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Opinion: Hurting or helping? Why we need gender and food systems research



Shanti Tamang, 19, works outdoors in Besisahar, Nepal. She has a son and lives with her father and mother-in-law while her husband works abroad. Photo by: Mokhamad Edliadi / CIFOR / CC BY-NC-ND

Well-intentioned efforts are being made around the world to reduce gender inequalities in agriculture, including by engaging women farmers in entrepreneurship or in new jobs across the food system. However, we still have to find out whether women benefit or are empowered from these initiatives.

Part of ours The future of food systems series

Find out how we can make food fair and healthy for everyone. Join the conversation using the hashtag #FoodSystems and visit our The Future of Food Systems page for more information.

In some cases, women becoming entrepreneurs or entering the world of work can have negative consequences, such as: B. Setbacks from men leading to tension or even domestic violence. Without further systematic research into such potential tradeoffs, our efforts to achieve better outcomes may perpetuate or exacerbate gender inequalities.

As we gain more insight and understanding of gender in agriculture, we will see the myriad of unknowns related to women’s empowerment, compromising on ongoing efforts, and other emerging issues that still require investment and targeted research.

Advances in innovative approaches to gender equality

A study in fishing camps in Zambia showed how an innovative approach changed the attitudes of women and men about gender and helped empower women.

The project used bespoke drama skits to enable women and men to discuss serious and sensitive issues such as gender roles and power in a fun and humorous way. The researchers found that this approach built a better understanding of gender role issues and was more successful than the usual practical strategies for ensuring women’s participation.

Approaches like this differ from previous common attempts to involve women. Instead, they work to address the root causes of inequality by transforming gender norms and show great potential for reducing inequalities in food systems.

In addition, we have made significant advances in gender-based agricultural innovations that help women and men become equal partners in agriculture.

The new strategy from CGIAR

CGIAR, the world’s largest publicly funded agricultural research partnership, recently launched a new 10-year strategy that identifies gender, youth and social inclusion as one of its key areas of impact.

However, there are still numerous examples of inequality between women and men in food systems, as the gender gaps that disadvantage and marginalize women are endemic in these systems.

While women make up an average of 43% of the agricultural workforce in low- and middle-income countries and make up two-thirds of the world’s 600 million poor livestock farmers, they are still often cut off from wealth, opportunity, knowledge, and decision-making. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change are only making this situation worse.

More knowledge needed about women in food systems

Closing the gender gaps is a prerequisite for the much-needed shift to healthier, more sustainable and fairer food systems called for at this year’s United Nations Food Systems Summit.

Actions and guidelines can only be as good as the knowledge that informs them – and there is still a lot that we don’t know.

“[W]We recognize the multitude of unknowns related to women’s empowerment, tradeoffs in ongoing efforts, and other emerging issues that still require investment and focused research. “

– –

It is important that women in food systems – whether marginalized, at risk or in leadership positions – are a heterogeneous group with very different realities, opportunities and challenges.

The diversity of women provides even more reasons to prioritize research that identifies their specific needs and challenges, providing a sound starting point for eliminating inequalities.

Despite significant advances over the past few decades, we still do not know exactly how to ensure that new solutions not only reach or benefit women, but also empower women.

Gender, youth and social inclusion are at the heart of the new CGIAR strategy.

The CGIAR GENDER platform conducts independent gender research aimed at delivering the best possible evidence, solutions and innovations to inform strategic alliances and global efforts of our partners in research, agricultural expansion, government and business. Through innovative science, expertise and innovation, we are committed to doing our part to close the gender gap and create better food systems for all.

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Questions that arise require new and better answers

Significant progress has been made in ensuring gender equality in food systems. For example, tools like the G + breeding tool help scientists ensure that new plant varieties are developed to meet the needs and preferences of smallholder farmers, women and men.

To date, breakthrough approaches to measuring women’s empowerment have helped development practitioners in at least 56 countries understand, track and improve the progress made in their projects.

Measuring the empowerment of women in agriculture

Understanding and measuring the empowerment of women in agriculture is important to ensure progress towards global goals. The Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index enables researchers and development practitioners to track their progress and impact.

But as things progress, new, difficult questions arise on the horizon. We must continue to provide solutions on how to bring about real and lasting change for women – and men – smallholders.

Look at climate change, which we know affects women and men differently. However, we still know very little about the precise effects of climate change on women, including their health, wealth creation and diet.

Climate-intelligent technologies such as drought-tolerant crop varieties can help farmers adapt to the effects of a changing climate. However, it is unclear how or if they help reduce women’s workloads. These new varieties of plants, which are larger and therefore easier to harvest, may place additional demands on women in other ways, for example by requiring longer cooking times.

Investments in independent gender research need to continue

There is no exact tracking of how much money donors spend on gender equality. A 2020 report by the United Nations suggests that 62% of all bilateral aid remains “gender blind”. More is urgent to be done.

Opinion: Not as usual – how to achieve gender equality and nutritional goals

For systemic and sustainable change, organizations need to institutionalize gender and nutrition priorities, according to senior executives at Tanager and the IGNITE project.

