FAO launches website dedicated to closing the gender gap in agriculture

© FAO/J. Spaull

FAO today launched the “Men and women in agriculture: closing the gap” website, dedicated to the organization’s latest research and knowledge to close the gender gap in agriculture to achieve food security for all.

FAO today launched a sister site to its gender website, dedicated to the organization’s latest research and knowledge to close the gender gap in agriculture to achieve food security for all. The “Men and women in agriculture: closing the gap” website features the findings and policy recommendations of the State of Food and Agriculture 2011 (SOFA): “Women in agriculture: Closing the gender gap for development,” and will be continuously enriched with FAO’s groundbreaking research on the issue.

The site offers a topical approach to closing the gender gap in access to agricultural resources, with key facts and policy recommendations broken down by theme including education, financial services, information and extension, land, livestock, rural employment, farm labour and technologies, allowing visitors to quickly access the specific information they need. A video and an interview with Terri Raney, the team leader and FAO Senior Economist behind the SOFA 2011 are also available, as well as the report itself in all official UN languages.

“Policy-makers, FAO, development agencies, everyone needs to understand that agricultural policy is gender policy because women are everywhere in this sector, virtually any intervention in agriculture is going to have gender impacts so agriculture is gender and gender is agriculture,” explains Ms. Raney.

The SOFA 2011 reveals that the agriculture sector is underperforming in many developing countries, in part because across countries and contexts, women have consistently less access than men to agricultural assets, inputs and services and to rural employment opportunities. Increasing women’s access to land, livestock, education, financial services, extension, technology and rural employment would boost their productivity by 20 to 30 percent, which alone could lift 100–150 million people out of hunger, and generate gains in food security, economic growth and social welfare.

“The goal of the women and men in agriculture website is to give policy makers, researchers, development practitioners and the public access to FAO’s research into gender and agriculture in a quick and simple way,” explains Marcella Villareal, Director of FAO’s Gender, Rural Employment and Equity. “We want to share our knowledge as widely and efficiently as possible in order to accelerate progress in women’s access to agricultural resources, which is imperative to achieve global food security.”

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