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CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (CRP-FTA), Gender cross cutting theme – Newsletter No.2

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Dini Raras

We are delighted to share with you our second newsletter of the CRP-FTA gender cross cutting theme. In the last three months, since the launch of our first newsletter in August, we have been busy! We have been active in promoting our gender research at regional and global conferences and workshops. Our gender resource persons have been invited to deliver keynote speeches at important events. We have conducted trainings and write-shops to enhance capacity for our researchers and partners. We also explored new partnership with local and global organizations.

In this newsletter you will find information on these activities and new research that we are conducting. Please tell us what you think about them. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Ravi Prabhu
Deputy Director General, World Agroforestry Centre

Upcoming events

Call for expressions of interest (open to all) for contributing towards a peer-reviewed special issue on Gendered access to forest resources and land tenure in Latin America. We invite you to send us an email indicating your interest and a tentative title for your research paper. All those interested in sharing their research in this publication might have an opportunity to join the proposed regional write-shop (early 2014) on gendered access to forests in Latin America. Kindly contact Purabi Bose at for more information.

Past events

Making gender visible workshops, 20 and 25 June 2013, Rome, Italy
By Arwen Bailey, Science Writer and Process Manager

On 20 and 25 June in Rome, Bioversity organized two workshops on ‘making gender visible’ in our research. The workshops were led by Maria Fernandez, with collaboration from Arwen Bailey. Initial informal assessments indicated that staff had different levels of knowledge and skills in conducting gender-responsive research. Read more

Integrating gender at the custodian farmers workshop, 31 July – 2 August 2013, Pokhara, Nepal

Why does gender matter in biodiversity conservation? That was the question Bioversity International’s CRP-FTA (the CGIAR Research Programme on Forests Trees and Agroforestry) team was invited to address at the Custodian Farmers Workshop in Pokhara, Nepal. The workshop, which took place from 31 July to 2 August, was organized by Bioversity with national partner Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD). Participants included farmers, researchers, national gene bank managers, and NGO personnel, among others. Read more

Gendered access to forests and small-farms in Latin America, 21-22 August 2013, Cali, Colombia

The CRP-FTA Gender program held a workshop on Gendered access to forests and small-farms in Latin America. The workshop was convened by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) on 21-22 August and was a productive event. The participants represented various stakeholders from donors to indigenous communities from Latin America, and together they identified the key expected outputs from the workshop. Read more

Gender eye-opening lecture & gender methods session, ICRAF’s Annual Science Week, September 9-14, 2013, Nairobi, Kenya

The plenary lecture, which was delivered by the ICRAF Gender Implementing Team, led by Delia Catacutan was well-received by close to 200 Centre scientists and partners attending the annual Science Week. It generated awareness, and commitment amongst staff and Senior Management in supporing the Centre’s efforts to mainstream gender in the organization. Read more

Gender, forests and food security systematic review workshop, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, 2-4 October 2013, Uppsala, Sweden
By Jessica Clendenning, Research Officer, CIFOR Evidence-based Forestry Initiative

Lead authors of a systematic review on gender, forests and food security participated in a three-day workshop with Jessica Clendenning, research officer with CIFOR’s Evidence-based Forestry (EBF) initiative. The review team, based in Uppsala, Sweden, at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), included Linley Chiwona-Karltun (lead author), Ngolia Kimanzu, Chad Ellingson, and Murat Sartas (co-authors). Over three days the participatory workshop focused on the history, purpose and method of systematic reviews, and their importance in transparently assessing and summarizing quality evidence. Read more

Gender and value chains write-shop, 14 October 2013, CIFOR headquarters, Bogor, Indonesia

This CRP-FTA gender team from CIFOR, Bioversity and ICRAF jointly organized a gender and value chains workshop that aimed to develop a concept note to define CRP-FTA’s gender and value chain research program. The write-shop focused on defining the scope and methods of the research program, selecting value chains, and establishing a plan for finalizing the concept note. It was based on the recognition that the burgeoning literature on gender and value chains rarely pays attention to landscapes and issues of sustainability, and the value chain and forests literature is lagging behind in investigating the gender dimensions and implications of these linkages. Read more

CGIAR-wide write-shop on ‘Innovation in transformation of gender norms through agriculture and natural resource management’, 21-25 October 2013, Washington D.C., USA

