“Mainstreaming Gender Equality towards an Inclusive and Sustainable Post-COVID 19 Regional Recovery” will be tackled by a virtual forum on January 21, 2022 that is jointly organized by the Agricultural Transformation and Market Integration in the ASEAN Region: Responding to Food Security and Inclusiveness Concerns (ATMI-ASEAN) project and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Philippines Gender Network (IPGN).

The IFAD-funded ATMI-ASEAN project is co-implemented by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Philippine government-hosted Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA). The project covers the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

Gender mainstreaming is a globally accepted strategy that accounts for the differences in needs, living conditions, and circumstances of women and men when designing, implementing, and evaluating policies, programs, and projects so that they benefit both women and men and enhance gender equality.

The forum will be attended by representatives from various national and regional organizations, from both the public and private sectors, including the Asian Farmers’ Association (AFA), Asian Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas (ASIADHRRA), Grow Asia, ATMI-ASEAN country partners (CLMVP), and representatives from IFAD and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The forum will share and discuss gender mainstreaming initiatives in the ASEAN region. It also intends to come up with recommendations for scaling and adoption to complement and support the implementation of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF).

The speakers are experts from the ASEAN Secretariat, IFAD, and IFPRI. Miguel Rafael V. Musngi, Senior Officer, Poverty Eradication and Gender Division, ASEAN Secretariat, will discuss the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework and ASEAN Gender Outlook. Steven Jonckheere, IFAD Senior Technical Specialist for Gender and Social Inclusion, will talk about gender equality and women’s empowerment at IFAD. Dr. Agnes R. Quisumbing, IFPRI Senior Research Fellow, will present a framework for programs and policy for women’s empowerment and gender equality in agriculture.

An overview of IFAD’s current gender mainstreaming initiatives and metrics will be presented along with the ACRF and its specific strategies for mainstreaming gender equality into its recovery response and processes as well as the ASEAN Gender Outlook.

The forum will also identify the gaps, challenges, and opportunities for mainstreaming gender equality in ASEAN’s agriculture sector, particularly in the areas of food and nutrition security, climate change and disaster resilience, and digital technologies.

SEARCA will host the panel discussion on gender mainstreaming strategies. Dr. Devesh Roy, IFPRI Senior Research Fellow, will a comparison of dietary behaviors based on gender and other characteristics and locations. Dr. Julian Gonsalves, Senior Advisor, International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR), will elaborate on integrating inclusiveness and gender equality considerations into community-based climate resilience initiatives. Atty. Dulce Blanca Punzalan, Chief Executive Officer, Crea8 Innov8 Marketing/Human Nature, will talk about digital technologies in agriculture.

Specific recommendations and courses of action in support of the ACRF implementation in ASEAN will be elicited in the breakout sessions after the panel discussion. The sessions will tackle gender mainstreaming in three areas: food and nutrition security, climate change and disaster resilience, and digital technologies in agriculture. The outputs will feed into the regional action plan on mainstreaming gender equality to support the implementation of the ACRF and serve as a guide in developing national-level action plans that is expected to come out of the forum.