealing with different crops and widely differing
socio-cultural and agroecological settings, show clearly that gender makes a
difference. In each case, when researchers pursued "who is doing what" in the
production system, they discovered that initial suppositions were wrong and
that both women and men were involved and needed to be considered in the
technology development process.

The above sections have outlined both the progress and difficulties
encountered by the agricultural development sector in understanding gender
issues and using gender analysis. The IARCs, as leaders in the international
community of agricultural practitioners, need to take a serious look at the
critical role and example they must play in furthering this perspective and
enhancing the use of gender analysis in reaching viable solutions for the
production problems of Third World agriculture.

The remainder of this paper reviews the progress and problems in
accounting for gender within the CGIAR System and recommends a course of
action for the future.

V. CGIAR Recommendations and Actionst 1981-86.

Attention to gender issues in the CGIAR System began with an early call
to consider the importance of women in agricultural production. The Report of
the 1981 Quinquennial Review Committee on the CGIAR System states the issue as

"In many parts of the developing world, women play an important role in
agricultural production, for example, as farm owners, managers, sales
agents, and field workers. Too often, this role has been overlooked
resulting in reduced impact or even total failure of programmes related
to agricultural development. Consequently, it is important that the
System should give explicit attention to the role of women wherever
relevant to its work. In particular, Centers should review their
programmes, particularly those on farming systems, to ensure that the
role of women is specifically considered and that the possibility of
differential benefits to men and women is analyzed. Furthermore, we
consider that TAC should ensure that the impact on women of the System's
work is fully taken into account in designing and evaluating programmes
of work (Para. 7.114, p.97, Report of Review Committee, 1981, taken from
MUCIA 1983:5.)"4

While these recommendations call for explicit action, little was
immediately taken. In 1982, Barbara Knudson and Jean Weideman of the
Midwestern Universities Consortium on International Agriculture (MUCIA) gave a
presentation at International Centers Week on a proposal for a collaborative
program on women and agriculture between the MUCIA Women in Development
Network and the IARCs (MUCIA 1983). The program was to provide consultation
services and the development of educational materials and training modules on
women's productive roles in agriculture. Though the program was not funded,
it was the first time the subject of directing IARC research activities
towards to specific technological needs of women farmers was discussed among
the donor and IARC representatives in plenary session at an ICW.

In hindsight, it is likely that the proposal was before its time. Few
people anywhere were making the link between technology development and the
varying technical needs and constraints of different potential users of new
technology. However, the following year, the situation began to change within
the CGIAR System.

4The Committee addressed a separate but related issue in its Report, where
additional recommendations urge attention to the special needs for training women
as scientists both as potential members of staff for the institutions and as
future research leaders in the developing countries (Para. 5.56 cited in MUCIA
1983:5). The Review Committee advised the CGIAR to "make vigorous efforts to
increase the participation ow women as professional staff and to identify women
qualified for membership on Boards of Trustees and of other CGIAR bodies," and
to insure that "the Secretariat should report to the Group, at appropriate
intervals, on progress made in these respects" (Para. 7.115,p.97 cited in MUCIA

In September 1983, IRRI convened an international conference on women's
concerns in rice farming. Biological scientists, social scientists and
policymakers from 27 countries discussed whether women have benefited from the
introduction of new rice technology, how women might benefit from emerging
technologies, and how women's roles in technology development and transfer
might be enhanced (IRRI 1987). The conference was the catalyst that launched
activities at IRRI leading to the establishment of the Women in Rice Farming
Systems (WIRFS) Program in 1986. How and why this program has been successful
is discussed later in this report. The monograph published from the
conference, Women in Rice Farming (1985), set an example for national and
international agricultural research institutions to begin exploring the direct
technical relationships between specific production systems and women farmers.
Conference participants also made three recommendations to the CGIAR System as
a whole:

"1. The CGIAR should organize an inter-center seminar for Policy-makers
on Women in FarmingSystems Improvement based on the work in all IARCs.
All CGIAR members could be invited to participate so that donors can
contribute to the action research projects of the kind recommended."

"2. The TAC to the CGIAR should add the following to the Terms of
Reference and Guidelines for external program reviews of the IARCs:
'Examine the research and training programs of the institute in relation
to their potential impact on women-specific occupations with a view to
diversifying employment opportunities, generating additional income, and
reducing drudgery.'"

"3. Centers themselves could monitor progress during their annual
program reviews."

These recommendations contributed to the decisions on measures taken by
the System as a whole to explore the gender question. At its annual meeting
(ICW) in November 1983, following the IRRI conference, the CGIAR commissioned
a wide-ranging impact study of the results of the activities of the IARCs
under its sponsorship. Though not commissioned initially with the other
specific studies, the Impact Study leaders and Advisory Committee belatedly
recognized the need for a separate study on gender issues. Conducted by
Janice Jiggins during 1984-85, the study produced a series of sector specific
papers (on livestock, breeding, post-harvest issues, etc.) that were later
compiled into a single volume, Gender-Related Impacts and the Work of the
International Agricultural Research Centers (1986).

While the Impact Study was still underway, two conferences brought CGIAR
Centers and gender issues together. In 1984 the Rockefeller Foundation hosted
a conference entitled "Understanding Africa's Rural Households and Farming
Systems" (Moock 1985.) Though focused on one specific region and not targeted
to the CGIAR System, participants did include representatives from a number of

IARCs and donors of the CGIAR.5 The conference attempted to reconcile the
divergent methodological and conceptual issues between FSR/E as it was being
conducted at the time and the body of household research conducted largely by
social scientists. Progress was made in the exchange of ideas, experiences
and methods, however, more than one participant characterized the conference
as two bodies of researchers speaking past each other. FSR/E practitioners at
the time were still very reluctant to acknowledge the need for a gender
disaggregated understanding of the African household and social science
researchers examining the African household were not generating the kinds of
analysis that could lead easily to technical decision-making. It was obvious
that more communication between these two groups would be necessary to arrive
at a cohesive analytical framework.

In March 1985, ISNAR and the Rockefeller Foundation co-sponsored a week-
long inter-center seminar at Bellagio, Italy on Women and Agricultural
Technology: The Users' Perspective in International Agricultural Research
(Rockefeller/ISNAR 1985 Vols. I and II.) The objectives of the meeting were
to assess the current activities in the Centers related to a more effective
integration of women in the modernization of agriculture and to seek possible
ways of improving the performance of the CGIAR System on this issue. The
thirty participants in the seminar included seven Director Generals, members
of the CGIAR Secretariat and TAC, several representatives of Donors,
university and national program leaders, and selected IARC social scientists
with experience in gender issues and analysis.

Prior to the seminar, twelve of the thirteen IARCs prepared background
papers on their experiences to date with the "users' perspective" and women as
users of technology. (IBPGR did not prepare a paper but did participate in
the seminar.) In addition, three regional background papers on women in
Africa, Asia and Latin America were prepared. All background papers were
circulated in advance so that the seminar itself was devoted to analytical
presentations and discussion.

The seminar serves as a benchmark for the CGIAR System on user
perspectives and gender issues. The papers prepared for the seminar summarize
the experiences, shortcomings, success stories and projected needs for the
future in order to conduct gender-aware research. On the positive side, six
of the IARCs provided fairly clear evidence of analytical application of
gender issues to problems of technology development. Several Centers gave
examples of specific technology changes in order to suit needs of women users.
Some of the reports were less positive.

Three of the IARC reports dealt with gender issues mostly in terms of
including more women in training programs and provided little more than token
evidence of gender analysis in their research programs. Two of the Center

5 Included among the participants at the conference were scientists and
managers from: CIMMYT, IITA, ICARDA, ICIPE, ILCA, IITA, ICRISAT, the former
Agricultural Development Council (now a part of WINROCK International), Ford
Foundation, USAID, the World Bank, and the Rockefeller Foundation.

reports are notable for their virtual lack of mention of women or gender
issues. (The only mention in one was an aim to look at the relationship
between nutrition and women's, in particular mothers', work patterns.) That
reports commissioned for a conference dealing with women and technology could
leave out women entirely raises concern. Finally, one report presented a
negatively biased view of women's roles in production and misinterpreted
existing data on gender issues from the region of the Center's responsibility.

The conference confirmed that several Centers were already well engaged
in gender-sensitive research on some topics and were taking steps to assure
that gender analysis would be included in other areas of responsibility. The
concluding statements of the participants affirmed several key points6 on the
relevance of women's and gender issues to research:

that gender is an important variable in distinguishing among
potential beneficiary groups for agricultural technology research and
policy analysis;

that female farmers do not form a homogeneous group for development
purposes and gender and other variables need to be considered in
defining categories of people for research and development

that choice of technological approach is based on more than the
production process itself; it is based on the entire food and
economic context of the household and women play an active part in
that choice;

that the economic contribution of women to the household can be
disrupted and disadvantaged by the introduction of well-intentioned
technological change, particularly when biased towards male heads of
households; and

that women are crucial repositories of information on plant and
animal species as well as technical aspects of production practices
and useful insights are lost when women are ignored.

The seminar confirmed the need for complementarity between the IARCs and
national programs in addressing gender issues and women's participation in the
technology development process. Characterizing the relationship as a team
effort requiring more two-way flow of information, the seminar participants
called for:

increased, systematic use of information and cooperation in raising
awareness of gender issues at national and international program levels;

6 These issues are drawn directly from the Concluding Statement of the
report prepared on the seminar (Rockefeller/ISNAR 1985 Vol.I) and from an
interview with Josette Murphy, then with ISNAR, conducted following the seminar
and reported in CGIAR News Vol. 5, No. 2, June 1985.

development of a long-term strategy to consider women in all phases
of research and development work;

greater collaboration and recognition of complementarity among the
IARCs, especially between the commodity centers and IFPRI and ISNAR;

inclusion of gender issues in the evaluation of the impact of IARC
work at the national systems level.

