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Gender dimension in the Cotton Sector: characterising the role of women









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    Book (stand-alone)
    Why are women more food insecure than men? Exploring socioeconomic drivers and the role of COVID-19 in widening the global gender gap
    Background paper for The status of women in agrifood systems
    2024
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    Women face a higher prevalence of food insecurity than do men, both on a global scale and across all regions. This paper delves into the global determinants contributing to the gender gap in food insecurity and explores how the COVID-19 pandemic influenced its trajectory. Additionally, it estimates the impact of improvements in food security and incomes possible if gender gaps on farm productivity and wages were closed. Utilizing data from the Food Insecurity Experience Scale gathered from over 700 000 individuals across 121 countries, this study reveals that individuals aged 25–34 years, irrespective of their gender, and women residing in rural areas have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. The econometric model allows the authors to estimate the elasticities of food security to income, which they then use to simulate the potential macrolevel benefits for the economy and food security if we were to eliminate the gender gaps in farm productivity and wages within agrifood systems. The findings suggest that addressing these disparities could result in an approximate USD 1 trillion increase in global gross domestic product and lift approximately 45 million people out of food insecurity. Additionally, the authors estimate that eliminating these gender disparities could reduce the current gap in food insecurity between women and men by at least 57 percent. This background paper was prepared to inform Chapters 1 and 6 of FAO’s report on The status of women in agrifood systems.
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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Gender-responsive needs assessment for mechanization
    Questionnaire
    2022
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    The objective of the questionnaire is to guide the selection and promotion of mechanization that responds to the needs of women farmers for their benefit and empowerment. The information compiled builds interventions that reduce women’s drudgery, increase labour productivity, and create income and business opportunities through the provision of mechanization services in rural communities. This questionnaire allows for the collection of data to perform a gender-responsive needs assessment for mechanization. There are 35 questions divided into five modules:
    • personal information;
    • land, crop, value chain and division of work;
    • workload;
    • access to and constraints in adopting agricultural mechanization; and
    • mechanization services.
    Why do we carry out a gender-responsive needs assessment for mechanization?
    • Gender dynamics and social norms determine technology access and use.
    • Even though no role is necessarily exclusively performed by just women or men, the traditional division of labour tends to assign specific responsibilities along value chains to women and others to men.
    • Women and men have different technology and mechanization needs. These needs do not always determine the choice of machines and equipment.
    • Women tend to be more affected by the drudgery of manual work (hence work burden and time poverty). At the same time, men often carry out tasks that are supported by technology.
    • There is a need to identify critical gender gaps and constraints in access to local institutions and organizations that determine technology use and management.
    • There is a need to identify critical gender gaps and constraints in access to key formal and informal services such as information, repair and maintenance, training, financial and business development services, etc.
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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Achieving gender equality by empowering women in agrifood systems 2023
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    Despite their critical role in agrifood systems, millions of rural women face significant challenges to access resources, information, services and opportunities. They cope with excessive work burden and are underrepresented in institutions and decision-making processes. Moreover, they experience higher rates of food insecurity and are disproportionately affected by health, economic and environmental crises. Closing the gender gap in farm productivity and the wage gap in agrifood systems employment would increase global gross domestic product by 1 percent. This would reduce global food insecurity by about 2 percentage points, reducing the number of food insecure people by 45 million. FAO has extensive expertise in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment in agrifood systems and rural development to eliminate poverty and promote inclusive rural transformation for a better life.

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