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Improving Policy Response to the Differentiated Impacts of High and Volatile Food Prices on Rural Women







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    Book (stand-alone)
    Women's resilience to food price volatility: A policy response 2014
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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 and the household. This discussion paper 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, rendering 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, as well as gaps in the levels of participation in farmers’ organizations and other public institutions. Better design in safety nets and other social protection programmes involves including mechanisms that are culturally sensitive, that reduce women’s time burden, and that provide the necessary transportation, child-care facilities, and other services and mechanisms to ensure their participation. Gender-transformative approaches in the implementation of p olicies and programmes, including capacity development on gender roles for the household as a whole, are essential for ending discrimination against women, which hinders 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 programmes designed to address rural women’s specific needs.
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    International grain reserves and other instruments to address volatility in grain markets
    Working paper presented at the World Grain Forum 2009 St. Petersburg/Russian Federation, 6-7 June 2009
    2013
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    The dramatic rise in global food prices in 2007/08 was widely viewed as a threat to global food and nutrition security that endangered millions of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. It has also brought political instability to some countries and the prospect of unrest to many more. The rapid increase in world food prices was caused by a combination of cumulative effects of long-term trends, more recent supply and demand dynamics, and (governmental) responses that have exacerbated price volatility. This crisis has exposed existing and potential weaknesses and vulnerabilities of households, governments, and the international system to food and nutrition insecurity. The international community has responded with a range of initiatives and established instruments to assist the neediest nations. Major stakeholders worldwide continue to discuss potential instruments to address the recent food crisis and to prevent or reduce the impact of future crises. Besides a gricultural productivity improvement and national food self-sufficiency targets, physical grain stocks (“humanitarian food reserves”) have resurfaced in these discussions. And more recently, the idea of “a ‘virtual’ internationally coordinated reserve system for humanitarian purposes”—first mentioned in the G8 Leaders’ Statement on Global Food Security at the Hokkaido Toyako Summit on July 8, 2008—was added to the debate. In conjunction with the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the Russian Federation will host, on June 6 and 7, 2009, the World Grain Forum 2009. During the Forum, which intends to shape a common vision of issues facing global food (grain) security and to inform future G8/G20 meetings, high-level discussions are expected to cover—inter alia—global grain production and marketing, food aid programs, new challenges of world trade in grain, and mechanisms for the stabilization of grain markets including an international grain reserve.In vie w of the controversies surrounding the topic of grain stocks and other instruments to reduce price volatility in (food) commodity markets, and at the request of the Organizing Committee of the World Grain Forum 2009, The World Bank (WB), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) (the three sponsoring organizations) have commissioned the present working paper on international grain reserves and oth er instruments to address volatility in grain markets. The purpose of this paper is to inform international debates on the occasion of the World Grain Forum 2009 on issues and options related to price volatility in (food) commodity markets with special reference to international grain reserves.
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    National gender profile of agriculture and rural livelihoods – The Philippines 2018
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    The Country Gender Assessment (CGA) of the Agriculture and Rural Sector of the Philippines was undertaken in 2017 to primarily inform the gender-sensitive country level planning and programming of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and contribute to the implementation of FAO’s Policy on Gender Equality at country level. The objective of the present CGA is to analyse the agricultural and rural sector of the Philippines from a gender perspective at the macro (policy), meso (institutional) and micro (community and household) level. The CGA aims to identify gender inequalities in access to critical productive resources, assets, services and opportunities. In particular, the assessment identifies priorities and gaps in selected areas of FAO mandate. At the same time, it highlights opportunities for promoting gender equality in agriculture and rural development as well as strengthening rural women’s social and economic empowerment. A number of the recommendations are targeted to transform the cultural and social norms that undervalue women and girls. These include initiatives that support women’s and men’s important role in family health, food security and nutrition (i.e. improved food preparation practices, nutrition education and access to safe drinking water). While taking care not to promote stereotypes, these initiatives can increase rural women’s and men’s access to resources, know-how, including use of information and communication technologies (ICTs), and income generation, especially projects that reduce labour and time burdens in unpaid care, domestic and community work. The Assessment also identifies stakeholders, partners and inter-institutional mechanisms that FAO Philippines can further explore to help bridge gender gaps and promote gender equality in the agriculture and the rural sector.

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