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8.0. Recommendations

Recommendations from participants were included in the country statements, and generated during the workshop. These are presented under broad categories such as country-specific recommendations, workshop-generated recommendations within a common framework and recommendations for FAO action.

8.1. Country-specific recommendations

8.1.1. Bangladesh

  1. The allocation of business to local government should explicitly spell out the responsibilities and work schedules of the female commissioners and members of union councils.

  2. Fund provision for Women in Development activities is not now separately earmarked in the budgetary allocations of different ministries. Resource allocation for women should be shown separately.

  3. Women can be provided access to power through access to material resources. To this end some definite ways are: (i) credit support following the principles developed by the grameem bank and some NGOs working in the field, (ii) reform of inheritance law, (iii) affirmative female employment policy and (iv) election of women members by direct vote instead of indirect election.

  4. Change the traditional gender code of the division of duties of males and females through education, orientation and increased consciousness.

  5. Harmonize gender-sensitive local development with national development.

  6. Closely monitor the working environment of the elected women local-government representative to identify and promptly resolve constraints, hazards, and lack of security faced by them.

8.1.2 Cambodia

  1. Improve village leadership quality when women participate in the Village Development Committee.

  2. Increase and improve at all levels the participation of women, especially at the village level through training and improve the monitoring of gender-related information.

  3. FAO should provide the financial and technical assistance to collaborate with the government of Cambodia and other agencies to develop gender-sensitive local planning.

8.1.3 China

  1. Improve female education as the fundamental solution to women's empowerment.

  2. Increase gender awareness at all levels and all sectors as essential to improve gender sensitivity in policymaking.

  3. Enforce laws and regulations in relation to women's and children's rights.

  4. Increase the recognition of women's importance in economic and social development.

  5. Encourage the participatory approach in decision making at all levels.

8.1.4 Nepal

  1. The first commitment is to re-visualize women as integral rather than sectoral beings. This can be accomplished best by following a lifecycle approach. Women in Development as well as other mainstream programmes will be recast based on this re-conceptualization.

  2. The Nepalese Constitution provides for equal rights for men and women. Such rights are widely exercised. Nonetheless, certain laws infringe upon the constitutional provisions. Therefore, the government, at the earliest possible date, must enforce the laws related to ancestral property, violence against women, girl trafficking and other areas.

  3. Although the health status of women in Nepal has improved in recent years, it remains at an unsatisfactory level. So, the government has to efficiently implement the plans and programmes spelled out in the current periodical plan that relate to the improvement in women's health.

  4. The main reason for the underdevelopment of women in Nepal is the high illiteracy rate, which makes them unable to participate in local planning. Therefore, the government should pay due attention to raise the literacy rate among the rural poor. The government must hammer out some special incentives under which girl students, especially those from the backward sections of society, will get quotas and other privileged treatment in technical education, short-term training, scholarships and other areas of the educational process.

  5. The development administration should be made more gender responsive. Additionally, the government should review the rules and regulations pertaining to such public bodies as the Public Service Commission, which can help ensure more active participation by women in national development. If need be, women should be provided with special incentives by the central government and all bodies that function directly or indirectly under it. By measures like these, both the active participation of women in the decision-making process and the overall development of a nation like Nepal will be fully ensured.

8.1.5 Pakistan

  1. The agriculture and forest departments may arrange extension training exclusively for women through female extension agents.

  2. It would be appropriate for women with very small farms to have loans to purchase yield-increasing inputs, to grow more for their families' staple-food requirements.

  3. The capacity of the financial intermediaries to reach the rural poor in general and poor rural women in particular is to be strengthened and their personnel and procedures must be reoriented to be more sensitive to the needs of poor women. The staff of the financial intermediaries should be trained to have a clear understanding of the economic role of women through their social and family responsibilities.

  4. Providing infrastructure, extension, training and marketing support to make women's enterprises more profitable is preferable to providing subsidized credit.

  5. Appropriate crop and livestock insurance also may be devised to support women's credit-based activities. It will help if the interest rate remains stable during the life of the loan.

8.1.6 Sri Lanka

  1. Make the local development process as simple, participatory and transparent as possible.

  2. Strengthen the principle of devolution; increase private-sector participation and broad-based participation by various groups, especially women and youth.

  3. Make better arrangements to have an operational mechanism for development plan formulation, plan consolidation and plan integration at the local level with the higher levels.

  4. Develop a corps of skilled development planners at the local level.

  5. Integrate real local leadership with trained local bureaucracy to be more development oriented.

  6. Focus attention on the relationship among activities on the basis of philosophical, technical and institutional dimensions at the local level to maintain the sustainability of participation of women in community activities. The lack of integration among these dimensions will lead to unsuccessful participation.

  7. More attention should be given to maintaining a balance among women's roles in order to get maximum participation of women in community activities.

  8. Action must be taken to empower members at the household, community and local government levels through broad activities such as institutional systems, technology improvement, infrastructure facilities, training and extension services, development groups, marketing facilities, information systems and financial services.

8.1.7 Thailand

  1. Provide and support women's access to the extension service through the process of one-stop service under implementation of the Tambon Agricultural Technology Transfer Centre.

  2. Increase women's access to credit with no or low interest rate for farming family improvement.

  3. Increase concerns on gender awareness and mainstreaming gender issues among those in high-ranking positions that formulate national policies and programmes.

  4. Encourage active people's thinking and decision-making process.

  5. Enhance participation of women in politics and public-sector decision making.

  6. Encourage the establishment and development of farming women's organizations to be channels of women's development; also, set up a mechanism to provide opportunities to farm women to take part in community administration.

