PC 85/8



Rome, 7-11 May 2001



Undisplayed Graphic


Table of Contents


1. The first FAO Plan of Action for the Integration of Women in Development (1989-1995), approved by the FAO Conference at its twenty-fifth session in 1989 (C 89/14), served as FAO's strategic framework for implementing, within the Organization's sphere of work, the recommendations emanating from international conferences for the advancement of women, including the 1985 Nairobi - Forward Looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women. The second FAO Women in Development (WID) Plan of Action (1996-2001) was adopted by the Conference at its twenty-ninth session and aimed to provide a clearer focus for the achievement of measurable medium-term operational goals, as well as institutionalise support for WID in all areas of FAO's mandate, and provide a framework to guide Member Nations as they strive to bring the full benefits of development to rural women.

2. At its thirtieth session in November 1999, the Conference requested FAO to prepare and submit to its thirty-first session in 2001, the third Plan of Action. In line with Conference recommendations, the present FAO Gender and Development Plan of Action (2002-2007), aims to realign concepts, approaches and institutional arrangements with the Gender and Development (GAD) approach now widely adopted in the UN System (see Section I), and to put into place effective supportive mechanisms and monitoring arrangements for gender mainstreaming throughout the Organization (see Section V). Gender mainstreaming is one of the 16 Priority Areas for Inter-disciplinary Action (PAIAs) identified in the FAO Medium Term Plan 2002-2007 (MTP) submitted to the FAO Council in November 2000. Gender mainstreaming, as one of these PAIAs, was addressed only briefly in the MTP in anticipation of the present Plan of Action presenting to the membership a more comprehensive picture of all gender-sensitive activities foreseen in the substantive work of FAO over the medium term.

3. The Plan builds on lessons learned in the implementation of the previous plans and the observations made by the FAO Programme Committee (and later endorsed by the FAO Council), in its review of the 1999 Corporate Progress Report on Gender Mainstreaming (PC 82/7). The Committee noted, inter alia, the need to improve the existing mechanisms to incorporate gender into FAO's work; to adopt verifiable indicators to demonstrate effective progress; to firmly entrench gender mainstreaming in programme planning of all units in the Organization; to ensure adequate coverage of gender mainstreaming in corporate reports, such as the Programme Implementation Reports (PIRs) and the Programme Evaluation Reports (PERs); to ensure that implementation monitoring responsibilities were shared among all programme managers; to develop a coding and monitoring system for gender mainstreaming; and finally to separate the two related, but different, issues of gender mainstreaming in FAO's technical work and gender balance in staffing.

4. The Plan's objectives are derived from the global goals and strategic orientations of FAO's Strategic Framework 2000-2015 (see Section III). The Plan explains how these objectives will be achieved in the four priority areas of intervention, and identifies a series of key actions in each area. The Plan aims to strengthen the role and responsibilities in relation to gender mainstreaming of existing mechanisms for policy, programme and project review and approval, at both Headquarters and in the decentralised offices, by firmly incorporating gender mainstreaming into programme planning (see Section IV), monitoring, reporting and evaluation (see Section V).

5. The Plan was prepared through a consultative process involving FAO's technical departments, and units responsible for staff development and training, and information, as well as the Office of Programme, Budget and Evaluation (PBE). Divisions reviewed selected major outputs of the Medium Term Plan 2002-2007 to incorporate more explicitly and visibly a gender dimension, as well as to identify verifiable gender-sensitive indicators for monitoring and evaluating their implementation. The gender-sensitive major outputs selected by divisions for inclusion in the present Plan are categorised under the four priority areas of intervention and summarised in Section IV.

6. The Plan is formulated to reflect changes in perspective based on experience and new paradigms emerging from the series of international conferences in the 1990s. These generated a broad-based international consensus on the approach to gender and development. Indeed, the Plan builds on relevant recommendations of the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development, the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights, the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, the 1995 World Summit for Social Development, and the 1996 Conference on Human Settlements.

7. More specifically, the Plan is FAO's framework for follow-up to relevant recommendations of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action of the Fourth World Conference on Women held in 1995, Article 14 on rural women of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and the outcome document of the Special Session of the General Assembly entitled Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century held in June 2000, also referred to as the Beijing +5 Review.

8. Notably, the Plan echoes and expands on the objectives of the Rome Declaration on World Food Security as well as the World Food Summit Plan of Action adopted in 1996, which clearly reflects the importance of gender in all its seven commitments. Specifically, in Commitment One, it is recognized that full participation of women and men is a fundamental prerequisite to achieving food security for all. The equal access for all to productive resources is underlined in Commitment Two, while Commitment Three also recognizes that production increases need to be achieved without overburdening women farmers. Commitment Four commits to negotiate women's role in international trade negotiations, and the specific needs of women, and women-headed households in situations of emergencies, is underlined in Commitment Five. Activities specifically targeted to women (e.g., micro-credit and investment) are addressed in Commitment Six. Finally, in Commitment Seven the implementation of the Plan of Action is outlined, and in this respect the need for collecting gender- and sex-disaggregated data is underlined.

9. Finally, the Plan integrates the outcome of the High-Level Consultation on Rural Women and Information, convened by FAO in Rome in October 1999. The Strategy for Action, entitled "Gender and Food Security - The Role of Information", stresses the need to have comparative information on women and men, and statistics disaggregated by sex, that clarify gender-specific needs, constraints and interests so that appropriate action can be taken, as well as the importance of all stakeholders' participation in planning and implementing agricultural policies and programmes. It also stresses the important role of the media in bridging the rural-urban divide, and in communicating a more accurate picture of the contributions of both rural women and men to agriculture and the rural economy, and the importance of providing access to information and communication technology (ICT) for both rural women and men.

10. The purpose of the FAO Gender and Development Plan of Action 2002-2007 is four-fold:

  1. improve FAO's capacity to assist Member Nations in achieving equitable and sustainable agricultural and rural development by mainstreaming gender issues into the Organization's normative and operational activities;

  2. establish objectives that provide a clear focus for the achievement of measurable and realistic medium-term goals for gender mainstreaming in relevant FAO priority areas;

  3. achieve institution-wide commitment and support in the implementation of the PoA;

  4. present a framework to enable FAO's staff at Headquarters and decentralised offices to mainstream gender into their work.

11. The scope of the Plan is Organization-wide, encompassing operational and normative aspects of FAO's work as well as the relevant institutional processes and mechanisms. While FAO's Plan delineates the Organization's goals, objectives and priority areas of intervention, the commitment of Member Nations is vital to achieving a sustained impact.


12. The FAO Gender and Development Plan of Action 2002-2007 presents a framework to mainstream gender into the work of FAO. In pursuit of FAO's mission to help build a food-secure world, it aims at removing the obstacles to women and men's equal and active participation in, and enjoyment of the benefits from, agricultural and rural development. It emphasises that a transformed partnership based on equality between women and men is an essential condition for people-centred sustainable agricultural and rural development.

13. During the three biennia covered by the GAD Plan of Action, 2002-2007, FAO will promote gender equality in the access to sufficient, safe and nutritionally adequate food; access to, control over and management of natural resources and agricultural support services; participation in policy- and decision-making processes at all levels in the agricultural and rural sector; and in opportunities for both on- and off-farm employment in rural areas.


14. In the coming six years, the capacity of FAO staff to mainstream gender into their work will have greatly improved; knowledge on the gender dimension of agriculture will have increased within FAO and in member states; the agricultural and rural development policy framework of member states will be more gender-responsive; the gender gaps in capacities and opportunities for on- and off-farm employment will be narrowed; and effective supportive mechanisms and monitoring arrangements for gender mainstreaming in FAO will be in place. FAO will be an active partner with related organizations and an effective communicator and advocate for the objectives of the GAD Plan of Action.



The Gender and Development (GAD) and the Women in Development (WID) approaches

15. In the past decades, FAO has been involved with issues concerning rural women and equality between rural women and men. Throughout this period the discourse on the advancement of women and its relation to the development process has evolved. Essentially, it has shifted in focus from the approach of Women in Development (WID) to the approach of Gender and Development (GAD). The policy orientation of WID was focused on using development resources for improving women's conditions and making their contributions visible. However, it did not address the basic structure of inequality in the relationship between women and men, as it had a tendency to focus solely on women. This realisation opened a whole new debate and resulted in the wider emphasis placed on the concept of gender. The shift in theoretical approach placed gender, and the unequal power relations between women and men, as a central category of analysis. In this context, the GAD approach requires that social, political and economic structures and development policies are re-examined from the perspective of gender relations (UN, 1999).

