Gender transformative research: transforming ourselves first

Ranjitha Puskur -

Komola Roy carrying drinking water in Fultola Village, Khulna, Bangladesh.

A guest blog by Ranjitha Puskur, WorldFish senior scientist and Elspeth Bartlet, communications specialist.

The WorldFish Building Coalitions, Creating Change workshop in 2012 brought together donors, researchers and practitioners on gender and development to discuss a gender transformative approach to agricultural research in development. The workshop was a major step forward in putting this concept into practice.

What will it take to deliver a gender transformative approach?

Stephen Hall -

Farm workers harvesting eggplants in Khulna, Bangladesh.

The rationale for adopting a gender transformative approach goes beyond just considering the symptoms of gender disparity, it addresses the social norms and attitudes that lie behind them. The CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems has placed a transformative approach at the heart of its gender strategy. But how can this be turned into a reality?

Gender Transformative Research: An Imperative

Stephen Hall -

The AAS program will address underlying gender norms such as discrimination and inequality down the value chains. Barotse floodplain, Zambia. Photo by Georgina Smith, 2012.

I believe a gender transformative approach is key if WorldFish is to achieve the development impacts it is looking for – but what is it and how will it affect our organizational culture?

I was recently asked by a member of WorldFish staff if I would share on film why we have placed a gender transformative approach at the center of our efforts to achieve development impact. Of course, that was something I was happy to do, and I think we did a reasonable job of explaining why our choice of approach to gender matters.