Finally, the concluding statement of the seminar listed a set of
suggestions for the CGIAR System as a whole that are summarized below:

1) Gender issues must be linked to the entire technology generation

2) IARCs should collaborate with national organizations in generating
information and methodologies dealing with gender issues.

3) Interdisciplinary teams of scientists should identify specific
areas in which gender makes a difference to the effectiveness and
efficiency of IARC work.

4) Inter-center exchanges among natural and social scientists to
discuss specific issues in incorporating gender into research
plans and procedures need to be organized.

5) High-quality studies should be commissioned and widely
disseminated on the experiences of and methodologies for
incorporating gender issues.

6) IARCs and national programs should offer more training
opportunities for women, find ways to increase the number of
female extension workers to reach farm women, and pay specific
attention to gender factors in on-farm research.

Taken together, the seminar statements affirming the need for
understanding gender issues, calling for collaboration between international
and national research entities, and laying out specific suggestions for the
CGIAR System, represent a very positive step towards gender sensitivity for
the entire System. In effect, the conference "signaled the beginning of a
system-wide dialogue on the subject of women and agricultural development"
(CGIAR News 1985).

However, two critical elements were left off of the agenda.

First, no mechanism was developed to insure that the System would follow
the seminar suggestions. Instead, as Josette Murphy, currently at the World
Bank, explains (CGIAR News 1985), "it was left to each center to decide
exactly what it needs to do under its mandate and how it should go about doing
it. Reporting and other administrative requirements were not included to

avoid artificial isolation of the issue." While the argument for not
isolating gender issues is valid, the lack of System-wide mechanisms to
require, evaluate and monitor progress in this area has contributed to the
great unevenness in Center attention to gender issues. To a large extent,
those Centers that were already beginning to deal with gender issues, at least
in some program areas, have continued to do so, provided that the people who
had the capacity to direct and conduct the work have remained at the Centers.
Only one Center, IRRI, has developed an explicit program to take leadership
for gender issues. Those where the issues were weak or misdirected in 1985
have, with few exceptions, continued in the same fashion to present.

Second, no consideration was given as to how Centers were to go about
capacitating their scientific and management staff to be able to incorporate
gender issues. Those present at the seminar represented only a tiny
percentage of the total staff of the CGIAR System. They could also be
characterized as being "the already converted" within the System. How would
the larger numbers of scientists, managers and policymakers for the System be
sensitized to gender issues? Where would they learn the skills and methods to
be able to incorporate gender concerns into their work?

Overlooking these two concerns has meant that while the System has
called for attention to the issues, only the committed few have taken and
continue to take action. Until these areas -- evaluation and capacitation --
are addressed, gender issues will not become part of the most critical task of
the CGIAR System, the technology generation process.

Following the Bellagio Seminar, many IARC scientists proceeded to
communicate results of gender-related research in several international
meetings. To some extent, the Bellagio Seminar may have at last validated the
topic as legitimate for discussion outside the Centers, if not within. Papers
by Center scientists were included at the 1986 Conference at the University of
Florida on Gender Issues and Farming Systems Research and Extension (Poats et
al, 1986), at several meetings of the Association for Women in Development
(AWID), and at the annual Farming Systems Research and Extension Symposium.

In 1986, Janice Jiggins's report for the CGIAR Impact Study was
released. It added numerous examples, both from within and outside the IARC
work, where taking gender into account made a difference in the development
and adoption of technology. She reiterated many of the concerns and
suggestions from the previous Bellagio conference with two important
additions. She called for explicit attention to the links between varietal
characteristics, production and domestic processing. In arguing for early
attention to preservation and preparation technologies, she identified these
areas as largely a female domain and one that is normally excluded from all
but a very few IARC programs. Second, she highlighted the lack of
understanding of multi-purpose uses for much of the biomass produced by rural
households. Defining research objectives in terms of single uses for crop or
livestock products often disadvantages users, frequently women, of the other
traditional products from these same commodities.

Jiggins's report has been widely circulated and cited among the
international community of researchers and development workers addressing

gender issues. It has joined a growing set of literature on gender issues and
agricultural development. The increasing call for further discussion and
action on gender issues and analysis led the CGIAR Secretariat to organize a
half-day special seminar on "Gender Issues: User Impact, Agricultural
Technology and the Global Agricultural Research System" at the 1987
International Centers' Week. While the 1983 conference at IRRI and the 1985
seminar at Bellagio had brought together a range of CGIAR System leaders and
specialists on gender issues, the ICW Seminar in 1987 was the first time since
1982 that the entire system, donors, Centers, Secretariat and TAC discussed
the question of gender and agricultural technology.

VI. The ICW 1987 Seminar on Differential Users: Summary and
Recommendations on Gender Issues7

"...it's not so much that women are the issues; it's the issues that
women are concerned with is what our focus must be."
(W. David Hopper, World Bank)

The focus of the ICW seminar was the need to understand the potential
impact of agricultural technology on disadvantaged user groups, particularly
women. Three themes were addressed by the presentations and the discussions:

1) How can the research process bring user implications to bear in
technology choice?

2) What are the respective roles of national research systems and
international centers in incorporating user considerations into
technology design?

3) How far have the centers themselves progressed in achieving gender
balance and incorporating it into research and training

Finally, given the wide differences in Center reaction to the gender issue
question, the possible usefulness of a Stripe Review on the subject was

The seminar included five presentations, comments by a selected panel,
and open discussion from the floor. Immediately following the seminar, the
CGIAR Secretariat summarized the overarching recommendations from the

1) That the centers play a role in bringing processes and methods to
national systems which allow decision on research thrusts and on
technology choice to be made in the light of the needs of and
potential impacts on different user groups.

7The information presented in this section draws directly upon the
transcript of the ICW 1987 Seminar on Differential Users. All of the quotations
in the section come from the transcript prepared by Miller Reporting Company,
Inc, October 28, 1987.

2) That the Group should receive information on progress in this
area, and in the balancing of genders at the centers themselves,
on a routine basis.

3) That external reviews of centers take up gender as an explicit
issue in the questions asked of centers and in their report.

In addition to these, most of the participants made additional
recommendations and raised questions for further consideration during their
presentations. Drawing upon the transcript of the seminar, these additional
issues are summarized here.

Margaret Catley-Carlson, CIDA, outlined three essential elements to
effect institutional adoption of a gender perspective: a clear, agency-wide
policy mandating attention to gender as a development variable; an action plan
created from bottom-up for implementing the policy; and training for all
staff, starting with those at the top. These elements are applicable not just
to donors, but to the Centers as well. Catley-Carlson also laid down the
donor bottom line by saying, "for those of us who invest millions, if not
billions, of dollars in international development, it's quite silly to go on
doing so if we're not targeting the actual actors in the process."

All of the presenters highlighted the need for the incorporation of user
considerations in technology development and the essential inclusion of gender
analysis as a critical element in determining user groups. However, including
a genderedd" user perspective raised other concerns. Given the location
specificity of user group patterns and needs, how can the IARCs, with a broad
mandate to develop technology for the range of users embraced by individual
national programs, orient research output and research program planning to all
of these differing user needs?

Concerning this question, Bob Herdt, Rockefeller Foundation, clarified
that the key role of the IARCs is to develop appropriate analytical methods to
address user concerns. These methods must be oriented to the challenge of
identifying innovative technologies that will have a positive impact on the
general groups that are the ultimate CGIAR System clients: the poor, the
women, and the disadvantaged. The IARC responsibility is to provide
leadership and training in these methods as part of their overall mandate.
Ashby's presentation underscored the IARC role vis-a-vis national programs.

"A user-orientation in the research agenda, such as giving priority to
commodities or activities where women are likely to benefit from
research, reflects values which are not necessarily shared in all
cultures where NARS operate. The IARCs have the opportunity to show by
their example, the relevance of user-oriented research to attaining the
objective of improved food availability for the poor. To the extent
that resources invested by IARCs in networks, training, and methodology
development reflect concern with specific groups of users, commitment is
likely to be generated in national programs to respond to user
priorities in the research process."

Opponents of the user perspective and a concern for gender issues often
fall back on the argument that the role of the IARCs is to generate what might
be called "generic technology". This is then adapted to local conditions by
national programs, or in some cases, local user groups, in the process of
developing "brand-name technology". While the boundaries between what is IARC
work and what is NARS work are often fuzzy, the seminar discussion highlighted
the importance of feedback along the research chain to identify user relevant
priority thrusts at the applied and strategic levels. User concerns and
information must play a strong role in informing the research agenda from the
beginning. Technology developed at strategic and applied levels in isolation
from user concerns and criteria, will likely be insulated from user adoption.

"The diversity of user circumstances and of potential impacts which can
arise from technological change means that user implications ultimately
have to be accommodated in technology design through greater involvement
of users in problem definition and technology evaluation. The issue at
this level is fundamentally one of how to institutionalize the
participation of users in the research process to inform research
strategy and orient technology design." (Ashby presentation)

On-farm, client-oriented or farming systems research within the IARCs
will continue to have the greatest responsibility for the user perspective in
research. However, to carry this out effectively, beyond its concern with
technology adaptation, FSR must increasingly emphasis a feedback role engaging
in the dynamics of research priority-setting and strategy-building. And, most
importantly, FSR will have to accommodate methods which can account for the
gender and intrahousehold differentials in technology impact.

