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ARM - 2016
Participatory Gender Training
for Farmer Groups
Stephanie Leder
Kathmandu/Nepal office A water-secure world
Why?/ So what?
Problem 1:
Gendered divisions of agricultural labor
a triple work burden for women
gendered norms on mobility, speaking up and being heard
hinder women to take up agricultural interventions and to contribute to
(collective) farmer groups to their full potential.

How can farmers work effectively as groups and take up interventions,

both men and women being aware of and acting upon those gendered restrictions?

A water-secure world
Problem 2:
Lack of participatory gender training approaches for farmers based on science:
Learning theories (argumentation for critical thinking)
Neurodidactic research (visualization, interaction)
Brain-based principles (network thinking)

As well as
Participatory principles around farmers capabilities, value system, beliefs
and existing agricultural practices
Culturally grounded, yet gender transformative training approach
Cost-effective to upscale within NGOs/GOs

A water-secure world
How can we address gender norms, roles and relations affecting
agricultural productivity?
A gender-sensitive approach to water management in the context of male emigration:

How? Lets DISCUSS with the farmers!

The participatory gender training was developed, piloted, implemented and

comparatively evaluated across different projects for WLE (DSI4MTF, Gender circles,
in 12 villages in the Far West of Nepal and the Terai; West Bengal and Bihar, India
24 trainings with approx. 65 community mobilizers/field staff of 15 NGO/GOs
Approx. 200 farmers, to be upscaled targeting 125.000 households

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When can this manual be used?

1) When new projects are starting in

villages and community groups are
formed. The training can be used to
sensitize field staff and farmers on
gender relations in communities.
2) When there are gender-related
tensions in a community, e.g. when men
are out-migrating and women are left
3) When conducting participatory
research to understand how gender
effects community relations and
agricultural practices in villages.

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Principles of the training:
Participants are encouraged
1) to reflect on their own
gender perceptions and roles
in their households and
2) to critically review gendered
agricultural and domestic
labor division
3) to develop argumentation
skills to resolve conflicts and
evoke empathy by switching

A water-secure world
The Outcome: A Gentle Gender Transformation
Gender sensitivity brings enthusiasm, empathy and creates space for
DISCUSSION and AGENCY for BOTH men and women
The training intends to increase farmer
group interaction and empathy through
discussions on collective support and
the willingness to mitigate the gendered
division of labor.
The training promotes bargaining skills
which equip farmers to confidently
negotiate with their group members,
landlords and others in cases of

A water-secure world
What Next?
Participatory principles and the gender-sensitive
approach developed in this study can be adopted
and used in IWMI research projects or by WLE
project partners (NGOs, CBOs, GOs) which firstly
aim at raising awareness on gender roles and
gendered behaviour and how this influences the
adoption of agricultural interventions and trainings.

Next steps:
Translation into Nepali and other languages
Film to introduce the training modules
CGIAR/ WLE Webinar
Interactive interface for the WLE homepage
Continuous monitoring and evaluation of uptake

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Encouraging open discussions in gender-sensitive
trainings is the key to sustainable agriculture

Download, print and

share the manual:
Thank you!

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