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POVERTY AND THE LACK of suitable economic opportunities create many constraints for rural resource-poor households and individuals within those households. For example, poor rural households typically have less capacity to access information - a powerful resource for improving production. Within poor rural households, various factors might differentially affect the ability of individuals to access information (e.g. level of literacy, time-use, age, sex, ability/disability, and interpersonal power dynamics).

FAO/F. Botts

UN Millennium Development Goals In September 2000, world leaders at the United Nations Millennium Summit agreed on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to combat poverty, hunger, environmental degradation, disease, illiteracy and discrimination against women. One of the MDGs is to halve the proportion of poor and hungry by 2015.

UN Web page on the Millennium Development Goals

WSSD In 2002, the World Summit on Sustainable Development's political declaration and Plan of Implementation called for the equitable access for women to natural and productive resources, and the right of women and girls to inherit property.

WSSD Declaration and Plan of Implementation

To ensure equal access to resources for women and men in agriculture and rural development, we must first understand the dynamics of resource management both within and beyond the household. To do so, it is useful to apply gender and socio-economic analysis with a focus on intra-household power relations and decision-making dynamics, as well as on the other levels of analysis in the broader development context. HRM issues cut across all agricultural and rural development activities, as do other external critical issues such as environmental, demographic and information concerns.

FAO/Peyton Johnson

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