Women play a critical and potentially transformative role in developing countries’ agricultural growth, but they face persistent obstacles and social and economic constraints that limit their participation in the sector. Understanding the relationships between women and men through gender research can illuminate the pathway to sustainable and inclusive economic development.

Through programs such as the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index and IFPRI’s Gender, Agriculture, and Assets Project, as well as the IFPRI-led CGIAR Systemwide Program on Collective Action and Property Rights (CAPRi), the Institute collects data, tests models, and generates important findings on how gender relates to food and nutrition security; the gendered impacts of agricultural development projects; power and resource allocation within the household; market development and trade; institution building; land tenure; natural resource management; and overall economic development and poverty reduction. 

On this topic, IFPRI works closely with the CGIAR Research Programs on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) and Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM).

Takeaways from twenty years of gender and rural development research

It’s been 20 years since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action launched an agenda for gender equality as a human right, a condition for social justice, and a “necessary and fundamental prerequisite for equality, development, and peace.” Beijing set its sights on removing all barriers for women’s equal participation in public and private spheres. The past twenty years have provided the opportunity for significant learning about how to do so, in a vast range of “spheres.”

In this context of looking back to look forward, we take stock of research at IFPRI that contributed knowledge on how to advance gender equality by generating evidence from action, and compelling action from the evidence produced.

Below are key takeaways from the last 20 years of IFPRI gender research, organized by theme:

Most of the articles are published in peer-reviewed journals (see full reference list), but the hyperlinks provided go to the open access versions of the publications, except where noted with an asterisk