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Rural women and financial inclusion

Technical Guidance Note









 Maftei, A. 2024. Rural women and financial inclusion – Technical Guidance Note. Rome, FAO. 



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    Youth networks and organizations of young farmers, producers and entrepreneurs play a central role as partners in development initiatives that target youth in rural and agrifood spaces. By understanding and applying gender‑transformative and socially inclusive approaches, youth organizations can become more equitable, accessible, impactful and pluralistic platforms that legitimately represent the heterogeneity of young people and amplify the voices of those most marginalized or those in situations of vulnerability. These guidelines are a practical tool for youth organizations to better understand gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) and their importance, offering a step-by-step methodology to self-assess main gaps and areas for improvement as the basis to embed inclusive approaches in their organizational practice.
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    Asia and the Pacific Regional High Level Consultation on Gender, Food Security and Nutrition: Ensuring the Other Half Equal Opportunities. Bangkok, Thailand, 24- 26 July 2013
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    The Asia and the Pacific Regional High Level Consultation on Gender, Food Security and Nutrition co-organized by ADB, FAO, and WOCAN was convened to advance ongoing efforts to promote gender equality as an effective strategy to achieve food security and nutrition in the Asia-Pacific region. It was the first regional high-level consultation focusing on the linkages between gender, food security and nutrition issues. The consultation was an opportunity to raise awareness on the gender dimensions o f food and nutrition insecurity and their implications for rural poverty, agricultural productivity and national development in Asia and the Pacific. The ADB and FAO publication ‘Gender Equality and Food Security – Women’s Empowerment as a Tool Against Hunger’, authored by Prof. Olivier de Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food was launched on the first day of the event, and served to anchor the discussions around the pressing challenges of gender discrimination in the Asia-Pac ific region that are serious impediments to achieving food security and nutrition. The consultation was attended by key stakeholders, including leading representatives of the Member countries, non-governmental organizations (NGOs)/civil society organizations (CSOs), and women leaders of rural communities/institutions from seventeen countries around the Asia-Pacific region. The event was designed to facilitate a multi-stakeholder dialogue on strategic efforts to enhance gender responsive food and nutrition security interventions between the latter, United Nations and other development organizations, research institutions and the private sector. The event ensured a highly engaged exchange on good practices and lessons learned in this regard, and led to agreements on follow-up measures that would advance gender equity and women’s empowerment. There was general agreement on four critical approaches that would contribute to the overall goals of gender-responsive food and nutrition security outcomes: i) the importance of relying on human-rights based approaches; ii) the advantages of working in collaboration across the region through partnerships; iii) the crucial role of inclusivity of rural women, including indigenous women and marginalized and vulnerable groups through their organizations and networks in the design, development and implementation of gender equality and rural development programs and strategies; and iv) the importance of male involvement in gender transformative process to ensure the sustainability of future action in this regard. The participants identified and agreed to undertake follow-up actions in their respective countries to close the gender gap in agriculture and empower women so they could fully contribute to improve food and nutrition security in the region along key actions identified in the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 66-129, on the Improvement of the Situation of Women in Rural Areas.
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    What efforts need to be made to effectively mainstream gender in agrifood value chain projects and programmes? When can a value chain intervention be considered ‘gender-sensitive’? What actions can be implemented to address gender inequalities along the chain? These guidelines aim to respond to these questions and support practitioners in translating the Gender-Sensitive Value Chain Framework, developed by the FAO into action. Building on FAO’s comparative advantage on gender in agriculture and food security, these guidelines are primarily intended to assist practitioners in designing and implementing interventions that provide women and men with equal opportunities to benefit from agrifood value chain development. They offer practical tools and examples of successful approaches to foster a more systematic integration of gender equality dimensions in value chain interventions in the agricultural sector and enhance the social impact of these interventions. The guidelines are targeted to practitioners in a wide range of organizations and institutions, including national governments, international and NGOs, research institutes and the private sector, in particular: »» value chain practitioners who want to ensure that their interventions are inclusive and socially sustainable, and seek support on how best to address gender issues in their work on agrifood value chains; »» gender experts who are tasked with supporting the integration of gender equality and women’s empowerment objectives in agrifood value chain interventions.

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