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Focus on gender research and mainstreaming (Vol. 1, Issue 6)

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FTA communications


Welcome to the November edition of the FTA newsletter series, highlighting FTA’s gender research and gender integration work.

FTA’s key research for development objectives — addressing food insecurity, enhancing nutrition, tackling climate change and ensuring sustainable development — cannot be solved without paying close attention to gender equality and social inclusion, which is also an objective in itself.

This is why FTA takes care to mainstream gender throughout its research portfolio. Gender mainstreaming aims at the integration of gender-related concerns and issues into the various areas of FTA research, in order to improve the relevance and accuracy of problem statements, and provide more gender-equitable, inclusive and appropriate solutions.

FTA prioritizes gender research in several areas of work in which gender equality and social inclusion are known to be key challenges, key barriers to success or key to the sustainability of impacts.

Critical areas for gender mainstreaming include land restoration, as demonstrated in a recent COP23 side event — see “Thoughts on gender” below — and in a policy dialogue on gender and forest landscape restoration on Nov. 30 in Kenya. Other areas are climate-smart agriculture, which was also demonstrated at a COP23 side event, as well as land-use change and migration, on which FTA will co-organize a public event in Nepal on Dec. 16.

This newsletter provides some of the latest findings that exemplify gender integration in key areas of FTA’s work, including value chains and investments, and links to some recent FTA publications on gender works in tenure, REDD+ and forest management issues.

FTA will be present at this year’s Global Landscapes Forum in Bonn, as outlined below. Check out whether we stick to this “philosophy” of work and gender mainstreaming at the event!

Vincent Gitz, FTA Director, and Marlène Elias, FTA Gender Research Coordinator

FTA at the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF)

FTA will organize and participate in discussion forums including:

Join FTA at the GLF in Bonn, Germany, on Dec. 19-20: register here.

Thoughts on gender

Recognizing gender bias, restoring forests

imagethumb.jpgAt the session “Gender equality, rights and ancestral knowledge in the context of forest landscape restoration” on the sidelines of COP23, for which FTA was among the organizers, a diverse set of panelists stood at a frontier – bringing gender equality and women’s rights to the forest landscape restoration (FLR) conversation. Amid varied international commitments to restoring forests and landscapes, gender considerations must be incorporated from the start to ensure that inequalities are not perpetuated. The speakers at the session, including FTA scientist Anne Larson who presented the results of a series of studies of women and men’s experiences of REDD+, covered the importance of community forests for women’s rights, the need for active and informed female participation in decision-making and the need to confront unseen biases.


Filling gaps in the narratives of Tanzanian farmers

imagethumb.jpgTo go beyond socially appropriate responses and understand what is really going on in their project sites in Tanzania, researchers created a medium for participants to narrate the stories behind the data. The methodology aimed to understand the role of gender and social inclusion in the daily lives of male and female sugarcane, rice and tea outgrowers. Among the many conclusions was that women require improved access to land, greater inclusion in different roles across value chains, and enhanced representation in organizations in order to increase livelihood choices.

Diverse and invisible: Understanding rural young people

imagethumb.jpgRural young people are sometimes poorly understood in research compared to more ‘visible’ groups. This is of concern to research partnerships such as CGIAR because, although young people play critical roles in rural households and environmental transformations, their interests are often inadequately addressed in programs and policies. A recent webinar on rural youth and livelihood change, jointly organized by the CGIAR Collaborative Platform for Gender Research and FTA, invited four key thinkers and practitioners to discuss the challenges and opportunities for young people in agriculture, natural resource management and forestry; the role of policy and institutions such as CGIAR in addressing young people’s challenges in access to education, employment and other needs; and new areas of research and field methods needed for working with rural young people.

Gender Research Fellowship Program’s second round kicks off in Kenya

imagethumb.jpgThis program strengthens the capacity of researchers and partners working within FTA to conduct research that can support gender equality and other desired project outcomes, such as the sustainable management and conservation of trees and their genetic resources. It aims to strengthen the knowledge base regarding gender and the sustainable management and delivery of tree genetic resources, build the skills of FTA staff and partners in gender analysis and methodologies that support gender-transformative research, and develop a community of practice around engaged gender research. Building on a successful first phase, the fellowship program recently began its second round, working toward mainstreaming gender equality and social inclusion into FTA’s research activities and projects.

