Delivering a livestock program – gender?

Gender analysis is being embedded throughout the program at multiple levels: as a strategic area of research with implications for livestock research and livestock keeping; integrated into other research areas as a cross-cutting theme; and as a factor influencing research priority setting, dissemination and scaling and as an integral part of the overall theory of change.

Two main types of research will be carried out in this area.

Gender-integrated research focuses on gender roles, relations and dynamics within specific livestock research areas like health or genetics. Such research will address technologies that reduce women’s labour and energy expenditure and be guided by research questions:

  • How gender (in-)equality affects the technological and institutional solutions that are designed, delivered and studied
  • How technological and institutional solutions impact on gender relations

Strategic research will address three research questions:

  • How gender norms and structures shape the social/institutional context
  • Transformative approaches to addressing gender-based constraints
  • Opportunities for equitable livestock-related livelihoods and for equitable access, control and intake of animal-source foods

Drawing from this analysis, the program will include both women-focused studies and women pro-active interventions whenever needed to progress towards gender equity.


14. How do we best ensure that gender and equity issues are addressed and acted upon in livestock research for development?

15. How should we prioritize between gender-integrated and gender-strategic work?


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4 thoughts on “Delivering a livestock program – gender?

  1. To ensure gender equity I suggest:
    That we look at gender in a behavioral perspective; taking into consideration the different behavioral attributes of men and women in varying contexts. This may improve understanding of complexities in gender inequality-beyond just the needs , interests, power and resource distribution that commonly defines gender equity and equality interventions.


  2. Both gender-integrated and gender-strategic work are critical and have different implementation frameworks as well as different key players. My take therefore is that in both the biggest challenge is limited resources for implementation and differing implementation capacities if appropriately addressed will progress towards achieving gender equity.


  3. 14. How do we best ensure that gender and equity issues are addressed and acted upon in livestock research for development?

    Some livestocks are already managed by youth and wemen. It is important to promote that kind of livestocks. Ther is many definitions of gender in the developping countries. The best ways should be to consider all family involve int he activities. In Africa, each gender play a specific role. The important thing is to minimize the exclusion in the society.

    15. How should we prioritize between gender-integrated and gender-strategic work?

    The gender-integrated should be the first.


  4. Thank you for the invitation to comment on the livestock proposal and gender as a cross-cutting “element” in delivering the program’s research and development. This emphasis is a welcome initiative. After reviewing the entire proposition (so not only the “gender” section”), I’ve a number of comments.

    1) It’s good to hear that “gender analysis is being embedded throughout the program at multiple levels”. From the brief documentation being provided (so perhaps there is other documentation I am not privy to, particularly the theory of change and the influence of gender analysis), I was wondering if gender analysis should not already be core to the design of the proposal: hence a response to question 1. My concern is that once gender analysis is embedded, research priority setting, dissemination and scaling would be already well on their way and difficult to amend given the analysis.

    For now, the proposal puts forward some clear propositions that beg for a clear gendered interpretation (which can quite easily be done by drawing on existing literature from over 45 years of women/gender related agriculture research): a sort of ex ante gender analysis if you will. For instance, the focus on small holders is welcome but needs unpacking (as others have observed), not only for the diversity of realities this term conveys but also for interrogation into this “black box”. The concepts of small holder and households are related but often elided and used as a unit of analysis. Gender analysis requires us to understand the social relations of gender, particularly the gender relations of production, within the small holder household (to intra household relations) and externally with social and economic worlds. So when we talk about focus on small holders involved with livestock, who are they? How are they socially positioned relative to other members within the household and the community? How is this profile changing given “feminization of agriculture”, gendered demographic trends (eg urbanization) and climate change (to name just three inter-related trends).

    Additionally, while the questions for gender integrated research are welcome, they actually should be addressed as part of the proposal’s design. For example, the proposal’s focus on “‘strong growth’ through sustainable intensification of livestock-based systems” sends warning signs: there are some livestock activities that generally remain the purview of women and key sources of livelihoods and food security. Increased commercialization of these activities can lead, as we have learned from other designed shifts in value chains, to displacing women (so while the proposed question “How (would?) technological and institutional solutions impact on gender relations” is a welcome one, I wonder to what extent this has already been explored for the directions included in the proposal).

    Similarly, the research question of “How gender (in-)equality affects the technological and institutional solutions that are designed, delivered and studied” is an important one if this is about how assumptions in AR4D about social relations of gender (and farmers’ “knowledges” more generally) shape research priorities and design. In KIT’s work with CRP MAIZE, for example, we found how different ways of thinking about knowledge and knowing impact different ways AR4D integrates gender concerns (see http://maize.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2014/11/FINAL-Gender-Audit-Summary-report-MAIZE-191114.pdf).

    2) Concerning the strategic research questions, the first is valid (although somewhat broad and redundant if not a little confusing) whereas I was unclear of the what the actual questions are for the remaining two. Nonetheless, these highlighted issues are fundamental to the gender-integrated research agenda so the question for me is not so much about prioritizing between these two areas, but how to use findings from the strategic research to inform gender-integrated research. For example, dominant gender norms both influence research design as well as their update (it’s unclear which social/institutional contexts the question refers to and whose norms. Small holders? Researchers and research organizations? I agree with Adeline and suggest both). So to understand how gender inequality affects technological and institutional solutions, one has to understand the role of social institutions and how they (re)produce gender norms and are also influenced by them.

    3) I was unfamiliar with some of the gender conceptualizations. What is the distinction between gender relations and dynamics? (they are similar concepts I think). What is the thinking behind asking about how gender equality affects technological and institutional solutions? (is this a case of looking for positive deviance?) What are women pro-active interventions? My assumption is that all gender-related initiatives are, by definition, needing to be pro-active.

    Thanks again for the opportunity to comment. Franz


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