Gender and development People

FAO Conference
Twenty-eighth Session
20 October - 2 November 1995

FAO Plan of Action for Women in Development

1. Agricultural and rural development that is equitable, effective and sustainable cannot be pursued without an explicit recognition of the tremendous contribution of rural women to food and agricultural production and their crucial role in determining and guaranteeing food security and well-being for the entire household. In a global atmosphere of increasing poverty, food insecurity, rural out migration and environmental degradation, it will be necessary to assure that all the potential actors in development are given the support and access to resources they need to pursue sustainable livelihoods and strategies for a better life. Within this context, women's empowerment will be central to achieving initiatives aimed at raising levels of nutrition, improving production and distribution of food and agricultural products, and enhancing the living conditions of rural populations.

2. This FAO Plan of Action on Women in Development defines the role the Organization will play in stimulating and facilitating efforts, both within the house and with our partners at the national level, to overcome constraints and take advantage of opportunities to increase the involvement of rural women as contributors to and beneficiaries of economic, social and political development. The Plan is FAO's continuing response to the global events of the 1990s as well as the recommendations of recent international fora including the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, the World Conference on Human Rights, the International Conference on Nutrition, the International Conference on Population and Development, and the World Summit for Social Development. It also represents the FAO framework for implementation of the Platform for Action, the global blueprint of actions to promote the advancement of women, which is the major outcome of the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing in September of 1995. In order to address the root causes of persistent poverty and food insecurity among rural women and the families they support as well as the factors contributing to degradation of the environment, the Plan pursues three strategic objectives:

3. The Plan outlines a framework for integrating a gender perspective within all FAO programmes and activities for the years 1996 through 2001. It establishes strategies with reachable targets and proposes instruments to address gender concerns in FAO's technical areas. In the implementation of the Plan, the Organization's substantive activities concentrate on four inter- related areas:

4. Increase the availability, accuracy and use of quantitative and qualitative data and information on the gender dimension of agriculture and rural development. FAO will take a lead role in supporting actions to improve the collection, tabulation, dissemination and use of gender- disaggregated data on human resources in agriculture and rural development. Technical units within FAO will increase their efforts to augment the available information on the links between gender and the technical issues under their mandate. Women, environment and sustainable development will be an important theme for research and information initiatives, with special emphasis given to investigating rural women's capacities and knowledge on a wide range of agricultural, forestry and fisheries practices. FAO will act as a catalyst in research, programming and policy development in the area of gender, biodiversity, indigenous knowledge and the environment.

5. Develop and utilize methodologies, tools and training activities to assist development specialists in FAO and Member Nations to integrate a gender perspective into agricultural and rural development approaches. The main thrust of activities in this area will be to develop and encourage the use of approaches that are people-centred and participatory while also assuring that they are gender-responsive. This will involve explicitly recognizing that the concept of "people" also includes women, and that it is necessary to examine the intra-household division of labour, access to and control over income in order to fully understand the dynamics of the rural household. Gender analysis training will continue to be a major tool for strengthening the capacity of development specialists to better recognize and respond to rural women's needs and to incorporate a concern for gender issues into the agricultural and rural development approaches they use.

6. Strengthen the skills and capacities of rural women to reduce the burden of their labour and increase their economic gains. FAO will promote the adoption of measures to alleviate rural women's workloads and improve their productivity in all spheres of work. A key strategy for achieving these ends will be to ensure equal opportunities for training within FAO-supported projects to enhance rural women's organizational, technical and entrepreneurial skills and capacities for more productive employment and income generation. FAO will also support the development of, and facilitate access to, appropriate productive and domestic labour-saving technologies for rural women.

7. Support the formulation and application of gender-responsive agricultural and rural development policy. FAO will assist Member Nations in becoming more adept at formulating rural and agricultural policy that responds to the needs and interests of rural women and men. FAO-supported activities to improve data on human resources in agriculture will provide the foundation to guide more gender-responsive policy and programme formulation. FAO will provide gender awareness training to policy-makers and to intermediate level personnel (managers and technicians) responsible for implementing agricultural and rural development policy. The development of a framework for gender-responsive policy advice in food security will be an important initiative in this area. This framework will include the development of a research methodology to investigate the links between macro-economic policy and the realities of the rural household. It will utilize participatory approaches to involve rural women in the policy formulation process as well as facilitate a mutual learning process between rural women and all those who design and deliver agricultural services. A special concern will be the promotion of women's organizations and associations and networking through the exchange of information and expertise.

8. In addition to these activities in key substantive areas, FAO will strive to set up more effective administrative mechanisms to implement, monitor and evaluate progress on achieving the strategic objectives of the Plan, and on promoting equal employment opportunities throughout the Organization. It will also collaborate with other agencies of the UN system as well as with governmental and non-governmental organizations on matters pertaining to the status of women.

9. Although the Plan represents what FAO can contribute to enhancing the status of rural women, successful implementation of the Plan will depend upon the active support of Member Nations. FAO will also rely on the continued commitment of donor countries to the promotion of gender equity in the development process, their financial contributions to general WID activities, and specifically their extra-budgetary support to FAO for the implementation of the concrete actions proposed in this Plan.

Background, purpose and scope

10. The first FAO Plan of Action for Integration of Women in Development, which was approved by the Conference in 1989 (C 89/14), has served as FAO's principal instrument for addressing Women-in-Development (WID) issues in relation to agriculture and rural development over the previous three biennia. The FAO Plan served as a strategic framework for implementing, within the Organization's sphere of work, UN WID-related mandates and platforms for action that were the outcome of key UN conferences, especially the Nairobi Forward-Looking Strategies for the Advancement on Women (NFLS, 1985) and the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (WCARRD, 1979). Progress in the implementation of the Plan was reported to the FAO Conference in 1989, 1991, 1993 and 1995. In 1993, the Conference requested that FAO prepare a revised Plan of Action in order to provide a clearer focus for the achievement of measurable medium-term operational goals in FAO's evolving priority areas, achieve mainstream institutional support for WID in all areas of FAO's mandate, and provide a framework which can guide Member Nations as they strive to bring the full benefits of development to rural women. A revision was also timely since FAO's leadership, organizational structure, policies and priorities have been changing and evolving over the last two years.

11. The current Plan of Action for Women in Development 1996-2001 eliminates the earlier Plan's focus on eight substantive priority areas, with numerous prescribed activities that were difficult to monitor and found to be too encompassing to implement effectively. In their place, the revised Plan emphasizes three strategic objectives for promoting gender equity in achieving sustainable development in FAO's substantive areas of work, and highlights key areas of inter- related actions to achieve these three objectives. The result is a more systematic and programmatic approach that will allow FAO to concentrate human and financial resources on achievable and measurable objectives. The revised Plan also eliminates the earlier focus on five administrative priorities in favour of establishing more effective mechanisms for providing advice on implementing the Plan of Action, for monitoring and reporting on the implementation of the Plan, and for achieving equal employment opportunity targets.

12. The Plan builds on the lessons learned in the implementation of the first FAO Plan, as well as on the recommendations of recent international fora such as the International Conference on Nutrition (ICN, 1992), the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED, 1992), the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD, 1994), and the World Summit for Social Development (1995). The Plan is also FAO's response to the resolutions and recommendations on women in agriculture and rural development found in the Platform for Action, the major outcome of the deliberations that took place in preparation for and during the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing in September 1995. The priorities and strategies that FAO will pursue represent FAO's contribution to achieving the goals for the advancement of women into the twenty-first century that are embodied in this document.

13. To prepare this Plan, in 1994-95, FAO implemented an innovative consultative and participatory process to mainstream WID throughout the Organization's programmes. Twenty-five technical and administrative Divisions, involving approximately 65 Services, prepared Divisional or Departmental WID Programmes of Action, with each defining achievable targets and identifying strategies, instruments for implementation, and monitoring indicators. These sectoral Programmes form the basis for this Plan of Action, and are summarized in Section III.

14. The purpose of the current FAO Plan is threefold:

  1. to ensure an evolving and dynamic understanding of the situation of rural women, including their contributions to and constraints in agriculture, forestry, fisheries and rural development, within FAO's technical Divisions as well as among FAO's development partners in other UN agencies, Member Nations, government institutions, NGOs and people's organizations;
  2. to establish strategies and instruments with reachable targets for FAO that can also enhance Member Nations' capacity to address gender concerns in all technical areas addressed by FAO; and
  3. to thereby enhance the benefits that rural women derive from their contributions to sustainable agriculture, forestry, fisheries and rural development, as well as strengthen their capacities to contribute to national development in each of these sectors.
15. The scope of the Plan is organization-wide, encompassing operational and normative aspects of FAO's Regular and Field Programmes as well as the administrative sphere. The Plan presents an indicative framework which can serve as a reference base to Member Nations in formulating and implementing their own Plans of Action. While FAO's Plan delineates the Organization's priority goals, strategies and instruments, the commitment of Member Nations is vital to achieving a sustained impact.

The state of rural women to the year 2001

Key issues affecting rural women to the year 2001

16. Worldwide, rural women play a major role in agriculture (including fisheries, forestry and livestock) and rural development and, in many countries, are the mainstay of agricultural sectors and food systems. Yet the most disadvantaged population in the world today comprises rural women in developing countries, who have been the last to benefit - or negatively affected - by prevailing economic growth and development processes. Gender bias and blindness persist: farmers are still generally perceived as "male" by policy-makers, development planners and agricultural service deliverers.