Gender-responsive methodology for value chain development

imagethumb.jpgAs smallholder farmers become increasingly integrated into value chains, how can the benefits of participation accrue equitably to women and men? A workshop held by FTA, Bioversity International and ICRAF during TropenTag 2017 focused on insights from the testing of 5Capitals-Gender, a gender-responsive methodology building on the 5Capitals toolkit for assessing the poverty impacts of value chain development.

Visualizing gender in Tanzanian tea and sugarcane production

imagethumb.jpgIncluding the voices of both male and female farmers in the larger decision-making process at a national level sounds logical, but how can it be done in practice? CIFOR and FTA researchers used documentary filming and community screening with tea and sugarcane outgrower communities in Tanzania as an essential part of the research process, to give male and female farmers a voice.

Gender and forestry gain attention

imagethumb.jpgA new reader launched on Sept. 21 during the IUFRO 125th Anniversary Congress brings together 30 years of scholarship on a topic that is gaining attention: gender and forestry. The Earthscan Reader on Gender and Forests provides an accessible collection of theory, analysis, methodology and case studies, defining the position of gender and forestry in the social sciences, and laying out the ongoing debates in the field. In this article, two of the book’s authors explain why and for whom it is needed.

Including gender perspectives in climate change policies

imagethumb.jpgA study by ICRAF demonstrated that women are playing a leading role in coping with and adapting to climate change in the mountainous rural areas of China’s Yunnan province, where disruptions in weather patterns and increasingly numerous extreme events are impacting agricultural livelihoods. This blog post summarizes the study’s recommendations for new climate change policies.

From savannah to forest: Women’s roles in land restoration in Sumba

imagethumb.jpgRestoring the functions of a landscape must involve all members of a community who live and work in it and take into account the varying details of the social order. This is why the unique knowledge of the women of East Sumba, Indonesia, is being recognized in the restoration of their deforested land.

Banner photo by O. Girard/CIFOR. Special feature and news photos, from top, by: A. Fassio/CIFOR; Nkumi Mtingwa/CIFOR;  J. Nkadaani/CIFOR; C. Magaju/ICRAF; Shrinivas Hegde; Carol J. Pierce Colfer/CIFOR; M. Edliadi/CIFOR; ICRAF; R. Finlayson/ICRAF.

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Recent gender publications



Securing tenure rights to communal forests in Masindi district, Uganda: Lessons from Participatory Prospective Analysis (PPA)


Land tenure and forest rights of rural and indigenous women in Latin America: Empirical evidence


Women’s rights to land and communal forest tenure: A way forward for research and policy agenda in Latin America



Rights abuse allegations in the context of REDD+ readiness and implementation

Forest management


Challenges for women’s participation in communal forests: Experience from Nicaragua’s indigenous territories


Gender equity and social inclusion in joint forest management: Lessons from two Indian states



Left behind in Nepal: Sita’s story


Nutrition and trees in sub-Saharan Africa: Jennifer’s secret


Nutrition and Trees in sub-Saharan Africa: From forest to table


Policy Dialogue on Forest Landscape Restoration and Gender Equality

Nov. 30, 2017
Nairobi, Kenya

This workshop will bring together a wide range of stakeholders working on both forest landscape restoration and the promotion of gender equality and women’s rights to learn about gender responsive forest restoration.

What does migration mean on the home front? Implications for land and social change

Dec. 16, 2017
Kathmandu, Nepal

This public event will feature short talks based on research on migration and land use change by numerous speakers, to promote greater dialogue and discussion on migration and land use change in Nepal.

Global Landscapes Forum

Dec. 19-20, 2017
Bonn, Germany

FTA will participate in discussion forums, pavilions and more. 

The CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) is the world’s largest research for development program to enhance the role of forests, trees and agroforestry in sustainable development and food security and to address climate change. CIFOR leads FTA in partnership with Bioversity International, CATIE, CIRAD, ICRAF, INBAR and TBI.

We would like to thank all donors who support this work through their contributions to the CGIAR Fund.

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