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Implementation of the Strategy
for Action

The implementation of the Strategy for Action began with its review and discussion by the delegations attending the High-Level Consultation on Rural Women and Information (4 to 6 October 1999, Rome). The FAO member countries recognized its usefulness and appropriateness and agreed that it is important to take more account of the gender perspective in planning and programmes. Delegates stressed the need to adopt administrative and legal measures aimed at improving social services and benefits, rural infrastructures and access to basic services and productive resources such as land, the key resource for agricultural production.

Working for society does not always mean working for the benefit of women. But working for women always guarantees that the work is for the benefit of society.

Delegate of Argentina

Policy-makers attained a better awareness of the relationship between gender equality and food security. Participants discussed orientations for meeting information needs that would empower rural women and improve their skills. Furthermore, it was agreed that the diversification of incomes should be supported as a way of raising income levels and strengthening rural women's role as stakeholders in policy-making and planning processes.

Installing information systems dealing with women is only one way of generating equal opportunities between women and men, but not an end in itself. The issue is ultimately to ensure that equality produces equal results ....

Delegate of Costa Rica

The Strategy for Action will be taken into account during the mid-term evaluation of implementation of the Platform of Action from the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing + 5). As recommended at the 30th session of the FAO Conference, it will also form an integral part of the next FAO Plan of Action on gender equality, food security and sustainable development.8

For member countries of FAO, the gradual implementation of the Strategy for Action will depend on their priorities and their specific social, economic, cultural and political conditions. Many countries have already launched activities to improve information about, for and with rural women. The continuation and reinforcement of these activities is of fundamental importance, as is the appropriate use of results already obtained.

FAO, in collaboration with its Member Governments and at their request, will provide advice and guidance, diffuse methodological guidelines and supply technical assistance in the development of strategies, methods and tools for the production of gender-disaggregated information. It will thus perform its appointed normative functions in the knowledge that its role is not to produce, but rather to collect, process and disseminate information on rural women.

In support of this normative function, and provided that it has sufficient funds, FAO will aim at the following measures.

Food security for all, and as soon as possible; less poverty; equity; equality between men and women in both rural and urban areas. These were the objectives of the World Food Summit and the Beijing Conference, and they are the purpose of the work that FAO is doing in assisting its member countries.

Henri Carsalade, Assistant Director-General, Sustainable Development Department, FAO. Closing speech

Immediate measures

Disseminating the High-Level Consultation's proceedings and findings on its Gender and Food Security Web pages (at and by publishing the report.

Promoting coordination in the implementation of gender-responsive programmes among the United Nations rural development agencies based in Rome (FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development [IFAD] and the World Food Programme [WFP]), on the one hand, and other UN partners, on the other, by using existing international and national networks and mechanisms.

Continuing to draw the international community's attention, through interactive strategies, to problems and issues regarding rural women.

Supporting national initiatives that improve the training and education of rural women; and continuing training in socio-economic and gender analysis and production of information materials.

Developing national strategies of communication and promoting the use of existing information networks to enhance North-South and South-South dialogue on the subject.

Collaborating with the media to improve the targeting and packaging of information on rural women and to elaborate a dissemination strategy geared towards both the general public and more specialized audiences.

Longer-term measures

Establishing an information exchange mechanism to convince decision-makers of the usefulness of information about women's contribution to food security and to heighten public awareness of their contribution to social, economic and political life. Depending on the public in question, this mechanism, which is based on a network of national focal points, can use a variety of means of communication - electronic, printed, audio and visual. It will use FAO's Web site, especially the Gender and Food Security pages, to hold electronic conferences and exchange fora.

Facilitating the establishment of networks of statisticians, including agricultural and social statisticians, and information producers' and users' associations. These networks will generate and disseminate information about the roles and responsibilities of men and women in agricultural production and the rural sector and about their contributions to society and the economy.

