The changing roles of men and women in farming and how boys and girls experience different food choices at the dinner table are two of the issues being explored at the regional Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) symposium in Bangladesh.
The GCRF's "The Role of Gender in South Asian Food Systems Symposium" will continue till Monday that started at a hotel in the capital today.
Bringing together international researchers, policymakers and civil society organisations from a broad range of disciplines within food systems, gender and international development, the symposium is looking at the role of gender across South Asian food systems, including farming, climate change, nutrition, and food safety.
At the opening of the symposium, the British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson said, "The UK recognises research and innovation as key drivers for prosperity and sustainability. As global challenges from climate change to pandemics like coronavirus emerge and evolve, international collaboration is vital, and the UK leads the world in field-weighted research citation impact."
The GCRF's Joint Challenge Leader for Food Systems and newly appointed Gender Advisor across UK Research and Innovation's (UKRI) GCRF portfolios Dr Tahrat Shahid is heading the event.
Dr Tahrat said: "Understanding how gender roles are a part of food systems, in this case in the South Asian context, is crucial to designing the kind of research that leads to workable solutions to challenges on the ground like malnutrition, unequal access to resources, climate change, and so much more."
"We want to make sure we're cultivating these sometimes difficult conversations, not just among gender specialists but non-specialists too."
Commenting on Dr Tahrat's role, the UKRI's Director of International Development Professor Helen Fletcher said: "Empowering women and girls through research and innovation is a powerful way to alleviate poverty, promote lasting peace and stability and create a fairer world for us all."