Rome-based UN agriculture and food agencies call for action to address the gender gap

The Rome-based agencies (RBAs) are calling for strong political commitment and increased and accelerated investments in gender equality and women’s empowerment to improve food security and livelihoods and economic and social well-being for all.

The solutions lie in investing in women’s and girls’ capacity through education, developing leadership skills and by addressing discriminatory social norms that limit their opportunities. Strengthening land rights for women is also essential as is ensuring women’s equal access to resources, including financial and extension services, to bridge productivity gaps.

In close collaboration with IFAD and WFP, FAO plans to launch a major global initiative to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment at the 68th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, which will take place from 11 to 22 March 2024, harnessing the momentum generated by the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) “Voluntary Guidelines on Gender Equality and Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment in Food Security and Nutrition” endorsed in 2023 and the 2023 FAO “Status of women in agrifood systems” report.

The RBAs are also spearheading gender-transformative approaches within agricultural and rural development projects, challenging gender norms and practices, power dynamics and decision-making processes through the Joint Programme on Gender Transformative Approaches for Food Security, Improved Nutrition and sustainable Agriculture. With UN Women, the Rome-based agencies are also implementing the Joint Programme on Rural Women’s Economic Empowerment, a global initiative to secure rural women’s livelihoods, rights and resilience.

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