The case experiences discussed in the seminar confirmed that efforts to
right the gender imbalance in agricultural research are better placed as part
of the mainstream effort rather than as special women's projects which may
further isolate the problem and solution from the general bureaucracy.

Patel's presentation on adaptive research and gender issues in Zambia
brought out another critical issue: the rapidly growing numbers of female-
headed households due to male-outmigration. Though in southern Africa, this
situation is reaching drastic proportions, it is occurring at a rapid rate in
all developing countries. The growing importance of women in agriculture,
especially food crop production, will have profound implications on the
definitions of user needs for research and the ability and resources of poorer
farmers and households to adopt improved technology. Gender sensitive
analysis will need to play an even stronger role in determining the
differences among women farmers as well as between male and female farmers.
Given the mandate of the CGIAR System as a whole to increase the amount,
quality and stability of food supplies for poor people in low-income
countries, the Centers must deal with the fact that unless the trends are
quickly and drastically altered, the majority of the faces of their clients in
the near future will be female.

Though most of the seminar discussion focused on the users of
technology, a parallel thread addressed the gender imbalances among the
designers and managers of the technology innovation process: the researchers,
staff, management and boards of the Centers. In the final seminar
presentation, Richard Sawyer, Director General of CIP, underscored the need to
increase the number of women professionals in the CGIAR System. He pointed to
the lack of women in the centers themselves, on the boards and within the
Technical Advisory Committee and the CGIAR secretariat itself. Using CIP as
an example, he recommended that other centers actively recruit women
professionals into their ranks without sacrificing quality for equity.
However, he warned against getting too involved with the internal politics of
national programs in trying to balance gender inequities among participants in
IARC training courses.

Echoing the concerns of Sawyer, John Mellor, Director General of IFPRI,
noted that "sometimes we forget, as we look at the question of gender, what a
powerful force the combination or juxtaposition of latent racism and sexism
represent in the world, ... we need to give some special attention to that
interaction within international organizations."

While the attention of the IARCs and the entire agricultural research
establishment to the gender issue is long overdue, the discussion during the
seminar revealed another problem. Gender refers to men and women, not just
women. The use of gender analysis is not gender specific. Male and female
researchers can be equally proficient at gender analysis. Likewise, a woman
researcher trained in a narrow technical discipline can be as gender-blind as
a male trained in the same profession. Both need training in the skills of
gender analysis to become proficient and effective in applying it to their
work. So, hiring more women scientists, unless they are specifically trained
in gender analysis techniques, will not rectify a gender bias in the
technology generation process. A surprising number of the participants at the
seminar seemed by their comments to be confused on this issue. The
implications of confusing affirmative action or "the equity issue" and the
"efficiency issue" of gender analysis in development, are discussed later in
this paper.

In the final comments of the seminar, Janice Jiggins brought the
discussion back to the need to assess the progress made, and yet to be made,
by the Centers in dealing with user perspectives and gender issues. She
observed that very practical and constructive efforts have been made by some
Centers both internally and in collaboration with national programs. Other
have been far more hesitant and she posed the question why some Centers remain
resistant to gender. As a prelude to exploring this issue, the next section
presents some examples of the strategies used by various Centers to address
user needs and gender analysis in technology development.

Before moving on, it is important to note that gender has surfaced at
least twice more among the centers since the ICW 1987. One was during the
International Agricultural Research Centers Workshop on Human Resource
Development Through Training, held at CIP, Lima, Peru, in September 1988. In
the summary report listing major issues and recommended actions, number 14
reads as follows:

"Women in Human Resource Development in Agriculture.
Centers recognize that women farmers are an important target population
and that action should be taken to encourage the participation of women
in their training programs.

Recommendation: That centers develop training materials which point out
the importance of reaching women as a neglected target group for
technology development and also explore methods for improving the
participation of women in center training activities."

A second time gender issues were raised was at ICW 1989, when several donors
discussed the issue in smaller group sessions as well as in the plenary. They
called for a report on the progress made since the 1987 ICW seminar on the
incorporation of gender and user issues in the Centers. This report is a
first response to that request.

VII. Strategies for Gender Issues:Examples from the System.8

From the previous sections of this paper, it is quite clear that there
is no lack of recommendations to guide the CGIAR System in dealing with gender
issues. However, as stated in the beginning, the application and use of the
recommendations is quite uneven among the 13 Centers. Based upon the
literature from the system reviewed for this paper, the Centers can be grouped
into three categories. The first comprises those Centers with a clear mandate
or policy on gender issues, an operating research program that has a focus on
gender, training in gender analysis, and a commitment to a gender balance
among staff and trainees. The only Center in this category is IRRI.

8 A thorough review of all gender-related activities undertaken by the
CGIAR System was beyond the scope of this paper. Instead, a purposive search
was made to find examples of successes and then to identify the factors that
encouraged success and the lessons learned from the experience. This search was
done by interviewing a number of people who hold current positions within the
System and others who used to work with the Centers. The selected interviews
were complemented by a rapid content analysis of the most recent reports and
documents from the CGIAR, TAC and the Centers themselves. Annual reports from
each Center (mostly for the years 1988 or 1989) were reviewed to locate any
references to women, gender, household, or intra-household issues. Special
publications, journal articles and project reports were also scanned. Where
available, strategy statements and long-range planning documents were reviewed.
In addition, several external program and managements reviews were studied to
see whether reviewers had complied with recommendations from the CGIAR to include
gender issues in the regular review process of the Centers. Finally, several
of the CGIAR Impact Studies were also included in the review. All of the
documents consulted in this review are listed in the references to the paper,
including documents that were studied but not cited directly. A large part of
the literature consulted was provided by the CGIAR Secretariat office in
Washington, D.C.

The second group consists of Centers where individual scientists have
done good work either directly on gender issues or have incorporated gender
analysis into an on-going research direction. These Centers do not have a
clear policy on gender and the work that has been done on gender, even when
recognized internationally, appears to have a limited audience within the
Center. In some instances, such work is given brief mention in annual
reports, but in most cases, the results remain at the level of projects and
programs, does and not serve to inform the Center effort as a whole. Seven
Centers fall into this category: CIAT, CIMMYT, CIP, ICARDA, IFPRI, IITA, and

The final category include those Centers where there was very little
attention or mention of gender or women in the documents reviewed. Some of
the Centers in this group made no mention at all in any of the documents
reviewed, others have some minor mention in project related reports, but
usually nothing at the level of the annual report or strategic plan. This
group includes: ISNAR, IBPGR, ILRAD, ICRISAT, and ILCA.

From the first two groups, a number of strategies can be identified that
would be useful to other centers in the System. I have selected three for
discussion. Among these, considerable attention is given to IRRI due to the
length and depth of that institution's experience. Several other examples are
given at the end of the section.


The most succinct statement on IRRI's position regarding women and
gender issues is found in "IRRI Toward 2000 and Beyond". Of the five IRRI
policies laid out in the document to guide the future of the institution, the
fourth is stated as "women and rice". The brief summary of the policy reads:

"Women and rice: Affirmative action will be taken in recruitment, in
selection of candidates for training and in research design to address
the roles of women in IRRI itself, in national rice programs, and as
users and beneficiaries of rice technology." p. 23.

An expanded version of the policy provides some additional information about
the program and its results.

"The role of women in rice research and rice farming has both efficiency
and equity implications. IRRI has been sensitive to this issues for
many years. Some progress has been made in regard to women in IRRI
itself, in national rice programs, and as users and beneficiaries of
rice technology, but much remains to be done.

We recognize and uphold the principle of affirmative action in the
recruitment of all staff at IRRI, We will intensify our efforts to
recruit qualified women scientists and administrators. We also aim to
increase the proportion of women in IRRI graduate and postdoctoral
fellow programs and short-term training programs.

We will continue to promote the integration of women's concerns into all
research projects in IRRI and in national programs. Specifically,
gender analysis will permit recognition of the contribution of women to
rice production, marketing, and consumption; technologies that reduce
the burden on women without displacing their income-earning capacity
will be developed, and research on rice processing will aim at
conserving the level of essential nutrients. These activities will help
us to focus more sharply on the whole family as the ultimate beneficiary
of rice research."

The cornerstone of IRRI's focus on women and gender issues is the Women
and Rice Farming Systems Program (WIRFS). WIRFS traces its history to the
Women in Rice Farming conference held at IRRI in 1983. In addition to the
recommendations made by the conference to the System as a whole (mentioned
earlier) participants also called for IRRI to organize a network on women and
rice farming systems for the Asian region. In 1984, a consultant with long-
term expertise in women and rice production, Jennie Dey (currently with FAO),
was funded by the Ford Foundation to lay the groundwork for such a network
involving six countries: Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, the
Philippines, and Thailand.

Following the Bellagio Conference on Women and Agricultural Technology,
IRRI took steps to implement the recommendation to develop a long-term
strategy for involving women in all phases of research and technology
development work. In 1985, IRRI held a project design workshop to create
WIRFS. Leadership for the first year was provided by Gelia Castillo from the
University of the Philippines, a noted scholar who was already serving on the
boards of several Centers. She coordinated WIRFS activities at IRRI, in the
Philippines and within country members of the Asian network for rice farming
systems. In 1986, WIRFS began action research within one of IRRI's crop-
livestock projects (Paris, 1988). This work demonstrated to IRRI scientists
and management that introducing a gender perspective made a difference in
research priorities and directions, as well as identifying new topics, such as
glutinous rice preparation, that had not previously been the subject of IRRI
research attention.