Continuing the programme to develop standards (methodologies and tools) for the collection of data and the elaboration of indicators on the status of men and women, and on their respective contributions to agricultural production and rural development. Such information will serve to underpin the formulation of policy-making that meets the challenges of both food security and gender equality. The programme is developed in a progressive and pragmatic manner. After an initial period of testing, adjustment and evaluation in selected pilot countries, proposals will be drawn up for national information systems on human resources in the agricultural and rural sector.


Closing press conference of the High-Level Consultation, with (left to right): Ms Sissel Ekaas, Director, Women and Population Division, FAO;
Ms Kay Killingsworth, Assistant Director-General, FAO; Ms Christina Engfeldt, Director, Information Division, FAO;
Ms Hafsatu Thierro Diarra, Chairperson of the Consultation, Mali; Ms Angela King, Assistant Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Gender Issues and the Advancement of Women, UN

- FAO/11872L-25A

28 September 1999

FAO meet on woman's role in agriculture

Hindu Business Line

29 September 1999

Donne rurali "invisibili" nelle statistiche


1 October 1999

Le nutrici invisibili della terra

Dwpress, Il notiziario delle donne

Da madre-natura a nutrice naturale

Dwpress, Il notiziario delle donne

4 October 1999

FAO highlights contribution by rural women

Inter Press Service

Women key to increasing global demand for food

FAO press release

5 October 1999

Rural women not content to be statistics: UN conference underlines the need for more data on rural women, but delegates call for action on other fronts too

FAO press release

FAO seeks support for rural women

The Post, Zambia

6 October 1999

La FAO auspica un maggiore riconoscimento dell'opera delle donne impiegate in agricoltura L'Osservatore Romano

Incontro FAO: agricoltrici invisibili per i governi ANSA

Piú potere alle donne rurali dei PVS


UN says more data on women will help them produce more food

Associated Press

La carenza di dati e statistiche di genere ostacolo al riconoscimento del lavoro delle donne


7 October 1999

Hay que darles una identidad. FAO destaca trabajo de la mujer rural de países en desarrollo

El Peruano

Need for data on rural women focus of Rome ministerial meeting

Global Information Network and Presswire

Little information about the rural women's

economic contribution and needs: Taking it up for the rural women

Hindu Business Line

9 October 1999

Le donne rurali ed il futuro della sicurezza alimentare


Femmes rurales: les statistiques sont nécessaires mais pas suffisantes

Le Soleil, Senegal

11 October 1999

FAO urges gender-disaggregated data

Hindu Business Line

15 October 1999

En "doble marginalidad", 60 millones de mujeres en AL

Uno mas uno, Mexico



    FAO. 1999. Participation and information: the key to gender-responsive agricultural policy. Rome.

    FAO. 1999. Voices for change: rural women and communication. Rome.

    FAO. 1999. Filling the data gap: gender-sensitive statistics for agricultural development. Rome.

    FAO. 1999. Agricultural censuses and gender considerations: concepts and methodology. Rome.

Working document

FAO. 1999. Gender issues in land tenure. SDW-801/3. Rome.

Thematic fact sheets

FAO. 1999. Gender in agricultural and rural development: key issues relating to gender in agricultural and rural development. Rome.

  • Women - users, preservers and managers of agrobiodiversity.
  • An integrated rural development project in the Niger.
  • Gender analysis of production systems.
  • Women's role in rice farming.
  • Agricultural implements used by women farmers in Africa.
  • Gender, socio-economic analysis and training.
  • Women's access to financial services.
  • Rural women's access to land in Latin America.
  • Gender-sensitive agricultural censuses.


FAO. 1999. The phantom statistic. Rome. 11 minutes.

FAO. 1999. Women feed the world. Rome, URIHI. 56 minutes.

Audio cassettes

FAO. 1999. Gender and food security: women's role in agricultural and rural development. Radio programmes from Barbados, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, India and South Africa.

8 Thirtieth Session of the FAO Conference, 12-23 November 1999, Rome, agenda item 7: Gender mainstreaming in FAO, C 99/REP.

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