“Spokeswoman” … not “spokesman”

Panelists at the Policy Forum on Agricultural Innovation for Rural Women, day 1 of the Second Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development. Photo: GCARD2

The title of the post refers to the joke made by Dr. Uma Lele, the moderator of the panel session Policy Forum on Agricultural Innovation for Rural Women at day 1 of the Second Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD2), when she accidentally introduced one of her female colleague as “spokesman”. “It is high time we should start seeing more “spokeswoman” she quickly corrected herself.

Woman and gender is once again on top of the agenda. As Dr Mark Holdersness said when introducing the panel to the audience, women will be in the center of discussions throughout the conference. The session is stated to be the logical continuation of the Global Conference on Women in Agriculture held in New Delhi, India in March of this year.

Indeed, women do the largest part of household, kitchen and garden work and play a huge role in family nutrition. However, they still do not enjoy opportunities equal to their male counterparts in many parts of the world. While this post is being written, the panel, comprising prominent activists of various organizations present at the GCARD2, is discussing some of the key challenges women facing throughout the world of agriculture. Some of the key issues are 1) giving woman more roles in agriculture; 2) strengthening the knowledge base on woman; 3) established rights of women beyond agriculture and 4) collective actions plan.

As the conference is slowly proceeding to the parallel specific subject oriented sessions we will keep eye on how the gender related issues are being further addressed.

Blogpost by Firdavs Kabilov, one of the GCARD2 social reporters.


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