WOMEN IN AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM (WIAD)
University of Florida
October 15, 1992
WHY, WHO, WHERE AND WHEN ?
this area. The program aims to support and develop faculty and student analytical expertise related to the roles of women and intra-household dynamics in all phases of agriculture in both international and domestic contexts.
The Women in Agricultural Development Program (WIAD) was formed at the University of Florida (UF) in 1984 after five years of informal activities related to women and development. During these early years, several initiatives emerged from the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) International Programs Office and from social scientists, especially those in the Centers for African and Latin American Studies. As a critical mass of faculty with experience in the WIAD field came to UF, momentum built up and led to the creation of the WIAD program.
WIAD is currently directed by Drs. Peter Hildebrand and Sandra Russo and has over 28 active faculty members. In the past, external funding has been obtained from USAID, Rockefeller and Ford Foundations and internal funding from the Centers for Latin American and African Studies and International Programs (IFAS). With support from the Graduate School and IFAS, WIAD offers two graduate assistantships per year, allowing students to pursue studies in women and agricultural development while providing administrative support to the WIAD program.
in recent years, researchers in the agricultural, natural and social sciences have begun to pay increased attention to the role played by women in agriculture around the world. The critical involvement of women has often been overlooked, in part because men often take the most visible, public roles in agricultural production.
In response to this "invisibility" of rural women, scholars from many disciplines have joined together at the University of Florida, as well as at other universities, to promote increased awareness of, and sensitivity to, the roles of rural women in the U. S. and around the world. The Women In Agricultural Development program, one of the few programs of its kind in American universities, seeks to promote understanding of (1) the effects of gender roles in agricultural production practices and
(2) agricultural development processes and their differential impacts on women, children and men.
From the beginning, the WIAD program has sought to focus its efforts specifically on the realm of agriculture, in recognition of UF's strengths in
First started in 1983-84, a bi-weekly seminar has bcen held, focusing on international and domestic issues related to women in agriculture. Speakers have included UF professors and graduate students, as well as guests from other universities or research centers. Recent speakers have been Drs. Hilary Feldstein and Michael Collinson from the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Topics as diverse as Florida fisheries, natural resources in Ugandan national parks, women and cassava growing in Ecuador, or FAO's plan of action for the integration of women in development have been addressed in the past year.
The Bibliography of Women in Agricultural Development is a compilation of nearly three thousand entries dealing with women's roles in agricultural development. These entries can be accessed by region of the world, country, and key words, as well as by author and title of publication. The WIAD Bibliography is available as a database and in hard copy from WFAS publications.
A large number of the items cited in the bibliography are available for consultation in the WIAD office in Room 6, Building 810.
In 1986, WIAD held a major international conference entitled "Gender Issues in Farming Systems Research and Extension". The sessions addressed specific issues of theory, method and policy related to Farming Systems Research and Extension in developing areas. African, Latin American and Asian experiences were compared. With 300 registrants coming from 20 different countries, the conference offered an excellent opportunity for exploring and testing new ideas and successful approaches for incorporating gender sensitivity in agricultural research and development.
In March 1988, WIAD co-sponsored a twoday Seminar on "Issues in Agroforestry: an International Perspective" with the Department of Forestry and the Centers for African and Latin American Studies of the University of Florida. The second day focused on gender issues in agroforestry.
WIAD and Women's Studies co-sponsored a conference on "Women and Politics in the 1990s" at the University of Florida in March 1992. The first day focused on international politics and
women, with a panel on changes in Europe and another on Women's Grassroots Organizations in developing countries. The second day concentrated on domestic politics and women.
One of the outcomes of the Conference on Gender Issues in Farming Systems Research and Extension was the publication, in January 1988, of a volume of the same title with selected papers from the conference. The overall goal of the publication was to produce a set of readings with a comparative perspective that would be both stimulating and helpful to people trying to implement gender-aware farming systems projects.
Recent publications of WIAD members include an article by Suzanne Smith and Marilyn E. Swisher on "Employment of Women in Florida's Ornamental Horticulture Industry" in the Spring 1992 issue of the Florida Scientist. Articles by Anita Spring and V. Wilde: "African Women Farmers, Structural Adjustment Programs, and FAO's Plan of Action for Women in Development" and Uma Lele: "Women, Structural Adjustment and Transformation: Some Lessons and Questions from the African Experience: Impacts on African Women Farmers" were published in Christina Gladwin's "Structural Adjustment and African Women Farmers" in 1991 by University of Florida Press.
The quarterly newsletter serves as a vehicle to inform people about some of the research and training opportunities available and upcoming events on campus.
WIAD organized a five day Women in Development (WID) course in 1987, in which 50 faculty members participated. The sessions were led by Mary Andersen from Harvard University and Tim Broadhead from CIDA, the Canadian International Development Agency.
In spring 1992, WIAD and the International Training Division of WFAS held a one-semester seminar on Gender Analysis and Training, which trained graduate students and faculty from various departments in gender analysis methodology and training techniques. A training manual containing all eight modules and related training materials has been developed.
WIAD members have provided technical assistance to UF USAID contracts in Cameroon and Ecuador, as well as earlier to the Farming Systems Support Project (FSSP). Other members have provided technical assistance through SECID projects, as well as USAID, FAO, the World Bank, and the CGIAR.
A Certificate in Women in Development consisting of 12 credits at the Master's and Doctoral levels was approved by the Graduate Council in May 1992 and will commence with Fall Term 1992. Approximately 15 courses (including a large proportion of agriculture-related courses) have been identified as having WID content.
the needs of faculty members.
IM also offers gender analysis training to non-UF groups on a fee basis. Contacts for
potential delivery of such training courses and seminars have already been established.
Particular attention will be given to curriculum development, since WIAD wishes to offer assistance (appropriate literature searches, help from WIAD graduate assistants) to professors of various disciplines willing to incorporate a gender dimension in their courses and seminars. WIAD is currently pursuing funding to be able to incorporate not only gender, but also a user perspective and cultural diversity into a program for faculty development.
Over the last decade, researchers have made great strides in raising awareness of the critical roles played by women in agriculture, and the effects that changes in agricultural policies and practices have on women. Nevertheless, much work remains to be done. Faculty, staff, and graduate students at UF will undoubtedly continue to be among the leaders in research on gender issues in agriculture. WIAD is in an excellent position to promote and coordinate that research and to disseminate its results to the larger community of scholars, policy makers, and development professionals at UF and around the world.
This coming year the Speaker Series will continue to offer first-rate presentations on women in agricultural development. Up-dating the bibliography will be another on-going project.
In April 1993, WIAD will co-sponsor, with Women's Studies, a forum on Women and Landscapes. For the Fall Term 1993, WIAD will contribute to the conference organized by the North American Chapter of the global Association for Farming Systems ResearchExtension, to be held in Gainesville in October 1993.
Plans to modify the format of the Gender Analysis and Training seminar to a 2 to 3 day module are being examined in an effort to cater to