IGAD organised a Gender and Resilience Knowledge Share Fair on 16-18 September 2021 in Bishoftu, Ethiopia under the theme Good Practices in Mainstreaming Gender in Cross-Border Resilience Interventions in Karamoja and Mandera Clusters.  H.E. Dr. Fikru Regassa, the State Minister of Agriculture of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia officially opened the share fair, which was attended by representatives of regional resilience projects, cross-border civil society organisations, and technical staff from the IGAD Secretariat, focal ministries implementing the IGAD Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI), other relevant ministries and local government.

“Share fairs provide an opportunity for different actors to come together and share knowledge, experiences and best practices on a given topic. This can create and strengthen a common knowledgebase and understanding and help to identify successful methods and approaches to the issue at hand,” Dr. Regassa said.

He emphasised the role that women play in their communities. Even in the face of their vulnerability to recurrent climatic shocks and stresses. “Women are active and dominant participants in socio-economic activities and are able to contribute more to the household income. Furthermore, women also have an immense role in peace building and conflict resolution,” he said.

Dr. Regassa underscored his government’s commitment to gender mainstreaming across all sectors to ensure men and women are equally treated and benefited from the existing and upcoming development endeavours.

H.E. Dr. Fikru Regassa, State Minister of Agriculture of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, officially opens the IGAD Gender and Resilience Share Fair in Bishoftu. Mr. Seleshi Tadesse, Director at the Ethiopian Ministry of Women and Children and Dr. John P. Kabayo, IDDRSI Platform Coordinator, also made opening remarks. Photo credit: IGAD.

Mr. Seleshi Tadesse, Director, for Women Mobilisation and Participation Enhancement at the Ministry of Women and Children also made opening remarks. He reiterated the national, regional and international commitments to gender mainstreaming.

“The realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the targets set require strengthened coordination and effectively and efficiently implementing the designed policy, programme and strategies,” he said.

Share fair promotes utilisation of knowledge for drought resilience in IGAD Member States

The 2021 Gender and Resilience Share Fair forms part of the response to a gender analysis of IDDRSI that revealed that gender based roles, identities and attributes deepened the vulnerability of women and girls to drought shocks. The analysis further identified huge capacity gaps in the understanding and appreciation of gender inequalities in IDDRSI, and by extension the ‘know how’ of interventions to address them. This finding pointed to the crucial need for generating and sharing knowledge and good practices to improve gender mainstreaming in resilience interventions.

During the event, speakers highlighted lessons and good practices in gender mainstreaming in the project cycle of regional resilience projects implemented through the support of partners like the World Bank and the European Union. In keynote addresses, poster presentations, as well as group and panel discussions, participants learnt about the role of women in conflict management and peace building, progress made in closing the gender gap on land, propagating positive cultural norms and values in policy and practice and managing child trafficking through by-laws and ordinances.

This was the fourth in a series of annual share fairs that are organised under the IDDRSI Priority Intervention Area 5: Research, Knowledge Management and Technology Transfer, whose strategic objective is to improve the utilisation of knowledge for drought resilience in IGAD Member States. The event was supported by the Government of Sweden, the European Union Trust Fund through GIZ and the World Bank funded Regional Pastoral Livelihoods Project.