Capacity Development Portal
Good Practices

Gender and equity in rural societies

  1. Capacity Building in Gender-Disaggregated Data for Rural and Agricultural Development
  2. Gender Mainstreaming in Agricultural Planning
  3. Knowledge-sharing and capacity building to empower rural women and men - the Dimitra project
  4. Junior Farmer Field and Life Schools
  5. SEAGA - Socio-Economic and Gender Analysis
  6. Community Seed Fairs
  7. Yasarekomo: An experience of indigenous people? communication for development in Bolivia

Introducing a gender-based approach to policy-makers and strategic planning, with the long-term objective of meeting the needs and priorities of women and men - for improved livelihoods for all rural people

What problem did it address, where?

By sensitising, motivating and training technical and administrative personnel as well as farmers on gender issues, it is possible to strengthen grassroots groups and the institutional system to adopt a gender perspective at all levels. This in turn can lead to improved capacity to identify problems and indicating actions, measures and institutional mechanisms to provide gender-sensitive solutions and to incorporate a gender approach in agricultural planning. One example of this approach being used successfully is Costa Rica.


For the Costa Rican region of Huetar Atlantica, in collaboration with national partners, the following activities were carried out:

Stage 1: Training of human resources.

Sensitising, motivating and training of technical and administrative personnel, as well as farmers, on gender issues

Stage 2: Strengthening grassroots groups

Grassroots groups and the institutional system were encouraged and supported to adopt a gender perspective at all levels of the sector. Gender-sensitive planning is based on the participation of women farmers in all the sector's organisational and decision-making institutions. Strengthening institutions to enable them to adopt measures and mechanisms aimed at overcoming the verticality of the planning system and its gender bias, favouring feedback from farmers in general and rural women in particular.

Stage 3: Incorporation of gender policies into sectoral guidelines

  1. Monitoring of policies in force in order to provide recommendations on how to incorporate the gender approach into sector guidelines;
  2. Identification of problems and indicating actions, measures and institutional mechanisms to promote gender equality in access to and control over production resources. The proposed measures aimed at acknowledging and valuing women farmers' work, overcoming a series of ideological and institutional obstacles that, in general, limited access to and control over resources.
  3. Correcting the differential impact of policies on women and men through proposals sensitive to gender differences.

The following additional actions aimed at increasing women's participation and equality of conditions:

  • Increasing women's organisational capability and giving them more access to services offered by the mixed farming sector;
  • Increasing women's access to information, communication and training and, thus, giving them greater access to decision-making levels; and
  • Giving women more negotiation capacity through increased information.

The project used an approach that was gender-responsive, holistic, participatory and interdisciplinary. It focused on less-favoured population groups and sought to involve different levels of stakeholder groups, including farmers groups, NGOs, senior executives, technicians and officials.

Where next?

FAO provides technical assistance to mainstreaming gender in agricultural policy and planning upon request by Member Countries. 

Contact our Team