Dimitra Newsletter No. 16

Newsletter N° 16
Brussels, May 2009

Dimitra Newsletter

rural women, gender and development


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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Rome, 2009

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This issue of Dimitra is devoted – as all our newsletters are – to the empowerment of women and men living in rural areas..

FAO’s efforts in the Great Lakes Region highlight the fact that Farmer Field Schools can be instrumental in addressing a range of problems such as food insecurity, HIV/AIDS and violence against women. In Kenya, a number of Farmer Field Schools in the Coastal Region around Mombasa have broadened their curricula to include – in addition to a module on reproductive health – legal empowerment activities for the local population, who expressed great interest in this kind of initiative in the course of a field survey.

In Lubumbashi (Democratic Republic of Congo), two capacity-building workshops on extension work, communication skills and development advocacy will pave the way for the creation of several radio listeners’ clubs in the province of Katanga, following the success of similar projects in South Kivu. The Codex Alimentarius Commission is an intergovernmental body with over 170 members, within the framework of the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme established by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO). The main result of the Commissions’ work is the Codex Alimentarius, a collection of internationally adopted food standards, guidelines, codes of practice and other recommendations, with the objective of protecting the health of consumers and ensuring fair practices in the food trade.

The FAO-sponsored Rural Finance Learning Centre (RFLC) has developed a dedicated website which may be of great value to all. As part of its ongoing reform process, FAO aims to become an exemplary agency in terms of sharing knowledge and experience. Last January, in cooperation with its sister agencies in Rome (CGIAR, Bioversity International, IFAD and WFP), FAO organised a Knowledge Share Fair in the Italian capital. This meeting confirmed a principle that Dimitra has been upholding for years, namely, that real strength lies in the ability to share knowledge.

This issue includes the first in a series of “Women’s Portraits”. The aim of this column is to introduce our readers to various individuals who, in different ways, are working to eradicate poverty and promote gender equality and sustainable development in their communities. Our first interviewee is Mariam Sow, Coordinator of Enda Pronat-Senegal, a longstanding partner of Dimitra.

© FAO 2009