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Gender-Responsive Climate Smart Agriculture
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Gender-Responsive Climate Smart Agriculture
Helping women farmers build climate resilience
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Photo: UN Women, Mali
Across the globe, women farmers contribute significantly to agricultural production and to their household’s food security and nutrition, as well as to local and national economies. They make these contributions while facing significant barriers that profoundly limit their work and productivity: they have less access to and control over land and other productive resources, such as improved seeds and fertilizers, lower education levels, limited access to financial services and agricultural training, and carry disproportionate burdens of unpaid care and domestic work (1). The influence of discriminatory gender norms and practices underlie many of these gaps, as well as women’s lack of voice and agency in their households, communities and institutions.
It is because of these gender inequalities that men and women also experience climate change differently; they have different priorities and capacities to respond to and adapt to climate change. Mindful of these differences, UN Women launched in 2016 a flagship programme on women’s empowerment through climate-smart agriculture. The programme supports women farmers to adapt to climate challenges and build resilience through a four-fold approach:
Engender climate-smart policies and increase women’s land rights and tenure security by building political will and addressing discriminatory social and customary norms.
Increase women farmers’ access to climate-smart information by strengthening the capacity agricultural extension workers and ensuring that climate information services are accessible, timely and user-friendly for women farmers.
Increase women farmers’ access to finance to invest in climate-smart agriculture by engendering lending practices of public and private financial institutions.
Increase women farmers’ access to higher-added value markets by supporting women farmers to form cooperatives, and strengthening their capacity to meaningfully participate in green value chains.

Climate smart agriculture (CSA) techniques and strategies can generate stronger and more sustainable outcomes if they adopt a gender lens and if they recognize and respond to women farmers’ unique preferences, needs and constraints. Intended for extension workers, partner organizations such as local and international NGOs and other smaller organizations that work directly with farmer households, this training course highlights the importance of gender considerations in designing and implementing CSA projects.
The content of the course was adapted from and refines existing training materials to ensure it is relevant for country contexts where agricultural activities must cope with a changing climate. In addition, interviews were conducted with experts in the field to ensure all relevant materials were identified and incorporated. Source materials and links for further reading are clearly indicated. The draft training course was translated into French and piloted in Mali – the site of UN Women’s first CSA country programme – to validate its utility in terms of content and application.
This training course can provide training through physical as well as virtual classrooms and online participation, and is self-paced to allow trainees to stop and move within and across modules. The course can also be taught in-person by subject matter experts through relevant national programmes and projects in diverse regions.
UN Women is developing this course in collaboration with
. A French-language version has been produced by UN Women Mali and a Spanish-language version will be available soon, thanks to collaboration with The Nature Conservancy in Latin America and the Caribbean. UN Women is grateful for the support of the government of Luxembourg.

If you are interested in using these training modules or providing feedback, please email .
(1) Peterman, Amber, Julia Behrman and Agnes Quisumbing. 2014. "A review of empirical evidence on gender differences in nonland agricultural inputs, technology, and services in developing countries." In Gender in Agriculture: Closing the Knowledge Gap: 145-186. Springer, Dordrecht.
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