Design elements for gender-responsive breeding

The CGIAR Gender and Breeding Initiative and CGIAR Collaborative Platform for Gender Research will jointly host the webinar ‘Design elements for gender-responsive breeding’.

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Thursday 21 September | 4:00 – 5:30PM CEST

The need for crop and animal breeding programs to consider gender differences has been recognized long ago. Many breeding programs understand the negative effect of overlooking traits important to women users. However, applied methods and tools are still lacking. This webinar will examine the main stages of a breeding cycle to discuss and analyze the entry points in the breeding cycle where breeders can make use of information about gender dynamics and when to consider the different preferences, needs, and objectives of men and women end-users.

Figure 1: The main stages of a breeding program. CGIAR Gender & Breeding Initiative

The second part of the session will present the main outputs and conclusions from the Gender, Breeding and Genomics workshop held in Nairobi, Kenya in 2016. The workshop was held with support from the CGIAR Gender Network, which has now evolved into the CGIAR Collaborative Platform for Gender Research. Outputs from the workshop included suggestions for the “must-have” features of gender-responsive plant or animal breeding shown in the figure as well as practical ideas about what needs to be done and how to give programs these features, thus helping to bridge the gap between awareness and practice.

Figure 2: The ‘must-have’ features of gender-responsive plant and animal breeding

This sets the scene for the upcoming Innovation Workshop on Gender and Breeding to be held from 5-7 October 2017, in Nairobi, Kenya. The workshop, now coordinated by the CGIAR Gender and Breeding Initiative, will build on the findings from the 2016 workshop and bring together a selected group of social scientists, and plant and animal breeders to contribute to the development of a strategy for gender-responsive breeding with supporting methods, tools and practices.

See more on the CGIAR Collaborative Platform for Gender Research website.


Graham Thiele

Program Director, CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and BananasGraham Thiele, PhD, Director, CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers, and Bananas (RTB). Graham is a social scientist and expert in targeting, priority setting, and impact and adoption studies of new agricultural technologies. He spent 17 years with the International Potato Center (CIP), most recently as the Leader for Social and Health Sciences. Graham has worked in Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Tanzania, Kenya, Benin, Rwanda, Indonesia, and the Philippines. He helped develop, implement, and assess several, novel participatory methodologies designed to link farmers with markets, inform research agendas, and promote innovation in policies, products, and technology uptake. Graham holds a PhD in Social Anthropology and an MSc in Agricultural Economics.

Stefania Grando

Honorary Fellow, ICRISAT, India and International ConsultantStefania is a plant breeder with more than 30 years of experience in research for development spanning across Africa and Asia and research management and leadership, mentoring, inter-organizational relations and communication skills. Her research focused on crop (barley, sorghum, and millets) improvement for adaptation to difficult environments and users’ needs, by an effective use of genetic resources and the development and adoption of participatory research methodologies. She is currently working as an international consultant. Stefania was a lead author in the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development and served on the Program Advisory Committee of the CGIAR System-wide program on Participatory Research and Gender Analysis.Stefania holds a Doctorate from the University of Perugia, Italy in Productivity of Crop Plants/Plant Breeding.  

Jacqueline Ashby

Gender expert and International consultantJacqueline Ashby is a development sociologist, researcher and teacher with international development experience in organizational change, technology development and poverty reduction in agriculture and food systems. She has worked as a researcher and in senior management in the CGIAR at the international Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the International Potato Research Center (CIP) and as senior adviser for research on gender at the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) System Office until retirement in 2017. Her special interest is in participatory research and citizen science in agricultural R&D and she contributed seminal work to the application of farmer participatory research for use in plant breeding. She has also advised widely on gender mainstreaming. Dr. Ashby received her PhD from Cornell University and has served as a Board of Trustee member for several international research organizations.