On the basis of the initial results of the WIRFS initiatives, the 1987
IRRI External Program Review recommended strengthening WIRFS work at the
Institute. This recommendation was endorsed by TAC. As & result, IRRI
obtained funding from the Ford Foundation for expanding WIRFS activities at
IRRI and within the network. To date, WIRFS has sponsored more than 26
different research projects. During the past two years, it has organized 11
workshops and training courses at national and international levels during
1988-1989. Funding from a number of other donors has been obtained for many
of the WIRFS activities including IDRC, CIDA, DANIDA, USAID, Rockefeller
Foundation, and a number of the Universities in the region. Over 87 papers or
presentations have been delivered by members of WIRFS on their work, at
national and international conferences and workshops between 1986-1989.

The impressive record of WIRFS at IRRI is not duplicated at any of the
other Centers. No other Center in the CGIAR System has a policy statement on
women and gender issues. A number of critical factors have enabled IRRI to

develop such a policy and, more importantly, gain the necessary consensus
among Center staff and management, as well as the participating national
programs and governments, to have it approved. These critical or
"conditioning" factors are listed below.

1) International legitimization for a focus on women and use of
gender analysis. The international conferences and
external/international advisors have provided legitimacy and
respect for the WIRFS effort in the eyes of the other members of
the Institute. Donor funding has also assisted in legitimizing
the effort.

2) Sustained experienced leadership for WIRFS. The individuals
leading the program have been qualified researchers in the social
sciences with experience and training in gender analysis tools.
They were able to provide both scientific as well as managerial

3) Support and protection from top management at IRRI. It is no
coincidence that WIRFS developed during the leadership of IRRI by
Dr. M.S. Swaminathan. Long committed to both affirmative action
and gender analysis in research, Dr. Swaminathan provided the
young WIRFS with guidance as well as insulation during the time it
needed to become established. The critical role of such "guardian
angels" during efforts to institutionalize new approaches is
recognized in development literature and was key to the acceptance
of WIRFS (or at least silent acquisition) by IRRI scientists.

4) External funding provided flexibility and autonomy. WIRFS has
been quite successful in attracting sufficient funds from outside
the Institute to sustain its activities. This has provided the
flexibility to try out new approaches, new methods and to be very
responsive to ideas and interests from members of the network.

5) Substantial external exposure. WIRFS member researchers have
participated in a number of international conferences and
workshops. These have exposed the program to the critical eyes of
peers and enhanced the intellectual and methodological innovation
needed to keep the program fresh and on its target.

6) Strong national involvement in the program built through
networking and training. WIRFS has not focused just on research
at IRRI but has been developed around the concept of the
collaborative research network. Rather than creating a new
network, WIRFS took advantage of the existing IRRI supported
network on Asian rice farming systems and drew participants from
the network.

7) Evaluation of WIRFS as part of Institute-level evaluations. WIRFS
has been included in the regular program and management
evaluations conducted by the CGIAR and TAC. Positive assessments

of WIRFS to date have strengthened the program and have assisted
in maintaining its sources of funding.

8) Results from WIRFS research shows that gender makes a difference.
This is perhaps the most important factor in WIRFS favor for
making a potential impact on the institute as a whole. Explicit,
well-defined examples of changes within projects in technology
design, priorities, testing, or new research directions have
resulted from WIRFS.

All of these factors together have enabled the program to get started
and to begin to make a difference to some of IRRI's work. At present,
however, WIRFS is at the end of the phase of Ford Foundation funding and will
hold a review in March 1990 to determine the future of the program. The
review team will have to deal with several critical issues that will determine
the extent to which WIRFS will be continued.

First, leadership at IRRI has changed in the last year and the new
management wants hard evidence of WIRFS strengths and impact. WIRFS internal
leadership will also shift shortly with the departure of one of its two
leaders. Under Swaminathan, junior scientists at IRRI, many of whom are from
the Philippines, were given significant responsibilities, including the
ability to travel outside the Institute to participate in regional and
international activities. This is unusual among the Centers. The prime
"mover" for the program during the past three years has been a Philippine
woman with a M.S. degree. Though not senior IRRI staff herself, in the eyes
of WIRFS collaborators, she has represented and "spoken" for IRRI. Within
IRRI, she is a junior staff member and thus less able to influence the senior
scientists from other programs. WIRFS has capitalized on the substantial
cadre of Philippine women scientists for conducting WIRFS activities. The
extent to which this can continue should be assessed. Also, critical
attention needs to be given to the need for a leader with senior ranking
within the Institute in order that the valuable lessons from WIRFS activities
can influence the larger IRRI program agenda.

The second issue is that the program up to now has functioned largely in
the mode of a special project focused on women. While gender analysis has
been the working apparatus, the mode has been to operate through special
projects and teams that have been composed largely of women scientists.
Participants in WIRFS activities have been mostly women. While it is
important to involve more women in the research work of the Institute, it is
essential that the male scientists working in the mainstream be brought into
"a gender way of thinking." WIRFS has very successfully captured the
"converted" within and around IRRI and gained the basic foundations of
experience and results. Its challenge now is to mainstream the effort into
the internal research program and the larger rice farming systems network.


It is very difficult to find any mention of gender or women in CIMMYT
reports and documents. At the upper level of CIMMYT publications, the annual
reports and strategic plans, there is no mention of either. In fact, the

words gender and woman(en) appear to virtually confined to project reports and
individual research articles. Despite this somewhat negative self-
presentation on the subject, two examples of effective approaches to including
gender issues come from the CIMMYT experience.9

In an internal CIMMYT study on the impact of the Center on women, Carney
(1988) notes that "the principal manner in which CIMMYT has directed
assistance to women in developing countries is through its work in on-farm
research, known as on-farm research with a farming systems perspective
(OFR/FSP)." Within its OFR activities, CIMMYT has reached women farmers in
two broad related areas: the development of methods for sensitizing
researchers to the needs and circumstances of a target group of farmers, and
workshops and training programs in the effective use of the methods. The key
OFR concept directly relating to women farmers is the "recommendation domain"
which is a "homogeneous group of farmers who share the same problems and
possess similar resources for solving these problems" (Low cited in Carney

When applied correctly, the recommendation domain concept has the
potential to identify production problems for women and men farmers and to
engage women in on-farm research to solve these problems. The problem is that
too often the method is not applied in a sufficiently unbiased manner,
recommendation domains are delineated according to the problems shared by male
farmers, not all farmers. However, the concept has great potential to
facilitate the involvement of women farmers in technology development.

The second example comes from CIMMYT activities in Africa. CIMMYT
Eastern and Southern Africa Economics Program operates explicitly from an on-
farm research perspective and has taken the lead in the region for providing
training and national capacity building in adaptive research. From 1987, the
CIMMYT program has taken steps towards the application of gender analysis to
agricultural research. In April 1987, it sponsored a Networkshop on Household
Issues and Farming Systems Research. The workshop included presentation of a
case study incorporating gender analysis (Chabala and Guichiru 1990), papers
by participants on the application of intra-household analysis to trial
design, farmer selection, and trial analysis, and general discussion of
methodologies and issues related to the application of intra-household or
gender analysis to on-farm research (Alistair Sutherland 1987.)

In 1989 and 1990, resource persons with expertise in the application of
gender analysis to agricultural research were included in Part 1 of CIMMYT's
annual basic training course in on-farm research held at the University of
Zimbabwe. Participants are generally agronomists or agricultural economists

9 Information about CIMMYT's efforts to incorporate gender perspectives and
analysis within the content of training programs was provided by Hilary Feldstein
and Judith Carney. Information concerning the CIMMYT bilateral program in Ghana
is taken from a CIMMYT document on the program written by N.C. Russell and from
my own observations of the program during a brief visit in September 1989 and
discussions at that time with CIMMYT agronomist Roberto Arias and members of the
Ghana Grains Development Project.

from national systems who have not had formal training in OFR. The course is
divided into two parts: Part 1 covers diagnosis, informal and formal surveys
and runs for three weeks in February; Part 2, trial design and evaluation,
runs for two weeks in September. The schedule for Part 1 is relatively tight
since emphasis is put on field practicums. In 1990, the resource person gave
a one hour lecture on gender analysis which included a slide show, methods for
developing "gender related" cropping calendars, and key definitions and
questions; prepared a "gender sensitive" supplementary handout to the detailed
guidelines for the informal survey; led one group for the informal survey; and
prepared suggestions for further incorporation of gender into the regular

This kind of work by an external training advisor is a good beginning,
but still leaves gender analysis more or less as an add-on, not an integral
part of the training. Gender as a useful and important variable needs to be
threaded throughout the lectures, field exercises, and field reports. While
the foreshortened nature of each field exercise makes in depth questioning of
farmers more difficult, some strategic, ahead-of- time planning and commitment
on the part of the trainers could incorporate gender, an important variable in
understanding farmer decision-making, as a natural part of the on-farm
researcher's toolkit.

One of the areas which does need to be addressed with more material in
future courses is the approach to learning about women and from women.
Participants talked about the awkwardness of interviewing women--either
because husbands were unwilling to have their wives interviewed alone or, when
interviewed, women were deferent in the presence of their husbands. It was
clearly an explicit barrier (probably hiding other deeper barriers) to better
gathering of gender disaggregated information on the production system and
therefore to the adequate inclusion of gender analysis.

Another example of a growing gender concern is highlighted in CIMMYT's
OFR work in Ghana. CIMMYT and Ghanaian researchers have become aware of the
unique decision-making roles that women exercise in the choice of technology.

