Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Gender in focus in GRiSP forum

A gender forum featuring several speakers from country partners and non-government organizations was held at IRRI headquarters on 14 March.

The forum, titled Bringing better lives to women: Experiences from the field, was organized by Bas Bouman, director of the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP), and Thelma Paris, IRRI senior scientist and gender specialist.

Topics and speakers were:
  • Improved weed management practices and benefits to women in Nepal by Jagat Ranjit, Senior Scientist and Chief of Agronomy Division, NARC, Nepal;
  • Promoting quality seed preservation and dissemination with women farmers in southwest Bangladesh by Momotaz Khatun, Executive Director, Ashroy Foundation;
  • Women in ecological engineering in South Vietnam by Monina Escalada, University Professor of Visayas State University, Philippines; Women in the rice value chain in West Africa by Matty Demont, Rice Value Chain Analyst, Social Sciences Division, IRRI;
  • Changing the livelihood of tribal men and women due to drought-tolerant rice varieties in Mayurbani District, Odisha, India by Matthew Karikulam of Balasore Social Services Society (BSSS);
  • Dissemination of drought-tolerant rice varieties with women farmers in India by Manzoor Dar, Senior Associate Scientist, IRRI and
  • Participatory varietal selection (PVS) with men and women farmers in South Asia by Thelma Paris, Amelia Cueno, and Donald Villanueva of Social Sciences Division, IRRI.
Discussions on the presentations were led by a panel composed of Gelia Castillo, rural sociologist and IRRI consultant; Uma Lele, independent scholar and former senior advisor at the World Bank; Bhagirath Chauhan, IRRI weed scientist; and Rakesh Kumar Singh, IRRI plant breeder.

 The GRiSP Gender Strategy was also presented by Thelma Paris, IRRI senior scientist and gender specialist. The strategy was reviewed by Dr. Castillo, Dr. Lele, and Jacqueline Ashby, CGIAR senior advisor for gender and research.

Several recommendations were made to revise and strengthen the implementation of the Gender Strategy that involves IRRI, AfricaRice, and CIAT covering Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Dr. Lele also gave an IRRI Seminar, Structural transformation and implications on women’s labor participation in agriculture, on 14 March.

These activities were conducted in celebration of March as International Women’s Month, with the theme, “Gaining momentum.”

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