17. Poverty, food insecurity, and environmental degradation are recognized as critical development problems and have been given highest priority in the international development agenda, following the Social Summit, ICN, and UNCED. They are also key priority areas for FAO, as reflected in the Organization's Medium-term Plan 1994-1999. Poverty, food insecurity and environmental degradation have a disproportionate negative impact on rural women, due to their inferior socio-economic, legal and political status as well as their critical roles as producers and household managers. The causes and effects of these impacts are systemic, with far-reaching implications for agricultural and rural development as a whole and for all initiatives aimed at raising levels of nutrition, improving production and distribution of food and agricultural products, and enhancing the living conditions of rural populations.

Rural women, food security and nutrition

18. According to a large and growing body of research, direct responsibility for household food provision falls largely on women. Whether reference is made to sub-Saharan Africa or the Caribbean, where women produce 60-80 percent of basic foodstuffs, or to Asia, where they perform over 50 percent of the labour in rice cultivation, or to Southeast Asia and the Pacific or Latin America, where their home gardens represent some of the most complex agricultural systems known, women have a major responsibility for, and knowledge of, food systems and agriculture. Rural women the world over are responsible for rearing small livestock and handling large livestock not raised on free ranges, for gathering food, fodder and fuelwood, and for drawing water and managing domestic water supply. They often provide most of the labour for, and make decisions on, a wide range of post-harvest operations, including storage, handling and marketing, and predominate in off-farm food processing activities either in micro-enterprises or as wage workers in agro-industries.

19. Gender bias and blindness are prevalent worldwide and constitute principal constraints contributing to food insecurity. Many rural women lack access to land or have insecure land tenure. It is their husbands, fathers and brothers who hold land title, a practice which essentially eliminates their eligibility for formal sources of credit or membership in farmers' organizations, which could enable them to gain access to inputs that can help stabilize or enhance their production systems. Rural women's access to agricultural extension services worldwide is only about 1/20th of that of men, and technology is rarely designed specifically to address their needs.

20. Hunger and malnutrition affect more than 780 million people in the developing world. Most fall into the following categories: children under five years of age, especially girls; women of childbearing age, especially those who are pregnant or breast-feeding; and low-income households, a large percentage of which are female-headed. The 1992 World Declaration on Nutrition proclaimed that "the right of women and adolescent girls to adequate nutrition is crucial". Yet, rural female household members often get less food than males both absolutely and in terms of nutritional requirements.

21. According to recent research findings, there is a direct link between women's access to income and management of household resources and the improvement of household level food security and nutritional well-being of family members. This linkage, along with the importance of increasing women's productivity and hence their contribution to food systems, must constitute a central consideration of policies and programmes aimed at enhancing food security and nutrition.

Rural women, environment and population

22. Women's relationship with the environment revolves around their central concern with household food security and family welfare, and with the provision of water and fuel. Changes in land and tree tenure, land use, technology and inputs are viewed by women according to their effects on the supply of water for domestic use and small-scale irrigation; on the possibilities for gathering food, fuelwood, fodder, medicinal plants and raw materials for small industries; and on tree, plant and animal production for consumption and sale. Women are also custodians of biodiversity and caretakers of agricultural and livestock genetic resources: wildlife is a major component in household food security for poor women, as is the identification, preservation and use of a wide diversity of domestic plant and animal species which women have carefully selected, bred and exchanged throughout human history.

23. Women's roles as environmental managers and as key actors in achieving sustainable development were emphasized in the NFLS and further highlighted in the 1991 FAO/Netherlands "Den Bosch" Conference on Agriculture and the Environment and in the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED, 1992), and in the adoption of Agenda 21, notably Chapter 24, "Global Action for Women towards Sustainable and Equitable Development."

24. Besides resource access and land tenure patterns that favour men, rural women must cope with poor availability and quality of means of production, eroding environmental conditions, male out-migration, and decreasing access to services. Thus, increasing demands are made on women's time and energy, in addition to their already overburdened assignment of domestic, farm, and community work responsibilities. In their efforts to satisfy their families' basic needs and, lacking alternative means of employment or access to capital, poor women are frequently pushed to overexploit the few resources at their disposal.

25. Rural women are both the best equipped and the least equipped to manage the environment. They are the best equipped with determination, responsibility and indigenous knowledge. However, they are also the least equipped since they usually have no voice or vote in major decisions affecting their natural environment, so that their views and needs are often overlooked. Rural women's technical knowledge of sustainable resource use in soil and water conservation and management, pest management, forest use and conservation, and plant and animal genetic resource management needs to be recognized. Policies and development interventions must incorporate the knowledge and concerns of rural women and include them as actors and decision-makers.

26. It is highly probable that having a large number of children continues to be a major asset and source of immediate and long-term social and economic security for poor rural women, especially in the least-developed countries. This is reflected by the high value placed on child labour in the absence of labour-saving home and farm technologies and of social safety nets. UNCED and ICPD both recognized the importance of the status of women in changing reproductive behaviour and fertility levels, and, ultimately, population growth trends. There is a need for a deeper understanding of the impact of environmental problems on rural women's and girls' livelihoods and the well-being of their families, including the interrelationships between population policies and practices and environmental sustainability.

Rural women and poverty

27. As major providers of food and income, rural women are critical to the sustenance of the world's poor. In rural areas in developing countries, women spend up to 16 hours a day producing, processing, marketing and preparing food, gathering fuel and water, and performing other household tasks in addition to caring for their children and extended families. However, most rural women are not directly remunerated for their work. A woman may work 60 hours or more a week between domestic, farm and off-farm tasks, and yet receive no wage or cash income of any kind. In fact, women in developing countries work up to one-third more hours than men for an estimated one-tenth of the income. Therefore, rural women confront a specific dilemma: they are overemployed in terms of hours worked and underemployed in terms of income received.

28. According to the 1995 Human Development Report of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), out of 1.3 billion people living in absolute poverty, over 70 percent are women. The economic crisis of the 1980s, structural adjustment programmes, armed conflicts and drought, are believed to have affected women more severely than men, leading to what has been termed by the United Nations as the "feminization of poverty". In particular, male labour force migration, forced migration (i.e. environmental and civil conflict refugees) and the breakdown in traditional family structures have dramatically increased the number of female-headed households, which range from 16 percent of total rural households in the Near East, to 60 percent in certain parts of Africa, and number well over 7 million in Asia and the Pacific. These phenomena have also contributed to the "feminization of agriculture", that is, the increased concentration of agricultural tasks in the hands of rural women.

29. The increased concentration of poverty among rural women can be attributed to their limited access to and control over productive resources (especially land, water, labour, inputs and technology), services (extension, training and credit), and markets, and to their limited participation in decision-making processes oriented towards enhancing agricultural productivity and improving the status of rural dwellers. When households must generate additional earnings or confront a decrease in access to services due to economic crisis, structural adjustment programmes or loss of resources, it is generally women who must mobilize their energies to compensate. Policies on poverty, agriculture, land reform, settlement and structural adjustment do not generally consider rural men and women's differential conditions and needs, nor are the differential policy impacts on men and women considered. The effect has often been a deterioration in the welfare of the most disadvantaged groups in society, particularly rural women. This is reflected in the fact that, for the first time in many years, maternal and infant mortality rates are rising and girls' school enrolment is declining in several developing countries. Rural poverty will only be alleviated if these issues are recognized and fully integrated into policy and programme design, implementation and evaluation.

Progress achieved in the advancement of rural women

30. Progress in the advancement of the status of rural women worldwide is difficult to measure due to the lack of reliable data, statistics and indicators. However, over the past two decades, there is evidence to indicate that progress has occurred, although limited in scope. According to the UNDP report: 31. Increased global awareness of the gender implications of development is gradually producing change at all levels, thus eroding gender bias and focusing attention on interrelated processes that contribute to poverty, food insecurity and environmental degradation. Networking and alliance-building among rural women and their advocates in NGOs, government ministries and development agencies have given rise to the creation of national and international fora on the advancement of women. They have also facilitated the integration of significant inputs into other fora dealing with related issues. Development planning and policy-making are gradually becoming more sensitive to gender issues, and more responsive to rural women's needs and conditions.

32. The introduction of conventions, agreements, new legislation, policies and programmes has been a critical step towards increasing women's access to and control over productive resources. Many countries have introduced legislation to increase women's access to land or improve tenure security, and to assist small farmers with special attention to farm women's needs. However, most often, rural people remain unaware of women's legal rights or have little legal recourse if rights are violated. New programmes have also sought to promote the participation of women in decision-making at various levels, in part through the creation of national women's machineries and the institutionalization of WID units within technical ministries. This has been an important step in ensuring that women's issues are placed on the national policy agenda. However, due to technical weaknesses, restricted access to financial and human resources, and limited direct participation of intended beneficiaries, the direct impact of many such initiatives on rural women has often been lower than expected.

33. NGOs and community-based organizations, which have increased substantially in number in recent years, have often been the first to recognize the critical roles and needs of rural women, and therefore have had a significant impact on the development process and on the agenda of the development community. This success can be attributed in part to their effectiveness in reaching rural women and in giving them a voice in the decision-making process. NGOs have promoted cooperation among government and donor agencies on policy issues, trained leaders in people's organizations, facilitated the exchange of information and provided innumerable services to rural women.

34. Progress on the advancement of the status of rural women has not been systematic enough to reverse the processes leading to the feminization of poverty and agriculture, to food insecurity and to reducing the burden women shoulder from environmental degradation. In fact, the persistence of policies that have adverse impacts on rural women are, in many parts of the world, slowing progress or producing reversals of previous progress related to maternal and child mortality rates, female reproductive health and nutrition, access to productive resources and training, and educational status.