"In Northern Ghana, women will normally have the responsibilities of
seed selection and planting of cereals, while decisions about other
cultural practices, such as fertilizer selection and weed control, will
often be made by men. Thus field-days that focus on the maturing crop
will normally only attract men, yet it is the women who make many of the
important decisions concerning choice of variety, time of planting and
plant density and arrangement." (Edmeades, pers. comm. cited in Carney

A recent study on changing maize production practices in Ghana showed
that women adopt new technologies as fast or faster than men (Tripp et al.
1987). But as Carney points out (1988:4) the fact that women only represented
15 percent of the study's sample and of these, only five grew maize as a
monocrop, has uncovered additional areas that need to be researched. In fact,
the team, as a result of such information, has begun several interesting new
initiatives. For example, work is now being conducted on mixed cropping

systems for maize because women farmers nearly always plant maize with other
crops, such as cassava, and have been, thus far, uninterested in the mono-crop
technology developed by the project and adopted largely by male farmers.

The project staff in Ghana have recognized that the gender of the
research teams -- all male members -- makes it difficult for women farmers to
interact or collaborate in OFR work. Therefore, they are collaborating with a
new Ghanaian reorganization that has taken existing home economics extension
agents -- all women -- and re-structured them as the Women Farmers Extension
Service. The CIMMYT project is providing OFR training to a large group of
these new agricultural agents and intends to place them on field teams, like
male extension workers, with the explicit objective of collaborating more with
women farmers. It is probably significant that the donor for this project is
CIDA, and CIDA project officers are insisting that CIDA's mandate regarding
the incorporation of gender issues be followed in the Ghana program. However,
it was evident from discussions with CIMMYT scientists in Ghana that they are
strongly supportive of gender issues and their key concern is to learn
appropriate methods for including gender issues in the research process as
well as including women in the on-farm trials.

These experiences from CIMMYT's on-farm research program are good
examples of how, both in training and in field work, gender issues can be
included and make a difference. One can argue that at selected field and
project interfaces, CIMMYT's research is being influenced by the results of
gender analysis. However, little if any of the experience is trickling up the
institution. Without a policy regarding gender and with little support for
the issue at headquarters in Mexico, attention to gender tends to be done by
the few sensitive field-oriented individuals and certain female research
staff, while the major strategies and priorities of the Center are set without
consideration to gender issues specifically, or user criteria and involvement
more generally.


The pioneering efforts to develop a user orientation to research and
participatory research methods at CIAT by Jackie Ashby have already been
discussed in this paper and are well-documented elsewhere (Ashby 1990,
1987).10 Her efforts to incorporate gender issues and analysis within the
user perspective have been very important. It is significant to note that
Ashby's work has been supported by and large by external, not core funding.
While this has provided a great deal of flexibility, it has also contributed
to the "special project" status and the difficulty of influencing other CIAT
scientists with the results of a gender sensitive research strategy. No
mention is made of the research in the last two annual reports from the

10 CIAT and IFDC collaborated in publishing an annotated bibliography on
Women, Agriculture, and Rural Development in Latin America by Jacqueline Ashby
and Stella Gomez (1985). It is one of the very few resources on women in
agriculture in Latin America.

In a recent strategy document, CIAT in the 1990s, there is a statement
under the bean program activities within the Africa section, that production
is by small farmers, mostly women, and is predominantly subsistence (CIAT
1989). Unfortunately, there is no further mention of whether this fact calls
for any changes in agenda or methods of reaching farmers. No other program
mentions gender or women.

Despite the lack of mention at higher levels of management, within the
bean program, and to a lesser extent in the cassava program, there is
increasing attention to and use of gender analysis methods. Breeding work on
beans at headquarters in has been significantly affected by Ashby's work in
Colombia that has identified gender differentiated and user defined criteria
for bean selection.

Within the Bean Program's Great Lakes Program in Eastern Africa, two
anthropologists have placed attention on women needs in bean development.
Joachim Voss, the first anthropologist with the team based in Rwanda,
illuminated the fact that the majority, if not all, of the bean producers in
the region of the program were women. If they did not focus on women, they
would miss the farmers entirely.

Louise Sperling, the current anthropologist with the team, has built
upon Voss's earlier work and the CIAT experiences in farmer participatory
research and designed an innovative strategy to bring farmer's criteria for
bean variety selection into the breeding process at an early stage (personal
communication, L. Sperling, December 1989.) Working with bean breeders and
farmer communities, "expert seed selectors" were selected by their neighbors
and brought to the experiment station. There, they were exposed to the
"logic" of bean selection on-station while providing information on their own
selection procedures on-farm. Over time, the farmer selectors, all of whom
are women, have become a regular part of the bean selection process. The
result is that farmer experience of decades of bean selection is being
incorporated into varieties, scientists are altering their field trial
arrangements to accommodate better farmer understanding and involvement in
selection procedures, and there is higher probability that the varieties to be
released will prove acceptable to the farmers they are intended to help. As
Sperling says, "Farmer knowledge, combined with breeder talents, has a chance
to produce something better than each expert's isolated efforts."
Additionally, Rwandan and CIAT scientists, long conditioned not to view rural
women as "thinkers" nor "decision-makers" are gaining a new perspective on
women farmers who can match the breeders at their own game on their own turf.

These examples from CIAT demonstrate the value of user perspectives and
gender sensitivity in the research program. However, the impact of the
understanding derived from attention to gender remains at the immediate level
of the field activities and does not filter up the system, nor systematically
across the Center to other programs. This problem is not limited just to
gender analysis results, but is true for much of the socioeconomic research at
CIAT and at the other IARCs. This fact is supported by a statement from
CIAT's recent External Program Review that says "little use has been made of
economic research capacity by CIAT administrators for Center-wide management

A Selected List of Gender Sensitive Work at Other Centers.

As noted above, most of the other centers have experienced, to a greater
or lesser extent, some gender sensitive research work. Further study is
needed to bring to light the entire range of activities undertaken by members
of the CGIAR System. The list below included some of the researchers at the
various other centers who have conducted work with women, focused on women, or
included gender analysis in other on-going studies.



Natalie Hahn

Kristen Cashman
Susan Almy

ICARDA Andree Rassam
Dennis Tully


Ella Schmidt
Greta Watson
Susan Poats
Marisela Benevides

Vera Ninez
Robert Rhoades

IFPRI Eileen Kennedy
Joanne Csete
Joachim von Braun
Schubh Kumar

WARDA Dunstan Spencer
Victor Nyanteng


Irene Whalen

ILRAD Barbara Grandin

ISNAR Susan Poats
Dely Gapasin


women soybean producers in Nigeria
women's research farm
women's training program at IITA
WID literature added to library
women in agroforestry
on-farm research with women in

agricultural machinery, labor and

women potato producers

women and consumption studies
women and potato processing
women and potato storage
household gardens
farm household in potato/sw.potato

gender impacts from the
commercialization of food
women and deforestation Nepal
international agricultural research
and human nutrition

women and rice production in West Africa
women and rice systems

women and livestock

women and livestock diseases

management of women staff in OFCOR
women in agricultural management

This list is by no means complete. It would be useful for the
scientists within the CGIAR System to have an inventory of the work that has

been done related to gender in order that they could draw upon each others'
experiences. It would also be useful for donors to have a sense of what might
have been tried elsewhere before it is repeated in a new setting or expanded.
Finally, national programs who are facing growing requests by donors to
include gender issues in their donor-funded work, would benefit from the
experiences gained by the IARCs.

VII. Why is the Gender Question So Difficult ?

The review of gender issues in the CGIAR System reveals that the topic
has been difficult for the IARCs, TAC and the CGIAR Secretariat to address.
While considerable work has been accomplished, many of the researchers
responsible for the effort do not feel they have succeeded in convincing other
colleagues of the utility of gender analysis. Little of the results from work
dealing with gender issues has influenced or informed the research agendas of
the Centers. While some difficulties are Center-specific, others cut across
the System and create a general barrier to gender sensitivity and analysis.
These cross-cutting issues are discussed in this section, drawing on specific
centers as examples.

1. Confusion between gender analysis and affirmative action.

There is general misunderstanding of the difference between gender
analysis and affirmative action. Gender analysis is aimed at greater
efficiency in production through the use of analytical tools designed to
better define who does what in the production system and to align research and
development priorities, resources and participation of users accordingly.
Gender analysis is not gender specific and can, and should, be done by men and
women. The use of gender analysis as part of the routine of agricultural
research results in a gender sensitive approach to development as a whole.

Affirmative action, on the other hand, refers to the staffing of
agricultural research entities and revising the overwhelmingly male structure
to one that involves equitable numbers of men and women at all levels of
staffing. Affirmative action is applied to training programs through
mechanisms to assure that men and women have equal access and participation.

Though gender sensitive research and development and affirmative action
are related, they are not equivalent. Women, just because of their sex, are
not gender experts. Gender analysis is learned, like any other skill. Within
many IARCs, however, managers have confused the two issues and have assumed
that hiring a few more women scientists will solve the problem of gender
issues. While the simple presence of more women professionals at all levels
in the System may influence some researchers to "see" more women farmers and
decision-makers in the rural sector, it does not guarantee the use of gender
analysis. Managers must be careful to clarify, separate and manage them as
two issues.

