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The FAO Statistics Division, in cooperation with the Women and Population Division, has undertaken a number of activities for improving statistics on women that can be obtained through modifications to regular national agricultural data collection programmes.

For the Near East region, such activities were initiated in 1993 in cooperation with the FAO Regional Office for the Near East which led to the organization of a Regional Expert Consultation for Women in Agriculture.

Country case-studies were prepared for Egypt, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Pakistan, the Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia and Turkey. The case-studies were commissioned by FAO to the following national consultants: Mahmoud S.M. Nazif and Saad Nassar (Egypt); S. Hassan Shamsi (Iran); S.M. Aslam Jafri and Noor Mohammad Larik (Pakistan); Hassan Elsheikh Elbashir and A.W. Ali Modawi (the Sudan); Ibrahim Ali (Syrian Arab Republic); Abdessalem Kamoun (Tunisia); and H. Oztas Ayhan (Turkey).

The national reports analyse the situation of data disaggregated by gender in the respective countries and give practical suggestions for improvements in data collection and dissemination for the regular national agricultural and population censuses and surveys.

Following the completion of these national case-studies, a workshop was organized in July 1994 at the FAO Regional Office for the Near East in Cairo to analyse the national consultants' reports and to provide the technical groundwork for the preparation of guidelines for the region.

These guidelines have taken into consideration the national case-studies, the conclusions of the Cairo workshop and, particularly, the summary report of the national case-studies prepared by Professor H. Oztas Ayhan as an FAO consultant.

The guidelines have been prepared with a view to providing National Statistical Offices in countries of the Near East region with suggestions for improving the collection and dissemination of statistics on women by introducing suitable modifications in their regular national agricultural censuses and sample surveys.

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