Climate Smart Agriculture Sourcebook



Gender refers to socially constructed attributes and opportunities associated with being male and female. Gender therefore is not about biological differences, rather it defines what it means to be a woman or a man, a girl or a boy in a given society. It carries specific roles, statuses and expectations within households, communities and culture.

Gender analysis

Gender analysis is the study of the different roles of men and women in order to understand what they do, what resources they have, and what their needs and priorities are. It provides the basis for addressing inequalities in policies, programs, and projects, and it can be conducted at multiple levels (household, community, and national), across different life stages and in the various roles men and women play. It helps to develop a better understanding of the context-specific gender, cultural and socio-economic diversity, and to plan appropriate climate-smart agriculture interventions by exploring the differences between women and men in terms of the following factors: (i) individual vulnerability to climate risks; (ii) willingness and capacity to take on risk; (iii) specific needs and participation rates; (iv) access to and control over assets and productive resources; (v) power relations (e.g. in decision making) within households and communities; and (vi) access to information, services, institutions and markets needed for climate-smart agriculture.

Gender equality

Gender equality refers to the condition of women and men enjoying equal rights, opportunities and entitlements in civil and political life, in terms of access, control, participation and treatment. 

Gender equity

Gender equity entails the provision of fairness and justice in the distribution of benefits and responsibilities between women and men.

Gender mainstreaming

Gender mainstreaming is the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies and programmes, in any area and at all levels. These span from a gender-neutral to a gender-transformative approach.

Gender needs (Practical gender needs)

Practical gender needs are the needs women identify in their socially accepted roles, arising from the gendered divisions of labour and women’s often unequal position in society. They are practical in nature and often stem from inadequacies in living conditions such as water provision, healthcare and employment. During the design of gender-responsive climate-smart agriculture interventions, examples of practical gender needs include need for vocational training and labour-saving practices employment and food for the family.

Gender needs (Strategic gender needs)

Strategic gender needs represent what women or men require in order to improve their position or status in society in regard to each other. They are long-term (i.e. they aim to improve positions); they also intend to remove restrictions, and are less visible as they seek to transform attitudes and dismantle inequality and discrimination. During the design of gender-responsive climate-smart agriculture interventions, examples of practical gender needs include equal access to resources, elimination of discrimination in land ownership and adequate participation in local decision-making mechanisms.

Gender neutral (or gender-blind)

Gender neutral (or gender-blind) interventions are not specifically aimed at either women or men and are assumed to affect both sexes equally. However, they may actually preserve existing gender inequalities or even result in having a differential impact on women and men.

Gender relations

Gender relations refer to ways in which society defines rights, responsibilities and identities of men and women in relation to one another, in all spheres of life (in private/family life, and in public domains, such as in the labor market and political life) and determine: Gender entitlement systems: assets, opportunities, capabilities, choice; Gendered division of labor; Gendered patterns of production; Power sharing at all levels: decision-making; control of resources and income; etc.

Gender-responsive approaches

Gender-responsive approaches recognize and address the specific needs and priorities of men and women, based on the social construction of gender roles.