African leaders gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to focus on a continent-wide commitment to end hunger by 2025 and on efforts to boost the role of women in achieving prosperity in Africa. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva also attended the summit, at which the African Union officially launched the theme for 2015: "The Year of Women's Empowerment and Development towards Africa's Agenda 2063."
African ministers responsible for gender and women’s affairs attended the 9th African Regional Conference on Women for the twenty-year review of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA), and adopted a Declaration calling for their respective governments to achieve gender equality by 2030, as spelled out in the Agenda 2063 and highlighting agriculture as a key enabler in women’s empowerment.
Closing the gender gap is not only the right thing to do; it is the smart thing to do for improved agriculture and food security for all. This was a key message among several discussed at the recent High Level Side Event on "Family farming interventions to close the gender gap: lessons from Africa".
Rural women and their role in eradicating poverty should be given high priority in the post-2015 development agenda — that was the key message among speakers at a special event to mark the 2014 International Day for Rural Women at UN headquarters in New York on 15 October.