Building resilience by challenging social norms: Towards a gender transformative approach in BRACED - Learning paper #5 (June 2017)

The effects of climate change are being felt by farmers throughout the world. Flooding, drought and weather that does not follow typical seasonal patterns have resulted in poor and unpredictable crop yields. To address these challenges Christian Aid (CA) is leading the BRACED consortia, Zaman Lebidi in Burkina Faso and CIARE in Ethiopia, which aim to make people’s livelihoods more resilient to climate shocks and stresses. This is being achieved through practical assistance to develop and implement community resilience plans including activities such as irrigation, conservation farming, post-harvest management, nutrition education, market gardening, livelihoods diversification, animal health services and through improving the communication of relevant, timely and accurate climate information, to help decision guide making.

Christian Aid and partners are focussing on engaging directly with women through the project, recognising that they are often disproportionally impacted by the effects of climate change due to inequitable access and utilisation of resources such as income, social networks and education. Project activities include providing women with livestock and holding ‘listening groups’ where women can gather, listen, and discuss radio broadcast weather information.

This policy brief synthesises Zaman Lebidi and CIARE’s approach to gender as a resilience building strategy, defining a gender transformative approach and examining to what extent the project activities align with this approach. It gives an overview of the workshop carried out in Burkina Faso with partners in December 2016, focussing in particular on the lessons learned and action plan drawn from both workshop discussions and the field activity. Finally it provides suggestions for moving forward with a stronger gender component within BRACED.