This write-shop was held at the IFPRI office in Washington D.C. from 21 to 25 October, 2013. Gender specialists from across the different CGIAR centers came together to develop a cross CRP research program on how gender norms shape agricultural and natural resource management. The aim of the program is to strengthen the evidence base so as to inform interventions designed to transform restrictive gender norms and empower poor rural women as farm producers, traders and managers of natural resources. Read more

Knowledge day, 5 November 2013, Nairobi, Kenya

The CGIAR held a Knowledge Day on the 5th November 2013, during which the gender dimensions of the CGs value for money proposition was elaborated. FTA gender coordinator, Esther Mwangi jointly with CIFOR director general, Peter Holmgren and FTA director, Robert Nasi presented some of the achievements, challenges and opportunities of gender mainstreaming in the FTA through a role-play game and a poster. A poster of the gender research in forest, trees and agroforestry was also displayed at the event. Read more

Gender café at the Global Landscapes Forum, 16-17 November 2013, Warsaw, Poland

The Gender café showcased publications and videos throughout both days of the Global Landscapes Forum. During coffee and lunch breaks participants joined conversations hosted by leading researchers, practitioners and policy makers. The Gender café was designed to be a space where everyone could learn and share their knowledge about the role of gender and social equity in forestry, farming and other land uses. Read more

Linking gendered knowledge with gender-responsive action in the landscape: What works? 17 November 2013, Warsaw, Poland

CIFOR and the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), World Farmers Organization and FANRPAN, organized a gender discussion forum at the Global Landscapes Forum on the sidelines of the UNFCCC COP 19 in Warsaw, Poland. The gender discussion forum was titled Linking gendered knowledge with gender-responsive action in the landscape: What works? Read more

Gender Publications

Practical tips for conducting gender-responsive data collection (English, French, Spanish)
Tips for asking gender-responsive questions (English, French, Spanish)
Causes To process or not to process? Factors enabling and constraining shea butter production and income in Burkina Faso

BLOGS on gender research

Current activities

Bioversity International

New Gender Webpage!
Visit Bioversity’s new ‘Gender-responsive forestry research’ web page to find out more about the gender-related research and activities Bioversity and partners are conducting within CRP-FTA.

Gender capacity-strengthening underway in Bioversity International
By VB Johnson, process manager and scientific editor

It is argued that women are not equitably rewarded for their key roles in global agricultural production. Poverty and gender gaps are not being closed as effectively as they ought to be, considering the history of substantial investment in agricultural research for development (AR4D) programs. However, the new results-based ethos driving the CGIAR’s AR4D requires all scientists and other stakeholders to integrate gender into their work. The CGIAR system is now poised to better analyze and integrate the roles and needs of women as well as men within much of its research design. Gender integration should lead to more effective AR4D. There is also a clear need for strategic gender research to help better understand those gender issues which are fundamental to successful AR4D.

Partly in light of this new context, Bioversity International is committed to ensuring gender is more effectively integrated into its research design. Supported by the CGIAR’s CRP-FTA, Bioversity’s program on Forest Genetic Resources is running a series of ‘hands-on’ gender capacity building workshops. On 22 October 14 participants attended one of two workshops run by Maria Fernandez and Arwen Bailey from the Bioversity Rome office, with remote participation of staff from Benin, Malaysia, Switzerland, France, Italy and South Africa. Working alternately in pairs and then in plenary discussions, participants reviewed a specific concept note (CN), highlighting non-differentiated people-related terms in the CN text. Pairs then reformulated each term to express gender differences. The plenary discussion highlighted that in most cases this would have then required re-writing the whole CN from a different perspective, with a different focus, and so demonstrated the need to integrate gender at the very beginning of the research design process. In a second task, using the same CN, pairs identified references to research methods, and considered how such methods generate information about differentiated knowledge, skills and access to resources, as well as the opportunities and constraints presented by each method. The glaring absence of gender and of more participatory methods became clear in many of the randomly chosen CNs, and in their proposed methodologies.

I recently attended a gender capacity-strengthening workshop run by the CGIAR research programme on Roots Tubers and Bananas. This included a gender clinic that reviewed existing research proposals through a gender lens. In Bioversity’s follow-up workshop, I found the specific focus on gender differentiation for stakeholders and methodologies significantly deepened my insights on how to better integrate gender in research design. Apart from reinforcing some basic principles on how to better include gender in our work, I was particularly impressed by the sense of commitment of the participants and their willingness to reflect on how we might improve or sharpen our approach. Bioversity’s next steps for gender integration are likely to include: wider engagement with Bioversity colleagues with key roles in research design and support; incorporating a gender lens in any future research idea/proposal designs and reviews; staff development support for participatory and gender methods in 2014; a shared ‘gender space’ on Bioversity’s intranet; and setting up specific mechanisms that allow people to share and deepen their learning (e.g. meetings/ seminars).

