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Counting on women in development

FairerScience friend Shirley Malcom has a really interesting and thoughtful piece out about the importance of taking women into account in research, policy and development programs and how without separate and gender-specific assessment of these programs, we will not know what works best for both women and men.

Her examples are stunning:

African women farmers are estimated to produce 20 per cent more than men from the same access to land and inputs, with only one per cent of the land and seven per cent of extension services. By how much could global agricultural production increase if women had the same access to support and services as men?

In Namibia, a palm tree conservation project was failing until the rights of local women to manage the forest were reinstated. Palm trees began to die months after women were asked to cut production of baskets made from palm leaves, used to store and carry milk and water. An investigation eventually revealed that the trees started to die when their care was transferred from the women, but once they regained this responsibility the plantation revived.

She also pointed me to a resource I hadn't known about, Applying a Gender Lens to Science, Technology and Innovation by the United Nations Conference on trade and Development. Thanks Shirley