16. In this conceptual reorientation, gender relations have become the focal points of development programmes, and gender mainstreaming has emerged as the common strategy to promote gender equality. Gender mainstreaming within the United Nations (UN) system has been defined by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) as "the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, making women's as well as men's concerns and experiences integral dimensions in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political, economic and social spheres so that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated. The ultimate goal is to achieve gender equality" (ECOSC, Agreed Conclusions, 1997/2).

17. Along with gender mainstreaming, the empowerment of women has emerged as a major issue of concern. In order to achieve gender equality a `transformative change' is required, whereby women participate in policy-making and decision-making at all levels of society. Indeed, transformative change requires the empowerment of women (UN, 1999). In this context, "empowerment cannot be given, it must be self-generated, by facilitating women's access to enabling resources which will allow them to take greater control of their lives, to determine what kind of relations they would want to live within" (Kabeer, 1995).

18. Critical to women's empowerment is the full and equal enjoyment by women and men of all human rights. The Plan of Action acknowledges that women's rights are an integral and indivisible part of universal human rights, and that the eradication of all forms of discrimination on the grounds of sex, are priority objectives of the international community. As reflected in the Beijing +5 Review and article 14 of CEDAW, the Plan recognises that the full and equal enjoyment by women and men of all human rights is essential for achieving equitable and sustainable agricultural and rural development.

The Socio-economic and Gender Analysis (SEAGA) framework

19. Within the context of the GAD approach, and in recognition of the fact that rural development must also take into account other factors, FAO has developed the Socioeconomic and Gender Analysis (SEAGA) framework. The overall objective of SEAGA is to strengthen socioeconomic and gender analysis capacities at the regional, national and local levels. The guiding principles for the framework are as follows: (i) gender roles and relations are of key importance; (ii) priority should go to meeting the needs of disadvantaged people; (iii) participation of local people is essential for development.

20. The SEAGA framework incorporates an approach to development based on an analysis of the socioeconomic patterns that affect development projects and programmes in practice, and on the participatory identification of women and men's priorities for development. Broad socioeconomic patterns (economic, social, institutional, political, environmental and demographic), and the linkages among them are highlighted in SEAGA at three levels of society (field, intermediate meso and macro). For any specific development plan or programme, SEAGA requires the explicit participation of all stakeholders in the identification of priority areas for action.

21. A package of practical SEAGA tools and methods is being developed and disseminated to development specialists, with the aim of establishing a dedicated network of development specialists in FAO member states.



22. The Beijing Platform for Action states that accelerated economic growth, although necessary for social development, does not by itself improve the quality of life of the population; in some cases, conditions can arise that can aggravate social inequality and marginalization. Hence, it is indispensable to search for new alternatives that ensure all members of society benefit from economic growth. The understanding of food security has evolved over the last decades with the recognition that a holistic and integrated approach to agricultural and rural development - whereby the social, gender, environmental, technical and economic dimensions of development are considered - is fundamental in order to achieve the goal of food for all.

23. To understand the scenario in which the Organization will be operating over the coming three biennia, it is useful to look at a number of key elements that impact FAO's work in gender mainstreaming: (i) globalisation; (ii) population dynamics (HIV/AIDS, rural-urban migration, rural ageing); (iii) increasing pressure on natural resources and competition for their use; (iv) urban and peri-urban agriculture; (v) disaster-related complex emergencies; (vi) information and communication technologies (ICTs).

24. (i) Globalisation. The Gender and Development Plan of Action takes into account the trends and challenges of global change. Government policy choices, often made in the context of Structural Adjustment Programmes, have shifted in favour of openness of trade and financial flows. Liberalisation policies have favoured economies of scale (e.g., large-scale commercial farming) and export cash cropping over household subsistence production. As a result of reduced Government spending for the public sector, sponsored agricultural services, such as training and extension, as well as investment in rural infrastructure, have also been scaled down. The farmers who were already better off appear to have benefited while the overall impact on small farmers appears to have been quite negative and at times even self-defeating (UNIFEM, 2000). As stated in the 1999 report of the Secretary-General on the work of the UN system (A/54/1), "the benefits and risks (of globalisation) are distributed unequally, and the growth and prosperity it provides for many is offset by the increasing vulnerability and marginalisation of others".

25. Due to gender inequalities and discrimination, women can be affected negatively by globalisation and liberalisation processes to a greater extent than men, particularly in the rural areas. The opening of local markets to cheaper imports and the removal of agricultural subsidies have had adverse effects for female farmers who have found it increasingly difficult to reap the fruits of liberalisation due to, for instance, difficulties to access agricultural inputs (FAO, 2000f). However, there can be significant gains for women, if the expanded opportunities brought about by globalisation are equally shared by women and men. Furthermore, the Secretary-General, in his report for the Beijing +5 Review (UN, 2000a), stressed that the significant gender differences and disparities with respect to decision-making powers and participation that prevail in different societies must be taken into account when responding to the diverse implications of globalisation.

26. (ii) Population dynamics (HIV, rural ageing, rural-urban migration). Although population growth is expected to continue to slow down, large increases in food production are still needed to strengthen food security and address disparities (FAO, 2000c and 2000e). It should be noted that gender roles and relations, including the specific constraints, needs and opportunities of women and men, have an influence on demographic phenomena, such as fertility, mortality and migration. For instance, women's empowerment, including more equal access to education, can lead to a reduction in fertility and infant mortality.

27. Migration and urbanization. In 1999, the UN estimated that urban areas accounted for 40 percent of the population of developing regions. Although rural-to-urban migration has slowed down, it is expected that by 2020 the majority of the population of developing regions will reside in urban areas. In Eastern Africa and South-central Asia, the urbanization process is much less advanced compared to Western Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean, which are already as highly urbanized as Europe and North America (FAO, 1999a). Migration increases remittances to rural areas and contributes to strengthening market linkages between rural and urban areas. In Latin America women migrants' remittances were fundamental for rural poverty alleviation. In parts of sub-Saharan Africa, male rural-urban migration has been greater than female rural-urban migration, leaving women behind to assume responsibility of the farming activities. Indeed, in many areas, migration has contributed to the rise of female-headed households, which has challenged the traditional patterns of gender-based roles in rural areas (other factors contributing to the rise of female-headed households include family disintegration, international migration, war and internal displacements) (UN, 1996). Female-headed households are often faced with greater obstacles than male-headed households in meeting the needs of their household due to their lower economic and social status and opportunities. Their situation is further exacerbated when they receive few or no remittances, as they tend to fall in the poorest category of households.

28. Rural ageing. The gradual increase in the proportion of the elderly, also referred to as the ageing of populations, has emerged as one of the most significant demographic processes of the late 20th century. Due to the migration of younger people from rural to urban areas, FAO has demonstrated that ageing often manifests itself earlier, and proceeds faster, in rural areas than in urban areas (FAO, 1999a). The aforementioned demographic processes will impact the composition of the agricultural labour force by age and sex with implications for the division of labour in agricultural systems. Consequently, the specific needs of elderly rural women and men workers must be understood and taken into account in policies, and their value and contributions must be promoted.

29. HIV/AIDS. While HIV/AIDS was initially perceived mainly as a health problem, today, both the short- and long-term social and economic development impacts of HIV/AIDS are increasingly recognized, leading development agencies to regard the AIDS pandemic as an important cross-sectoral development issue. At the end of 1999 there were 33.6 million people estimated to be infected with HIV of whom more than 95 percent live in the developing world. Young women and adolescents are particularly vulnerable due to social and cultural factors (UN, 2000b). FAO has shown that the HIV/AIDS pandemic exacerbates existing obstacles to production in agriculture and increases malnutrition, with different impact on each gender according to their role in the household and community. The sickness and death of working adults affect labour supply and its division between adults and children, as well as between women and men. For instance, women, who are traditionally caregivers, take care of the AIDS patients and, consequently, their time to engage in agricultural activities is significantly reduced.