Gender-responsive research
Bioversity’s CRP-FTA scientists and many of their national partners have recently received training to strengthen their capacities in gender-responsive participatory research. They have since been putting their skills to good use across a portfolio of research projects. Below are three examples of gender-responsive data collection activities conducted within Bioversity-led collaborative projects in sub-Saharan Africa.

Gendered inventory of non-timber forest products in Cameroon and Gabon
As part of the project Beyond timber: Reconciling the needs of logging industries with those of the forest-dependent people, Bioversity scientists and national partners from theInstitut de Recherche en Ecologie Tropicale(IRET) conducted gender-disaggregated participatory rankings of tree species to understand which species are most important to the local women and men in their study sites in Gabon.

In Cameroon, the research team analyzed gendered patterns of non-timber forest product (NTFP) collection and use through a GPS inventory of trees whose products are commonly collected by forest dwelling communities. This exercise was part of a larger project designed to assess the impacts of commercial logging on forest-dwelling communities. In four villages, local women and men separately guided the scientists to the trees from which they collect tree products, with a focus on three priority species (B. toxisperma, E. cylindricum and E. suaveolens) that provide nutritionally important NTFPs and are commercially felled for timber. Scientists used a GPS to record the coordinates of the trees and measured the distances travelled from the village to collect NTFPs from these trees. Men and women participants also answered a short questionnaire to establish who collects what product from each tree and how they use the resources.

Gender-sensitive analysis of honey gathering practices and beekeeping in the Niassa National Reserve, Mozambique
As part of the project Sustaining forest resources for people and the environment in the Niassa National Reserve in Mozambique, Bioversity and partners from the Institute of Agricultural Research of Mozambique sought to understand practices of harvesting wild honey by local populations living in the Niassa National Reserve. The aim of this investigation is to promote more sustainable honey harvesting practices, as current practices involve the use of fire and tree felling, undermining the sustainability of the resource and negatively affecting the woodland. Working separately with women’s and men’s focus groups, researchers examined the gendered processes of harvesting wild honey, managing hives, and processing and selling honey in the Reserve.

Preliminary findings showed that in Niassa men are responsible for managing traditional bark hives and harvesting honey from natural hives in woodland trees. Women knew little about the practices of harvesting wild honey and expressed safety concerns about having their husbands or sons climb trees to collect wild honey. They also did not want to have beehives located near their homes as they considered the bees dangerous to themselves and children. Women are occasionally involved in honey processing and sale, but generally do not decide how to use the money earned from these sales.

Exploring gendered indigenous knowledge of tree crop reproduction
Bioversity researchers are examining the botanical knowledge repertoires of men and women farmers related to four locally important crops in Côte d’Ivoire and Papua New Guinea: coconut (Cocos nucifera), cocoa (Theobroma cacao), banana (Musa spp.), and cassava (Manihot esculenta),so as to learn how much people understand about regeneration processes, such as pollination, that are important to improving the qualities of their tree crops. Interviews held separately with men and women farmers focused on understanding farmer perceptions of the mode of reproduction of these crops. Further research in India will be carried out in 2014 in collaboration with local NGO Peekay Tree Crop Foundation to provide a comparative perspective on women’s and men’s perceptions of tree crop reproduction and varietal preferences for coconut , banana, drumstick (Moringa oleifera), nutmeg (Myristica spp.) and jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus).

Center for International Forestry Research

The Rights and Resources Initiative’s (RRI) gender justice scoping study, 7-8 November 2013
Dr. Esther Mwangi participated at the RRI’s gender justice scoping study from 7 to 8 November 2013. The purpose of the workshop was to advance RRI’s coalition’s understanding of relevant issues related to gender justice and women’s tenure rights, and identify gaps and opportunities for value addition to the Coalition’s ongoing work on these themes.

The International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) conference on the ‘Future directions of small-scale and community-based forestry’, 8 -13 September 2013, Fukuoka, Japan
Dr. Esther Mwangi presented a keynote presentation address titled Sitting beneath the canopy: Messages on gender, participation and community forestry. Bimbika Sijapati Basnett also discussed her research on the nexus between gender, migration and forest governance.

