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Donors, agriculture stakeholders prioritize new gender research methods in Ethiopia

November 1, 2017

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (CIMMYT) – A growing body of evidence shows that when communities are in control of a development initiative, gender equality increases and the project’s goals are reached even faster.

Seven research methodologies that have helped Ethiopians identify, assess and develop action plans to solve their problems have recently been identified in a new report from the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) as successful practices to incorporate gender into agriculture programs.

Funders, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders from across Ethiopia’s agriculture sector will learn how to practically use these methodologies in their programs during a workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on November 3, 2017.

“Women in Ethiopia work very long hours and face a host of unequal gender norms, or societal rules that govern men’s and women’s daily behaviors and roles,” says Kristie Drucza, a gender and social development research manager at CIMMYT and workshop organizer. “These factors hamper economic development in households across the country.”

Rural women globally face higher constraints on their mobility, work within stricter gender divisions of labor and are less likely to have the value of their work respected in their communities. Ethiopia ranks 129 out of 155 on the United Nations Development Programme’s Gender Inequality Index, reflecting the loss of human development due to inequality between female and male achievements.

“These methodologies can be applied at the individual, household or community level, depending on topics you want to tackle,” says Drucza. “Programs have used these methodologies to help analyze a community’s current situation and focus on its needs, like resource access or household decision making. Within that scope we might focus on certain agricultural crops, but the people self-direct what they want to change at all levels.”

The workshop will teach participants what participatory methods are and how they are used, how inequality negatively affects agricultural outcomes and how to tackle gender norms.

“For example, the Transformative Household Methodology requires participants to map out all the household and work chores done on a weekly basis on a grid on the ground,” according to Drucza. “Then they use markers, like beans or maize grains, to mark how often they do a chore. This helps families visualize the differences in workload, access and control over resources and decision making and then discuss how these differences inhibit the household’s goals.” Participants in the workshop will break into groups and trial these participatory methodologies.

Evaluations on the methodologies found improvements in household food security, men’s involvement in traditionally non-male household activities, improved access for women to all resources and benefits, changed attitudes towards gender relations among other benefits that empowered both men and women.

“In agriculture, there is a lack of harmonization between stakeholders and we haven’t thought creatively enough about gender research,” says Drucza. “A big goal of this workshop is to bring people together to see how we can learn from one another and work jointly to boost gender equality that leads to long-term change.”

Drucza’s work focuses on understanding gender in wheat-based livelihoods for enhanced WHEAT R4D impact in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Ethiopia and is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

WHERELalibella auditorium, ILRI compound, CMC road, Gurd Sholla, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


*In-person and remote interviews available

Kristie Drucza

Gender and Social Development Research Manager


email: k.drucza@cgiar.org

tel:  +251 11 6172312

About CIMMYT – The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center – is the global leader in publicly-funded maize and wheat research and related farming systems. Headquartered near Mexico City, CIMMYT works with hundreds of partners throughout the developing world to sustainably increase the productivity of maize and wheat cropping systems, thus improving global food security and reducing poverty. CIMMYT is a member of the CGIAR System and leads the CGIAR Research Programs on Maize and Wheat and the Excellence in Breeding Platform. The center receives support from national governments, foundations, development banks and other public and private agencies.