Zero hunger, poverty reduction and all other global goals are closely linked to the roles of the sexes. The interplay of these factors is not easy to decipher; It takes rigorous research to arrive at the answers that can keep us on the right path as we move towards better food systems.

Because of this, further investment in research into gender and food systems is needed so that CGIAR can continue to deliver the best possible evidence, opportunities and solutions for real positive change for smallholder farmers by women and men.

This year’s United Nations Food Systems Summit is a unique opportunity to put gender equality at the center of the conversation. Successful implementation of the Summit’s ambitious vision for future food systems depends on understanding and solving the insoluble problems of gender inequality.

It is a valuable opportunity to work with global players to share and discuss the solutions and opportunities that are already in place, and to learn more about the questions that remain to be answered. Together we can move the dial to inequality in food systems.

Visit the Future of food systems Series for more coverage of food and nutrition – and above all, how we can make food fair and healthy for everyone. You can join the conversation using the hashtag #FoodSystems.

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Men’s Health

U.S. men playing catch-up as Olympic gymnastics trials begin | Sports



Sam Mikulak is open about the challenges he faced during a break from competition from February 2020 through earlier this month at the US Gymnastics Championships.

He is like many who have to catch up with the world powers in men’s gymnastics at a time when the US is catching up in the Olympics on Thursday at the Dome at America’s Center.

Injuries, mental health problems, and other problems were stumbling blocks. Now, one month before the start of the Games in Tokyo, it is time to leave the field of Olympic candidates behind.

Mikulak, who is trying to field his third Olympic team, believes he has overcome his emotional troubles. The next challenge is to shake off the rust that gave him an unusual third place in the US championships.

“I realized that mental health was something I had to address fairly early (in the pandemic) because I felt the emotions a lot more when the games were postponed and we couldn’t train,” Mikulak said. “I felt hectic not only physically, but also emotionally, and this hectic rush never ended.”

Mikulak experienced what he called “a good level of depression” while trying to be perfect in everyday life, just as he strives for gymnastics. He has come to terms with his problems and feels that he is in better hands.

His experience was personal but reflected what was happening in gymnastics on a national level. Mikulak is 28 years old and older than all of his competitors, many of whom are college-aged and left without apprenticeships for months as other countries moved forward.

The US is considered to be rather disadvantaged due to the layoffs.

“It hurt a lot, I’m not going to lie,” said Brett McClure, the US men’s high performance director. “We had a lot of people training in universities and they shut down completely. Consistency in training was a big problem. With a view to China, Russia, Japan, everyone immediately gushed and was able to continue training. We could not.”

The past six months have been better, but there is a lot of catching up to do and potential obstacles to overcome.

Shane Wiskus is struggling with his own mental and physical problems after falling three times from the horizontal bar in his penultimate event at the championship. He finished second at the time and dropped to ninth place, but is considered a challenger for an Olympic place.

“I have a lot of support from what happened and I work with sports psychologists to process it, work it through and get over it as soon as possible,” he said during a meeting with the media. “My main focus is to keep going. So if we could avoid questions about this routine, I’d really appreciate it. “

Wiskus also struggled with a wrist injury sustained at the NCAA championships that required an injection of cortisone. He took almost two months off pommel horse training last year because of a similar injury to his other wrist.

Yul Moldauer is another top contender after finishing second behind Brody Malone, who won two NCAA championships earlier this month. He will be a favorite this weekend. However, Moldovans struggled with back cramps at the last event.

“I looked at the videos and you can tell that something is just copying,” he said. “But my back feels great. I went home and went to my therapist. … It’s something I haven’t told a lot of people about because something can happen every day. It gives me a lot more confidence to go to any other meeting when something happens. “

The US has not won a team medal since its bronze medal in 2008. The last gold medal came in 1984. In 2016, the medals went to Japan, Russia and China pandemic hit.

Mikulak is the only individual on the exams who was on the team in 2016. He has endured the rigors of the gymnastic lifestyle longer than most in their career and remains one of the best in the country after overcoming his pandemic problems.

“It was a tough, dark time to get there and the quarantine was the only time in my life that I could actually go through this process,” he said.

The US will have a four-man team and a single player for the Olympics. The best all-rounder in the tests goes automatically, as does the runner-up, provided he is among the top three in three events. The remaining places will be filled by the selection committee.

The women have four gymnasts and two individual players on the team. The two first-placed winners in the all-around competition form the team together with two selected by the selection committee. Jade Carey has already been nominated for one of the individual positions and the committee will select the other.

© 2021 Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Copyright 2021 Tribune Content Agency.

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Men’s Health

Everything You Need To Know About Raw Functional Training



Joseph Sakoda – also known as Da Rulk – is committed to helping real superheroes such as first responders and military personnel do their best in critical jobs. He also helps the fictional ones in the form of none other than Chris Hemsworth, who swears by Da Rulk’s functional movements to maintain mobility even when massaged.

“My father was a police officer, so there is a special place in my heart for me to train them,” he says. Rulk explains that first responder training is about adapting functional training to their job, but that “adaptability” makes functional training perfect for just about everyone, whether rescuers or not.

