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June 2003

Announcement of a new publication

Participation and information: the key to gender-responsive agricultural policy

The challenge of agricultural and economic policy-making and planning is to enhance productivity and output while maintaining the natural resource base, safeguarding and increasing rural incomes, generating employment and promoting the nutrition and food security status of households and individuals. There is increasing evidence and recognition that what is needed for development, even more than natural resources and physical capital, is for people to be effective and productive economic agents; in short, investment in human capital is what really matters.

Changes in the economy, especially in agriculture, affect women and men differently since the roles, responsibilities, needs and constraints of women differ from those of men. Although women play a central role in the economy, their contribution to agricultural production is largely invisible in national statistics and is thus overlooked in both economic analysis and policy formulation. This represents a significant obstacle to promoting gender-responsive sustainable development.

This publication discusses ways in which participatory approaches and information can facilitate the formulation of gender-responsive plans and strategies. It also attempts to respond to the question of why a gender perspective is important for agricultural and economic development policy and planning. The underlying assumption is that such policy and planning would benefit from incorporating a gender dimension, yet lack of information is one of the main constraints to incorporating gender issues. Data on women are still seen as only marginally relevant to policy-making and reliable sources of such data, particularly in the agricultural sector, are generally lacking.

(Also available in Arabic, French and Spanish)

Click here to see the publication (html format).

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