Strategic objectives of the FAO Plan of Action 1996-2001

35. The root causes of persistent poverty and food insecurity among rural women and the families they support, as well as of environmental degradation, are similar and interrelated: lack of access to and secure control over productive resources and services, over/under employment, inequalities in employment opportunities and remuneration, and exclusion from decision- and policy-making in an unfavourable legal context. Poor rural women often face these problems simultaneously, while men and better-off rural dwellers may only be partially affected by these impediments. For FAO, addressing these priority areas is fundamental to enhancing rural women's status and achieving food security, poverty alleviation and sustainable development. The Divisional Plans of Action summarized in Section III specify in detail how FAO will seek to achieve the strategic objectives outlined below through specific sectoral strategies and instruments.

36. To promote gender-based equity in the access to and control over productive resources. Worldwide, women continue to have far less access to and control over productive resources and services in comparison with men. With lower access to land, which is often of lesser quality, and with limited access to credit, extension, training and technology, women's agricultural productivity is often low, labour requirements are high, and benefits are meagre. Even when women have access to land, insecurity of tenure can reduce their incentives to make investments, especially in terms of the labour required for long-term improvements which can lead to increasing food security and environmental sustainability.

37. To improve rural women's productivity and enhance the benefits they derive from their contributions to agriculture and rural development. FAO will seek to promote policies, programmes and projects within its spheres of action that improve rural women's access to and control over productive resources and services. Research and action programmes will be undertaken to identify the legislative and policy changes needed in different sectors. Policy advice and related technical assistance to Member Nations will focus on reorienting agricultural policies and reducing institutional barriers to women's access to land, capital, credit, extension, research, training, markets and producers' organizations.

38. To reduce rural women's workloads and enhance their opportunities for remunerated employment and income. The gender division of labour that assigns to women off-farm, on-farm and household tasks leads to heavier workloads for women in comparison to men. Much of this work is unrecognized and unpaid, so that women are often overemployed in terms of hours worked and underemployed in terms of income received. This dilemma is exacerbated by environmental degradation and policies which reduce women's access to services and fail to recognize their needs for technology and remunerated employment. Measures must be directed to alleviating rural women's workloads, improving their productivity in all spheres of work, and ensuring equal opportunities for employment and income, with acceptable working conditions.

39. Gender issues can only be adequately addressed in national agricultural and rural development policies and plans when the data and information available at country level is reliable and complete. FAO will seek to raise awareness of the need to improve the collection, analysis and dissemination of gender-disaggregated data and information on women's labour force contributions in food, agriculture and rural development, as well as to develop and disseminate appropriate methods, indicators and databases.

40. FAO will also support initiatives to address policies and practices that reinforce rural women's over/under employment dilemma, including inequalities in employment opportunities in food, forestry and fisheries industries. FAO will address rural women's high labour inputs and promote means to reduce their workload by supporting and facilitating access to appropriate productive and domestic labour-saving technologies. It will also seek ways to enhance rural women's income-generating opportunities and on- and off-farm income, as well as promote opportunities for women in agricultural education and in agricultural occupations.

41. To enhance women's participation in decision- and policy-making processes. Rural women's importance in decision-making in the household and on the farm often goes unrecognized. With a limited voice outside the farm, women's needs, interests and constraints are usually not reflected in decision- and policy-making processes and laws that are important to poverty reduction, food security and environmental sustainability.

42. Rural women's advocates have a critical role to play in enhancing rural women's participation in decision-making at all levels, where progress has been particularly slow and limited. At the local level, there is a need to promote participatory approaches and the direct involvement of women in the development process in order to enhance the benefits they derive from agriculture, forestry and fisheries and rural development, render visible their contributions in these sectors, and respect their rights to autonomy. At the institutional level, women's participation in community-based organizations, farmers' groups, NGOs, and agricultural institutions must be strengthened. At the policy level, rural women, their advocates, and decision-makers need to be brought together to identify and negotiate solutions and mechanisms to enhance rural women's decision-making roles and capacities in the development of policies and programmes.

43. FAO will seek to raise awareness of the need to remove impediments to rural women's participation and leadership in decision- and policy-making bodies at local, regional, and national levels. It will cooperate with NGOs, rural women's organizations, WID units in ministries, and other women's advocates. It will promote networking to assist in the exchange of information and ensure the representation of rural women's interests in social, economic, and agricultural development policy-making at national and international levels. FAO will also support efforts to facilitate a mutual learning process between rural women and development partners, including all those who design and deliver agricultural services. Experientially-based learning, in combination with participatory rural research, consultation and communications, will be employed to enhance the formulation of programmes, projects and action plans and to break down stereotypes of rural women as passive beneficiaries and while promoting them as development change agents.

FAO Departmental strategies and instruments

44. This section summarizes the Programmes of Action of FAO's Departments and technical Divisions, and includes the main strategies and instruments that have been defined to achieve medium-term goals and systematic mainstreaming of WID issues within the Regular and Field Programmes. The Programmes of Action will be coordinated, monitored and implemented Organization-wide as indicated in the following section.


Animal Production and Health Division - AGA

45. Functions: The Division promotes livestock production while fostering overall biodiversity within the context of sustainable development and improved food security. AGA is concerned with technology development, information, policy advice to Member Nations, and international agreements relating to: animal health, genetics, breeding and reproduction; feeds, nutrition and forage; husbandry and management; handling, processing and marketing of meat and dairy products; information systems; and livestock development policy and planning.

46. Strategies: The contribution of rural women to livestock production and to livestock products processing and marketing is often overlooked, and animal health and production extension services are often not directed towards women and therefore are not sensitive to their needs. This is despite the fact that women often have primary responsibility for animal care and animal products processing and marketing. AGA will enhance the capacity of institutional support systems to address gender issues in technology development and transfer; increase women's participation in livestock development projects, including in processing and marketing of livestock products; support the formulation of strategies and actions to increase the employment of women in livestock extension and animal health services; help to empower rural women by enabling them to access information, skills and technologies; enhance the development process by tapping rural women's potential for contribution to technology generation and dissemination; promote gender-sensitive national policies and strategies; and employ seminars, workshops and field demonstrations to enhance training activities for rural women.

47. Instruments: Gender-disaggregated data will be incorporated into databases on the planning and implementation of livestock development programmes, and in information networks on animal health, production, processing and marketing. The methodology used to identify the technical needs of rural farmers will be revised to include gender specific needs, already initiated in AGA's _Field Manual for Integration of Social and Gender Issues in Smallholder Dairy Production_. Gender-targeted training programmes on technical and managerial aspects of animal husbandry, feed resources, nutrition and health, and the processing and marketing of livestock products will be prepared and demonstrated in developing countries to improve women's access to, and employment in, livestock sector institutions (e.g. education, extension). Through gender-targeted activities, AGA will provide women with assistance to organize themselves, learn technical and management skills, and obtain access to facilities traditionally reserved for men (e.g. credit). Policy advice will focus on: plans of action and guidelines to enhance the participation of women at all levels of intervention in the livestock sector (on-farm, off-farm, national and international); and the preparation of country strategies and policies to increase women's representation amongst the staff of animal health and production services. In-service training, educational and information materials, workshops, and technical publications will be prepared that reflect gender issues.

Land and Water Development Division - AGL

48. Functions: The Division is concerned with the development of technology, strategy and policy, and the provision of advisory and technical services to FAO members to ensure a more productive and efficient use of land and water resources and plant nutrients to meet present and future food and agriculture demands on a sustainable basis. It assesses and carries out long-term monitoring of the quality and quantity of these resources, collects, processes and disseminates basic data on land, water and plant nutrient resources. In collaboration with other Divisions, it promotes an integrated approach to the assessment, planning and management of natural resources which take into account local socio-economic conditions, essential environmental values and the needs and expectations of rural communities.

49. Strategies: Due to the emphasis on technical and biophysical aspects in much of AGL's work, the differential roles, constraints and opportunities of rural women and men are largely left implicit in water development, irrigation management, land use planning, management and conservation, and plant nutrition management or fertilizer distribution and use. The Division will seek to evaluate and highlight those different roles within the socio-economic aspects of its work, wherever land, water and plant nutrient users or fertilizer distributors are dealt with, in method development as well as in field projects.

50. Instruments: AGL will develop gender-responsive advisory materials on on-farm water management, soil management including tillage methods, soil conservation methods and strategies, and plant nutrition practices, including fertilizer acquisition and allocation of plant nutrients within the farm. Within the development of national strategies for land conservation and rehabilitation, land tenure considerations will be disaggregated and analysed by gender. In irrigation development and land-use planning, gender will be considered in issues of access to land. Labour divisions will be highlighted whenever relevant in technology transfer for on-farm water management, land management and soil fertility maintenance. Differential access to fertilizers and related inputs will be considered in retailers training and other project work.

Agricultural Support Systems Division - AGS

51. Functions: The Division advises FAO Member Nations on policies, strategies and technologies for support systems for farm production and post-production activities, including: farm power, post-harvest engineering and farm structures, agricultural products processing and conservation, by-products utilization and rural energy, marketing and input supply systems, rural finance, farming systems development and agro-industries.

52. Strategies: The limited recognition of rural women's contribution to agricultural production and post-production activities, the dearth of female technical specialists and extension workers in developing countries, and the poor consideration of gender issues in technology development limit women's productivity and do not allow them to benefit fully from their contributions to agricultural development. The Division will enhance understanding of women's roles, contributions and constraints with regard to farming systems and farm resource economics, agricultural engineering, input supply and marketing, post-harvest systems, food and agro-industries, and rural finance. It will review enrolment and employment trends of female engineers, and formulate and implement a strategy to promote the participation of rural women in agricultural engineering interventions. AGS will support the creation of, or strengthen, appropriate structures for the provision of financial services to rural women. Women's representation in rural finance institutions and their capacity to negotiate with formal rural finance structures will be enhanced. The design of gender-adapted food processing equipment that can be safely used by women will be supported.

53. Instruments: The collection and dissemination of gender-disaggregated data on women's roles in farm management, in the analysis and sustainable development of farming systems, and in agricultural engineering interventions, marketing, and food and agro-industries will be intensified. WID will be incorporated in the framework of a farming systems data bank. Gender-disaggregated data on female enrolment and employment in agricultural engineering will be collected, analysed and disseminated. Research will focus on: the use of micro-economic data for policy formulation and agricultural policy impact assessment; gender discrimination in food and agricultural industries; and the design of food processing equipment appropriate for women. Training materials will be prepared and training conducted on gender and farming systems, savings, credit and management of economic activities. Existing manuals and handbooks will be revised and made gender-responsive. Publications and guidelines on the participation of women in post-harvest technology and in agricultural mechanization and in food and agro-industries will be prepared. Workshops on the participation of women in agricultural engineering and technical consultations on gender and post-harvest technology will be organized.

Plant Production and Protection Division - AGP

54. Functions: AGP assists Member Nations in working towards the development of sustainable agricultural systems, improving crop and grassland productivity, and enhancing food security and economic development. The Division promotes policies and programmes aimed at conserving and developing the biological resource base in partnership with farmers and rural people.

55. Strategies: There is limited knowledge and recognition of the role women play in conservation and sustainable utilization of genetic resources as well as in crop management, improvement, protection and seed production which results in limited female participation in development activities in the sector, often to the detriment of expected results of programmes and projects. AGP will promote a better understanding of the role of women in plant production and protection among policy-makers, scientists and staff; it will also improve information availability and flow through the collection and dissemination of information on gender issues in the field. It will also seek to integrate gender issues at all levels of its activities by supporting the development of policies, strategies and actions to enhance the participation of women in technical programmes and field projects.

56. Instruments: Investigation will be undertaken on the role of women in on-farm in-situ conservation and use of genetic resources, integrated crop and grassland management and production, integrated pest management, seed production and exchange. Case-studies on the role of women in urban and peri-urban horticulture production, factors limiting the participation of women in IPM activities, women in home gardens and their contribution to food security at family level, gender factors in tree crop intercropping systems in Africa, and on other topics will be prepared. This information will be integrated into the general Management Information System of AGP which is being set up to provide easier access for policy-makers, scientists and staff to basic data. Synthesized information on technologies and sustainable production systems for different agro- ecological zones will be made available for dissemination through modern electronic information technology. Specific attention will be paid to ensure full participation of special interest groups, including women, in national horticulture master plans. Gender aspects will be highlighted in technical guidelines, identification and dissemination of appropriate production, protection and propagation technologies and training activities. WID experts/consultants will be included in the formulation and implementation of selected projects, and TORs will specify attention to gender issues where relevant. Gender issues will be raised in meetings and sessions with an advisory role, including the Fourth International Technical Conference on Plant Genetic Resources to be held in 1996. Training of trainers in gender issues relevant to IPM will be expanded and training approaches giving due attention to gender issues will be developed and reflected in training materials and activities.


Agriculture and Economic Development Analysis Division - ESA

57. Functions: The ESA Division concentrates on research, analyses and studies of agricultural and rural development within the context of general economic development and the overall policy setting of countries. It also provides technical economic support to other normative units and conceptual and methodological input into FAO's policy assistance to Member Nations.

58. Strategies: Women and men often have unequal access to economic opportunities and exhibit different behaviour as economic agents. These gender-related differences may be imbedded in the social and cultural mores, customs and practices in a society, in the ways that policy is formulated and implemented, or might arise through insensitivity of the legal, economic and/or institutional systems to women's particular circumstances and special needs. The Division will, in its programme of economic research and analysis, be aware of the importance of gender-related differences in economic opportunities and behaviour in determining the aggregate and distributional impacts of policies, programmes, projects and changes in the economic environment.

59. Instruments: In the design of research and analyses, data disaggregated by gender will be sought and explicit consideration will be given to incorporation of gender-specific objectives and impact analysis. To the extent that the data allow, and prior research shows that likely differences are important, research and analyses will incorporate assessments of the differential economic impacts and costs to society of women's unequal access and treatment. Guidelines and methodologies will explicitly recognize gender-related heterogeneity of economic behaviour and opportunity in the design, implementation and evaluation of projects, programmes and policies. Publications, including the State of Food and Agriculture, will, when analytical results warrant, highlight gender-related differences.

Food and Nutrition Division - ESN

60. Functions: The primary concern of the Division is to fulfil FAO's mandate to eliminate hunger and poverty. The Division promotes the achievement of adequate nutrition for all population groups, particularly the poor and most vulnerable groups in developing countries, by ensuring better access to adequate and dependable supplies of good quality and safe foods at affordable prices.

61. Strategies: The pivotal role of women in securing and preparing food for the family must be emphasized, as well as their special nutritional needs. ESN gives special attention to alleviating the constraints faced by women in carrying out their traditional role as food providers and to the promotion of healthy food habits and life styles, which lead to better nutrition of women and girls. This includes targeting both men and women with nutrition education; raising women's awareness of food quality and safety; assuring the availability of gender-disaggregated data and incorporating the results of analysis into policy advice, programmes and nutritional interventions; strengthening women's capacities as producers of food and entrepreneurs in the cottage food industry; ensuring women's active participation in development activities, and encouraging their participation in decision-making at the community level.

62. Instruments: Gender-disaggregated data on food and nutrition will be collected, analysed and disseminated. Policy advice, research and programmes aimed at improving the nutrition status of women and girls will continue to be emphasized. These will include training workshops; national and subregional workshops on micro-nutrient deficiencies in vulnerable groups, including women; training of trainers using national institutions to raise awareness of women's roles and contributions to food quality and safety; workshops to promote the participation of women and their representatives in community-level decision-making on matters related to food control and consumer protection; and guidelines and a video that promote a gender-sensitive participatory nutrition approach. Women entrepreneurs in the cottage food industry in selected countries will be trained in food hygiene and sanitation of food preparation and sale. Improved modules for gender awareness on the significance of incorporating nutrition in agricultural development projects will be incorporated into existing training materials.

Commodities and Trade Division - ESC

63. Functions: The Division is responsible for servicing the Committee on Commodity Problems and its commodity groups, as well as the Committee on World Food Security, and manages the FAO Global Information and Early Warning System. It undertakes analytical studies on issues related to commodities, trade and food security and provides information and planning advice to Member Nations in these areas.

64. Strategies: Well-planned food security commodity and agricultural trade policies require recognition and accommodation of gender issues. Strategic planning activities at the country level already includes gender assessment and appropriate policy and programme recommendations. To further enhance these activities the Division will: a) further develop methodologies and approaches for monitoring and evaluating gender-related issues in planning national commodity and food security policies; b) expand the delivery system of gender-specific services offered to countries and c) enhance the capacity of national institutions and organizations including NGOs to address these issues in national policy and programme formulation.

65. Instruments: Based on methodologies to be determined, an analysis will be made of the differential impact of involving men and women in the participatory approach used in FAO-supported food security activities in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Division will also collaborate with SDWO in developing an approach for assessing the impact of changes in the international trading environment on vulnerable groups in the rural population, including women. To improving the delivery system of gender related services, an evaluation will be undertaken of professional women on the Divisional consultancy roster having gender specific expertise. Training of trainers programmes within food security and commodity projects and programmes will also include training in gender issues to enhance capacities of national institutions and organizations.

Statistics Division - ESS

66. Functions: The Division's main tasks are to assist Member Nations to improve their own statistical capabilities and to provide a global statistical information centre for food and agriculture. In order to achieve the above tasks, the Division performs three main functions: developing and improving food and agricultural statistics at country level; processing and disseminating statistics on food and agriculture; and statistical analysis.

67. Strategies: There is a well-recognized need for better statistical data on women in the agricultural and rural sectors, and for the establishment of a global data base in this field. However, in spite of the many efforts made in this area by the international community, the availability and accessibility of data on rural women continues to be poor. The Division's main sources of data are the regular national data collection programmes such as the agricultural census and national agricultural surveys. Within these sources, four types of problems are evident: lack of tabulation and dissemination of data collected by gender; bias in data collected by gender; major gaps in the data; and applicability of current concepts and classifications to small-scale agriculture. The Division will seek to a) enhance the collection and dissemination of data disaggregated by gender through the regular national data collection programmes including agricultural surveys and censuses; b) develop and improve the methodology for the collection and dissemination of such data; and c) develop a training system for statisticians for improved collection of data by gender in agricultural statistics. Other activities will be oriented toward encouraging governments to apply recommendations formulated by FAO to improve the collection, tabulation, dissemination and use of gender-disaggregated data on human resources in agriculture and rural development.

68. Instruments: An evaluation of the 1990 round of Agricultural Censuses will be made to ascertain the degree of feasibility and implementation of such actions. Based on this evaluation, a thorough revision of the Guidelines for the World Programme of Agricultural Censuses Year 2000 Round will be undertaken. Recommendations will be made for Governments to improve the collection and use of data disaggregated by gender in the 2000 year Round of Agricultural Censuses (1996-2005). Assistance will be provided to FAO Member Nations for the improvement of national statistics on women in the agricultural and rural sectors, including training programmes. Together with the Integration of Women in Development Service (SDWW), the Division will sponsor an Expert Consultation on the use of methods for collecting detailed gender-disaggregated farm and household data within national surveys which can be used to supplement regular national data collection efforts.