2. Good gender analysis requires experienced social scientists.

As defined earlier, gender is a social construct and gender analysis
draws on social science tools, especially from anthropology, sociology,

geography and economics. There are relatively few social scientists in the
CGIAR System as a whole. The few that are there, are not uniformly equipped
(trained) to do this type of work. In addition, the disciplinary bias of the
socioeconomics divisions or positions with the System is towards agricultural
economics. Agricultural economics training, with few exceptions, does not
address gender issues nor provide training in gender analysis methodologies.
In fact, as others have pointed out, the predominance of agricultural
economists as the voice of social science in the Centers and especially in on-
farm research teams, likely contributes to gender blindness through a reliance
on traditional household models that assume the farm household functions as a
single unit for production and consumption and that assume that consensus
exists among household members on the allocation of resources and benefits,
and that all household members' interests and problems are identical (Cloud

As Murphy notes in a recent World Bank guide "The contribution of women
to development is often underestimated in economic analyses if these include
only formal market activities, because much of the economic contribution of
rural women is done through non-market labor. Yet this contribution is highly
significant although its relative proportion varies between countries. The
World Bank Long Term Perspective Study estimates that women are responsible
for about 70Z of the food staple production in Africa. Their labor
contribution to export crop and to informal trade is also highly significant"

To deal with this problem, managers can add, judiciously, gender-
experienced scientists from the other social science domains, either on a
permanent or project (consultant) basis, to expand the analytical and
methodological base of the social sciences in the Centers and provide the
capability to conduct gender analysis. Alternatively, training existing staff
and backstopping them with experienced professionals drawn locally and
internationally would be another solution to enhancing the gender analysis
capacity. Pooling analytical resources across international and national
research institutions is another route to enhancing capabilities.

A key tool for enhancing a gender perspective is the incorporation of a
gender analysis framework in research. One of the reasons why frameworks for
gender analysis are useful to agricultural researchers is that they pose a set
of questions that should be asked at every decision point in the process of
agricultural research. The questions -- who does what, with what resources,
who has access or control to the resources and benefits, and who should be
included in research activities -- are always the same. The answers vary.
Analysis of the information generated by the questions becomes part of the
overall analysis of the production or food system. Practice with a gender
analysis framework will make it part of the normal process of inquiry.

3. Lack of contact between scientists and women farmers.

IARC scientists generally have very little contact with women farmers.
Even within FSR or on-farm research programs, it is rare to find consistent or
extensive contact with women farmers, therefore little knowledge and
understanding is gained of the differences that might occur between males and

females practicing agriculture in the same zone. One reason for the lack of
women participants in on-farm research is a lack of rigor and methodological
justification in the selection of farmer cooperators. A recent ISNAR study
(Biggs, 1989) pointed out the selection of farmer cooperators is the weakest
methodological aspect in the realm of farmer participation. More often than
not, farmers are selected for their convenience, not for representativeness.
They tend to be wealthier and commercially oriented. They often have very
little in common with women farmers in the same area. Poor implementation of
the methods for farmer selection prevents adequate inclusion of women farmers
and exacerbates the lack of contact with scientists despite the growing use of
on-farm research approaches.

Better application of the tools to build representativeness into the
selection of farmers as collaborators in the research process will lead to a
rational inclusion of women farmers in the process.

4. Geographic location of IARC headquarter will influence gender sensitivity
of scientists. (

When a Center is headquartered in an area where women either
historically have had a smaller role in the production of the commodities
within the mandate of the Center, or where women are believed to play a small
role in agriculture, the beliefs and understanding of the Center staff
concerning gender roles in production are greatly influenced by the immediate
surroundings. For example, the location of IITA in a region of Nigeria where
women are not very involved traditionally in production activities has caused
or reinforced the belief that women in general are not involved in
agriculture. (personal communication, A. Goldman, January 1990.)

In the north of Nigeria women are not even involved in marketing
activities. Field exposure there has served to reinforce a lack of attention
to the issue since it simply doesn't visually hit researchers over the head.
Likewise, the location of CIMMYT in an area of Mexico typified historically by
men taking major responsibility for field tasks in agriculture has contributed
to a similar bias (personal communication, J. Carney, February 1990.)

This kind of "conventional wisdom" can serve as blinders to gender
differences, even when one is confronted with them, face to face. Carney
explains that in Mexico, women are becoming major decision-makers in
agricultural production for maize and wheat. In the past, they were not.
Even though migration to the U.S. on a seasonal basis was always an economic
strategy used by men to augment household income, they were able to be at home
to perform the major agricultural tasks. Now that seasonal migration is
illegal, men can no longer return to perform these tasks and women must bear
the burden of the agricultural work. Usually they use remittances from the
men to purchase labor in the form of mechanization. Bound by their beliefs in
the system "the way it was," the research community has not perceived these
changes in the production system and nor questioned whether it makes a
difference. In the definition of problems and design of technology, the male
is still considered as the head of the household and key decision-maker.

In the Mexican situation above, if researchers first asked who does
what in the local production system, they would discover the changes in gender
roles brought on by larger political and social changes. They could then
adjust research directions and priorities accordingly. If they don't ask the
question, then they remain blinded by their beliefs in the way the system used
to be instead of how it really is.

5. Lack of senior scientist involvement in gender issues.

Research relating to gender issues is often assigned to or undertaken by
junior staff: the post doc's, junior scientists, research associates, and
research assistants. Because women have been the primary actors in dealing
with gender issues and because women are generally within the Centers in more
junior positions, the lack of senior status and involvement has created a type
of "second class standard" for gender issues work. This has made it difficult
for those conducting gender analysis to make their results heard within the
Center and within the CGIAR System. Additionally, most of the attention to
gender is by social scientists, who also generally have less status and
seniority within agricultural research.

Not only does this deafen the larger research effort to gender analysis,
but also there is a lack of guidance and mentoring for the scientists and
researchers who do engage in gender analysis. While there are gender-
sensitive male scientists within the System, few apparently are willing to be
vocal in public on the subject. Often this is a case of simply lacking
experience in articulating gender issues within the agricultural research
framework. For others, there is a definite perceived social and even
professional risk in standing up for gender amongst their peers. As long as
the "culture" of the Centers make it risky to voice gender issues, the
effective incorporation of gender analysis in research is unlikely.

The risk perceived in voicing gender concerns is linked to the
connection of gender issues to the social sciences, and in most cases, to on-
farm research. Gender is embedded in a whole approach to conducting
agricultural research that is still not well accepted across all sectors of
the field. Resistance to doing research with direct farmer involvement is
still so strong that proponents often fear to complicate the issue further by
adding the gender perspective. Thus, many of the more gender-sensitive male
scientists in the System are reluctant to push the issue since they are
already fighting a difficult battle just to get any farmers at all involved in
the process.

6. Gender viewed as the responsibility of NARS not IARCs.

As mentioned earlier in the paper, gender issues and analysis, and
indeed any research directly involving farmers, is viewed by many within the
CGIAR System as the responsibility of NARS not the IARCs. While it is true
that the adaptive stage of the research process should be squarely in the
domain of the national programs, the technical results from strategic and
particularly from applied research cannot be generated in isolation from the
realities of farmer production systems. There is a crucial need to maintain a
contact with farmers to assure relevancy. If this contact is lost or mediated

only through several layers of researchers, the technology released by the
System may be inappropriate, or worse, miss the target entirely. The exact
balance of farmer and user contact necessary to research depends on the
problem being addressed and the skills of the human resources involved.
Gender issues must be articulated in the formulation of the research problem
as well as the formatting of its solution. For some problems, gender, as well
as other socio-economic variables, are moot issues in the solution process.
However, for the majority of problems facing developing country disadvantaged
farmers, the socioeconomic variables are part and parcel of the problem and we
cannot afford to overlook them.

Related element to this is the fact that the CGIAR Centers are the
source of research methodology for many NARS researchers. Many look to the
Centers for training and for the latest innovations in agricultural research.
The absence of gender perspectives, sensitivity and methods of study in the
training programs offered by the CGIAR System perpetuates the invisibility of
women as a client group for IARC/NARS technology.

7. Gender issues as a special project.

Gender related projects and programs, the few that exist, are under-
funded, and/or rely on special funding. They tend not to be core funded.
This makes them very vulnerable to funding cutoffs. It also tends to isolate
the issue as a "special topic" rather than integrating the content and methods
throughout the program. Special "women's projects", like those at IRRI and
IITA, can sometimes backfire in the long run. They serve to bring women into
the system and often to produce relevant research results, as long as the
special funds last. When the funding or the project terminates, there are no
mechanisms in place to assure continuity in funding or direction.

There needs to be far greater "mainstreaming" of the efforts dealing
with gender issues. Mainstreaming will also help to legitimize the work of
the scientists who are already conducting work on the subject.

8. Lack of mechanisms to implement affirmative action goals.

While correcting the current gender imbalance in the staffing patterns
and the training courses of the CGIAR System will not automatically achieve
gender sensitivity, having more women professionals in the System is a related
concern and a stated goal of many IARC directors. However, managers complain
that they do not get enough women applicants for staff positions. Most agree
with Richard Sawyer comment at the 1987 ICW seminar, that it is important not
to sacrifice quality in favor of balancing numbers. While this is true, it
may be that the Centers have not been pro-active enough in their searches.
The men who currently dominate the staffs of the Centers, have contact in the
professional world and in their disciplinary societies primarily with other
men. Overtime this may change. As more women move into the system, more women
will gain access and interest through their presence. Increasing numbers of
women specializing in agricultural research with international interests will
enhance the pool of human resources for future staffing.

In terms of training at the Centers, managers face a different problem.
Much of the responsibility for selecting trainees for training courses is in
the hands of national program leaders. Centers are reluctant to make demands
for specific kinds of participants with regard to gender. However, criteria
are set for other qualities such as degree level, country representation,
disciplinary background and technical responsibilities. Training managers
should explore whether criteria for balancing male and female participants
would really cause problems at the NARS level. It might require more time in
negotiation and discussion about participants and, for this, training managers
could approach the issue with NARS leaders on an informal basis. In other
cases, it may be useful to substitute field experience for formal education in
the requirements for admission to training in order to allow women greater
access to technical training, even when the educational system has previously
biased their acquisition of basic formal disciplinary training. Sometimes,
the barrier is simply taking the first step. In the short run, quota systems
or similar mechanisms may be necessary. However, if regional IARC staff and
collaborating national program leaders can be sensitized to the issue, then it
is likely that targets for increasing women's participation in training will
be achieved.

