CGIAR Research Program "Dryland Systems"

Gender Empowerment

Agriculture and the rural sector in general play an important role in the economies of Central Asian (CA) countries with the shares of agricultural reaching up to around 24 percent for some of countries (FAO 2014). Women in CA countries play essential role in agricultural production and over 60 % of them are economically active in agriculture. Subsistence agriculture is one of the important sources for covering basic needs for majority of the rural households and especially for women who work and rely on their kitchen garden harvests. Migration of labour is one of the social issues that has been changing the roles and activities in agriculture. Most of central Asian countries have faced male labour migration from agricultural sector which shown to be followed by a feminization of agricultural labor because women, children and older people usually stay on the farm and women become involved increasingly in agricultural activities.

As such, there is considerable evidence showing that women’s levels of agriculture productivity can be the same as the men’s when they have equal access to agricultural inputs. Disparities in access to agricultural inputs such as: land and water resources, technology or extension services constrain the increase of production outputs as well as intensification of rural livelihoods.

Central Asian flagship’ gender research approach combines two-fold integrative and strategic research approaches in promoting gender equity goals. Integrative gender research is considered as a cross-cutting issue in all CRP DS CA activities and follows gender-responsive objectives including:

Strategic gender research of the CA flagship focuses on analyzing core factors related to gender equity in accesses to agricultural inputs and outputs, and ensuring that development interventions contribute to enhancing livelihoods and the households and become beneficial to both men and women

Social and gender analysis integrated in CRP DS to both understand the specific needs of women and men in dryland farming systems, and to strengthen the capacity of the most marginalized groups to articulate their views and participate effectively in the research and development process. This analysis will provide an important entry point for CRP DS to design appropriate innovations and institutional arrangements that have positive poverty and equity impacts.

Main Objectives of the CRP DS CA:

Integrating gender differences and equity goals into development and testing of technologies for intensified production, increased income and improved well-being in Fergana valley.

Reducing gender disparities in critical vulnerabilities to more resilient dry land agro-ecosystems management and access to agricultural and domestic technologies in Aral Sea region.

Geographical Location (s) including the Action Sites:

  1. Aral Sea Region (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan)
  2. Fergana Valley (Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan)

CRP DS CA Flagship’s Gender Activity materials: