FAO launches new website to celebrate International Women's Day

FAO is launching a major new website site on "Gender and Food Security" to celebrate International Women's Day. This year the slogan for 8 March is "Making women farmers count, too", continuing the Organization's concerted efforts towards putting farming women's needs high on the international development agenda.

Rural women are the principal producers of the world's staple crops - rice, wheat, maize - which provide up to 90 percent of poor rural people's food. Yet, despite their overwhelming contribution to global food security, women farmers are frequently underestimated and overlooked in development strategies.

A scarcity of available gender-disaggregated data means that women's contribution to agriculture has always been poorly understood and recorded. Their needs have been ignored by development planners. Even in areas as basic as the design of tools for use on the farm, women's needs have been overlooked.

FAO has taken up the challenge of gathering of gender-specific data and statistics in the field of food and agriculture. The Organization is leading the way as part of its programme to achieve equitable and sustainable development. The new website has over 60 pages of information and is available in English, French and Spanish. The material is divided into nine categories: agriculture; division of labour; environment; forestry; nutrition; fisheries; rural economics; population; and education, extension and communication. The site also contains a database with more than 200 bibliographic references, informational graphics, dynamic maps with gender-specific statistics, photographs, details about projects and articles.

At FAO Headquarters in Rome, the day will also be marked by a multimedia exhibition on "Gender and Food Security" and a screening of the video "Women and Food Security". A technical seminar on "Gender and related statistics in agricultural and rural development" will take place in the afternoon.

Go to Gender and Food Security

8 March 1999

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