A new report from the CGIAR Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) research program picks out some early lessons from the floodplains of Bangladesh and Zambia where the gender transformative approach is being tested in the field. The approach, which the AAS program seeks to apply, tries to go beyond simple gender approaches and checklists that usually oversimplify the challenges of gender. “By not viewing gender as part of how society works, mainstream agricultural [and fisheries] practice accepts the social status quo without questioning whether and how existing norms, attitudes and distributions of power frame the opportunities and outcomes of women and men, thus creating inequalities.”
The report, “Gender-transformative approaches to address inequalities in food, nutrition and economic outcomes in aquatic agricultural systems,” found:
- The need to engage with the women and men as members of families, not only as individual farmers
- The need to understand how to stimulate market actors to be more gender responsive
- The importance of communications that help change behaviour and disseminate information on role models and success stories, as well gender champions who can engage at the community level, including with key leaders
- The need for participatory research to help generate critical reflection on the causes and transformative opportunities in key social issues such as the underlying negative gendered causes for women-headed households
The report is available for download.