30. (iii) Increasing pressure on natural resources. Problems associated with environmental degradation are central to the concerns of the Plan of Action as they affect the sustainability of livelihoods and ecosystems. As the world's food producers, rural women and men have a stake in the preservation of the environment and in environmentally sustainable development. Due to the increased presence of international actors such as multinational companies who increasingly control the flow and availability of technical inputs and know-how, poor rural women and men may have limited access to new agricultural technology and inputs; often leading to an increased rate of exploitation of natural resources and environmental degradation. The latter, exacerbated by man-made causes in the developed countries (affecting climate change, increased natural disasters and epidemics), is also an important source of population displacements. Individuals, families and entire communities who are uprooted from their homes and/or lands, create additional constraints for women refugees, children and other displaced women. However, the social and economic impact of natural (and man-made) disasters and epidemics remains relatively invisible as a policy issue (UN, 2000b). Local food security and nutrition are particularly threatened, affecting rural as well as urban areas and; in addition, there is loss of biodiversity and the associated gender specific local knowledge that has been transmitted through generations.

31. (iv) Urban and peri-urban agriculture. FAO estimates that 800 million urban residents worldwide are involved in urban and peri-urban agriculture, with much of the food produced for own consumption and occasional surpluses sold to local markets (FAO, 2000c). With rural to urban migration set to continue, urban and peri-urban agriculture will increase in importance, contributing to food security in many ways. Urban and peri-urban agriculture increases the amount of food available and enhances the freshness of perishable foods reaching urban consumers. It also offers opportunities for productive employment in a sector with low barriers to entry. The broad diversity of horticultural crop species allows year-round production, employment and income. Female and male urban and peri-urban producers have realized that intensive horticulture can be practised on small plots, making efficient use of limited water and land resources. On the other hand, agricultural production systems in urban and peri-urban areas can pose risks to public health and the environment. These arise from the inappropriate or excessive use of agricultural inputs that may pollute air, drinking water sources and soil. Another major challenge to the viability of urban and peri-urban agriculture is land availability and lack of services attuned to urban and peri-urban agriculture (FAO, 2000c). For women urban and peri-urban producers this situation is further exacerbated by their lower economic, social and legal status that limits their access to land and other agricultural support services (see priority areas of intervention).

32. (v) Disaster-related and complex emergencies. Since the adoption of the 1996-2001 Plan of Action, trends in regard to armed conflict have persisted and deepened. This has resulted in significant numbers of displaced populations, not only beyond borders but also within states. Furthermore, the increase in casualties and damage caused by natural disasters in recent years has brought about a renewed interest in the social and political characteristics of human organization that contribute to vulnerability in such disasters. It has also raised awareness of the inefficiency of the existing approaches and intervention methods in responding to such emergency situations. Gender analysis helps to clarify that the specific needs, vulnerabilities and coping strategies of women and men are addressed more adequately in an emergency situation. For this reason, developing disaster mitigation and recovery strategies that incorporate a gender equality and nutrition perspective can produce effective humanitarian and disaster management interventions (UN, 2000b). As stated in the Beijing Platform for Action, "the maintenance of peace and security at the global, regional and local levels, together with the prevention of policies of aggression and ethnic cleansing and the resolution of armed conflict, is crucial for the protection of the human rights of women and girl children, as well as for the elimination of all forms of violence against them and of their use as a weapon of war" (UN, 1996). It is essential to understand the specific roles and responsibilities of men and women in agriculture and their main constraints and needs, as well as their ability to carry out their activities under emergency situations and early rehabilitation. Indeed, emergencies affect women and girls differently from men and boys: in situations of conflicts, civil strife, or natural disasters, women often lose the capacity to sustain their families' livelihoods due to loss of seeds, livestock, tools and productive gardens. As women often have the primary responsibility for family care and feeding, they are placed under great stress in trying to meet such family needs in emergency situations. In addition, conflict situations considerably increase the trauma of gender-specific physical insecurity for women and girls; they are also at high risk of nutritional deficiencies.

33. (vi) Challenges of new information and communication technologies. The information and communication technology revolution has greatly increased the possibilities for disseminating and sharing knowledge. Women and men worldwide are making effective use of the new information and communication technologies (ICTs) for development purposes and economic opportunities. However, disadvantaged segments of society are excluded from information and communication flows, raising the question of how best to exploit the technological developments in a way that prevents them from increasing inequalities (FAO, 2000d). Indeed, millions of the world's poorest women and men still do not have access to these facilities, while opportunities exist to exploit much more systematically ICT for distance learning purposes in rural areas. FAO has analysed the relationships between sustainable development, food security, gender equality and information and identified some of the factors that contribute to increased poverty and exclusion as limited access for subsistence farmers, particularly women, to all resources; scarce attention paid to the different roles and responsibilities of men and women when formulating agricultural and rural development plans and policies; inadequate gender-specific data and information; exclusion from information flows, communication processes and decision-making (FAO, 2000d). Furthermore, the exchange, mobilisation and outreach capacities offered by information technologies are of little benefit to women, particularly in developing countries. The many reasons for this include lack of training in the use of these technologies, a low percentage of women working in the media, the lack of infrastructure and limited financial resources, as well as high illiteracy rates among rural women.


34. Having presented a general overview of the issues affecting the work of FAO in gender mainstreaming, it is useful to describe the priority areas that FAO will focus on in order to guide the implementation of its Plan of Action. Indeed, the Organization, with the aim to analyse the system of gender relations in agricultural and rural development, has identified four priority areas as the target of its gender mainstreaming efforts, as follows: access to food and adequate nutrition, natural resources, agricultural support systems, and policy- and decision-making processes. The gender mainstreaming activities that FAO will implement over the next three biennia are illustrated in section IV, categorised under each priority area of intervention.

35. Food and nutrition. Food security is defined by FAO not only in terms of access to, and availability of food, but also in terms of resource distribution to produce food and the purchasing power to buy food where it is not produced (FAO 2000e). Adequate food availability at the national level does not automatically translate into food security at the individual and household levels. Indeed, the issue is not only one of availability but also of access to food (Frankenberger T.R., McCaston M.K., 1998) that requires action to ensure access to food by all people. Furthermore, other underlying causes for malnutrition must be addressed, such as dietary intake and diversity, health and disease, and maternal and childcare.

36. Although both rural women and men have different and complementary roles in guaranteeing food security at household and community levels, women often play a greater role in ensuring nutrition, food safety and quality and are generally responsible for processing and preparing food for their households and, thus, for the nutritional well-being of the household members. Food processing contributes to food security by assuring ongoing diversity of diet, minimizing waste and losses and improving marketability of foods, enabling women to participate in the trade of food products. Their marketing activities translate directly into improved family nutrition, as studies have shown that women tend to contribute a far greater percentage of their cash income to household food requirements than men do (FAO, 1996).

37. Women in their reproductive years, especially during pregnancy and lactation, have specific nutrient requirements, which determine both their own nutritional status and that of their children. In many societies, these specific needs are not recognised and both women and children suffer the consequences. In some societies, women are the victims of food discrimination, whereby priority is given to feeding the male members of the family first, compromising the nutritional and health status of the female family members.

38. Natural resources. The preservation of biological diversity, including plant and animal genetic resources is now widely recognised as critical to achieving food security. The rural poor, who have benefited least from modern high-yielding plant varieties and cannot afford external inputs (such as fertilisers, pesticides, high quality feeds, etc.), grow the majority of their crop from seeds that they have selected and stored themselves. To protect themselves against crop failure, animal losses, and malnutrition, men and women subsistence farmers have developed different expertise and knowledge about the local environment, plant and animal species and their products and uses. These gender-differentiated local knowledge systems play a decisive role in the conservation, management and improvement of genetic resources for food and agriculture (FAO, 1999c).

39. In many areas, the majority of smallholder farmers are women. They are largely responsible for the selection, improvement and adaptation of plant varieties. In many regions, women are also responsible for the management of small livestock, including their reproduction and they have often a more highly specialised knowledge of wild plants used for food, fodder and medicine than men (FAO, 1999c). Increased understanding and recognition of the complex decision-making processes related to the management of biodiversity is gradually leading breeders and researchers to realise that a community will adopt and select new and improved seeds for food crops if they have been tested and approved by both women and men farmers.