69. Functions: The Department promotes national and international action for the rational management and development of world fisheries. Programmes cover all aspects of the fisheries sector, economic and social as well as biological and technical; all types of fisheries - marine, freshwater, and aquaculture; and all stages of operations, including resource surveys and stock assessment, allocation of access, catching, processing, reduction of post-harvest losses, and distribution and marketing and international trade.

70. Strategies: In spite of their relatively high participation in processing and marketing, women in many fishing communities have a disproportionately low access to training and other informal education. FI will seek to raise awareness of FAO and other member country fisheries staff concerning the benefits to be derived from successfully executed gender-sensitive development programmes. The Department will also seek to enhance women's access to credit, training and other inputs by assuring that adequate attention has been paid to gender issues in FI projects, and in other fisheries-related development activities for which member countries may have requested FI's advice. The Core Group on Women in Fisheries (CGWF - FI's gender oriented task force since 1986) will continue to play a key role in achieving these objectives. The CGWF will be responsible for a systematic review of all FI projects at the design stage, as well as for providing technical assistance to Divisions in identifying solutions to gender related issues in normative undertakings. As an integral part of its normative actions, the Department will seek to enhance the awareness of policy makers and aid agencies with respect to conditions in small-scale fishing communities which negatively affect women, and how dealing positively with these conditions can improve the overall situation of the fishing community.

71. Instruments: Several parallel elements will be employed in an awareness-raising campaign aimed at FAO staff, visitors to FAO Headquarters, and those working in fisheries-related development and management activities in member countries: the series of case-studies on how successful solutions were found to situations negatively affecting women's participation in the fisheries sector will be continued. The results of these case studies, as well as other pertinent experiences, will be brought to the attention of policy-makers, development workers, and aid agencies through publication of documents, photo/text wall presentations in FAO Headquarters, and the establishment of an Internet-accessible electronic bulletin board devoted to gender questions in the fisheries sector. The introductory video, _Gender in Small-Scale Fisheries - A Portrait_, produced by the CGWF in 1995, will be followed up by other visual presentations aimed at more specific questions. The CGWF will also work to help ensure that technically-qualified women candidates are included in the candidate lists for FI Headquarters and field posts.

72. Every fisheries project document will be screened by the Core Group on Women in Fisheries to assure gender considerations are taken into account where relevant. Field staff will be briefed by a member of the CGWF on the interests and needs of women project beneficiaries.


Forestry Policy and Planning Division - FON

73. Functions: The Division is concerned with the development of socio-economic information and analysis on the forestry sub-sector and sub-sectoral policies and strategies. In the context of the Plan of Action on Women in Development, FON promotes the understanding of women's dependency on and role in forestry activities. It develops methodologies and practical guidelines for effective policy and strategy orientations and institutional set-ups which support the full participation of women and their equitable share in benefits of forestry activities. It develops gender sensitivity analysis in relation to the evolving socio-economic importance of forest products, services and related activities.

74. Strategies: In the broader context of people's participation in forestry activities, it is essential to incorporate the knowledge, needs and interests of both men and women. Experience has shown that it requires a gender-based approach that captures the socially-defined differences between women and men, i.e. gender-based differences in roles and responsibilities, problems, needs and priorities, and knowledge of, and access to and control over forest and tree resources. On the basis of past activities related to gender in forestry, the Division will: a) promote a more systematic collection of and access to gender disaggregated data in forest-related data bases, field projects and divisional reports; b) promote gender sensitive training and information/communication activities focusing on forestry; c) develop socio-economic approaches to forestry project design and backstopping which incorporate gender perspectives; and d) promote systematic attention to the participation of women in forestry development in policies, strategies and capacity-building efforts related to the conservation and sustainable development of forests and trees and their utilization.

75. Instruments: Gender-disaggregated data will be incorporated in existing data bases, specifically in the data base on communal management, in research on community forestry legal frameworks, in marketing and other studies and in divisional reporting. Existing gender-sensitive training and extension materials and tools will be translated into local languages and disseminated for use in the training programmes of universities, training institutes and NGOs. An updated divisional briefing package on gender and forestry for staff and consultants will contribute to mainstreaming gender concerns into Divisional operations. Gender-related elements will be systematically incorporated into guidelines for the analysis of forestry policies and for the assessment of institutional performance and identification of capacity-building requirements.

Forest Products Division - FOP

76. Functions: The Division aims to achieve significant progress towards sustainable utilization of forests for wood and non-wood forest products. To this effect, it identifies issues of global relevance in forest products harvesting, processing, marketing and trade; serves as an independent forum for concluding global and regional agreements; and collects, analyses and disseminates information, as well as provides technical assistance and policy advice.

77. Strategies: Although rural women contribute substantially to forest harvesting, industries and marketing, their roles are not recognized and documented, their wages are not equal to men's, and working conditions for women are poor. The Division's WID strategies are: to identify, document and remove constraints to equal employment opportunities and remuneration for women in forest industries; to improve women's income generation from non-wood forest products activities, women's involvement in forest products marketing, and women's safety and health conditions in harvesting operations; and to improve fuelwood efficiency and indoor air quality. The strategies are aimed at particularly enhancing rural women's involvement in the forestry sector through pilot-scale introduction of corrective measures in selected forestry communities and projects.

78. Instruments: Preparation of a model programme for the promotion of equal employment opportunities in wood-based industries will be supported. Plans for involving women in income generation activities through non-wood forest products processing will be incorporated in selected FAO field projects. Guidelines will be prepared to update information on reducing wood fuel utilization at the household level. Successful examples of forest harvesting methods that reduce women's workload and increase safety will be documented. Gender-sensitive guidelines on non-wood forest products processing for income generation, reduced fuelwood consumption and marketing for grassroots level operators will be prepared in cooperation with other Divisions and organizations concerned.

Forest Resources Division - FOR

79. Functions: The Division provides high quality and timely information, advice and technical assistance on the assessment, development, conservation, management and protection of forests, forest ecosystems, trees and wildlife. It also serves as a neutral forum for the discussion of these topics. The activities of the Forest Resources Development Service include genetics and tree improvement, forest plantations, forest assessment and inventory, forest management and protection from pests, disease and fire. The activities of the Forest and Wildlands Conservation Service revolve around watershed management, wildlife and protected areas, arid zone forestry and desertification control, agroforestry and urban forestry; and education, research and extension.

80. Strategies: Information, methodologies and tools needed for better integration of women in forestry are frequently lacking and rural women lack or have unequal access to information, land, labour, capital, extension services and training, all of which negatively affect capacity for the development, conservation, management and protection of forests and forest ecosystems. FOR will develop and apply methodologies, tools and strategies for the integration of women in its programme of work, both the normative base and in the field programme. It will improve the availability of gender-disaggregated data by incorporating gender in data collection activities, data bases and project reporting systems. It will enhance understanding on the role of women in agroforestry and urban forestry, watershed management, dryland forestry, wildlife and conservation management, forest genetics and tree improvement, forest protection and management. Strategies will be instituted to assure better consideration of gender issues in the project cycle and staff will be trained in gender analysis. It will promote a) enhanced capacity of national forestry educational systems to train and educate students in gender aspects of forestry and national extension services to provide extension services and improved dialogue with rural and those dependent on urban and peri- urban forest activities; b) a better understanding of women's role in both informal and formal research education and extension; and c) better training of women in management, business, marketing, conflict resolution and leadership skills.

81. Instruments: Studies will be carried out, as needed, on the role of women in informal and formal extension and research; forest and biological diversity management; watershed management and wildlife and protected areas; arid zone forestry and desertification; and agroforestry and urban forestry. Gender issues will be incorporated into forestry education, curriculum development and revision, and programmes of study. Gender considerations will be integrated into guidelines, meetings and training programmes, etc. which reinforce these initiatives. Model approaches will be developed for incorporating gender into extension programmes. Techniques will be developed for making extension orientation more appropriate to women's contribution to forestry. Prototype training and extension programmes will be developed which promote and improve the training of women in management and leadership skills. Forest assessment and inventory activities, when providing technical support to local assessments and developing deforestation models, will study the feasibility of integrating social factors, including gender, in data collection, analysis and dissemination activities.

National Forestry Action Programmes (NFAP) Support Unit (FODA)

82. Functions: The NFAP Support Unit is responsible for international liaison, coordination and advice in support of National Forestry Action Programmes (NFAP) and for the mobilization of financial and human resources to support their formulation and implementation. In particular, it provides inputs to promote the adoption of a country-driven, multidisciplinary, multi-partner and participatory approach for the preparation and implementation of NFAP through the preparation and updating of operational guidelines, training manuals and briefing notes as well as through the organization of training workshops for all types of national partners.

83. Strategies: Even though the important role of women in the planning and implementation of NFAPs has been clearly defined in the basic principles and operational guidelines, the involvement of women therein, and therefore the benefits they derive from NFAPs' activities remains limited. FAO will seek to increase the participation of women in NFAP preparation and implementation processes. This will include: enhancing forestry administrations' and public understanding of the role and constraints of rural women in forest products utilisation and forestry development, and promoting the participation of rural women and professional women in relevant activities.

