“We’re in charge. Women know very well how to farm here,” explained a young woman from San Gabriel de las Molinas, a hillside village in Mexico, in response to a question suggesting that men were more productive farmers.
The focus group where this conversation took place was part of a pilot exercise in over 70 villages around the world, developing data collection tools to explore why some agricultural innovations lead to women’s empowerment while others do not.
The pilot in Mexico was one of 19 case studies completed in 2014 by the CIMMYT-led CGIAR Research Programs on Maize and Wheat for the CGIAR Global Study on Gender Norms, Agency and Innovation in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (Gennovate).
“CGIAR research programs are ‘raising the game’ by committing to a concerted effort to improve gender equality in agriculture” explained Lone Badstue, CIMMYT’s strategic leader for gender research. “Without appropriate incorporation of gender considerations, technically-superior innovations are limited in their impact and may instead exacerbate gender inequalities.”