40. Access to land or the lack of it concerns both rural women and men, as it is essential to improving agricultural productivity. Without secure land rights, farmers have little or no access to credit, rural organizations and other agricultural inputs and services. In some cases, customary practices and laws that limit women's rights to land prevail over legislation that guarantees their right to land. Furthermore, insecure land tenure reduces people's incentives to maintain soil quality because they have no permanent rights to the land.

41. Agricultural support systems. The division of labour between women and men in agricultural production varies considerably from region to region and community to community. However, it is usually men who are responsible for large-scale cash cropping, especially when it is highly mechanised, while women take care of household food production and small-scale cultivation of cash crops, requiring low levels of technology.

42. Increased access to agricultural support systems, including credit, rural organizations, technology, education, extension and marketing services, is essential to improving the agricultural productivity of both women and men farmers. Given women's crucial role in production, provision and processing of food, any set of strategies for sustainable food security must address their limited access to productive resources.

43. Despite the fact that rural women and men are both active agents in agricultural and rural development, women have generally been ignored in development programmes that provide agricultural support systems to farmers. For example, the agricultural extension system has often failed to reach female farmers, not only because extension workers have addressed the (male) head of household, but also because women often fail to find the time to participate in extension activities and demonstrations due to their heavy total workload and/or inappropriate venue or timing of extension service delivery.

44. Agricultural and rural development policy and planning. Agricultural and rural development policy and planning often do not reflect and address the different roles and needs of rural women and men adequately. The lack of gender-specific information of the role people play in achieving food security and agricultural development have led to the fact that the 'human factor' has often been overlooked by agricultural development planners. Development policy-making processes are now undergoing a transformation to promote a greater participation of stakeholders in planning and decision-making at all levels, expanding the role of the private sector, and increasing decentralisation in decision-making. This transformation will require more accurate and systematic statistics on rural women and men producers, leading to an awareness of potential labour force misallocations and resulting welfare losses (FAO, 1999b).

45. The first step towards the elaboration of gender-responsive agricultural policies is the collection and analysis of sex-disaggregated data and information. Indeed, the division of labour between rural women and men still remains poorly understood. This is because much of women's work in crop production consists of unpaid labour that produces for the household rather than the market. Women are more severely affected by the lopsided distribution of unpaid work between the sexes, but society as a whole pays a price in reduced economic growth (UNDP, 1995).

46. Women's empowerment and enhanced participation in policy-making and decision-making in all spheres of society (economic, political, social, cultural) at community, national and international level, is an essential requirement for the elaboration of gender-responsive and participatory agricultural and rural development policies. After years of advocacy for a participatory approach that sees rural women and men as owners of their own development, full participation has still not been obtained. One of the reasons is that empowerment is needed for rural women and men to take development into their hands, and capacity still needs to be built to provide the fundamental basis for their full participation at all levels.


47. There are three inter-related goals that FAO is specifically dedicated to helping Member Nations achieve:

48. Recognising that the full and equal participation of women and men in, and their full enjoyment of the benefits from, agricultural and rural development is essential for eradicating food insecurity and rural poverty and enhancing agricultural and rural development, the following four medium-term objectives have been identified for the FAO Gender and Development Plan of Action:

wpe81.jpg (743 bytes)  Objective 1: Promote gender equality in the access to sufficient, safe and nutritionally adequate food

wpe81.jpg (743 bytes)  Objective 2: Promote gender equality in the access to, control over and management of natural resources, and agricultural support services

wpe81.jpg (743 bytes)  Objective 3: Promote gender equality in policy- and decision-making processes at all levels in the agricultural and rural sector

wpe81.jpg (743 bytes)  Objective 4: Promote gender equality in opportunities for on- and off-farm employment in rural areas.

49. FAO will pursue these objectives within the four priority areas of intervention: food and nutrition, natural resources, agricultural support systems, and agricultural and rural development policy and planning (as identified in Section II). This will require inter alia strengthening FAO's capacity in gender mainstreaming and in providing assistance to Member Nations in achieving their related national goals and objectives.

50. It is useful to stress that important thematic thrusts fully relevant to the achievement of gender equality will cut across these priority areas of intervention. These are summarised below, with examples of major activities or supportive tools.


51. This relates to the permanent need to upgrade the skills of development practitioners/technical experts in FAO and Member Nations to integrate a gender perspective into agricultural and rural development. This covers in particular:

Awareness-building and institutional measures

52. This has to be seen in the light of the permanent need to promote the allocation of sufficient human and financial resources for the implementation of the Plan of Action within FAO and Member Nations, at all levels, together with appropriate institutional measures at national level.

53. This covers in particular:

Information collection and dissemination

54. This thematic thrust is to address vast unmet needs in terms of availability, accuracy, and effective use of qualitative and quantitative data and information on the gender dimension of agriculture. It implies in particular:

Communication and participation

55. Considerable efforts will be needed in terms of:

Skills enhancement of both rural women and men for on- and off-farm employment.

56. This should be attained through:


57. Twenty-four technical Divisions revised their medium term plans for the period 2002-2007, specifically selecting major outputs to incorporate a gender dimension. Divisions also provided verifiable gender-sensitive indicators for monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the Plan of Action. The gender-sensitive major outputs are categorised under the four priority areas of food and nutrition, natural resources, agricultural support systems, and agricultural and rural development policy and planning (as identified in Section II), and are summarised below.


58. Under Programme 2.1.4 Agricultural Support Systems, in order to ensure that women as well as men gain from new opportunities for increasing farm income, AGS will give special attention to the needs and roles of women and men when appraising and promoting options for increasing small farmer income. AGS will take into account the complementary roles of women and men in the promotion of new income-generating activities. Another key issue to be appraised will be the opportunity cost of women versus men for new activities, taking into account household roles. AGS will give particular attention to food processing activities, in which women generally play a greater role. When producing and disseminating information materials, AGS will promote the equitable participation of women and men in new enterprises.

59. Under Programme 2.2.1 Nutrition, ESN will promote nutrition education and other nutrition improvement initiatives in schools and communities explicitly addressing gender issues (roles and contributions) in the food system of the given society. The recommended methodologies, programme guidelines and other technical materials, including curricula guidelines, will specifically take into account the prominent role women have in the food system and in achieving nutrition security at household level; also included is the identification of the role and responsibility of men in securing nutritional well-being of all household members. ESN will expand its promotion of the community-based nutrition improvement initiative. This initiative is highly participatory and fully incorporates gender issues throughout the appraisal, planning and implementation phases. Sustainable community-based nutrition improvement strategies directed towards women enable them to express their needs, make use of available resources and take actions that result in the improvement of the nutritional well-being of communities. With the aim to strengthen nutrition education, risk communication and consumer awareness, ESN will promote an educational approach that is gender-sensitive in the preparation of technical materials, programme guidelines and training-support materials for developing, implementing and evaluating initiatives in nutrition education and communication; both women and men will participate in testing and using the materials, to the extent possible. ESN will also continue to advocate for addressing gender issues within emergency preparedness and response measures. FAO conducts biennial expert consultations on human nutrition requirements. Nutrient requirements for women are specifically addressed, as their requirements differ generally and for specific conditions (e.g., pregnancy, lactation). Gender, therefore, is a major focus of attention in the consultations.

60. Furthermore, ESN will ensure generation, compilation and dissemination of dietary and nutritional status data disaggregated by sex for gender for all age groups. Analysis of specific nutrition issues related to gender will be prepared and reported in the regular updates to Nutrition Country Profiles, and annually for the State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI) report. ESN will include explicit mention of gender implications in its dietary and anthropometric assessments and gender impacts in all nutrition-related interventions. In order to improve the quality and safety of the food supply, ESN will develop relevant manuals, in order to support and advise Member Nations in the organization and management of effective national food control programmes capable of providing the necessary consumer protection and promoting food production, processing and distribution. The Division will develop and disseminate scientific information material on pertinent issues related to food quality and safety with a view to increasing consumer awareness and promoting food safety risk analysis. In both activities, a gender approach will be considered. In order to enhance public understanding of food technology issues, improved nutritional behaviour and food safety, ESN will regularly update the Food and Nutrition website with information on household food security, composition of foods in developing countries and nutrition education as well as information on the specific nutritional needs of women.


