TO ENCOURAGE SUSTAINABLE agricultural practices and rural development, to promote food security for all and to alleviate poverty, it is essential to look at the access, use and control of resources by different household members - the old, the young, the sick, the poor, the well-off, men, women, those with disabilities, the formally educated and those with local knowledge. All are resource contributors and users; all are resource managers - to a greater or lesser extent.
FAO is concerned with alleviating poverty and hunger. It supports a long-term strategy for increasing food production and food security while conserving and managing natural resources. To this end, the 1996 World Food Summit acknowledged rural women's contributions to food security and the need to ensure equal access to resources for women and men in agriculture and rural development. The Declaration of the World Food Summit: five years later reaffirmed the need to ensure women's access to and control over resources and credit schemes, services and benefits (see: www.fao.org/worldfoodsummit/).