84. Instruments: Briefing notes on gender in the NFAPs will be prepared for use within subregional and national NFAP workshops. NFAP partners participating in NFAP training courses will receive training in people's participation and women in forestry development. Information exchange (NFAP Update, NFAPulse and NFAP Newsletter) and consultancy services will incorporate gender issues.


85. Functions: The Office provides legal expertise to Member States on agriculture and renewable natural resources, and in particular assists in drafting legislation in areas such as land, water, fisheries and forestry. In addition, it collects, analyses and disseminates information and conducts research to create a legal environment conducive to the sustainable development of renewable natural resources.

86. Strategies: Given rural women's inferior legal status, the lack of awareness on the part of governments as well as communities of the legal rights of rural women, and the difficulties in enforcing progressive legislation, the Legal Office will seek to raise awareness of rural women's legal rights, enhance the identification and resolution of legal problems affecting women in agriculture and rural development, and encourage governments to enact laws which remove barriers to the advancement of women.

87. Instruments: A greater knowledge base on the legal status and circumstances of rural women will be created through the completion of a legislative study on women, law and rural development. In addition, through the development of a methodology to address WID legal issues, the Legal Office will provide policy advice on the drafting or amendment of laws that address the legal status of women, including their access to productive and natural resources, their membership in organizations and cooperatives, and their access to credit.


Rural Development and Agrarian Reform Division - SDA

88. Functions: The Division encourages sustainable agricultural practices and rural development through the identification of optimum land tenure arrangements and effective poverty eradication initiatives. This goal inspires three types of Divisional activity: a) the provision of direct policy advice and technical assistance; b) the collection, analysis and dissemination of information relating to agrarian reform and rural development; c) the elaboration of normative studies and knowledge-raising initiatives in order to improve the quality of service provided to Member Nations. These integrated activities enable the Division to provide a series of approaches and tools for confronting the related issues of rural poverty, people's access to land, their security of access, and the relative conditions of different types of rural producers and workers. The Division is also responsible for the development of databases and information resources on issues relating to rural poverty, land tenure reform and rural settlement.

89. Strategies: Gender bias in the design and implementation of rural development and land tenure initiatives, the limited participation of women in all types of rural organizations and institutional structures, the paucity of accurate or representative information on the socio-economic and political experiences of women, and the heightened poverty levels of rural women and women-headed households in the majority of the world's regions, lead to poverty eradication and land tenure initiatives that either exclude women from their benefits or are not sensitive to their needs and demands. In the Division's operational and normative work, the Division will: a) strengthen the capacity of selected institutions responsible for the formulation and execution of poverty eradication programmes and land tenure reforms to enable them to address gender issues and develop mechanisms for their effective identification in the policy design and formulation process; b) establish ways to increase the participation of women engaged in agricultural production and employment, in policy design and formulation exercises relating to poverty eradication and land tenure reform; c) promote women's increased access to land and poverty eradication initiatives and programmes through sustained emphases on these issues; d) support the development of policies and programmes that increase levels of adequately remunerated rural employment for women in both farm and non-farm sectors, and other rural development strategies and policies to improve rural women's living standards; e) support initiatives to increase women's access to the resources that allow fair and equal participation in policy and other decision-making processes (e.g. information, technologies, skills and knowledge). The Division will also emphasize the need to collect gender- disaggregated and WID-specific information, and will continue to be actively involved in its collation, analysis and dissemination.

90. Instruments: Ongoing and proposed activities in selected Member Nations and regions will include a WID component, through which a direct concern with issues relating to gender disparities and the unequal opportunities between men and women in relation to socio-economic livelihood and access to poverty eradication and land tenure reform programmes will be addressed directly. Selected activities employing methodologies directed at the diagnosis of the dynamics of agrarian systems in relation to rural poverty, the comparative advantages of differing land tenure arrangements and the identification of the conditions that permit rural producers to produce in a sustainable fashion, and the different "types" of rural producers will be broadened in order to provide information on WID-based inequalities and differences. Selected institution-building activities will incorporate a specific emphasis on the way in the which institutional performance impacts differentially upon rural men and women, and will seek to correct any disparities. Likewise, interventions concerned directly with rural settlement and land tenure reform will draw upon both conceptual and technical tools that direct attention to WID issues. These instruments will include improved data resources, innovative analytical approaches and a heightened conceptual awareness of gender-related issues. The continued development of the WCARRD database will strengthen the ability of FAO to direct attention at the paucity of WID-related information on issues relating to rural poverty and land tenure reform. Secondly, it will provide a vehicle for the dissemination of existing and new information on these issues to Member Nations and UN agencies.

Research, Extension and Training Division - SDR

91. Functions: The Division collects, analyses and provides information to Member Nations on the effective application of new developments in research, technology, eduction and extension, as well as facilitates the generation of knowledge and technology dissemination and transfer. Attention is given to developing a holistic approach to research, extension, education and communication, particularly as they contribute to food security and income generation.

92. Strategies: Gender bias in research and technology, the low delivery of extension services to women producers, the limited participation of young women in youth groups, inequities in women's access to agricultural education and employment, and the absence of gender issues in curricula and programmes of study, result in research, education, extension and technology that are either not accessible to women or are insensitive to their needs. The Division will: a) enhance the capacity of national agricultural research systems to address gender issues in research and technology; b) promote improved access for women to education and employment in agricultural education institutions; c) increase young women's access to rural youth programmes; d) support the formulation of policies, strategies and actions to increase employment of women in extension services; e) help empower rural women by enabling them to access available information, knowledge and skills and tap their potential for improved contributions to technology generation and dissemination; and f) promote gender-sensitive national communication policies and strategies and apply communication media and skills to enhance training activities for rural women.

93. Instruments: Research will be undertaken on a revision of the databases of national research and technology development institutions to incorporate gender-disaggregated data. The methodology used to address the technological needs and priorities of rural farmers will be revised to include gender-specific needs. Agricultural Education and Extension will develop prototype curricula, programmes of study and strategies for use by developing countries to improve women's access to and employment in agricultural education institutions in selected countries. A gender-disaggregated data base and directory of extension rural youth programmes will be developed. Policy advice will focus on: the preparation of country strategies, policies and actions to increase female student enrolment/employment in agricultural education and extension institutions; plans of action and guidelines to revise, update and reform curricula and programmes of study; and the development of strategies that incorporate gender issues in extension education programmes. Extension in-service training, materials, workshops and technical publications will be prepared to reflect gender issues. Gender-sensitive national communication policies and strategies will be formulated within selected projects. Audience research will help identify rural women's access to different media and their requirements for communications programmes. Women will be trained as rural communication specialists.

Women and People's Participation in Development Division - SDW

94. Functions: The Division's work focuses on socio-economic and population issues, human resource development, and the equitable participation of rural men and women in the development process. The main task of the Division is to mainstream the priorities on gender, people's participation and population, in an integrated manner, into the overall activities undertaken by the Organization. The Division provides analytical and policy frameworks, technical assistance, and guidelines and tools for research, training and development support activities in its mandated areas. It coordinates the implementation of the related FAO Plans of Action for Women in Development and for People's Participation, provides the focal point for FAO activities relating to the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, and cooperates with other UN agencies in global actions for rural men and women towards sustainable and equitable development.

95. Strategies: The continued lack of attention to gender concerns in efforts to ensure food security and sustainable agricultural and rural development means that concerted efforts are still required to improve the integration of gender in all relevant areas of agriculture and rural development policy and programmes. The Division will take the lead role in encouraging actions, both from within and outside FAO, to overcome constraints and take advantage of opportunities to increase the involvement of rural women as beneficiaries of economic, social and political development. SDW will assist the FAO Steering Committee on Women in Development to coordinate the overall implementation of the Organization's Plan of Action for Women in Development and will actively collaborate with the Technical Divisions on the implementation of their respective WID Programmes of Actions, providing these Divisions with advice and technical assistance on the integration of gender concerns. SDW will be responsible for preparing biennial reports for the FAO Conference on Organization-wide progress on implementation of the Plan of Action. The Division will also coordinate with other UN agencies, governmental and non-governmental organizations on gender concerns. The work of the Integration of Women in Development Service (SDWW) will focus on five programmatic areas to: a) develop the research capabilities and participatory approaches at country level which are required to integrate WID/gender concerns into policies on agriculture and food security; b) continue to develop and utilize methodologies, tools and training-of-trainers activities to assist development partners in FAO and Member Nations to analyse and integrate socio-economic and gender analysis into the project and programme cycle (through the inter-agency SEGA Programme); c) to promote and support the collection, analysis, and dissemination of gender-disaggregated agricultural and rural development information, methods, statistics and indicators, together with the Statistics Division and the Rural Development and Agrarian Reform Division; d) act as an international catalyst in research, programming and policy development in the area of rural women, biodiversity, indigenous knowledge and environment, in coordination with the Plant Production and Protection Division and the Animal Production and Health Division, and e) continue the reorientation of home economics and agricultural extension to address issues of concern to rural women, together with the Research, Extension and Training Division. Special attention will be given to incorporating participatory approaches in the work of the Division and to ensuring that different participatory approaches are gender sensitive.

96. Within the framework of the Plan of Action for People's Participation, the People's Participation Service (SDWP) will increase the quantity and quality of data on women's participation in rural people's organizations, which will be used to raise awareness of women's roles in rural people's organizations and their contributions to sustainable development through these organizations. It will strengthen the organizational and leadership capacities of women acting through rural people's organizations. The Population Service (SDWO) will collect information and analyse the linkages between gender, population factors, and food security and the goals of sustainable development. The information will then be integrated into efforts to mainstream population concerns into the Organization's work.