61. There is a dynamic, demand-led expansion of the livestock sector on-going in the developing world with substantial impact on the biological and physical natural resources involved; livestock production is intensifying, industrialising and migrating more and more towards biologically uniform, larger scale, vertically integrated, often land-detached production systems. Conventional rural livestock production systems with their traditional gender role differentiation are increasingly being marginalised and replaced by commercial systems. Under Programme 2.1.3 Livestock, AGA will, in a range of case studies, monitor the costs of this development to environment, public health and social equity, including gender equity. By internalising the high external costs of intensive livestock production, it should be feasible to re-orient the market forces towards more rural land-based livestock development with more balanced employment opportunities for men and women while at the same time more sustainably using the natural resource base. These case studies emphasise the hot-spots of the so-called "Livestock Revolution" in Asia and Latin America. AGA will, in addition, develop improved technological, information and policy methods for more effective crop-livestock integration to enable women and men livestock keepers to improve production and expand opportunities for product transformation and sale, thus strengthening sustainable integrated resource husbandry approaches. Special attention will be given to the opportunities and constraints of the gender differentiation in livestock management and product development and marketing. In conventional livestock production systems, gender-sensitive objectives and guidelines for resolving resource tenure conflicts and reinforcing community action for processing and marketing of products will be developed as well as an institutional framework in support of consultation, information exchange and joint programmes on nutrition, health, and resource management.

62. The work of the Land and Water Division (AGL) is focussed on the sustainable development of land and water resources. Gender aspects are mainstreamed in almost all aspects of the work programme; therefore it is difficult to identify outputs with a specific gender dimension. The following outputs could serve as examples, under Programme 2.1.1 Natural Resources: (a) Work on On-farm Water Control & Management and Water Resources Development & Technologies will take into account gender equity aspects in the development of training material and manuals for low cost water control technologies (pumps/boreholes/micro irrigation) and participatory training programmes; (b) Work on Restructuring of Irrigation Schemes and establishment of Water User Association will give special attention to the effective representation of women; (c) Promote the concept of Integrated Soil and Plant Nutrient Management through the facilitation of national action plans that include, inter alia, the improved access of women farmers to integrated soil and nutrient management technologies; (d) Women farmers and extension agents will be actively involved in the Farmers' Field Schools on management, Conservation and Rehabilitation of Degraded and Problem Soils; (e) The program element Policies and Planning of Land Resources specifically considers gender issues for effectiveness as the capacity of women farmers to assess and harness land production is essential, especially in areas where the natural land resources endowment is inadequate; (f) Promote the concept of Conservation Agriculture through its work on moisture conservation and zero tillage in rainfed areas. Technologies such as no till and direct planting will greatly reduce the workload of farmers; (g) The work on Land & Water Linkages in Rural Watersheds, is aimed at a better understanding of land-water relationships as well as development of appropriate instruments to share benefits and costs arising from upstream land use. In this regard, special attention will be paid to the gender dimension of the linkages as well as the proposed instruments to ensure a more equitable use of resources benefiting vulnerable groups including women; (h) Active involvement women in the AGL network on Water Logging and Salinity Control. Moreover, guidelines will be prepared taking into account gender aspects; and (i) Together with IPTRID, AGL will study the impact of the Asia Drainage Programme for the Humid Tropics (ADPHT) on improved water management and drainage technologies on the local farmer community and especially women farmers.

63. Under Programme 2.1.2 Crops, AGP will take into account rural women's seed supply needs when designing strategies for sustainable community-level seed production enterprises. The Division will promote strategies to strengthen seed supply systems, including on-farm seed production and distribution, that will target womens' needs and preferences. AGP will implement national and regional level seed security programmes and other mechanisms to restore seed systems affected by disasters focusing on specific crops and crop varieties preferred by women. In its efforts to support the FAO Global System on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, AGP will target women's groups for dynamic management of community genebanks, as they are major conservers and users of local crop diversity. In its efforts to mainstream IPPM programmes aimed at enhancing ecological processes, through the development of methodologies, guidelines and technical support and training activities, AGP will ensure the participation of rural women. The Division will organize a workshop in Asia in 2001 on IPPM and vulnerable groups, including representatives from Africa and Latin America, to review and share experiences among national IPPM programmes on gender issues and HIV/AIDS, and to provide recommendations for future action. This will include methods for facilitating participation and contributions by these major stakeholders into IPPM programmes.

64. Recognising that intensification technologies impact rural women and men differently, under Programme 2.1.4 Agricultural Support Systems, AGS will appraise trends and the suitability of technologies for utilization by gender and will raise awareness of how intensification is impacting on the relative workloads of women and men farmers. The Division will produce guidelines and information materials on the economics of production systems intensification, to provide information and guidance for addressing gender implications of intensification. Recognising that women have traditionally been responsible for management of the renewable resources required in agro-industries, AGS' activities will focus on the provision of technological options to enable choices for improving the competitiveness of such enterprises. Special attention will be given to reducing the workload of women and men entrepreneurs, as well as improving the efficiency of cottage or small-scale operations.

65. Recognising that both women and men play a crucial role in natural resource management, under Programme 2.3.3 Fisheries Exploitation and Utilization FII will take into consideration the behavioural issues of who uses and/or manages resources in order to design more effective research methods and develop methodologies and guidelines that aim to reduce the negative environmental impacts related to fishing operations. In providing technical assistance and monitoring of the implementation of the International Plan of Action to reduce the Incidental Catch of Seabirds, FII will ensure information and guidelines produced under the aforementioned Plan of Action are distributed to all involved in the industry, both men and women. FII will take into consideration the division of labour between women and men in the use and management of resources in order to design more effective methods and training materials on the subject of reducing bycatch, with the aim of improving fishing operations and reduce the environmental impact of wasteful fishing practices that will benefit both women and men stakeholders. Given that women are directly involved in small-scale fishing operations and activities, FII will take into account the contribution of women to the industry (particularly their role in processing, storage and marketing) in the production of publications, training materials, manuals providing technical guidance to enable diversification of fishing effort from coastal to offshore waters, including the necessary accompanying measures to store and preserve the catch.

66. Given that some specific sub-sectors of coastal fisheries and its associated processing and marketing chains may be characterised by a particular gender dominance, the need for adequate data on the role of women and men in the fisheries sector will be actively considered by FIP under Programme 2.3.4 Fisheries Policy, in the production of a review and analysis of the existing coastal fisheries management approach in a limited number of participating countries, to gain important analyses of their present fisheries management approaches, as well as well-developed plans for improving them. FIP will encourage the participation of both women and men in the dissemination of lessons learned and methods used for the planning of improved coastal fisheries management system, with the aim to establish co-management approaches with coastal fishing communities for their fisheries - the lessons learned and methods validated in the selected collaborating countries will be incorporated into a series of reports, documents, training materials, workshops, networks, and electronic media.

67. In its efforts to provide Member Nations with technical guidelines and methodologies on the rehabilitation of inland fish habitats, integrated floodplain fisheries management, eco-regional assessment and management for sustainable inland fish production, under Programme 2.3.2 Fisheries Resources and Aquaculture FIR will investigate whether information contained in the recommended methodologies and guidelines should be disaggregated by sex.

68. Under Programme 2.4.1 Forest Resources, with the aim to improve practices in silviculture and multipurpose management of woodlands and trees in arid lands and in low forest cover countries, FOR will identify and promote the adaptation and application of participatory and gender-sensitive methodologies and practices, that will take into account the economic, social and environmental aspects, as these affect men and women, as well as the gender-differentiated knowledge of sustainable forest management. Recognising that, in many regions, both women and men have different access to, control and use of trees and lands and are differently affected by the dynamics of resources over time and space, gender issues will be considered in the sustainable management of woodlands and trees, with special reference to arid zones, in which trees and shrubs are of special importance to local populations. Improved land-use, agro-forestry and forestry farming practices will result in an increase in rural women's role in decision-making processes in the sector, as well as rural women and men's access to gender-sensitive technologies and resources and a more equitable share of responsibilities and benefits will be achieved.

