Monday, July 21, 2008

Agriculture, ICTs and Gender in Africa

This last month, I was asked to judge GENARDIS 3, "Small Grants Fund to address Gender Issues in Information and Communication Technologies for Agricultural and Rural Development in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP Countries)." The applicants that I judged were a wide range of projects attempting to use the tools of radio, computers, and media to reach the disenfranchised in their villages. Unfortunately, there were some applicants that immediately drew the opinion that women = gender, which is still a major misconception of what this small grants fund is all about. The thing is that it is likely to be women and children who are most disadvantaged in these small villages wishing to implement technology in order to improve lives. However, maybe it is not, and it is best to analyse the situation for both men and women first and then distinguish the differences between the two groups. Perhaps we will find a village where males are not participating in computer classes and 99 % are women, then why have these males decided not to participate?

Check out the GENARDIS projects that have won in 2005 and an evaluation on the program in 2007.

More Information:

IDRC - Acacia webpage on GENARDIS

Gender and Natural Resource Management book

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