Women are the invisible pillars of rural societies. Their contribution to household food security and to commercial agriculture is fundamental; yet their work often remains unseen and unpaid. Various studies underscore the social and economic cost of rural women’s lack of education, resources and assets, relating it to high rates of under-nutrition, infant mortality, and low agricultural productivity. According to the FAO flagship publication “The State of Food and Agriculture 2010-11”, if rural women had the same access to land, credit, education and markets as men, agricultural production could increase by some 20 percent. This would raise the total agricultural production in countries by a minimum estimate of 2.5 percent; which, in turn, would reduce the number of hungry people in the world by some 12 percent, i.e. by some 100 million people.
The experience of FAO is increasingly showing that gender equality is a prerequisite to sustainable rural development, and consequently to the goals of FAO of a world without hunger and malnutrition. The FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (REU), in close collaboration with other Divisions at Headquarters – such as with the Gender, Equity and Rural Employment; and Statistics Divisions - aims at achieving gender equity in access to natural resources, agricultural goods, services and decision-making.
The three main fields of the work in gender of FAO REU are:
- gender statistics
- gender mainstreaming
- policy advice
Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, Gender Team:
Mr Salar Tayyib, Regional Statistician & Gender Focal Point
Ms Valeria Rocca, Gender and Rural Development Specialist
Ms Zsófia Anna Bossányi, Gender and Rural Development Specialist
Regional Statistician & Gender Focal Point: Salar TAYYIB
(the FAO e-mail format is name.surname[at]fao.org)