In the last decade, a lot of attention has been on how to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women. All too often, the development discourse has tended to simplify the concept of empowerment, and not moved in pace with the theoretical developments of the concept. As a result, we have often heard of statements such as empowering women through training, or through other sectoral objectives such as market inclusion. The UN Food systems has provided a great opportunity to re-imagine gender equality from a much more holistic perspective around four domains (i) Expanding Women’s Agency (ii) Increasing access and rights to resources (iii) Addressing institutional and legislative barriers, and (iv) Shifting harmful social and gender norms. This four domain framework allows for addressing both the symptoms and the underlying causes of gender inequalities. Using recent work, I will demonstrate the value and process for applying such a framework in real research and development contexts.
Dr. Jemimah Njuki has more than 20 years of experience in the agriculture sector in Africa and Asia, working on gender equality and the empowerment of women. Her extensive resume includes positions with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), CARE USA, and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). She has served as Coordinator of the Growth and Economic Opportunities Program (2020) and Senior Program Specialist in the Agriculture and Food Security Program at IDRC (2013–2019); Program Leader for the Women in Agriculture Program at CARE USA (2012–2013); and Program Leader for the Poverty, Gender and Impact Program (2009-2012) and Senior Scientist at ILRI (2003–2009). She has worked widely in Africa, including in Malawi (2004–2007), Zimbabwe (2007–2009), and Tanzania (2012–2013), and has conducted field research in many other countries. The speaker will present via Zoom.