8.1.8 Viet Nam

  1. Planning agencies should include some criteria on the inclusion of gender-integrated development into the planning process.

  2. Promote training for women to improve their knowledge and capacity to reinforce their self-confidence.

8.2. Common framework for recommendations

The meeting decided that in the final format the recommendations should be viewed in the following framework:

  1. overall policy framework for gender-sensitive local planning,

  2. information generation,

  3. human resource development,

  4. workable institutional set up and

  5. monitoring mechanism: how to implement workshop recommendations.

8.2.1 Overall policy framework for gender-sensitive local planning

  1. Mobilize people's active thinking and develop decision-making mechanisms for integrated gender-sensitive local planning.

  2. Increase women's access to credit with no or low interest rate for farming families.

  3. Enhance the participation of women in the political process and decision-making by institutionalizing women's groups.

  4. Make policy commitment on devolution to achieve expeditious delivery of services at the local level.

  5. Allocate resources for needs defined on a gender basis.

  6. Encourage grassroots-level demand-driven planning.

  7. Make the fundamental devolution from the national government and mobilize resources from the local level.

  8. Provide real capacity building for women in local planning.

  9. Carry out gender analysis on integral parts of the planning process.

8.2.2 Information generation

  1. Employ female data collectors to get information from women.

  2. Collecting data should be targeted at specific needs, not just members of farmer groups.

  3. Create a database of organizations that combine efforts of government and NGOs to create gender-sensitive databanks.

  4. Target data collection to women as farmers and workers, not just as family members.

  5. Organize the media in a manner that it helps to educate women to come out of taboos.

  6. Use accessible data appropriately.

  7. Identify gender-sensitive data for programmes and projects formulated by the government, NGOs and donors.

  8. Compile gender-segregated information on agricultural behaviour and rural development.

  9. Shift from collecting data to generating gender-sensitive guidelines for national planning.

  10. Collect information on women in agriculture.

  11. Dialogue with the private sector on gender-sensitive local planning as well as with other development partners.

8.2.3. Human resource development

  1. At the local level, the quality of participation must be upgraded. Capacity-building exercises to improve exposure to the existing knowledge base and confidence levels of Panchayat Raj Institutions functionaries are imperative.

  2. The quality of women's participation must be improved to build capacity for participation at both ends - changing men's mindset and women's confidence.

  3. Provide and support women's access to extension services through the process of one-stop service under implementation of the Tambon Agricultural Technology Transfer Centre.

  4. Sensitize high-ranking officials on gender awareness and mainstreaming gender in rural development.

  5. Encourage the establishment and development of farming women's organizations to be the channel of women's development and setting the local industries as well as micro enterprises. Set up a mechanism to provide opportunity for farming women to take part in community administration.

  6. Organize a programme for women on education and training to create effective participation.

  7. Set up capacity building for women to enable them to participate in planning purposes at grassroots level.

  8. Improve the capacity building of local authorities.

  9. Promote education and training for women to improve their participation in the planning process.

  10. Increase gender awareness throughout society, especially among men, to create better opportunities for women.

  11. The facilitators should be trained to make the planning process open and interactive to exchange roles.

  12. Encourage gender-specific groups to ensure an increase in women's participation.

  13. Train women leaders to encourage women to participate in planning.

  14. Achieve more interaction continuously between those who collect the data and those who use it.

8.2.4. Workable institutional setup

  1. Information flow

    1. disseminate information both ways

    2. employ interactive and continued dialogues from the local to the national level and back to the village level

    3. increase access of women to information, communication and education

    4. maintain continuous promotion of gender equality

  2. Strengthening of the planning mechanism

    1. increase the number of informed members as people's representatives

    2. remove unfavourable legal procedures detrimental to women's economic empowerment

    3. involve all stakeholders at all levels of the decision-making process.

  3. Mobilization of resources

    1. allocate resources on the basis of local needs and priorities

    2. make higher allocations for health and education

    3. multiply strategies for saving and credit organizations (SELF-HELP)

    4. expand rural credit through banking facilities

  4. Institutionalization

For institutionalization of gender-sensitive planning in general, and gender-sensitive local planning in particular, the national plans should reflect commitments made by the countries for gender equality as demonstrated in their ratification of CEDAW and National Plans of Action as follow up to the Beijing Conference on Women.

8.2.5. Monitoring mechanism: how to implement workshop recommendations

Develop a synthesis of workshop presentations and discussions to develop a conceptual framework on the key concerns on gender-sensitive local planning. This could be a cooperative and continuing activity among workshop participants with technical support of the FAO RAP WID programme and the ESCAP WID section.

8.3. Actions for FAO

  1. FAO should in addition use the data from the Ministry of Agriculture for agricultural sector policy advice and project formulation but also obtain relevant data from other departments related to women. (All countries in the region)

  2. Agriculture census data collection should be broadened beyond commodity and crop area data collection. (All countries in the region)

  3. FAO should provide technical assistance in training needs assessment for building capacity at local governance level for gender-sensitive planning, and develop guidelines for planners. (Selected countries-sub-region grouping)

  4. This could be an area for developing a sub-regional project to support the countries.

  5. Thailand: FAO should provide technical assistance to support gender-sensitive national planning exercises.

8.4. FAO RAP suggestion

Carry out a TCDC activity to develop a case study on the successful lessons learnt about gender-sensitive local planning in the region, and share it with interested countries.

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