Reaffirmed commitment towards implementing anti-discrimination treaty for women

Continuing the strong momentum from three side events on the opening day of the sixty-first session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61), another side event on “Empowering rural and indigenous women to achieve food security and nutrition” took place on 15 March in New York.


Organized by FAO, IFAD, WFP, UN Women and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the event featured discussions on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and General Recommendation No. 34 (GR34) on the rights of rural women, in the context of promoting gender equality in agriculture and rural development and guiding efforts towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

“CEDAW is a blueprint for empowering rural and indigenous women,” remarked First Lady of Zambia, H.E. Esther Lungu in her opening speech, while also noting that the Government of Zambia domesticated CEDAW through the Gender Equity and Equality Act approved in 2015. 

Victoria Lucia Corpuz-Tauli, UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, observed that while progress has been made, many local practices and customary laws are still discriminatory against rural women and that ensuring better land rights for them are critical to implementing CEDAW’s principles. 

FAO Gender and Development Officer, Hajnalka Petrics highlighted the Organization’s multi-pronged approach to CEDAW with a case study on Guatemala: In supporting the development of the policy on gender equality of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food of Guatemala, FAO worked with the Ministry of Agriculture to facilitate a series of multi-stakeholder workshops to involve rural and indigenous women in discussing the unique challenges they face. 

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