Practical checklist will help breeders develop varieties that benefit both women and men

To coincide with International Women’s Day, the CGIAR Gender and Breeding Initiative is pleased to release a new ‘decision checklist’ that provides a practical guide for plant and animal breeding programs to become more gender-responsive.

The checklist will help breeding programs become more gender-responsive.

The widespread adoption of improved crop varieties and animal breeds depends on the benefits they provide for the women and men involved in their production, consumption and marketing.

For breeders to meet the needs of resource-poor users, social scientists and breeders need to work together to understand the priorities that women and men assign to genetically determined traits, such as size, shape and taste, and reflect those priorities in breeding decisions.

Developed by an interdisciplinary group of experts who came together in October 2017 for a workshop organized by the Initiative, the checklist lays out an approach for systemically including information about gender differences in critical decisions made at key points in the breeding cycle.

The checklist is one of three briefs recently published by the Initiative, also including a brief on ‘Uptake Pathways to Achieve Gender-Responsive Breeding’ that describes the outcomes that the Initiative aims to achieve in order to improve gender-responsiveness, and a ‘Resource mobilization for Gender-Responsive Breeding’ brief detailing a strategy and work packages for GBI moving forward.

The CGIAR Gender and Breeding Initiative brings together plant and animal breeders and social scientists to develop a strategy for gender-responsive breeding with supporting methods, tools and practices. The Initiative includes experts from across CGIAR centers and Research Programs, is coordinated by the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas and the International Potato Center, and is supported by CGIAR Funders.