The renewed focus on women and girls in the international arena has placed much more importance on the need for existing strategies and new development initiatives to be gender sensitive and gender responsive. Women continue to face both legal and cultural barriers to accessing and benefiting from development initiatives. It is against this background that CIDT consultants, Mary Surridge and Rufsana Begum, were contracted to carry out a gender appraisal of Plantwise in four countries in Asia and Africa: Bangladesh, Pakistan, Ghana and Kenya.
Plantwise is CABI’s flagship global programme and is funded by several donors, including DFID. The programme essentially provides a platform for smallholder farmers to gain access to plant health information and lessen plant health problems to improve productivity: the programme motto is to ‘lose less, feed more’.
The objective of the consultancy was to enhance the ability of Plantwise to embed gender and diversity in its programme; the aim was to identify the key contextual characteristics that define Plantwise gender and diversity work and uncover specific opportunities, bottlenecks and barriers experienced by the different groups, especially women, in accessing benefits of the PW programme.
Consultants met with a wider range of in country partners including the Ministry of Agriculture and other ministry departments, non-profit organisations, international organisations, community groups and local organisations.
Following the country visits, the CIDT consultants successfully delivered a 2-day gender workshop to 50+ Plantwise representatives during their annual planning meeting in Switzerland in, presenting the gender appraisal findings and exploring the practicalities on how to implement gender strategies in each host country.
Below are some pictures from each project country.