69. Furthermore, under Programme 2.4.1 Forest Resources, in order to improve land use practices in fragile areas as well as networking at sub-regional and regional levels, FOR will develop gender-sensitive material (such as methodologies, best practices and technical guidelines) on the role of trees and forests and other land use practices appropriate to fragile environments giving special attention to increase awareness and knowledge about appropriate gender-sensitive technologies (forestry, soil and water conservation, etc.), transferred and implemented equitably by women and men. The collection of the data and knowledge will take into account gender-based knowledge, needs, roles and constraints. Special attention will be paid to improving the representation of women in networks and organizations. Information will be disseminated and training will be developed and provided to respond to the specific needs of women and men; field activities will encourage the participation of both men and women. Moreover, initiatives in support to the implementation of national and local strategic programmes will be designed and implemented with equitable gender participation. Recognising that mountain women are the custodians of rich indigenous knowledge, who play a strategic role in the conservation of cultural heritage, a gender-sensitive approach to the formulation and implementation of sustainable mountain development programmes is desirable. In this context, communication strategies for natural resource management developed by FOR (e.g., mountain, trees-outside-forest, forest management) with the aim to improve livelihood opportunities, will be gender-sensitive, promoting women and men's access to gender-sensitive technologies and a more equitable share of responsibilities in watershed management, as well as equitable access to resources, in particular trees, and increased involvement in decision-making processes.

70. In its efforts to identify and promote improved methodologies and practices in silviculture and multipurpose management of natural forests, including mountain forests and mangroves, FOR will also include due consideration of the economic, social and environmental aspects of sustainable forest management. FOR recognises that both women and men, at all levels and responsibilities, have a cross-cutting role in fighting deforestation through their involvement in planning, management, research, promotion, and implementing and transfer of technologies. In particular, women's collaboration in raising awareness of the multiple functions and roles of all types of forests is critical. Their role in overall management and utilisation of tree and forests resources will be enhanced in order to promote sustainable forest management as a means to help combat deforestation.  FOR will take into account the role of rural women in promoting the protection, use and conservation of forests.

71. Under Programme 2.5.1 Research, Natural Resources Management and Technolocy Transfer, with the aim to promote an integrated agro-ecosystem management, SDR will carry out methodological studies and develop gender-sensitive guidelines and tools for agro-ecosystem management approaches at national and regional levels. In this context, the technical framework (including guidelines, training) for resource dynamics studies will be based on spatial and temporal data and socio-economic data, including sex-disaggregated data, through integrated analysis.

72. Together with SDA and SDW, SDR aims to incorporate gender and demographic factors in an explicit way into existing data collection and analysis mechanisms in agriculture, with the aim to improve agricultural statistics under the interdivisional Programme Entity 2.5.1.A1 Integrated Use of Information for Sustainable Development. This will be done through training of information users and producers, and development of guidelines to support gender sensitive data collection. An issue-specific database on, e.g., land tenure and gender-sensitive indicators, will be established.

73. Under Programme 2.5.2 Gender and Population, in the context of natural resources management, SDW will continue to promote the testing, adaptation, and dissemination of methods for community-based, gender-responsive approaches to natural resources management, to improve the level of participation from all stakeholders in the rural development process, and to mainstream gender throughout the project cycle. The work carried out under the regular programme will be supplemented by the regional project Gender, Biodiversity and Local Knowledge Systems to Strengthen Agriculture and Rural Development in Southern Africa (LinKs) which is assisting many organizations to better understand how men's and women's local knowledge can promote the conservation of biodiversity and enhance food security. The project's objective is to strengthen the capacity of key partner organizations participating in the project, and to use gender analysis, participatory research and communication for development methods to work with rural communities to document and share information about local knowledge systems with communities, NGOs, research institutes and policy makers. In addition, the Integrated Support to Sustainable Development and Food Security Programme (IP), aims to foster cross-sectoral collaboration and an holistic gender-sensitive approach to sustainable and rural development in Uganda, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.


74. More than 600 million people worldwide are rural and depend to a greater or a lesser degree on livestock for their livelihood. There is also much evidence that poorer segments of the farming population draw a higher share of their income from their animal production than more wealthy segments. Better productivity of this sector, combined with improved produce processing and better access to input and output markets by small producers through better organization and stronger institutions is therefore a powerful entry point for lifting men and women out of their poverty. Under Programme 2.1.3 Livestock, AGA has designed Programme Entity 2.1.3A3 Contribution of Livestock to Poverty Alleviation which, in targeting production, processing and marketing of short-cycled farm animals (mainly poultry and swine) specifically aims at assisting women farmers in using opportunities for enhanced income generation; women farmers tend to be more involved than men in the production and processing of short-cycled animals and their products. The Programme Entity 213A3 is also the Division's specific input into FAO's Special Programme for Food Security with its Diversification component. The Division is also providing inputs into the AG Departmental Priority Areas for Inter-disciplinary Action (PAIA) on the Sustainable Intensification of Integrated Production Systems in Selected Agro-Ecosystems where AGA emphasises gender-sensitive strategies for enhanced livestock sector productivity similar to the ones pursued in Programme Entity 213A3. The PAIA is the platform where AGA's technical inputs will be integrated at the inter-disciplinary level to use the available synergies when developing, e.g., gender-sensitive best management practices, principles of resource use and codes of practices and strategies for technology transfer. Special attention will also be given to the role of men and women in livestock and veterinary services.

75. Under Programme 2.1.2 Crops, the user focus of AGP's technology transfer initiatives will be on women and young farmers. With the aim to improve management of available resources in smallholder cropping systems, AGP will guide extension systems to consider rural women's resources and time availability and target their needs specifically in order to make interventions in this sector more effective. In order to improve cropping systems for increased and sustainable crop production, AGP will specifically target small-scale female rural entrepreneurs to develop a technology transfer mechanism involving professional agricultural women's associations and national agricultural research and extension systems, in Central and West Africa, in the Near East and North Africa. The technology focus will be on specialised horticulture-related income-generating activities. AGP will promote strategies and technologies for fodder production and conservation that will benefit small farmers and pastoralist families, in its efforts to improve the knowledge base and technologies for intensive forage production and conservation. The technology transfer component concerning smallholder dairy farming will be tailored to target rural women. Moreover, recognising that women play a critical role in urban agriculture and, specifically, horticulture where women can find a source of income as a part-time or full-time activity, the user focus of AGP's programmes in urban neighbourhoods and suburbs will be on women in the development of urban micro-garden schemes.

76. Under Programme entity 2.1.0A1 Sustainable Intensification of Integrated Production Systems, AGS will develop gender-sensitive guidelines and training materials for improving business management and marketing skills of women and men farmers. Training guidelines produced by AGS will emphasise the importance of gender sensitivity and equality in training programmes. In light of the reduction of government spending for farmer advisory services, with a disproportionate impact on women and men small farmers, specific attention is needed for the development of innovative strategies for re-establishing farmer advisory services. In light of this, AGS will review the content and approach of farmer advisory services in a minimum of fifteen countries, and will develop guidelines on provision of gender-sensitive information and training. Recognising that specific attention to the needs of women when reviewing and strengthening small farmer advisory services is required, AGS' actions will include promotion and advocacy for gender equality in access to advisory services and training.

77. Furthermore, under the same Programme, AGS will differentiate between gender roles in urban and peri-urban agriculture when characterizing the profitability and sustainability of agricultural production systems in urban and peri-urban areas, with the aim to ensure equitable access to land and agricultural support services. Advisory and awareness raising materials will be produced, increasing the visibility of women's contributions to urban and peri-urban farming. AGS will review and provide guidance on institutional frameworks for providing gender-differentiated advisory and support services to urban and peri-urban farmers. Recognising that women generally do not have equal access to information and financial assistance, despite their traditional role as cottage and small-scale industry leaders, AGS' technical assistance will be directed at redressing the above issue through the provision of interactive small-scale business tools and technical information. The Division will provide policy advice for enhancing linkages throughout the post-harvest system as well as guidance on options for improving the competitiveness of enterprises benefiting rural women who are the major contributors to the post-production sector. AGS will collect sex-disaggregated information on farm labour as part of its information gathering and dissemination activities, and will identify gender issues in the field of agricultural engineering. The effects of this will be to create an awareness of the contribution to overall farm power resources provided by women. In view of women's limited access to credit and other financial services, AGS will attempt to collect data disaggregated by sex on the clientele serviced by financial institutions operating in rural areas, these data will be recorded in the database AgriBank-Stat.

