FAO Coordinates Webinar on Gender Dimensions of Climate-Smart Agriculture

4 March 2014. Women play a crucial role in implementing climate-smart agriculture. With the goal of better understanding the gender dimensions of climate-smart agriculture, a month-long online webinar was held in February 2014 coordinated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO). Presenters included representatives from FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (WOCAN), Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security Program (CCAFS), and World Fish.

The event, which was organized within the Community of Practice for Climate Change Mitigation in Agriculture of the Mitigation of Climate Change in Agriculture (MICCA) Programme, was divided into three topics: gender equality in agriculture and changing climate; gender-sensitive practices for climate-smart agriculture; and next steps for gender in climate-smart agriculture.

In one of the presentations, CCAFS outlined its range of research activities on gender and agriculture. It highlighted its work with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) that uses surveys asking the same questions to men and women within the same household to better understand how they respond to different tools, polices and approaches.

The surveys indicate that women receive less climate change and agriculture-related information than men at sites in Africa and Asia. In Kenya, research finds low awareness among women of agriculture practices that improve soil fertility and water storage. The work underscores the importance of ensuring that climate services are targeted appropriately across different groups, perhaps through building gender-sensitive capacities in agricultural extension agents and local government officials. The work is based on IFPRI's Women Empowerment in Agriculture Index.

WorldFish described cases where climate-smart agriculture practices can increase the workload for women as they are given new responsibilities. However, WorldFish results also demonstrate that helping women gain new capacities and knowledge on fishing and cultivation, while increasing workload, was welcomed by the women, who noted that this resulted in their empowerment. CCAFS, IFPRI and WorldFish are members of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

For more information on the event, visit the MICCA website: http://www.fao.org/climatechange/micca/79527/en/