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03.02.2014 - 26.02.2014

Focusing on Rural Women in a Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Framework

"Globally and with only a few exceptions, rural women fare worse than rural men and urban women and men for every MDG indicator for which data are available.” (Interagency Task Force on Rural Women, Fact Sheet on Rural Women, 2012)

On Thursday 6 February, the Rome-based Agencies (Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), World Food Programme (WFP), hosted a side-event focusing on rural women in an SDG Framework at the Eighth session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals held in New York. 

This online discussion is aimed at stimulating wider discussion on the topic of rural women. While the exchange is not designed to feed information directly into the event itself, the inclusive approach of the Open Working Group encourages debate on subjects related to each session.

Rural women everywhere play a key role in supporting their households and communities in achieving food and nutrition security, generating income, and improving rural livelihoods and overall well-being. They contribute to agriculture and rural enterprises and fuel local and global economies. As such, they are active players in achieving the MDGs.

Yet, every day, around the world, rural women and girls face persistent structural constraints that prevent them from fully enjoying their human rights and hamper their efforts to improve their lives as well as those of others around them.

Poor rural people face multiple forms of deprivations and discrimination. Rural women, in particular, face major barriers to access productive resources and face disadvantages and exclusion rooted in the power inequalities associated with gender roles, leaving them disproportionately represented among the rural poor.

This side event will support the Eighth Session of the OWG’s focus on “Promoting equality, including social equity, gender equality and women’s empowerment”.  It  will explore ways to ensure that a post-2015 development agenda improves the status of rural women through a rights based approach and the implementation of improved policies, strategies and targeted interventions, underpinned by strengthening governance and relevant institutions. It will discuss, inter alia, priorities for improving rural women’s livelihoods,  access to justice and legal rights, economic empowerment,  and access to decision making at all levels, and thus show how improved conditions of women in rural areas can help to achieve all development goals.  Emphasis will be put on targets and indicators supported by gender disaggregated data to better monitor progress in rural women's lives.

The Panel will include senior representatives of the three organizing partners, an organization of rural women, and at least one representative of a national government.

Your thoughts and views addressing the subject of rural women would be a valuable addition to the online discussion ahead of the side-event at the Open Working Group.  We are eager to receive your responses on  the following questions:

1. If you had made an intervention at the side event on rural women at the 8th session of the Open Working Group in New York, what would have been its key message?

2. Rural women are often described as critical agents of change in discussions on sustainable development goals. To what extent would the achievement of food and nutrition security for rural women help accelerate sustainable development? 

3. Of the many facts or stats recorded on rural women, which one do you consider to be the most revealing?

 

FAO's Post 2015 Development Agenda team

This discussion is now closed. Please contact fsn-moderator@fao.org for any further information.

Landesa , United States of America
06.02.2014
FSN Forum

Received via Twitter

Support for rural women in the new post 2015 development agenda should be given by advocating for equal rights to land for women and men. Resources can be found here: http://www.landpost2015.landesa.org 

Charles Kayumba Heifer International Country Director, Rwanda
06.02.2014
FSN Forum

Dear Moderator ,

The following are ares that I would contribute on focusing on rural women in sustainable development goals:

1) Access and control on productive resources especially land.

2) Access to credit, financial services and markets

3) Being part of value-chain actors (Active participation on value-chains)

4) Being part of decision making bodies.

5) Promotion of maternal health education

6) Prevention of gender based violence

7)  Training on gender equality and rights.
 

Dr Charles KAYUMBA

Heifer International Country Director

Rwanda

Dr. Claudio Schuftan PHM, Viet Nam
06.02.2014
Claudio

1. If you could make an intervention at the side event on rural women at the 8th session of the Open Working Group in New York, what would be its key message?

Rural women are often described as critical agents of change in discussions on sustainable development goals. To what extent would the achievement of food and nutrition security for rural women help accelerate sustainable development?

In my opinion a key message that cannot be missed is that, in the light of sustainable development, the concept of food sovereignty is much more gender proactive than the food security notion. As you say, women can be critical agents, but this is enhanced manyfold using a food sovereignty focus. The appeal should thus be for UN agencies sponsoring this 8th session to give-in to this paradigmatic change . Public interest civil society has been making this point to FAO and other agencies for long, but to no avail. The 8th session is yet another chance to make this unpostponable appeal. 

