FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

FAO and Arab Women Organization hold "Gender Statistics in the Field of Agriculture" Workshop

In the context of its collaboration with the Arab Women Organization, FAO organized a three-day workshop on gender statistics in agriculture, targeted at officials from national statistics offices, SDGs coordinators and gender focal points and experts from ministries of agriculture from six countries in the region (Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia and Yemen). The workshop was held online, between the 17th and the 19th of November 2020, and facilitated by the gender experts working in the RNE office, namely Valentina Franchi, Maggie Refaat and Omnia Rizk. The discussion was enriched by the contribution of several colleagues from FAO country offices, whose participation showed once again how interesting and relevant the topic of gender statistics is for the Organization’s work in the region and for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

The workshop has provided the opportunity to train participants on the key concepts and definitions related to gender statistics and to illustrate the main gender statistics frameworks relevant to agriculture. Nancy Chin, Regional Statistician in RNE, who was the main trainer during the workshop, provided guidance and helped participants familiarize with key themes and issues, such as the collection of data on unpaid and paid work, time use and headships of households. Erdgin Mane, Policy Officer on Social Statistics and Gender, contributed to the programme with a session dedicated on agricultural holdings and decision-making, highlighting the key gender issues to be considered when collecting and analyzing data on this topic.

The training also included a session dedicated to the SDG 5 Indicator 5.a.1 on women’s ownership of land, for which FAO is the custodian agency, held by Yonca Gurbuzer, Statisticians and Gender Focal Point in the FAO Statistics Division. Participants also shared valuable information about the successes in producing gender statistics in their countries and how to achieve its sustainability, and exchanged on the lessons learned and on the challenges still to be addressed to ensure a systematic collection of sex-disaggregated and gender-relevant data as part of a sound agriculture statistics system.

Despite an increasing institutionalization of gender mainstreaming into national statistics offices, the workshop confirmed that a significant data gap remains to be filled to document effectively rural women’s role in agriculture, and to better tailor policies and programmes their needs and interests. Participants were particularly interested in discussing methodologies and approaches that allow to assess complex, but relevant gender dimensions, such as intra-household dynamics, decision-making and control over assets and income.