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Agriculture through the Gender Lens: From Survive to Thrive - Gender Summit 18 – Africa

8.3.2020, 8:00 - 9.3.2020, 18:00
Nairobi, Kenya

An official event of the Next Einstein Forum, the AIMS Women in STEM (AIMSWIS) and Portia Ltd, are pleased to bring the Gender Summit 18 – Africa to Nairobi, Kenya on March 8-9, 2020. The focus of the Gender Summit 18 – Africa (GS18) will be Agriculture through the Gender Lens: From Survive to Thrive. While this conference will be the 18th in the global series, it is the third Gender Summit to be held in Africa. The previous ones were held in Cape Town, South Africa and Kigali, Rwanda.


Within the chosen theme of Agriculture through a Gender Lens, the GS18 will seek to identify how to address the critical gender gap of knowledge mobilization within agriculture. While progress has been made in integrating gender in agriculture, most of this has been downstream in the knowledge delivery aspects of agriculture. Women continue to remain largely underrepresented in the agriculture knowledge generation space, which has not efficiently and effectively integrated to improve both the quality and utility of this knowledge by women. At the entrepreneurial level, women continue to be confined to the micro-level and perpetuating a cycle of survival tactics.

The GS18 will seek to answer: how do we shift the paradigm in agriculture from one where women and marginalized groups strive to survive to a sector where they thrive?
In particular, how do we work collectively to ensure women have the skills, space, and opportunity to harness knowledge and technology to fuel their empowerment? This is especially critical as the negative impacts of climate change disproportionally effect women and are becoming increasingly severe. Without their full engagement, women face the risk of being further marginalized and left behind in the pursuit of a sustainable future. The focus will be on how scientific understanding of biological and ecological factors, together with knowledge of socio-cultural conditions, can be effectively deployed to transform farming practices conceptualized as strategies of survival into evidence-based, sustainable and holistic agricultural systems, in which women, and the young, especially, can more fully and equally participate and thrive.

Subthemes: Under each subtheme, the aim will be to identify the needs and opportunities of women and marginalized groups to ensure that:

  1. Applications of research can draw on interconnected disciplinary perspectives (e.g. for resilient seed production in the face of climate change: genomics, nutrition, breeding, behaviour)
  2. Technology development takes into account understanding of when, why and how biological (sex) and socio-cultural (gender) factors can differentiate outcomes (e.g. connecting emergence of zoonotic diseases, vaccination strategies for farmed animals, and food (in)security)
  3. Enterprise/scale-up opportunities are available and accessible for evidence based practices (e.g. sustainable seed production, and disease control in a changing climate)
  4. Policy decisions are made to secure advancement and sustainability of evidence based practices (e.g. to achieve the socio-economic development envisaged by the UN Sustainable Development Agenda 2030)

Expected outcome: The concrete outcome from GS18 will be a Call to Action that serves as a roadmap for advancing gender perspectives in agriculture research and innovation in Africa, including developing capacity to apply research evidence to achieve equitable socio-economic outcomes for all.

Strategies:  GS18 will

  1. Bring together scientists, gender scholars, policy makers, educationalists, and stakeholders from across Africa and beyond to examine available evidence, identify where improvements are needed in research and in practices, and to establish consensus on what actions should be taken, and by whom. This will include showcasing women and gendered research that demonstrates best practices and potential ways forward to secure a more gender equal future in a world grappling with climate change.
  2. Introduce new perspectives into the discussions of the issues of power relationships in agriculture in Africa, whose knowledge is considered valid (especially regarding women- and indigenous-generated knowledge), and how to move forward in creating more inclusive, equitable, and Africa-focused knowledge systems.
  3. Use evidence and multi-stakeholder consensus to challenge deeply entrenched socio-cultural attitudes and assumptions that act as barriers to societal learning and to Africa fully benefiting from research knowledge and innovation potential.

PLEASE NOTE: Registration for GS18 Africa is not yet open. Please continue to monitor the GS website for updates.