International Course : Gender and Food Systems

Why Gender in Food Systems?

In 2018, women still have fewer economic opportunities than men, less access to education, insecure land rights and less political representation. What’s more: the situation is getting worse. According to the 2016 Global Gender Gap report by the World Economic Forum, the economic participation gap between women and men is widening.

Considering extensive evidence that gender equality contributes to resilient and robust food systems as well as a growing demand to make our societies more equal, the case for gender equality has never been clearer. The UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 is a transformative agenda aiming for gender equality, ending discrimination against women and girls, and realising their empowerment.

Respecting/fulfilling gender equality is not just in line with fundamental human rights, it is also a strategic investment in all aspects of food systems such as reducing food losses, increasing agricultural productivity, enhancing dietary diversity and increasing education levels for the next generation.

The realisation has come that partnerships and networks are crucial to ensure scalable impact in food systems. Also in the work to progress gender equality, networks and partnerships have become common practice for change. Achieving sustainable gender results requires alignment and synergy between actors from private, public and civic backgrounds. Power analysis and capacity development are crucial to enable even the most marginalised actors to participate – especially when they are women.


Early bird fee*:

1,850 Euro

1,500 Euro

Deadline subscription: May 10, 2019

So what’s new? During this course we will offer strategic insights and practical solutions that speak to the need for meaningful changes in gender relations and the need to work in partnerships to achieve impact at scale.

Course content

This five day course consists of three interrelated modules. We set the scene with short keynotes on the trends and recent insights on the relationship between achieving gender equality, creating effective partnerships and rethinking power relations in our food systems.

In module two participants learn how to design and facilitate a strong partnership that intentionally and meaningfully engages with women’s empowerment and gender equality. This module builds on a gendered version of the recently published Multi- Stakeholder Partnerships Guide  ( guide). From analysis we will move to design: participants will develop their own Gendered Theory of Change ( based on their own real- life cases.

Finally, in module 3 participants select what they need for their own case to develop a tailor made action plan, including key monitoring indicators and a strategy for building or strengthening their gender partnership

Course methods

This course is based on adult education principles, including the use of participants’ own real life case studies. Other principles are participatory education, mutual respect, strategic reflection and interdisciplinarity. Examples of methods and tools that will be used in this course are: Gender analysis frameworks; Stepping the line; Story telling; Theory of Change; Institutional scan; Visioning; Power ranking; Role play (on gender conflict); Nonviolent communication; Deep Democracy; Four quadrants of Change; Balancing results and relationships.

Participants will learn to:

  • Formulate your own gender ambition in relation to the recent debate on Gender equality and food systems;
  • Decide which tools to use to design, facilitate and monitor gender progress in your partnership or network;
  • Upon return back home, mobilise capacities and conditions to take others (in your own organisation and beyond) along in your gender ambitions.

Who should attend this course?

  • Mid-career professionals working at (social) enterprises, NGO’s, knowledge institutes, policy units and/or governments who are struggling to make a meaningful change in gender relations in their partnerships and networks;
  • Decision-makers in (public or private) organisations or (social) enterprises who are responsible for setting up new partnerships, programmes or networks and who want to be gender responsive;
  • Leaders in gender equality who struggle to make their gender partnership work;
  • To facilitate cross-learning, we encourage people with experience in either partnerships or gender equality to


The course will be held in Lukenya Gateway Lodge (close to Nairobi), and we will be hosted by ActionAid Kenya (

Organisers of this course

The unique partnership between Wageningen

Centre for Development Innovation (WCDI), ActionAid and the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) brings together practical experience and academic knowledge with a policy oriented international network.

WCDI has a vast experience in participatory and hands- on professional training and facilitating multi-stakeholder partnerships.

KIT works on the integration of a gender equality perspective from a rights and empowerment perspective, across a range of sectors and fields, including agriculture, food systems, nutrition, financial inclusion, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and women’s leadership.

ActionAid is a global movement of people working with women across the world to identify the changes they want to see and to empower them to claim and defend their rights.

Further practical information

  • Apply at the website of Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation You will receive a confirmation and more information within a week.
  • Early application is recommended as some procedures to finalise subscription (f.e. funding, visa) can take some
  • Fee includes all course related costs (materials, excursions, administration). It does not cover accommodation and food, hence make sure you have your funding
  • WCDI is not able to assist you in obtaining financial support; you will have to secure your own
  • Participants will be awarded with a Certificate of attendance.

* If you apply before April 15, 2019, an Early Bird fee is applicable of 1,500 Euro instead of 1,850 Euro.