International Gender Conference in New Delhi Highlights Role of Women’s Empowerment in Agri-Food Systems


The international gender conference titled “From Research to Impact: Towards Just and Resilient Agri-Food Systems,” was held in New Delhi from October 9th to October 12th, 2023. The conference was hosted by the CGIAR GENDER Impact Platform and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). A press release on the conference was issued on 13th October, 2023.

This timely revelation follows the recent G20 Summit, where world leaders committed to advancing women-led development and women’s leadership in food security, nutrition, and climate action.

Research presented at the conference demonstrated that intentionally designing agricultural programs, projects, and policies to increase women’s empowerment leads to improved outcomes for all, including heightened agricultural productivity, better child nutrition, increased dietary diversity, enhanced food security, and greater climate resilience.

The conference highlighted the importance of Farmer Producer Organisations and other collective models as effective approaches that can empower women by granting them better access to markets, resources, agency, and overall empowerment. Research findings also underscored that fostering women’s leadership at all levels, from innovation to decision-making and policy formulation, is the only way to achieve equitable and resilient agri-food systems.

Summarizing the key insights from the conference, Dr. Seema Jaggi, Assistant Director General (HRD) at ICAR, emphasized that G20 leaders have identified four priority areas: investments in food security and nutrition, climate-smart approaches, inclusive agricultural value chains, and digitalization for agricultural transformation. She noted that CGIAR and ICAR can play a pivotal role in providing information and expertise in these areas.

Dr. Ranjitha Puskur, Country Representative for India and Research Leader of Gender and Livelihoods at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), stressed the need for stronger partnerships between researchers and research users. She emphasized that these collaborations are essential to generate the evidence required for informed policymaking and called for closer ties between researchers, policymakers, and the private sector.

During the closing plenary session, key development partners, including Dr. Maureen Miruka, Senior Director of Program Quality and Partnerships at CARE USA, Dr. Stefan Kachelriess-Matthess, Senior Programme Manager at GIZ, and Ms. Vicki Wilde, Senior Program Officer for Women’s Empowerment at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, shared their perspectives on advancing from research to impact. They emphasized the importance of designing agricultural solutions that consider the needs and constraints of women smallholders.

The four-day international agricultural gender research conference featured four plenary sessions, 54 parallel sessions, and 6 poster sessions, bringing together delegates from over 60 countries. The discussions centered on how agricultural gender research can contribute to more resilient and just agri-food systems, highlighting the critical role of women’s empowerment in this transformative process.

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