At the AgriGender workshop closing, ILRI’s Dirk Hoekstra presented his observations and reflections on the Workshop. As captured by Susan MacMillan, these were:
- The presentations of case studies at this workshop demonstrate that the agricultural roles that women play differ greatly by country and culture.
- We have started to accumulate a lot of useful gender disaggregated economic data; we now need to start accumulating data on non-income factors such as women’s nutritional well-being, access to resources and changes in rights.
- We have heard repeatedly that we need to take a holistic approach—men and women together—rather than looking at women’s issues in isolation.
- We have heard that we need to create and support flexible strategies that can accommodate people as they move, for example, from one commodity to another.
- It’s good to hear from so many participants that they are now looking at the many different components of whole value chains—from the production through the marketing and consumption of agricultural products.
- It’s good to hear so many here speak of taking new approaches that particularly suit market-oriented rather subsistence-based smallholder agriculture.
- I think we all agree that we need to monitor and evaluate gender work continuously.
- We have concluded that we now need less government- or project-driven strategy and more stakeholder-driven strategy.
- We need to do more to sensitize people to gender issues, to give women a seat at the table. This involves changing the attitudes of many, many men. We should not fool ourselves: this is hard work.
- Not all farmers are, or should be, market-oriented, and most rural people will start their involvement in markets with informal ones, graduating to more formal ones as they gain experience and confidence.
- All successful agricultural development is ‘context specific’.
- We want to support individual as well as collective action so as to encourage women ready to adopt new methods and technologies or to start shops or other entrepreneurial enterprises.
View his presentation