Monitoring the progress of the CGIAR System in including women as staff
and trainees was called for in several of the sets of recommendations from the
series of conferences summarized earlier in this paper. It is difficult to
assess the degree of compliance with this request since the public documents
of the Centers (the annual reports in particular) still do not report any
gender disaggregated staffing or training information. Even discussion in
several reports and planning documents from Centers, and from the CGIAR
Secretariat of critical human resource deficiencies in Africa, as a special
topic, did not mention women professionals as an overlooked or scarce
resource. Even though the statistics on the critical role women play as the
predominant food crop farmers in Africa are well-known and cited almost
routinely in international circles, there is little or no linking of women
farmers to the need for women professionals within the agricultural research
and development ranks.

The CGIAR Secretariat has taken some steps to implement changes in
response to this recommendation in the management reviews of the Centers.
Looking at the three concluded in the last six months, it is worthwhile
considering the terms of reference for the task and the results in the review

In the CIP EMR (1989) the question that focused on gender/women in the
list of questions in the management review terms of reference was found under
human resources:

"#7. Does CIP actively promote recruitment, retention and career
development of women? Are there barriers to women's advancement in the

The response to this question by the EMR team was found on P. 48 of the

"CIP has around 138 women employees of whom five are international
scientists and a further five are postdoctorals. CIP has no quota for
women and does not consciously monitor their number. CIP has an
admirable record in this area. CIP women have chaired the Board and its
Program Committee, held regular staff posts and conducted special
projects in remote areas. There are no discernable obstacles to the
advancement of women and, in terms of selection and work opportunities,
there is equality of opportunity."

To test the validity of this assessment, the CIP professional staff were
disaggregated by gender using the staff listings in the 1988 annual report,
the same year as the management review (see below). As can be seen, among
senior management, women only appear on the Board. This means that in terms
of day-to-day management and scientific leadership, women are absent. Among
the research scientists (headquarters and regional) with a Ph.D. only 8.5Z are
women (5 out of 59). Among the other research scientists, 19Z (2 out of 21)
are women. While these numbers have increased since 1983, they do not
substantiate the assessment by the EMR team of "no discernable obstacles" or
having "equality of opportunity". Among the scientific assistants, 35Z are
women and in several departments, the numbers of women assistants is nearly
half; in two departments (social science and training/communications) women
number equal to men or more. In terms of total numbers, however, there are 48
women (or 24Z) and 149 men. These numbers differ from those quoted from the
EMR. It seems likely that secretarial staff may have been inadvertently
including the total number of women staff counted by the EMR.

(Based on rough analysis of the 1988 Staff
Listings:1988 Annual Report pp 196-200)

Leadership No. Women Total No.

Senior Management 0 8
Board of Trustees (Prog. Comm.) 2 7
Research Thrusts leaders/co-leaders 0 20
Department Heads 0 7
Regional Leaders 0 9

Scientific & Support Staff
(Including thrust, dept., regional leaders,
but excluding senior management)

Headquarters Research Scientists (Ph.D.) 4 40
Other Headquarters Research Scientists 2 9
Regional Research Scientists (Ph.D.) 1 19
Other Regional Research Scientists 2 12
Training and Communications 4(1 PhD) 8(4 PhDs)
Administration 2 10
Scientific Associates 0 5
Total Research Scientists 15 103

Scientific and Other Assistants
Breeding/Genetics 1 11
Genetic Resources 0 2
Nematology/Entomology 4 8
Pathology 5 11
Physiology 6 14
Taxonomy 1 3
Social Science 2 4
Research support 1 4
Regional Programs 1 (?) 14
Training and Communications 8 13
Administration 4 10
Total Assistants 33 94

TOTAL 48 197

In the CIAT EPR (1989), within the terms of reference for the review,
the following question was included:

"8. Is CIAT giving sufficient consideration in planning research and
related activities to the needs of women and to the implication of the
application of research results for women?"

In the review document produced by the program evaluation team, under
the section "Target groups and gender issues" no further mention of the word
"gender" is used. While the "equity orientation" of CIAT in terms of limited
resource farmers and consumers is applauded, no concern is raised over lack of
gender disaggregation to see if there is any differentiation among this group.
In addition to noting that the bean farmers in East Africa are women, the only
further note on gender is at end of the section where it states: At the
other end of the spectrum, at the micro-level, the Farmer Participatory
Research Project is seeking ways to draw men and women into the research
process in their capacities as producers, processors and consumers."

In the CIAT EMR (1989) the gender-specific question posed in terms of
reference was:

"7. Does the center actively promote recruitment, retention and career
development of women? Are there barriers to women's advancement in the

Answers to question are hard to find. On p.39 it states:

More aggressive assistance with spousal employment may also be
warranted, particularly if CIAT is serious about improving the gender
balance; professional women almost invariably have professional spouses.
There is already a new policy permitting CIAT employment of spouses in
outreach programs under specified conditions. This issue is endemic to
all CGIAR centers and a concerted collaborative effort to identify
solutions would probably be useful."

The report also notes that at CIAT internationally recruited staff
includes 97 men and 11 women (10.2Z). There is no breakdown by gender for
programs nor by discipline in the review.

Looking finally at the IITA review, questions about women were included
in the terms of reference for both the EPR and the EMR. In the EPR, it asked:

"What mechanisms does the Centre have to ensure equal recognition of
the role of men and women in agricultural research and access to its

This question was placed in the general list of review questions. In
those addressed specifically to IITA, there was no further mention of women
nor gender. In the EPR report (1990, p. 67) it states: "The Institute is
also working to ensure that women will soon fill at least 30Z of training

On p. 66 it adds the following clarification:

"Records over the past four years show that only 6.8Z of African
trainees at IITA were women. Given the important role played by women
in African agriculture, this participation is obviously inadequate,
IITA is now developing an affirmative action programme to identify and
encourage women to apply for training opportunities at the Institute.
In 1989, 22Z of the PhD and 23Z of the MSc graduate students were women,
while in group courses, the women represented 12Z of the total
participants. In 1985, IITA received a grant from the Ford Foundation
to cover the expenses for five female MSc students and 34 women on short
training courses. A second proposal seeking financial support for ten
female agricultural professional (MSc. and PhD.) has just been approved
for funding. The IITA objective is to have women fill at least 30Z of
the openings in education and training at IITA. Despite substantial
improvements since 1986, that target remains elusive, and will remain so
unless financial support for the young dependents of female students is
provided. "

In the IITA EMR (1990) under human resources the terms of reference
included the following question:

"#7. Does IITA actively promote recruitment, retention and career
development of women? Are there barriers to women's advancement in the

In the report itself, on p. 39, the response is The ratio of male to
female international staff is about 8:1. The ratio has shown slight
improvement in recent years. Efforts to hire more female staff should
continue." For all of the other indicators on human resources, there are
tables with information, but not for gender. There is no information about
gender disparity or problems with recruitment, retention and career
development. There is no information on any measures to attract women nor
issues of turnover. There is no information on nationally hired staff

regarding gender, sector or discipline. In sum, the answer to the question by
the evaluation team is incomplete.

The same can be said for the other reviews. Though it is necessary to
include the question in the terms of reference for the EMRs and the EPRs, and
the CGIAR and TAC are to be commended on taking this initiative, having the
question is not sufficient. TAC and the CGIAR will have to monitor whether
the review teams address the question and how well they can assess a response.
Obviously, there are some errors in the CIP review report. For all three of
the examples, the answers for the questions are very incomplete. Rectifying
this will take some thought and attention. It is not sufficient just to be
sure a woman is on the review teams. Some of these teams did include women.
One had two women. It is necessary that the Centers themselves take the issue
seriously and prepare for the review by disaggregating their staff and
training participants by gender. This will enable the CGIAR to monitor
progress in reaching gender balance over time and allow reviewers easier
access to the necessary information to make an assessment.

Restrictions on the numbers of people on review teams and the variety of
qualifications that must be represented will limit the extent to which gender
specialists can be placed on the teams for both EMRs and EPRs. For the
latter, however, given the move to more strategic EPRs, greater attention will
be paid to linkages with the national systems and their capacity to
collaborate as strong partners with the centers. For this assessment it is
imperative to have a member on the panel who is highly sensitive to the issue
of NARS linkages with their resource poor clients, and not least to the
potential impact of technologies on gender balance in the farm household.

9. The gender information gap.

While there is a virtual explosion of literature today on gender issues
in all aspects of development, this literature does not seem to come in
contact with the majority of Center staff. Part of the reason is that the
scientists themselves are fairly specialized by disciplinary interests and by
their assignment to specific tasks. Their fieldwork and travel schedules do
not often allow exploration of related research fields, even if they have the
interest. Access to literature is also a problem since the Center libraries
are also focused to their specific mandates. It is not feasible for the
Centers to invest in expanding their collections to include the whole gender
literature, but selective inclusion of relevant materials would be an
improvement. Information specialists could be another resource on this topic
by learning about and providing access to literature sources on gender issues
at local and international levels.

Presentation of the information in the CGIAR System publications could
also be improved. Though there is substantial use of pictures showing women
as farmers and consumers in the Center documents, few pictures portray women
as scientists, collaborators in research or as significant numbers within
training courses. Again, referring to the example that the Centers set in
international agriculture, improvements could be made in the visual
presentation of the importance of men and women in the work of the System.

