Identifying pathways for more gender-sensitive communication channels in climate services
This brief (PDF) by USAID and CGIAR-CCAFS, highlights some key challenges to achieving socially inclusive access to climate information ad present promising pathways for developing gender-sensitive communication channels. Access to accurate and useful climate-related information is a prerequisite for smallholders farmers to use and benefit from climate services with respect to both agricultural and livelihood decision-making. Gender-based factors can influence differing access to communication channels for women and men. Restrictions in group participation, limited access to ICT and media, and limited levels of schooling and literacy can impede access of rural women to climate services. Four different pathways forward to develop gender-sensitive communication channels are highlighted. First, identify context-specific communication channels for socially inclusive delivery. An assortment of communication challenges that suit the varied needs of local women and men farmers should be identified. By identifying gender-specific needs and barriers to access, practitioners can ensure more inclusive and effective climate information delivery. Second, utilize women’s groups to boost information-sharing. The use of womens’ groups as a communication channel can address institutional biases and gender-based differences in access to group processes that limit womens’ access to technical information, training and support. Furthermore, women communications and gender-sensitive techniques can facilitate womens’ access to climate information. Third, develop media and ICT-based channels tailored to womens’ needs. Acknowledge the methods and circumstances by which women access information using such technology. Services must align with women’s livelihood objectives and include time-saving mechanisms. Fourth, partner with gender-sensitive local organization, to engage with existing sociocultural norms around gender roles and behaviour. Increasing womens’ access to male-dominated groups and environments may depend upon significant changes in social processes and shifts in power dynamics at different levels.