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FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Progress towards gender equality is key to meeting global goals of eradicating poverty and eliminating hunger and malnutrition. Women make important contributions to agriculture and rural livelihoods and play a vital role in the care and reproduction of households and communities. However, persistent gender inequalities, such as unequal access to productive resources – including land, services and inputs, finance, training, information--and to markets and institutions hamper the realization of women’s human and productive potential. These inequalities must be addressed to realize the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Gender equality is not only essential to achieving FAO mandate to eliminate hunger and malnutrition and eradicate poverty through sustainable agriculture and management of natural resources, it is also a basic human right.



RAP Gender Newsletters

Current Issue

The Asia-Pacific Gender Newsletter showcases interventions, events, and information on FAO's work on gender equality and women's empowerment in Asia and the Pacific. It provides background information regarding ongoing activities in specifc countries and at the regional level on gender in line with FAO's Policy on Gender Equality and the Sustainable Development Goal  5.

Past Issues:


FAO’s gender work in Asia and the Pacific

Women make essential contributions to agriculture across Asia and the Pacific, comprising between 40 and 50 percent of the agricultural labour force in East and Southeast Asia and around 30 percent in South Asia. Agriculture is also the primary provider of employment for women in the region. In South Asia, agriculture engages close to 70 percent of all working women.

The agricultural context in Asia and the Pacific is diverse and undergoing rapid transformation, with increasing competition over land use and decreasing natural resource availability. Climate change and associated phenomena threaten rural populations throughout the region with changing temperatures and precipitation patterns, rising sea levels, and increased vulnerability to natural disasters. These in turn affect food availability, livelihoods, assets, and health with far reaching social impacts. The FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific works with and in support of Member Countries to address the challenges above and work towards the achievement of the SDGs. FAO recognizes rural women as agents of change whose engagement is necessary to meet the other SDGs. The Regional Gender Strategy and Action Plan 2017–2019 for the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific builds on and support these efforts and advance gender equality and empowerment of rural women and men.  

Regional gender strategy and action plan 2017-19 for Asia and the Pacific

Country Gender Assessments

Country Gender Assessment of Agriculture and the Rural Sector in Fiji

This FAO-SPC Country Gender Assessment of ARD in Fiji has identified gaps between women and men in access to information, quality of livelihoods and opportunities to benefit from development outcomes.

2019, 74 p.

Country Gender Assessment of Agriculture and the Rural Sector in Papa New Guinea

Papua New Guinea faces persisting institutional and governance challenges in creating an enabling environment for promoting and enhancing women’s participation in food value chains. This report makes recommendations for policy, institutional and household-level changes.

2019, 76 p.

Country Gender Assessment of agriculture and the rural sector in Indonesia

Despite serving as the backbone of one of the nation’s most economically important sectors, women in agriculture are marginalized and often have little access to financial resources, knowledge and technology to improve their crop yields and improve their livelihoods.

2019, 80 p.

Country gender assessment of agriculture and the rural sector in Maldives

The report provides information on how rural development and investment initiatives may affect gender roles and relations, positively and/or negatively. It also provides data on facilitating women’s empowerment and their access to resources and opportunities.

2019, 68 p.

Nepal: Country gender assessment of agriculture and the rural sector in Nepal

Findings of the Assessment indicate that government policy is limited to meeting targets of women’s participation in programmes and projects rather than addressing the root causes of gender inequalities in agriculture and the wider rural economy.

2019, 80 p.

Lao People's Democratic Republic: Country gender Assessment of agriculture and the rural sector

2018, 88 p.

Women's involvement in agriculture is undervalued. The report calls for greater access to information and for the creation of women's group for capacity development.  This CGA was commissioned by FAO in October 2017 as a way to gauge Lao People’s Democratic Republic’s progress in achieving gender equality in the agricultural and rural sectors, and as a mechanism to guide FAO’s strategic mission in Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

The Philippines: country gender assessment of agriculture and the rural sector

2018, 72 p.

This assessment identifies gender inequalities in access to critical productive resources, services and opportunities. At the same time, it highlights opportunities for promoting gender equality.

Sri Lanka: Country gender assessment of agriculture and the rural sector

2018, 88p.

This assessment involved a comprehensive des review and a gap analysis and field work with focus groups, stakeholder discussions, interviews and observations.

Country Gender Assessment Video

Pakistan: Women in agriculture in Pakistan

2015, 156p.

This report highlights overall status, challenges and contribution of women in sub sectors of agriculture and gives a road map for further improving these across the four provinces and three regions of Pakistan.