VIII. Next Steps.

The CGIAR System is not lacking in recommendations regarding gender
issues. Rather, the problem lies in identifying actions to implement the
recommendations already made. This section outlines five next steps to
alleviate the difficulties the System has in dealing with gender.

Step 1. Donors to the CGIAR System must exert pressure upon the system to
adopt an explicit gender perspective and incorporate gender analysis in the
research agenda. This pressure cannot be limited to an annual call for ad hoc
reporting at the ICW. Many, perhaps most, of the major donors to the CGIAR
System have already implemented gender or WID policies that are routinely
applied to other development efforts. Donors must reconsider these policies
and devise appropriate means to apply them to the CGIAR System.

Step 2. TAC and the CGIAR have taken a critical first step by adding
questions on women and gender issues to the terms of reference for the regular
review process of the Centers (the EMR and the EPR). However, this was not
sufficient. Review teams must be instructed (trained or advised) on how to
look for information to answer these questions. They must be encouraged to
address all of the questions, not just the part on "how many women are
employed." This means looking at two aspects of gender:

The first is the use of gender as an analytical tool in the
description of problems, the design and testing of new technology and in
the examination of impact on clients and beneficiaries. In this sense,
gender is a part of the research process and evaluators must look for
its appropriate application.

The second aspect deals with staffing. Review teams must look at the
gender of the staff of the Centers to see the extent to which women are
present at each level and within the various programs.

Centers themselves should assist the review teams in this process by
providing annually a gender disaggregated accounting of staffing at all
levels, by covering pragmatic themes and summarizing gender-related research
and results. Between the regular reviews, Center progress on these issues can
be monitored by reviewing annual reports, research reports, planning
documents, and other accounts of Center activities.

Step 3. If Centers are to take gender issues seriously and incorporate gender
analysis into relevant parts of their research and programming, Center staff
need to learn how to do this. It is clear from the review of the Center's
experience to date that only a very few scientists, largely social scientists
- use gender analysis as a tool in their work. Those who do, came to the
Centers with these skills learned elsewhere. Despite the literature on gender
issues from within and without, the Centers have not adapted their methods to
include gender analysis, in their work. Simply reading or hearing about
gender issues is not sufficient to make a change in the way research is done.
What is needed to encourage this change is training.

Training needs to be carried out at two levels: for those currently being
trained by the Centers and for those within the Centers themselves. Taking
the first level, the curriculum of the training offered by the Centers for
national program researchers and practitioners needs to be reviewed and
revised for gender content. This does not mean the creation of a special
course on gender, but rather the careful incorporation of gender issues and
methods within existing, appropriate courses. Obviously, there is no need for
gender content in the courses dealing with such specialized technology as
virus testing procedures, however, courses dealing with user or client-
oriented research methods, such as processing and storage systems, small-
scale machinery, pest-management, seed management and on-farm research in
general can be enhanced with the inclusion of gender issues and methods. The
CIMMYT example from East Africa described earlier or the work done at IRRI to
revise the farming systems course curriculum (A. Frio, personal communication,
March 1990) are useful models for other Centers. In each case, the course was
not necessarily expanded, but alternate materials and exercises were included
that draw participants attention to male and female roles in farming and
gender analysis tools for technology design and testing. Relevant training
materials and literature do already exist for these purposes. The necessary
next step is their incorporation through the normal channels of training
curriculum review and revision.

Training at the second level among the Center staff itself is also
critical. While it is not necessary for every Center staff scientist or
research assistant to be an expert in gender analysis, it is important that
the Center as a whole adopt a positive attitude towards gender. Providing
training of all staff, from top to bottom is a significant step towards
revising the gender bias that exists in agricultural research institutions -
Centers included and creating a climate in which gender issues can be dealt
with a rational analytical level, rather than through the haze of
misperceptions and subjective prejudice. I would like to propose three
different types of gender issues training for the Centers:

Type 1. Sensitization and awareness
Type 2. Gender analysis methods
Type 3. Training of trainers.

Type 1. Sensitization and awareness. This is a 'starter' course and it is
targeted at the entire staff. The purpose is general awareness and
understanding of the difference between sex and gender, the reasons why gender
issues are important in agricultural research, and the framework and basic
tools used in gender analysis. The training will give Center staff a common
set of terms and definitions a vocabulary to use in discussing gender issues
and analysis. This will help to correct the many misconceptions and
confusions that exist between gender analysis and affirmative action,
respectively the efficiency and equity aspects of gender understanding.

The content for a Type 1 course can be drawn from existing gender
training materials (see for examples Overholt, et al. 1985); Feldstein et al.
1989; Feldstein and Poats 1990) but should be complemented with examples from
the commodities and areas of concern for each center. The course should
contain hands-on exercises to give each participant a chance to handle gender

data and experiment with analysis and interpretation. Practical exercises in
applying the lessons of the course to staff member own job responsibilities
should be the final part of the course.

Type I training should be conducted first among all senior management and
leaders of each Center. There should be no exceptions. Training must start
at the top to set an example that the issues are important to the Center as a
whole. From the top, the training should be implemented in groups of 25-30,
mixing senior scientists and research staff in interdisciplinary fashion.

It is suggested that the trainers for this course be drawn from outside
the Center in order that all member of each Center can participate equally.
However, the trainers should be familiar with the Centers and their
activities. It might be possible for existing gender-experienced researchers
from other Centers to participate as trainers or resource persons.

Experience in conducting this same type of training in a wide range of
institutions for similar purposes strongly suggests that a minimum of
one-and-one-half days should be allocated for the training session. To
conserve on trainer costs, it is wise to schedule a series of courses in a row
at a time when staff are gathered at headquarters. Follow-up monitoring at
six and 12 months should be designed to elicit impact on staff members work.

Many Centers are presently undergoing a number of other staff training
programs dealing with management, research planning, resource allocation,
etc. Gender is susceptible to "short shrifting" in the face of these
perceived priorities. Donors, CGIAR, TAC and Center Directors will have to
determine just where their commitment lies on user issues as a whole, and
gender specifically, and then allocate the necessary resources to
get the job done.

Type 2. Gender Analysis Methods. Following Type 1 training, those
persons with research responsibilities that draw them into close contact with
technology users, should be selected for a more thorough training in gender
analysis methods. Gender-experienced center staff can be valuable resource
persons and facilitators for such training, or, depending on individual
capabilities, trainers themselves. This training course would be more
explicitly focused on data gathering and analysis methodologies,
interpretation skills, and field practice. Field practicum work is an
essential part of such a course, because it provides the necessary experience
in doing research through a new gender perspective.

The content of the course is similar to the gender content described
above under level one. However, since the researchers participating would
already be experienced in the other content areas, the gender methods alone
would be the focus. Between three and five days is usually needed for such
training in order to accommodate the field exercises.

Including research collaborators from projects with NARS may be an
effective mechanism to promote a team approach to addressing gender-issues in
new or on-going projects. Type 2 courses can be designed actually to initiate
field or project work to include gender issues. In essence, the practicum

launches participants in applying gender tools and using the gender analysis
framework on an actual research problem. Tying training to such work can
enhance both the relevance and speed with which the tools become part of the
normal way of doing research.

Type 3. Training of trainers. Sustaining the gender perspective within
the training program of the Centers will be the task of the Center trainers
and training staff. Trainers should participate in Type 1 and 2 training
courses and then move to a Type 3 to focus on additional experience, ideas,
options, approaches, and practice in doing gender issues training. Centers
may wish to combine forces in training their trainers to be able to
incorporate gender issues within their own training programs by holding Type
3 courses for all trainers at once.

The content of a Type 3 course should be focused on practice with a
variety of training materials that already exist that have been useful in
teaching gender analysis tools to researchers and development workers in other
settings. Trainers should also be exposed to new types of training materials
and approaches that have been particularly effective in dealing with gender
issues that might not already be in their particular repertoire of training
tools. Finally, trainers should be given practice and guidance in developing
new materials specific to their technical mandates for teaching gender issues
in their own centers.

The length of time for this type of training depends on the existing
skills of the trainers and the number of people in the course. The important
thing is to give the trainer-participants enough time to practice training on
gender issues and in designing gender components for other training courses so
that they will be able to carry this work on within the Centers. Well
qualified and experienced trainers who have done gender training themselves
should be sought as the facilitators for this course. The experienced
trainers can serve as mentors to the trainer-participants as they begin
training in their respective Centers.

Taken together, the three types of training will develop the capacity of
the Centers to undertake research with a gender perspective and to sustain
that perspective with new members of their own staff and among the trainees
from national programs.

Step 4. Centers should use existing networks such as those already
established for collaborative activity on commodity research to develop common
themes and research methodologies for dealing with gender issues. There are
several advantages of doing this. First, networks bring a vitality to
research by engaging a number of researchers in different socioeconomic and
agroecological settings to focus attention on similar issues and using similar
methodological approaches. For gender analysis, the networking approach will
bring greater innovation to the methodologies for gender analysis as well as a
range of examples that demonstrate why and how gender sensitive research can
make a difference to the development and adoption of technology.

The networking approach applied to gender issues will also help to
reinforce the linkage between the IARCs and the NARS. Placing gender issues

and analysis within a network helps to integrate the gender perspective into
the larger research framework.

Step 5. The CGIAR should develop a strategy paper for the general
implementation of existing recommendations. These should be followed by
Center-specific strategy statements. Each Center ultimately needs to develop
and gain consensus on such a statement, such as IRRI's, and translate that
into explicit provisions in the workplan and the allocation of resources.

These five steps will enhance the capacity of the Centers, and the CGIAR
system as a whole, to employ gender analysis as a normal, pragmatic way to
conduct good agricultural research and to develop useful technologies for
resource poor farmers.


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