78. Under Programme 2.3.3 Fisheries Exploitation and Utilization, FII will take into account gender issues to ensure the effectiveness of analyses, guidelines and participatory training materials that will be produced to improve the state of and access to fish resources; fish utilisation; increased availability and improved access to credit; and increased vessel safety. FII will prepare technical papers on fishing technologies, onboard handling and vessel design for harvesting non-utilised or under-utilised resources, taking into account gender issues. FII will promote efficient and appropriate technologies developed, tested and introduced to sustainably intensify production systems of presently under-utilized species and of low-value catches, that will take into account gender issues and will benefit both women and men stakeholders.

79. Under Programme 2.3.2 Fisheries Resources and Aquaculture, FIR will facilitate the evaluation of techniques for the improvement of production systems in aquaculture and inland fisheries, specifically water use, seed production and genetic improvement, sustainable development of resources enhancement in inland water bodies, aquatic animal heath management and disease control, taking into account gender specific constraints in the populations' access to the recommended technologies. The Division will take into account gender-specific potential and constraints in promoting the application of efficient technologies and best practices on diversifying farming activities to integrate aquaculture with agriculture farming systems in order to increase employment, household income and fish supply from aquaculture. FIR will ensure that access to extension services and participation in research will be equally available to both women and men. In providing technical training and advice in aquaculture and inland fisheries activities to Member Nations, FIR will encourage the participation of both women and men stakeholders in the training sessions.

80. Recognising the need to raise awareness on policy- and decision-makers on bio-energy in relation to socio-economic development, gender and health issues, under Programme 2.4.2 Forest Products FOP will promote the design and implementation of sustainable wood energy systems, increase knowledge on bio-energy management aspects in order to promote its adoption and integration into national agriculture, forestry, energy and environment policies, plans and programmes. In this context, FOP will review information available and carry out specific case studies to assess gender issues in different unit processes of wood energy systems, such as production, transportation, trade and use of fuel wood by: households, cottage activities and rural industries. The Division will also identify efficient technologies considering gender issues.

81. Under Programme 2.5.3 Rural Development, with the aim of strengthening the capacities of rural institutions to more equitably deliver valued development services to rural constituencies, especially more marginalized sectors (such as the rural poor, women, youth and the disabled) at local level, SDA will promote broader participation of women as members, investors and decision-makers and as users of services of rural institutions. Women's participation will be encouraged through the development of gender-sensitive training materials on a broad range of institutional capacity-building topics: small group enterprise and cooperative business management and finance, local government development planning and finance, development service restructuring, decentralisation and re-staffing, etc. Finally, their participation will be encouraged in capacity building training activities.

82. Under Programme 2.5.1 Research, Natural Resources Management and Technology Transfer, in order to build the human capacity among government agency and NGO professionals concerned with children and/or youth, including boys, girls, young men and women in rural areas, SDR will produce a gender sensitive guide for incorporating child and youth programming in agriculture and food security into curricula of agricultural universities, train female and male youth professionals in concepts, principles and practices of child and youth programming in agriculture and food security. In the design and delivery of educational programming, training and information dissemination through education, extension and communication for development, SDR will support income-generation opportunities for older youth of both genders. With the aim to improve efficiency in the use of information and expertise for building national capacity for research, extension and education, SDR will develop methodologies for assessing information needs of research, extension and education systems and users; gender-sensitive information, communication and technology (ICT) applications and content; training materials for distance learning.

83. In collaboration with SDR, and as a direct follow-up of the High-Level Consultation on Rural Women and Information organized by FAO in October 1999, SDW aims to use ICT for improving rural women's and girls' access to education and training on the sustainable use and management of natural resources, in order to increase their equitable participation in food security under Programme Entity 2.5.1A4 Integrated Development and Dissemination of Agricultural Knowledge and Technology for Food Security and Sustainable Development. The project foresees ICT-based approaches and training activities to train the rural clientele and service professionals in gender sensitive programmes.


84. As the global livestock sector is undergoing a vigorous structural transformation, under Programme 2.1.3 Livestock AGA is undertaking a major effort to (a) analyse this transformation in all its relevant dimensions, including in its effects on the role of gender; (b) assess threats and opportunities for the international public goods at stake (natural resources, social equity and [veterinary] public health) in this structural transformation; and (c) design, negotiate and test policies for dealing with these threats and opportunities at the local, national, regional and international levels. The overall aim of this initiative is to inform policies and institutions on the effects of this dynamic structural changes of the livestock sector. Gender differentiation in the analysis of these effects is envisaged throughout. The negotiation of policy and planning options is intended through the livestock knowledge management framework in the Programme Entity 2.1.3A8 Technologies and Systems for Efficient Natural Resource Use in Livestock Production. This framework is also included in the AG Departmental Priority Areas for Inter-disciplinary Action (PAIA) on the Sustainable Intensification of Integrated Production Systems in Selected Agro-Ecosystems. In this interdepartmental mechanism aimed at enhancing partnerships within FAO, integrated decision support to policy-makers and women and men stakeholders will be provided in order to improve productivity and sustainability of resource use and enhancement of natural resources. The capacity of women and men stakeholders to identify the potential for and constraints to market oriented development will be improved and alternative gender-sensitive strategies will be developed to achieve sustainable increase in the supply of livestock products.

85. Under Programme 2.1.4 Agricultural Support Systems, AGS will examine culture- and location-specific gender patterns in relation to trends and effects of commercialisation and globalisation of agriculture. Based on field studies and literature review, AGS will prepare a report on women and commercialisation. The desirability of targeting women in small farmer programmes, in order to close existing gender gaps, will be appraised. AGS will give special attention to gender-specific implications of HIV/AIDS for farm-household management in African farming systems. The Division will provide policy advice for design of small farmer development programmes, and for improving rural women's and men's access to resources. Given the lack of farm level data for evaluating farm productivity, income, labour use, cash flows, etc., and that strengthening institutional capacity for farm data and information systems is particularly critical for gender mainstreaming, AGS will review farm data systems and provide support for their improvement, taking into account the need for accurate data on women and men producers, including the gender division of labour. AGS will give particular attention to data for appraising gender trends and bias. AGS information and advocacy materials will raise awareness on the need to improve collection and dissemination of sex-disaggregated data and information.

86. Under Programme 2.2.4 Agriculture, Food Security and Trade Policy, ESA will analyse specific issues related to gender in the Special Chapter of the State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA) report, using a methodology that considers the paramount importance of gender impacts. Specifically, the following steps will be taken in preparation of the Special Chapter: identification of gender-related concerns raised by the topic; compilation of sex-disaggregated data from official and unofficial sources (if primary data is collected, conduct a sex-disaggregated survey or data collection process); assessment, to the extent possible, of the potentially gender-differentiated outcomes; evaluation of the differentiated impacts of policies on women and men; and formulation of recommendations (if applicable) that address apparent differences in opportunities and outcomes between men and women. The information reported by Member Nations and international Organizations on actions taken to implement the World Food Summit Plan of Action will be summarised, with particular attention given to actions relating to gender mainstreaming. The Division will ensure that a standard section on gender considerations is included in the thematic analyses on the World Food Summit follow-up issues. Two staff members are designated to ensure that this undertaking will be properly implemented. Moreover, ESA will include explicit mention of gender impacts in its impact evaluations for food security that are carried out upon request, which will vary according to the nature of the intervention being evaluated.

87. Furthermore, under the same programme, ESA will raise awareness, by preparing working papers and reports, on the impacts that are specifically related to gender issues within economic and social policies, especially those that affect access and ownership of food. Gender related issues will be incorporated as follows: ensuring the inclusion of gender concerns in project proposals and concept papers, such as gender differentiated roles and access to productive assets as it relates to food security; improving data disaggregated by sex, especially where primary data collection is involved; planning further research to integrate gender aspects; exploring gender disaggregated impacts of policies; encouraging reporting of research results in a gender sensitive manner; raising awareness among policy makers and other researchers on gender differentiated impacts of economic and social policies. In addition, through support to field activities, ESA will also ensure that gender related concerns are incorporated in policy training and advising activities of FAO.

