Learning Together Gender in Agriculture: FoodSTART+ Project Staff and Partners Attended a Social and Gender Training in Hanoi, Vietnam

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The Food Resilience Through Root and Tuber Crops in Upland and Coastal Communities of the Asia-Pacific (FoodSTART+) project staff from India, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines and a representative from the partner International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) investment Sustainable Rural Development for the Poor (SRDP) project took part in a back-to-back Gender Training and Workshop held on 11-13 December in Hanoi, Vietnam, and organized with financial support from Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and co-funding from FoodSTART+.

On 11-12 December, CARE International in Vietnam represented by Dr. Truong Quang Hong, Ms. Le Thi Hong Giang and Ms. Pham Kim Ngan facilitated a 2-day training on “Social Analysis and Action for Improving Gender Sensitivity in Agriculture”.  Social Analysis and Action (SAA) – CARE’s flagship approach – is a facilitated process through which individuals and communities explore and challenge the social norms, beliefs and practices that shape their lives.

The goal of SAA is to catalyze a community-led change process through which community members challenge restrictive norms and act together to create more equitable gender and social norms, leading to improved development outcomes. Learning, exploration, challenging and reflection are integral parts of the SAA process. This is the first gender training that I have ever attended, and I am happy to learn and understand gender issues so I can be more aware about it when I go back to the field,” said Guada Marie Babilonia, FoodSTART+ Research Assistant in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, Dr. Khat Thu Hong and Ms. Nguyen Thi Van Anh from ISDS (Institute for Social Development Studies) and Dr. Nozomi Kawarazuka from the International Potato Center (CIP) organized and facilitated the workshop on “Integrating Social and Gender Aspects in Agricultural Research” on 13 December. The workshop aimed at raising the awareness of researchers on why gender matters in agricultural research and on a range of available tools and approaches for enhancing gender mainstreaming during project implementation. It also enabled the participants to learn from the each other, have a glimpse of the different gender dynamics in the Asia-Pacific region, and develop networks among them.

This is not the first gender training that I have attended but I’m very pleased to have made time for this since the excellent interaction with other participants was an eye opener on how gender norms and dynamics vary among countries in South-East Asia. I’m confident that our staff has greatly benefitted of this learning opportunity and that we are now more capable of ensuring that the innovations that the project promotes are gender-responsive,” shared Dr. Diego Naziri, FoodSTART+ Project Coordinator.

The other participants of the training included ACIAR Country Office managers from Laos, Philippines and Vietnam; and ACIAR-funded project partners in Vietnam.


Blog by Arma Bertuso
Photo credits: OXFAM and Guada Marie Babilonia
Read the original blog post on the IFAD Asia website.