Lessons drawn from women’s participation in ICRISAT R&D projects: talking points for climate change initiatives

Lessons drawn from women’s participation in ICRISAT R&D projects: talking points for climate change initiatives
Climatic change in context of developmental projects: Indian women have the adaptive skills but need strengthening capacity

Authors: R.P. Mula; S. Wani; K. Rai
Publisher: International Peace Research Institute, Oslo , 2010

Download Full text of document

Women have a key role in the organisation of agricultural production, and are one of the most vulnerable groups who have to bear the consequences of global climate change. The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) undertakes several projects in India geared towards developing technologies that support women. This paper examines these projects and presents some lessons learned from them. It emphasises that bringing the gender dimension into projects should result in tangible economic benefits and meet users’ perspectives.

The authors note that women involved in ICRISAT projects made a difference in the areas of organisational leadership, livelihood management, and knowledge management, which are critical in the discussions of climate change.
The document makes the following conclusions and recommendations:

  • strengthening women’s resilience and coping is a major goal, considering that rural women have the adaptive skills for the eventualities of the changing environment
  • designing interventions for women requires an active process of social construction and negotiation, as well as institutional arrangement
  • interventions should not be viewed as a package with simple, linear and systematic patterns, or with specific plan of action with expected outcomes
  • interventions that can reduce women’s drudgery in domestic and agricultural responsibilities, which becomes more difficult in an unpredictable climate, is an initial step for their inclusion
    among women in agriculture, where there is serious situation of slack resources, provision for more options and enhancement in their resources like “capacity strengthening” is imperative
  • for efficient and effective knowledge sharing, greater participation of the community, and particularly women, in communication technology is required.