97. Instruments: The Integration of Women in Development Service (SDWW) will develop and test at country level a framework for WID policy advice in the area of food security, consisting of policy research methodology linking macro-economic and social phenomena to farm households, as well as approaches for assuring a consultative, participatory process involving rural women in policy formulation. The Socio-economic and Gender Analysis (SEGA) training-of-trainers programme will continue to be developed and implemented with the collaboration of other UN agencies. Support and advice will be provided to the Statistics Division for their activities oriented towards improved availability of gender-disaggregated data on human resources through the World Programme of Agricultural Census, as well as to the Rural Development and Agrarian Reform Division for the development and dissemination of gender-disaggregated socio-economic indicators on human resources in agriculture and rural development. Further, the Service will establish an international network for the collection, compilation, evaluation and disseminate of methods for the generation of detailed qualitative and quantitative gender-disaggregated household and farm data on human resources in agriculture, prepare biannual reports on the state-of-the-art in this field, and hold an expert consultation on survey design for national level data collection on women and farm households, together with ESSS.

98. The Service will establish an international network on women, biodiversity, indigenous knowledge and environment, will carry out research on the relationships contributing to the erosion or reinforcement of women's access to and control over plant and animal genetic resources as well as women's knowledge and management of biodiversity for food security and sustainable development; and sponsor an Expert Consultation on these topics to provide policy advice to FAO for the development of policies and programmes at local, national and international levels, together with AGP and AGA.

99. Home economics training programmes will be reviewed to incorporate technical subject matters into curricula and agricultural extensions will be trained in gender analysis in several countries. Training material to enhance technical and managerial skills of women engaged in income-generating activities will be prepared and used by extension workers in various countries.

100. The People's Participation Service will develop and disseminate training materials, including audio-visuals, on the role of women in rural people's organizations. Cooperative laws and other legislation and policies governing rural people's right to organize and operate self-help groups will be reviewed with the intention of creating a more favourable climate for women's participation in rural people's organizations. The Population Service will carry out research on the interrelationships between gender and spatial and social mobility, and the impact of these phenomenon on food security and sustainable development. A system for disseminating this information within and outside FAO will be developed. Guidelines for integrating these issues into policy advice, programme planning, and project development activities will be developed and disseminated.

Environment and Sustainable Development Coordinating Unit - SDDE

101. Functions: The Unit promotes the implementation of UNCED agreements (including Agenda 21 programmes) by member countries and ensures that environmental protection and sustainability considerations are incorporated throughout the programmes and activities of the Organization.

102. Strategies: Sustainable agriculture and rural development objectives need to be pursued with the full and vigorous participation of rural people - both women and men - and their communities. The capacity of local governments with regards to decision-making and the implementation of sustainable policies and programmes needs to be enhanced through the participation of all stakeholders, especially women, indigenous people, landless labourers and other major groups. Recognizing that, in the agricultural sector, development cannot be sustained without considering social needs and potentials, especially of women, increased attention will be given to gender issues and indicators in the Unit's activities. The development and use of appropriate indicators (including performance indicators) tailored to meet local requirements and circumstances, is essential to design and implement, as well as evaluate results of sustainable development programmes and projects. Sustainability indicators will cover, inter alia, social dimensions, namely the roles and needs of women in sustainable production and conservation of the natural environment.

103. Instruments: Gender indicators will be defined for inclusion in guidelines for Sustainability Analysis. A pamphlet on Women and Environment will be prepared to raise awareness of the issues and distributed to development agencies and Member Nations. Gender considerations will be incorporated in SARD training courses and in the Unit's mainstream work.


Policy Assistance Division - TCA

104. Functions: TCA assists member countries in the formulation or reformulation of policies and strategies aimed at creating an environment favourable to food security and agricultural and rural development and ensuring that agriculture is adequately considered in macroeconomic adjustment programmes. The Division is the main mechanism to enhance country focus in FAO by elaborating a country priority setting as a basis for a coherent programming framework to guide the Organization's direct services to member countries. It also provides assistance, through training and other forms of capacity building, to strengthen national capacity for policy analysis, formulation, planning and implementation. Finally, the Division provides technical supervision, coordination, guidance and support to the Policy Assistance Branches posted in the Regional and Sub-regional Offices and which respond technically to the Division.

105. Strategies: While providing assistance to countries, the Division will ensure that due consideration be given to structures and heterogeneities that create market failures and distortions in factor and product markets, particularly to those that are gender-based and lead to inequitable distribution of the benefits of development. The Division will focus on major policy issues related to property rights, credit access, mobility in factor markets, services and organizations, institutions and constraints to socio-economic development imposed by differentiation in gender. Given the special emphasis on food security, attention will be given to analysing how agricultural and food policies affect women's time allocation, women's income control and their own as well as their family's health and nutritional status. The Division will also sensitise government staff involved in policy work, both at the central and sub-national levels, on the relevance of such analyses, and train them on associated analytical tools. This strategy will contribute to improve the assessment of the impact of past policies and help design policies more effective in achieving development objectives pursued by member countries.

106. Instruments: TCA will assess the impact of policies and identify measures to mitigate the negative effects of macroeconomic and sectorial reform programmes on the rural households, the poor and other vulnerable groups, with special reference to women. Special focus will be given to the analysis of policies aimed at promoting the socio-economic development of female-headed households. The terms of reference of the consultants will reflect such concerns. Training and other forms of capacity-building programmes will incorporate gender analysis in policy and planning through specially designed training materials and through case-studies. Attention will be given to ensuring adequate representation of women among the trainees.

Investment Centre Division - TCI

107. Functions: The Investment Centre helps member countries in the developing world to mobilize international and national funding for agricultural and rural development, including forestry, fisheries and agro-industry. It achieves this mainly by assisting governments in the preparation and formulation of specific projects. Activities focus on the identification of investment needs and the preparation of investment projects suitable for funding by development financing institutions, including the World Bank, IFAD, the African, Asian and Inter-American Development Banks, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, UNCDF, and sub-regional and national development banks.

108. Strategies: In agricultural investment projects, rural women often have limited participation as beneficiaries with full access to project resources, such as agricultural extension advice, credit, and other types of support, which can compromise the success and impact of these projects. The Investment Centre will intensify efforts to mainstream gender in agricultural investment project design. To this effect, Investment Centre projects will incorporate gender analysis in an increasing number of project preparation processes and ensure that appropriate design adaptations are made in light of that analysis. TCI will also monitor progress achieved in this area.

109. Instruments: Investment project preparation reports, which are the main output of Investment Centre work, will cover gender issues on a more systematic basis. Gender analysis will be applied in 100 percent of projects prepared by TCII on behalf of IFAD and for a targeted 33 percent for other financing institutions. Project report sheets will be revised to incorporate gender concerns. Mission leaders will be trained to spot gender issues and flag them for follow-up by the financing institution. Primary data on gender relations will be published periodically and gender analysis will be incorporated into Divisional field manuals and publications.

Field Operations Division - TCO

110. Functions: The Division is responsible for the formulation, execution and implementation of the Field Programme. Its responsibilities include, inter alia, managing, backstopping and implementing programmes and projects in the field of agriculture, fisheries, forestry and rural development.

111. Strategies: The progress made in the Field Programme in improving rural women's status and wellbeing could be enhanced by the introduction of greater sensitivity to gender issues. TCO will seek to increase the participation of rural women in the Field Programme and improve capability for monitoring the responsiveness of FAO projects to their concerns. This will be accomplished by increasing the number of staff with gender expertise and further promoting the hiring of female professionals and consultants in field positions and missions. It will also involve overhauling current monitoring systems and databases to include indicators that adequately measure sensitivity to gender issues and improvement of rural women's status.

112. Instruments: The AGOMIS data base will be revised to ascertain the validity of present indicators, add indicators as required, expand the data base to cover the entire Field Programme, and establish the baseline against which activities and progress can be monitored. The present project coding system, the format of project progress reports and terminal reports, and Terms of Reference for project staff, will be revised to cover gender issues. Fellowship forms will be revised to encourage female candidates to apply, and project directors will be requested to inform their counterparts that a certain percentage of trainees should be women. The roster of female candidates and candidates with gender expertise will be expanded.


Information Division - GII

113. Functions: GII's public information role is to inform a wide audience about agriculture, forestry, fisheries and rural development and FAO's role therein, using the full spectrum of media and related techniques.

114. Strategies: The multiple roles and contributions of rural women to agricultural and rural development are often overlooked, and are not reflected in policies and programmes. The Division will promulgate a more positive image of rural women and publicize the wide range of their contributions to agriculture and rural development. This will include: breaking down stereotypes of rural women and replacing them with images of women and men working together; enhancing public understanding of the achievements and constraints of rural women in agriculture and rural development; and promoting models of rural women and women professionals that can serve as examples.

115. Instruments: Press releases and fact sheets on FAO WID initiatives targeted at news agencies and daily newspapers, and briefings for journalists that incorporate WID issues, will raise awareness and highlight advances and constraints in mainstreaming WID. Journalists will participate in missions to document progress achieved on the advancement of rural women. Radio and television programmes and debates on gender issues will be prepared. Ceres will cover gender issues on a more systematic basis. A visual presentation set on WID will be prepared to mobilize support for related activities. Electronic distribution of graphics and photographs on WID, and CD-ROM disks containing WID material will be made available.

Library and Documentation Systems Division - GIL

116. Functions: The Division manages the Library and Documentation Services and the FAO International Information System for Agricultural Sciences and Technology/Current Agricultural Research Information System (AGRIS/CARIS) networks. It also coordinates the AGLINET network and manages the Information and Documentation component of field projects or specific projects dealing with this activity.

