How CGIAR research is helping close the global gender gap


A World Economic Forum article by IWMI director general Claudia Sadoff

Farmers working together on the field with drip irrigation system in Katmandu
Farmers working together on the field with drip irrigation system in Katmandu.
Photo: Sharad Maharjan / IWMI


On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2019, the CGIAR System Organization has placed in the Agenda blog of the World Economic Forum an article authored by Claudia Sadoff, director general of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI). She also serves as a member and gender champion of the CGIAR System Management Board.

Following is an excerpt from the article:

At the current pace of change, it is going to take us over a century to close the global gender gap.

As recent research from the World Economic Forum has shown, women are still falling behind in areas such as economic participation and opportunity, health and education as well as political empowerment.

Many countries that have the most ground to make up are in underdeveloped regions, where vast numbers of women live in rural areas. This number is growing as more men migrate for work. The empowerment of rural women will therefore be paramount to speeding up the rate at which we are able to close the global gender gap.

However, as Bill and Melinda Gates have noted in their annual letter this year, the data and research on rural women that we will need in order to take action is shockingly scarce. How much do they own? What do they earn? Does their income effectively empower them? Too often, we come up blank when looking to answer these questions. Data that does exist is outdated or inaccurate. Yet we know that quality data is critical for driving investment decisions and forming policies for any goal. Gender equality is no different.

Doubling down on research into what works to empower rural women will be a major step forward. Here’s how CGIAR is working towards these goals in three regions across the world.

See the full article.

CGIAR Collaborative Platform for Gender Research

IWMI and the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE) played an active role in the CGIAR-wide campaign for International Women’s Day 2019, contributing interviews, news and expert opinions.