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Women's resilience to food price volatility: A policy response






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    Book (stand-alone)
    Improving Policy Response to the Differentiated Impacts of High and Volatile Food Prices on Rural Women 2012
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    In a high and volatile food price setting, two aspects determine rural women’s ability to absorb and respond to shocks: the inequalities that create a gender gap in rural development and women’s traditional roles in society. This chapter points to these two aspects that in general terms reduce women’s ability to cope with food price volatility. Rural women, traditionally responsible for providing food and health in the household, face major constraints in fulfilling their roles, render ing them more vulnerable to food price spikes. Major recommendations include building on rural women’s resiliency and mitigating negative coping strategies by reducing gender inequalities in rural development and by providing safety-nets that are appropriately designed to address rural women’s needs and limitations. Gender gaps in rural development refer to those in access to resources; better paying jobs; infrastructure, public services, agricultural extension and technologies, and le vels of participation in farmers organizations and other public institutions. Better design in safety-nets and other social protection programs refer to including mechanisms that are culturally sensitive, reduce women’s time burden, and provide the necessary transportation, child care facilities, and other services and mechanisms that ensure their participation. Gender-transformative approaches in the implementation of policies and programs, including capacity development on gender rol es for the household as a whole, are essential for ending discrimination against women which constraint their economic and social empowerment. Additional areas of research include gender-differentiated impacts of high food prices and volatility, both at the individual and household levels, and the effectiveness of safety-nets and other social protection programs designed to address rural women-specific needs.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Bridging the Gap
    Fao's Programme for Gender Equality in agriculture and rural development
    2009
    Today, the spectre of hunger has returned to many developing countries. The number of undernourished people has risen above one billion, or one sixth of humanity. The international community faces other daunting challenges, including the global economic downturn, plummeting levels of trade and investment, growing scarcity of natural resources, and the impact of climate change. We cannot overcome those challenges while age-old, ingrained ideas of gender roles deny women’s full partici pation in decision-making and social and economic development. Rural women make up the majority of the world’s poor. Much of their work as household providers and agricultural producers is unpaid, making their contribution virtually invisible. They have far less access than men to land ownership, financial services, training and other means of increasing agricultural production and improving family income, nutrition and health. Women and female-headed households are disproportionately affected by economic recession and higher food prices. Social and economic inequalities between men and women undermine food security and hold back economic growth and advances in agriculture. That is why FAO’s new strategic framework identifies gender equity in access to resources, goods, services and decision-making in rural areas as one of the Organization’s key objectives for the next 10 years. Gender equity will be essential to implementing the decisions of the World Summit on Foo d Security, held in Rome in November 2009. By mainstreaming gender equity into all of its programmes for agriculture and rural development, FAO aims at strengthening the impact of its support to member countries, and achieving the goals of gender equality, the eradication of hunger and poverty, and food security for all.
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    Document
    Gender in Emergency Food Security, Livelihoods and Nutrition
    A Compendium of What We Know; and Recommendations on What We Need to Know for Enhanced Gender Analysis
    2012
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    The primary objective of drafting this report is to share the existing recent literature on the traditional and changing gender roles within pastoral, agro-pastoral, riverine, urban and IDP communities in Somaliland, Puntland and South Central. This informs identification of data gaps and recommendations. FSNAU intends to put this information to use in several ways: to strengthen routine FSNAU data collection tools and analysis from a gender perspective and to give strategic input into a planned FSNAU stand-alone gender study on Somalia. The focus of the stand-alone study is to gather gender information on Somalia food security, nutrition and livelihoods that will complement FSNAU’s routine data collection processes. Additionally, the Compendium will provide reference and baseline understanding of the gender trends in Somalia to support the Food Security, Livelihoods and Nutrition Teams of FSNAU in establishing measurable gender indicators and improve approaches for collecting gender-s pecific information and methodologies, and addressing the existing gender imbalance in enumerators. In collating the information available, the authors of this report, conducted a desk review of the documented literature in Somalia since 2007. A primary source was FSNAU data which has been supplemented by other available sources. The review revealed that there is a wealth of information on traditional and changing gender roles and responsibilities in food security, livelihood and nutrition but t his had not been compiled into a user-friendly central reference. Some of these findings include; • Both men and women make significant but distinct contributions to the household economy. • The past and existing nutrition surveys focus almost entirely on children under five years, pregnant and lactating mothers and women of reproductive age. An understanding of the nutritional status of other vulnerable groups such as older men and women, adolescent girls and chronically sick males and females (of all ages) is lacking. • Somalia men and women are both active in food production: men 54.1 percent and women 45.9 percent (FAO State of Food and Agriculture Report - 2010/2011). Data 2010. • The synergistic male-female partnership in cropping and protein production is under stress due to competition for grazing, land and water. • A disproportionate number of men dying in conflict as well as more male migration had contributed to the increased number of female-headed households (FHHs). There have been resulting changes in intra-household livelihood roles. • Gender-specific security and protection concerns impact internally displaced persons (IDPs) and urban migrants. • Males predominate in camel/cattle production and sale: females sell and process milk. • Females predominate in all aspects of sheep and goat (shoat) production with shared male and female roles in marketing as well as butchering. • There is a gender divide in marketing: men sell for export and women sell for local con sumption. • Cropping involves a mix of gender-specific and shared tasks. • Local vegetable, milk and cereals markets in many areas are dominated by women. • Milling, commercial transport, agents and interlocutors are mainly men. • Women are responsible for erecting and tear-down of shelters, foraging for firewood and fodder. • Presence of a son gives a woman better access to livestock/assets if her husband dies. • Inter-clan conflicts deter men from participating in trade and instead open an opp ortunity for women to undertake more trade, as women are considered peacemakers, with no primary role in inter-clan conflict. • There are indications that women are increasingly using loans as a coping strategy. In some areas as many women as men are getting loans. • More men are entering traditionally female areas of petty trading and house assembly. • An increasing number of women are active in the formal and non-formal sectors and are diversifying how they earn income. Most specifically, wome n are very active in petty trade and increasingly active as casual workers, leaving less time for good parenting. • There is evidence that girls are pulled from school to allow women to earn. In light of the above, the Compendium clearly supports the need for a gender stand-alone survey and encourages immediate action to recruit additional female enumerators to reduce the current gender gap.

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