“This same adaptability can be applied to someone who is just starting out, who has never exercised before,” he says. “Or someone who used to be an ex-athlete and now has injuries and now we have to adapt accordingly. Adaptability is very, very important. “

With a background in kinesiology and biomechanics, the start trainer is the founder of the Bodyweight Movement curriculum Raw Functional Training (RFT®): a revolutionary movement approach that aims to improve mobility, increase functional strength and ensure that all body systems function on highest efficiency.

Here he breaks down exactly what it is.

What is Raw Functional Training?

Rulk: Raw Functional Training (RFT®). It’s a curriculum I designed that uses body weight movements to improve mobility and increase functional strength.

What does it contain?

It uses sequences of body movements to improve core stability, joint mobility, and overall functional strength and conditioning. It’s perfect for all fitness levels and ages as it uses your own body weight to simulate common body movements with maximum efficiency. You will often find people crawling raw functional training on all fours, like bears or babies. Because crawling is a basic movement pattern. Babies crawl to get strong enough to straighten, straighten to stand, get up to walk.

What are the other benefits?

The benefits of RFT® are endless. It significantly improves movement patterns, coordination, mobility, agility and balance. It increases muscle strength, especially in core, aerobic and cardio capacity, prevents injuries and helps to keep the joints active and flexible. Mental strength is also a great benefit of raw functional training.

Chris Hemsworth and Da Rulk.

How effective is it?

It gives you a better understanding of your body and its capabilities. You will become more attuned and more responsive to your emotions while building muscle strength and moving your body more efficiently.

Who did you train

Rulk: In the United States, I work with many first responders, elite military, fire, law enforcement, and marine safety agencies, Olympic gold medalists, MMA fighters, professional athletes, and many Hollywood stars, including Australian Chris Hemsworth.

My passion, however, is with first responders and elite military and firefighters. Although they are very fit, it is often difficult for them to perform at their best during critical operations. They are often exhausted from failing to perform the skills they have been taught. Raw functional training is a great asset to her as it builds on her sensory processing. How they process new information in different environments is critical to their job. Through the techniques I have taught, their bodies are adapted to move in different patterns. They begin to adapt to situations they are not used to, which is vital to their job. When you get into an unfamiliar situation, it is important that you know how to control your adrenal system so that it works at a higher level.

Raw functional training: sample training

1. Modified side gorillas x 40 seconds

Rest 20 seconds

2. Modified hostages x 40 seconds

Rest 20 seconds

3. Forward and backward crawl x 40 seconds

Rest 20 seconds

x 3 rounds

x 3 repetitions per round

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Men’s Health

Four tips for men’s health



Men, it is time to lead by example. Caring for your family begins with caring for yourself.

Primary care:

It is important for YOU to take your time and take care of yourself. Ignoring and suffering from symptoms will affect your work, home, and social life. Visiting your GP and planning your annual adult wellness visit will keep your health on track. During your wellness visit, your provider will:

  • Check your overall physical, social, and emotional health
  • Make sure you are up to date on vaccines
  • Measure blood pressure
  • Raise any concerns you have with your health
  • Implementation of routine screenings

Find a provider for your family or your location near you.

Preventive examinations:

Delaying checkups can have serious effects on your health and your daily life. Screenings are incredibly important in the early detection and treatment of a disease. Skipping your screening can have an immediate impact on your family and friends if the condition goes unnoticed. The sooner it is identified and treated, the better the results will be.

Make sure you are up to date on these important routine screenings:

  • Colonoscopy from 45
  • Prostate screening from 50
  • Diabetes screening

Schedule your checkups or find a location near you.

Urology: Urology deals with the male reproductive organs. Urologists treat conditions such as low testosterone, enlarged prostate, bladder problems, and prostate cancer. Although there isn’t an exact age by which men can start noticing signs of problems around the age of 50, most symptoms will be noticed for the first time. Talk to your MercyOne provider to learn more or to find a urologist near you.

Behavioral and Mental Health:

Almost 1 in 10 men have depression or anxiety. It can be difficult to tell whether these symptoms are circumstance related and getting better over time, or whether they are clinically significant. Often times, people try to change their personal life before seeking treatment. However, a significant mental health problem affects the brain, which can lead to poor concentration, lack of energy, difficulty making decisions and problem solving, and impaired mood, enjoyment and anxiety.

If it’s not an emergency, speak to your GP about treatment. Just as your doctor can prescribe medication for high blood pressure, so can your doctor prescribe medication for your mental health. Most antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications are prescribed by general practitioners, and if they think a specialist would benefit you, they will refer you accordingly.

Sometimes mental health problems can make things seem hopeless, leading to severe symptoms such as panic attacks and thoughts of suicide. Suicides are more common in men than women, especially those aged 65 and over. Suicide is the ninth leading cause of death in Iowa. Maintaining your mental health is about keeping your brain working the best it can so you can be there for your friends and family.

Find a behavioral medicine expert near you.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, here are some confidential 24/7 hotlines:

(in Spanish – 1-888-628-9454)

Let’s build an unbeatable nursing circle.

  • More than 20,000 providers and supporters
  • The best rated specialty services in the region
  • More locations and more personal support

Find your doctor

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