How to green food systems in a gender-smart way: A matter of insight and smart interventions
This paper (PDF) by Groverman & Van der Wees elaborates on the relation between food systems and gender equality building on knowledge, experience and good practices in the field of agriculture, climate change, food security and value chains. The authors argue that since the current food systems poses serious problems of sustainability, a solution should be sought in greening of these systems which refers to investments to improve human well-being and social equity, reduce environmental risks and ecological scarcities. The authors use a model of gender asymmetries (in access to assets, markets, technology etc.) to increase insight into how gender inequality impacts on the functioning of food systems. For every asymmetry, the authors included good practices to address gender imbalances and improve social equity within food systems. Critical for any intervention is that it is grounded in the local culture and social context. That requires institutional capacity of companies, institutes, and organisations involved in greening of the food systems to ensure that needs, priorities, opportunities and constraints of female and male farmers are being considered and that both participate in interventions and development of new practices or chain activities. To address the gender asymmetries presented in the paper, the authors introduce a community-led planning methodology called Gender Action Learning System (GALS). The paper concludes with several interventions that promote a sustainable food system with a strong social equity dimension, in other words, gender-smart greening of food systems.