In an opinion piece for Huffington Post, CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security's Director Bruce Campbell reminds us that gender equality cannot be reached without engaging men as well as women in the fight. "When launching the UN's recent HeForShe campaign, actor and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson asked: 'How can we change the world if only half of it is participating in the conversation?'"
HeForShe is a solidarity campaign for gender equality initiated by UN Women. It aims to engage men and boys as agents of change for the achievement of gender equality and women's rights, by encouraging them to take action against inequalities faced by women and girls.
Bruce Campbell urges that HeForShe be taken to the farm as agriculture would benefit greatly from closing the gender gap. He writes that better and gender-sensitive research program planning is important to achieve this goal. In his op-ed, he highlights Bioversity International's work in Colombia as an example of gender-sensitive research:
"The research institute Bioversity International has carried out an excellent example of a 'gender-sensitive' climate adaptation program. The region of the Chicamocha canyon in Colombia is suffering from water scarcity, which researchers have found to impact men and women in different ways. For women, this impacts the production of food for the family, whilst for men this limits income through low yield of cash crops. The resulting climate adaptation strategy should therefore be different for each sex. Women's needs could be met by encouraging adoption of home gardens that require minimal watering. Men's needs could be met by testing different drought resistant species or crop varieties that are of commercial interest. But even further work is needed to alter the underlying gender inequalities."
Photo: Participants at the workshop drawing a map of their territory in Macaregua village, Curití, Colombia. Credit: Bioversity International/M.Beltrán