Claudio Schuftan, Ho Chi Minh City

 

Dr. Jader José Oliveira Planning and Internal Management, Brazil
05.02.2014
Jader José

I think we need to expand to other countries the successful experiences of existing worldwide economic inclusion. In Brazil , for example , the creation of specific organs and councils with social participation has helped in building policies specific to women, such as credit limits for the production of food from their organizations ( PRONAF - woman). Agricultural marketing women have special treatment in the shares of the Food Acquisition Program . The National Plan of Policies for Women was built with the women's movement and has goals for gender equality and economic empowerment. Progress was made in granting titles to the land on behalf of women and process in the issuance of the Statement of Fitness for Pronaf , essential for access to government subsidies. The Thousand Women Program empowers women to professions seen as masculine , such as construction , drivers , electricians , painters and about U.S. $ 260 million ( $ 130 million ) will be invested in fighting violence against women by 2015.

Natália Menhem , Brazil
05.02.2014
FSN Forum

1.       If you could make an intervention at the side event on rural women at the 8th session of the Open Working Group in New York, what would be its key message?

We must guarantee the basic and respect the diversity. For rural women it materializes in good education for their children, a trustful health system in the rural area, letting women more confident about her family health, professional education for the women, aiming to give them tools to improve their income and to be included in the regional market (causing also more self esteem, essential for their human development), and last, a better way for them to communicate. Women are wonderful in communicating their issues and the solutions they have found for it. But usually rural areas have no internet access and bad phone access - so we lose a great potential of knowledge and they lose great chance to know more on how to change their reality.  

2.       Rural women are often described as critical agents of change in discussions on sustainable development goals. To what extent would the achievement of food and nutrition security for rural women help accelerate sustainable development?

Well, when they are confident about what to eat until the end of the month and about their children health, they can work better, educate their children better and also be wiser to produce on their lands. 

3.       Of the many facts or stats recorded on rural women, which one do you consider to be the most revealing?

The constant unsafeness they live about their children education and health. The low level of technical education or information they have to make their decision and to make their lives. Usually rural areas seems a more men space, but when getting inside houses and families, women are the balance of the family working. They are so away of special policies for their development, human and educational. 

Hart Jansson Malnutrition Matters, Canada
05.02.2014
Hart Jansson

1. If you could make an intervention at the side event on rural women at the 8th session of the Open Working Group in New York, what would be its key message? 

As the Copenhagen Consensus (2012) has concluded, the consumption of protein and micro-nutrients is the most cost-effective way to address health and physical development among the working poor in developing countries. This objective can be achieved in a sustainable manner, with new jobs being created for rural women. Malnutrition Matters has implemented numerous projects in rural Asia and sub-Saharan Africa where micro-nutrient-fortified soymilk is made and profitably sold to consumers making ca. $2/day. The stainless steel VitaGoat system, designed by Malnutrition Matters, which pressure-cooks 30L of soymilk per hour at 110C in a fuel-efficient way, with no need for electricity, running water or packaging, can operate in the most basic environment. It can provide a 200ml serving of soymilk with 7g of protein and the RDA for Vitamin A, Iron, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Folic Acid and Zinc  for less than 7 cents per serving. The VitaGoat can reach 1,000 beneficiaries per day and create 4 to 5 full-time rural jobs per system. There are 250 VitaGoats installed today, with over 100,000 continuous beneficiaries, and some have been operating for 10 years. Local produce is used and there is no 'profit eakage' outside the community. A quadruple benefit is realized: significant improvement in nutrition affordable to rural poor, sustainable job creation for rural women, increased demand and revenue for local produce (soybeans) and much lower impact on the environment than with animal protein. See malnutrition.org for more information. Spreadsheets are avialable to demonstrate the sustainable business model realized at various operational sites.

 2. Rural women are often described as critical agents of change in discussions on sustainable development goals. To what extent would the achievement of food and nutrition security for rural women help accelerate sustainable development?   

I believe that achieving food and nutrition security for rural women in a sustainable manner, is itself a vital part of sustainable development. Because it would result in much less malnutrition and stunting, the populace would experience much greater 'value in life-years' (VLYs) due to good health and prper physical and neurological development, which would enable the GDP of that region / country to increase substantially. Please see the attached comment on the recent Lancet Commission : 'Global Health 2035' for further thoughts on the role of nutrition in achieving greater health and contributing to sustainable development.

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