Gender Tool Promotes Women’s Innovation

Boosting Women’s Participation in Innovative Processes

Because benefits of pro-poor innovations have not reached men and women equally, development organizations are increasingly focused on promoting gender mainstreaming and more active participation by women in decision-making. What has been missing is a concrete tool converting strategy into practice.

To fill this gap, CIP-Papa Andina has developed a tool to more fully integrate gender and women’s participation in innovation-promoting methodologies.

“I lost my fear, now I like to participate and speak at meetings. I feel good because I have learned a lot. With my earnings I have bought land, arranged my house, and can buy the equipment my children need in school.”  Chura Rosa Maquera – Puno, Peru

Together with partners in Bolivia (PROINPA), Ecuador (INIAP), and Peru (INCOPA), researchers worked with a gender specialist, assessed the gender research literature, and conducted a series of surveys and workshops to strengthen partners’ capacities for focusing their institutional strategies through a gendered lens. The result is a tool, comprised of guidelines with practical recommendations for mainstreaming gender into innovation promoting methodologies.

The guidelines are easy to implement and, in most cases, do not require a gender specialist or sophisticated knowledge of the subject.

Applying a gendered lens to programs and taking into account gender differences in roles, activities, participation, and access to benefits, brings an added dimension to key aspects of innovation creation:accessing/creating markets, enhancing market chain stakeholder partnerships, and assessing and sharing strategies for linking farmers to markets, or demand for technology with supply.

The guidelines can also be applied to other participatory methodologies and development strategies.

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New tool offers a gendered lens for boosting women’s participation in innovative processes