Knowledge for a sustainable world

Lora Forsythe, June Po, Fiorella Picchioni,

March is a significant month in the calendar year, with International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March and the meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women (6-17 March), where member states of the United Nations work to progress the agenda on gender equality and women's rights. These events are important not only to acknowledge successes in gender equality and social justice but also to recognise increasing backlash and challenges experienced throughout the world. For NRI’s Gender and Social Difference Research Group (GSDRG), we aim to use this period to reflect on these challenges in solidarity with partners and social movements and identify ways we can contribute to pathways for gender equity, social justice and transformative change.

The GSDRG is marking IWD 2024 by curating a series of opinion pieces reflecting research, practice and experience among researchers, practitioners and students. Contributors to this series represent a broad spectrum of disciplines, including social science, humanities and natural science. Among them, some specialise in gender and social difference research, while others recognise the value of using a ‘gendered lens’ in their often interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research on natural resources, agricultural development and food systems. In this pluralistic selection of opinion pieces, authors reflect on gender, racial and class inequalities and areas of impact in overcoming challenges. Topics range from the importance of empowering women for food safety; gender-based violence (GBV) in agricultural systems; how GBV can undermine community food security; and, a gendered lens to advance climate resilience, credit and nutrition. The series will also feature articles on the triumphs of marginalised small businesses in developing culturally inspired plant-based food products within the UK, the case of a women’s group in a regional camel milk trade, and many more.

The series illustrates the multiple ways gender equity and social justice take form in the context of agriculture, environment and food systems. The opinion pieces also highlight the multiple scales at which an intersectional lens is required to achieve these aims and that centring on governance, privilege and power at global and national levels is crucial to challenging the status quo.

We hope you find the articles interesting and stimulating. Join us in marking IWD 2024 as we pause and reflect to acknowledge successes and recognise the challenges ahead.

Read the articles in our IWD 2024 series here


Dr Lora Forsythe

Dr June Po

Dr Fiorella Picchioni

International Women's Day 2024