Gender café at the CIFOR annual meeting, 7 – 8 October 2013, Bogor, Indonesia
The gender café was open throughout the duration of the Annual Meeting, from the 7th to the 11th of October. The Café showcased posters, publications and videos on gender and landscapes. Both CIFOR’s work as well as those of some of our partners were included. The Gender Café was officially opened by Peter Holmgren, DG of CIFOR. A "have your say" space was also introduced for the first time where participants and observers could provide comments and feedback on the Gender Café and/or share suggestions for further directions for gender research at CIFOR.

International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
Purabi Bose, CIAT, (25-28 September) was invited to speak at the second regional workshop on Gender justice and women’s rights in collective forest tenure and territories in Latin America, organized by NITLAPAN and The Rights and Resources Initiatives (RRI) in Managua, Nicaragua.

CIAT partnership on integrating gender in forests-agriculture/landscape mosaic

  • Wageningen University, the Netherlands: Under the CRP-FTA Gender program at CIAT, we had a visiting scientist (mid-July till September, 2013), Prof. Han van Dijk, from the Rural Development Sociology group of Wageningen University. Among several joint initiatives there is the potential for collaboration in mentoring regional (Latin American) students on gender focused studies, and developing a write-shop in 2014 in collaboration with CIFOR’s Peru office on a priority topic decided by the regional partners.
  • Fundacion PROINPA, Bolivia: We are in the initial phase of exploring regional partners who are interested in working with the CRP-FTA Gender team and CIAT in integrating gender activities. The Bolivian Government is in the process of implementing a policy Rules of Mother Earth policy regarding equal rights with regard to humans and nature (‘Ley Marco de la Madre Tierra y el entorno en el que vivimos’ (15 October 2012)). During Purabi Bose’s field trip some of these challenges observed which in turn could be the focus of future research in the region included: (i) the need to explore gender relations with regards to tenure rights to land in the tropical forest areas of Cochabamba, and (ii) in the Lake Titicaca region, the need to understand how the small-farm indigenous women who are the managers of indigenous crops (local varieties of potatoes and cañahua) and key actors in the value-chain, face the challenges of changing institutional governance.
  • The Rights and Resources Initiatives (RRI), United States and NITLAPAN, Nicaragua: There is a plan to strengthen our (CRP-FTA Gender at CIAT) regional collaboration on various issues related to capacity building and policy advocacy on integrating gender in forests in Latin America.
  • Africa Study Center, the Netherlands: A joint collaborative research on dryland forests is in development and an immediate outcome will be an edited book, Dry land forests: Gender and management in Africa and Asia. Purabi Bose and Han van Dijk, editors, have formalized the procedure by accepting the publisher’s contract for book publication.

World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)

ICRAF monitoring and evaluation framework for gender-mainstreaming process
By Ana Maria Paez Valencia, ICRAF

In contribution to achieve gender-related Intermediate Development Outcome (IDO), ICRAF is currently developing a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework for our gender mainstreaming process. We are aiming at developing a set of indicators to assess gender integration in our organizational processes, outputs and outcomes. In preparation of a baseline for the M&E framework, the Centre has recently conducted a staff survey on gender awareness and capacity development needs, and is currently promoting a gender stocktaking exercise.

Compilation and publication of gender research methods
A compilation of 15 research methods used to analyze gender differences by ICRAF scientists will soon be published in a book edited by Delia Catacutan entitled, ‘IN EQUAL MEASURE: A user guide for gender analysis in agroforestry’.

National and sub-national partners

Selected global partners and websites

Contact us

For more information about the CRP-FTA gender program, please visit our website or contact us directly:

Esther Mwangi
Program coordinator

Center for International Forestry Research
Jl. CIFOR, Situ Gede, Sindang Barang
Bogor Barat 16115

Bimbika Sijapati Basnett
Gender resource persons

Center for International Forestry Research
Jl. CIFOR, Situ Gede, Sindang Barang
Bogor Barat, 16115

Marlène Elias

Bioversity International
PO Box 236
UPM Post Office, Serdang
43400 Selangor Darul Ehsan

Purabi Bose

International Center for Tropical Agriculture
A.A. 6713, Cali, 4450032

Delia Catacutan

World Agroforestry Centre
No.8 Lot 13A, Trung Hoa road, Cau Giay District, Hanoi


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