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FAO policy on gender equality

Attaining food security goals in agriculture and rural development

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    Book (stand-alone)
    Summary of the FAO policy on gender equality
    Attaining Food Security Goals in Agriculture and Rural Development
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    Gender equality is central to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations’ (FAO’s) mandate to achieve food security for all by raising levels of nutrition, improving agricultural productivity and natural resource management, and improving the lives of rural populations. FAO can achieve its goals only if it simultaneously works towards gender equality and supports women’s diverse roles in agriculture and rural development. Gender equality is not only an essential m eans by which FAO can achieve its mandate, it is also a basic human right.
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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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    FAO Policy on Gender Equality 2020–2030 2020
    Gender equality is essential to achieve FAO’s mandate of a world free from hunger, malnutrition, and poverty. The Organization recognizes that persisting inequalities between women and men are a major obstacle to agriculture and rural development and that eliminating these disparities is essential to building sustainable and inclusive food systems and resilient and peaceful societies. In alignment with the priorities set by the international agenda, the FAO gender equality policy, first endorsed in 2012, provides the Organization with a corporate framework to orient its technical and normative work towards clear gender equality objectives relevant to its mandate. The Policy recognizes that a gender-responsive organizational environment is necessary to achieve progress towards these objectives. It, therefore, includes a set of minimum standards for gender mainstreaming to ensure that gender dimensions are adequately addressed in all organizational functions, from results-based management to staff learning and evidence generation. Recognizing that all staff has a role to play in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment, the Policy establishes a shared accountability framework that clearly outlines responsibilities for its implementation across the Organization. The revised Policy, which will be implemented over the next ten years, is a solid instrument to drive FAO’s efforts towards addressing the inequalities that are still pervasive in agriculture and food systems and to unleash the ambitions and potential of rural women and girls. An overview of women’s role in agriculture and the main constraints they face as a result of gender-based discrimination is presented in the Rationale section of this Policy, to clearly position FAO’s commitment to promote gender equality as an integral part of its mandate and contribution towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

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