Integrating Gender Equity in International Agriculture Research-for-Development

Dr. Maria Elisa Christie
26 Mar 2024
7:00 PM
Curtiss Hall, Room 0127
  • International Association of Students in Agriculture and Related Sciences
  • Committee on Lectures (funded by Student Government)

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International Women in Agriculture Day Lecture

Dr. Christie will share her experience integrating gender in international agricultural research-for-development projects. Drawing on her work with small farmers in East and West Africa, as well as Southeast and South Asia, she will describe her approach using participatory methods to understand how gender relations are key to innovation in agriculture and development. Highlighting the importance of qualitative methods to appreciate the lived experience of farmers, her research, funded by USAID and led by Virginia Tech, contributes to ongoing discussions of gender-based constraints and opportunities to sustainable agricultural development. Her presentation will stress the importance of considering gendered spaces and dynamics in the home and house-lot garden alongside a focus on agricultural production in the field.

As director of Women and Gender in International Development (WGD) at the Center for International Research, Education, and Development (CIRED) at Virginia Tech, Dr. Maria Elisa Christie has more than 25 years of experience in gender research, capacity-building, and international development. She has worked in over 20 countries, with a strong technical background in gender-responsive research for development linked to agriculture and higher education capacity building.

Her research focuses on gendered livelihoods and spaces, gendered knowledge and everyday life, participatory research methodologies, kitchens and gardens. Her book, Kitchenspace: Women, Fiestas, and Everyday Life in Central Mexico, was published by the University of Texas Press. Christie holds a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Texas at Austin, and speaks fluent Spanish and French. She has extensive experience holding gender and participatory methods workshops. She advises Virginia Tech graduate students and guides students from other countries working on gender and development. She also contributes to raising awareness of gender and international development among the Virginia Tech community and beyond through a monthly discussion series.

In addition to serving as WGD director at CIRED, Dr. Christie is an affiliate faculty of Geography, of Women’s and Gender Studies, and the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech. She is also a fellow of the Center for Food Systems and Community Transformation, and a faculty associate of the Food Studies Program. She has served as the InclusiveVT representative for Outreach and International Affairs since 2016 and, prior to that, as an Inclusion Coordinator for Virginia Tech.

This event has been recorded and is available for viewing on the Lectures website at