117. Strategies: FAO's Library and Documentation Services currently receive numerous requests for information on women in agriculture including bibliographies and specialized searches which are partially answered through the provision of FAO's special printed bibliography. In order to better provide easily-accessible information on gender issues in agriculture and rural development, GIL will support the following strategies: a) update, increase, and improve FAO's holdings on women/gender in all aspects of rural development addressed by FAO's technical divisions and Member Nations; and b) facilitate the interdisciplinary exchange of information throughout FAO, and with Member Nations and other organizations addressing agriculture and rural development concerns.

118. Instruments: GIL will update and broaden its printed bibliography to include non-FAO publications and AGRIS/CARIS topics on women in agriculture and rural development in order to make available a wide range of information useful to decision-makers, researchers, and other development agents. They will also introduce specific subject search keys in the Library Office Information System (OIS), FAO INFO Current Awareness File, and List of Selected Articles (LOSA), enabling users to more easily access references and information on many subjects, including women in agriculture and rural development. The Division will form a Core Group to capture and provide information on women in agriculture and rural development, and coordinate with other information specialists in GI and AFC to make cost-effective components of this information as widely available as possible, for example, through the World Agricultural Information Centre (WAICENT), multi-media CD-ROM, and other optical technology, as well as traditional print media. GIL will also further develop information bases electronically on the Gopher and the Web; these bases will eventually be readily accessed from every desktop at FAO headquarters and, in successive stages, by the regional offices and selected country offices having the minimal information infrastructure necessary.

Institutional support for implementation of the Plan

Organization-wide efforts of awareness and compliance

119. The Director-General initiated the process for preparing the 24 Departmental/Division-level Programmes of Action and for revising the FAO Plan of Action. FAO will make a concerted effort to ensure that the staff of FAO, both at Headquarters and in the field, are aware of the Plan and of the need for compliance. The Women and People's Participation in Development Service (SDW) will prepare an illustrated version for distribution to a wider audience, including donor agencies, government ministries, NGOs, and other development partners.

Internal coordination

120. The implementation of this Plan of Action will be supported at various levels within the Organization by operational arrangements intended to provide coordination and advice.

121. Department/Division level. Each Division will be responsible for the implementation of its Programme of Action on Women in Development as part of its overall Programme of Work and Budget (PWB). For the purpose of facilitating coordination of the Programmes of Action within Divisions and Departments, WID focal points may be designated or WID Core Groups may be established, such as exist in the Fisheries Department and in the Agricultural Support Systems Division (AGS). Focal Points or Core Groups will monitor progress on implementing the Programmes of Action, ensuring that the activities envisioned are reflected in the Biennial Divisional PWB. The Focal Points and Core Groups will also provide a direct linkage and liaison between the Divisions and the Women and People's Participation in Development Division (SDW).

122. Interdepartmental level. The Director-General has established the Steering Committee on Women in Development to function as the highest level coordinating and advisory body on WID. This Steering Committee supersedes the previous mechanism established, the Interdepartmental Working Group on WID (IDWG/WID), and responds to recommendations of Progress Reports on Implementation of the Plan of Action for Integration of Women in Development approved by the FAO Conference, to streamline and make more effective the mechanisms for coordination and advice in this area. The Steering Committee on WID is chaired by the Director of the Women and People's Participation Division, in the Sustainable Development Department, and is comprised of eight additional Division Directors, each of whom represents one of the eight Departments as the selected delegates of their respective Assistant Director-Generals (ADGs). The Steering Committee also includes the Director of OCD, who represents the Regional and Sub-regional Offices and Country Representations, and a representative of the Office of Programme, Budget and Evaluation (PBE).

123. Steering Committee meetings will be held as required, but at minimum once a year. The Steering Committee has the power to convoke working groups to study and prepare recommendations on relevant WID/gender topics, and to invite technical specialists from the Divisions to provide advice as required. For each Department, the Division Director representing the Department on the Steering Committee will coordinate with the Department's Divisional Focal Points or Core Groups and report to the Departmental ADG on issues relating to the implementation of the Plan of Action.

124. The Steering Committee will provide policy guidance and facilitate coordination and decision-making on substantive and operational matters relating to WID. To this effect, it will:

125. The Integration of Women in Development Service (SDWW) will be responsible for continuous liaison with the Divisions and Services implementing the Plan of Action, providing them with technical assistance and advice as required. It will also compile monitoring information and reports on Organization-wide progress in implementation for the Steering Committee on WID, and prepare biennial reports for the Conference. The Service will provide other support as required to the Steering Committee on Women in Development, to coordinate implementation of its decisions and recommendations. These monitoring and coordination functions will be in addition to this Service's own normative programme of action, presented in Section III of this Plan.

External coordination

126. The Women and People's Participation Division (SDW) will have the lead responsibility for providing information on the implementation of the Plan to other UN agencies, primarily through existing inter-agency mechanisms. These include the Inter-Agency meeting on Women in Development and the annual meetings of the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) Task Force on Rural Development.

127. As appropriate, the content of the Plan and progress on its implementation will be included in other United Nations' venues. These will include reports and meetings that are preparatory or follow-up to various international conferences and programmes of action, such as UNCED Agenda 21, the FAO/WHO Conference on Nutrition, the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), the Social Summit, the World Conference on Women, HABITAT II, and the World Food Summit.

128. SDW will also continue to liaise with WID/gender counterpart units in other UN agencies (such as ILO, INSTRAW, UNDP, UNICEF, UNIFEM, and World Bank) and in donor governments regarding the collaborative efforts to implement the Nairobi Forward-Looking Strategies (NFLS) and the Platform for Action of the Fourth World Conference on Women. The Division will make special efforts to increase coordination and collaboration with international NGOs that are concerned with issues affecting rural women.

Monitoring and evaluating progress

129. Progress in the implementation of the Plan of Action will be monitored on an ongoing basis at all levels within FAO through the establishment of an Organization-wide monitoring system, and will be reported annually to the PPAB and every four years to the FAO Conference.

130. Monitoring of the Field Programme (FP) will be improved, inter alia, by:

  1. including indicators for monitoring progress on the integration of women in the current Field Programme data base
  2. revising the Project Coding System to better capture data on women's participation throughout the project cycle; and
  3. revising project reporting formats to include gender issues, which will allow Divisions to report on achievements in the Field Programme for which they provide the technical lead.
FAO also will integrate gender as a standard theme in FAOR annual reports submitted to Headquarters, and will increase the inclusion of gender criteria in its Field Programme evaluation exercises.

131. Monitoring of activities under the Regular Programme (RP) will occur primarily through annual reports to be submitted by the technical and administrative Divisions on the progress achieved over the previous year. These reports will be reviewed by the Evaluation Service (PBEE) and SDWW, and consolidated into the Organization-wide progress report to be submitted to the FAO Conference every four years.

Resources for implementation of the Plan of Action

132. Activities described within the Divisional Programmes of Action will be implemented through the use of Regular and Field Programme resources. In the case of the Regular Programme, the indicative resources needed will be stipulated in each Division's biennial Programme of Work and Budget (PWB), where possible. During the PWB review process, the Office of Programme, Budget and Evaluation (PBE) will seek to ensure that Divisional allocations for WID activities are adequate for the planned programme. In the case of the Field Programme, the required resources will be identified and stipulated in the appropriate programme and project documents.

133. Some Divisions have proposed programmes that are more ambitious and will require extra-budgetary financing. Donor governments will be called upon to give special consideration to financing Divisional activities oriented toward capacity building at national level in the area of WID, and to supporting the inclusion of WID experts in missions to facilitate the integration of WID/gender issues into mainstream project and programme formulation, monitoring and evaluation exercises.

Affirmative action

134. FAO will increase the access of women to Professional posts in order to make greater progress toward reaching the United Nation's target of 35 percent, and to encourage the promotion of women within the Organization, without affecting the principles of merit and equitable geographical distribution. The strategy to accomplish this is outlined below, and progress will be carefully monitored and reported to the PPAB and to the Conference.

135. FAO will develop ways and means to increase the number of women professionals hired and retained in the Organization. These will include measures that provide for the selection of women when equally qualified, that lessen restrictions on spousal employment, that facilitate the establishment of a spouse employment assistance programme in conjunction with other Rome-based public international organizations, and that are more supportive of work-family linkages.

136. FAO will expand the external and internal pool of qualified women candidates by building and maintaining a roster of institutions and NGOs concerned with rural women's issues, women's professional organizations (especially those concerned with agricultural and rural development), and of women's bureaux and ministries that can provide greater numbers of qualified potential women candidates. It will make a special effort to identify candidates who can increase the pool of qualified women FAORs, D-1s and D-2s. The Organization will encourage women's applications originating from Members and from Field Project Directors.

137. FAO will place increased emphasis on the training and development of women staff in order to encourage their access to higher level posts. The introduction of Staff Development Programmes will be considered to develop, inter alia, supervisory and managerial skills of staff; balanced gender representation in these programmes will be pursued. Information about staff possessing specialized technical and management experience, including their gender, will be provided to relevant Divisions.

138. Finally, it should also be stressed that affirmative action issues apply to the beneficiaries of and participants in FAO's work, as well as to its own staff. In this regard, virtually all of the Divisional Programmes of Action highlight the need to make a renewed commitment to employ women as consultants and as project staff, and to recruit qualified professional women at Headquarters, as well as to increase the number of women in project-related training programmes.

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