88. The analytical and information needs for fulfilment of the mandate of ESC, focusing as they do on national and global market aggregates of commodity production, consumption, trade and prices, limit for the most part consideration of gender issues. However, the household level implications of policy and market developments include a gender dimension, arising from the division of labour and distribution of income within households: a notable example being a split, in some contexts, between production of food crops for household consumption undertaken by women and production of cash crops undertaken by men. This in turn may have implications for access to food and household-level food security. Consideration of gender issues will be included in the work of ESC on commodity production and food security under Programme 2.2.3 Food and Agricultural Monitoring, Assessments and Outlooks, Programme Entity 2.2.3P6 Global Information and Early Warning System of Food and Agriculture, and Programme 2.2.4 Agriculture, Food Security and Trade Policy. Specifically, the analysis of the complex of linkages between export crop production and trade and food security at the household level will be extended to include case studies of gender roles in relation to particular commodities and countries. Efforts will also be made to ensure that country-level policy advice pertaining to the design of efficient commodity-specific policy mechanisms, and support for enhancement of competitiveness of production of both cash and household crops is cognisant of gender roles and appropriate in this context.

89. Under Programme 2.2.2 Food and Agricultural Information, ESS will continue to guide member countries to include gender considerations in the collection and tabulation of data, particularly through national agricultural data collection programmes. The Division, in collaboration with SDW, is planning to extend coverage of gender related data being tabulated from agricultural censuses and surveys under Programme Entity 2.2.2P3 Agricultural Statistics Development. It is also proposed to compile data from additional sources such as household income/expenditure surveys to better understand the roles of women in social, cultural and economic development. Aware of the difficulties encountered in the availability and analysis of sex-disaggregated data for use by policy-makers, ESS aims at improving the existing concepts for the collection of data, as well as framing new methods to assess gender contributions in the generation of income that would better inform policy-makers in promoting gender-sensitive programmes for agricultural and rural development.

90. Under Programme 2.3.1 Fisheries Information, FIDI will make accessible on the Internet global databases on species distribution and biology, inland fishery resources, aquaculture, fish market information, fishery country profiles and fisheries management systems, and so forth, including guidance for user groups on sex-disaggregated statistics on employment involved in fish capture, processing or marketing, for example. FIDI will facilitate the generation, storage, exchange and dissemination of more comprehensive, reliable and usable fishery statistics and fishery, through the development and dissemination of data gathering methodologies and tools, taking into account gender issues in particular as regards sex-disaggregated statistics. In this context, FIDI will carry out an analysis, to the extent possible, on the data collection methodology concerning artisanal fish processing and especially the population involved disaggregated by sex. FIDI will aim to ensure more comprehensive, reliable and user-friendly fishery statistics with the view to support fisheries policy-making, management, industry, research and education, including the development of gender-sensitive norms and standards for fisheries statistics.

91. Under Programme 2.3.3 Fisheries Exploitation and Utilization, FII will promote policy options and institutional measures to improve efficiency and adaptability in production, processing and marketing systems for selected under-utilized species and low-value catches with the aim to increase awareness of markets and marketability of products from under-utilized species and low-value catches, contributing to an increase in employment and food security, benefiting both women and men stakeholders.

92. With the aim to enhance national policies in the fishery sector, under Programme 2.3.4 Fisheries Policy FIP will monitor and report information considered essential as a guide to major policy decisions with regards to global fisheries management and aquaculture, taking into account gender issues, specifically, recognising the need for adequate data on the role of women and men in the fisheries sector in order to enhance national policies. In order to strengthen fishery management and increase involvement of stakeholders in aspects of fisheries and aquaculture, FIP will produce user-friendly materials and technical guidelines that will take into account gender issues. Recognising that women are involved in small-scale trading and processing, FIP will promote the effective implementation of sustainable livelihoods approach using the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries as a management tool, taking into consideration gender issues, to the extent possible. FIP will produce reports analysing the economic viability and sustainability of commercial culture of the main fish species grown in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, identifying major constraints and discussing policies and strategies to alleviate these constraints, that seek to understand the role of women in aquaculture development and the impact of promoting commercial aquaculture on women's livelihoods especially in terms of generating better employment opportunities. Reports produced in this programme could be used as training and reference materials for those interested in aquaculture development. Making these materials - which demonstrate the profitability and sustainability of commercial aquaculture - widely available to women will eventually attract women's investment in the sector.

93. Under this programme, with the aim to stimulate governments to establish national policies, legal and economic instruments that are conducive to increased private investment in aquaculture, FIP, taking into account the important role women play, will conduct national seminars to share findings of different experts and experiences of participants and to examine legal frameworks and economic instruments to give impetus to the aquaculture sector. Women will be encouraged to attend the national workshops. In order to stimulate spatial expansion of commercial aquaculture, the Division will produce a comprehensive report analysing the impacts of promoting commercial aquaculture, the evaluation phase of this activity will identify the role of women in aquaculture development and evaluate the welfare effect of promoting commercial aquaculture on women. The outcome of this evaluation could be a stimulus for a wider implication of women in lucrative aquaculture activities. With the aim to improve fisheries and aquaculture management policies and practices, FIP will produce international framework guidelines and instruments on the use of economic incentives for fisheries management and international guidelines on good management practices in shrimp aquaculture that will take into account gender differentials, to the extent possible. In addition, efforts will be made to include gender issues in the development of national management policies and plans formulated and implemented in line with international instruments and guidelines aimed at reducing biological and economic over-fishing, levels of excess fishing capacity, negative environmental and social impacts of aquaculture and increasing incomes and fish production.

94. Under Programme 2.3.2 Fisheries Resources and Aquaculture, FIR will take into account women's and men's role in aquaculture and land fisheries production in developing guidelines on sustainable intensification of freshwater aquaculture production, coastal aquaculture development, as well as methodologies for sustainable integrated aquaculture with agriculture, with a view to assist Member Nations in formulating national guidelines with respect to aquaculture and inland fisheries management. Efforts will be made to include, wherever applicable, knowledge of both indigenous/local women and men about the ecosystem, relevant to the analysis of the state of the environment, in order to achieve a more accurate assessment of environmental impacts on and interactions with marine living resources, through the development of improved exploitation, management and conservation practices.

95. Moreover, under this programme FIR will develop global and regional specialized information systems as well as databases on various technical areas, taking into account men and women's role in aquaculture and the land fisheries production with the aim to ensure equal access to natural resources and products produced through aquaculture. In order to assist Member Nations in decision-making and planning processes to promote sustainable development of aquaculture and inland fisheries, FIR will prepare global reviews of the state of aquaculture and inland fisheries, incorporating gender issues, in particular gender-based potentials and constraints. In its efforts to assist governments and the private sector in implementing regional cooperation programmes through the provision of technical support, inter-regional cooperation and partnerships on inland fisheries and aquaculture, FIR will ensure that international, regional and national fisheries bodies recognise and support women's role in these sub-sectors. FIR will prepare and provide technical information on inland fisheries and aquaculture to member countries that will include gender-specific technical advice, wherever possible. FIR will provide technical advise on inland fisheries and aquaculture to Member Nations; this information will include gender-specific technical advise wherever possible.

96. In order to support long-term strategic forestry planning efforts and stimulate appropriate forestry policy reform, under Programme 2.4.3 Forestry Policy and Planning FON will conduct Forestry Sector Outlook Studies for Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Near East and Central Asia, that will examine and promote discussions on the ways that forestry policy, tree tenure and aspects of forestry, present or limit opportunities for women and men, and equitable sharing of both the benefits and/or opportunities for sustainable forest management. The analyses, recognising that women are often impacted directly or indirectly by forest policies and programmes, will provide useful information for national policy formulation and an impetus for efforts to address gender issues in the region.

97. Moreover, with the aim to enable Member Nations to incorporate the Forestry Department's fiscal proposals or policy concepts within their national or legal framework, FON will produce publications describing and identifying practical fiscal and tenure measures to promote sustainable forest management, based on analyses of the key socio-economic factors impeding sustainable forest management, including gender equality issues. The foundation of knowledge will allow Member Nations to focus their limited resources on more detailed and issue-specific analyses of their own situation; thus promoting sustainable forest management and related policies to support food security, including policies promoting gender equality.

98. FON will also under the same programme support the participation of women and men stakeholders in natural resource management, including the formulation of policy and legislation and decisions concerning local resource management, in order to enhance access to forest resources and improve forest management; reduce vulnerability of declining natural resources while increasing the benefits derived from the resources, including gender equality; as well as promoting a wider view of the opportunities for linking conservation and development, including opportunities for women. The Division will produce gender-sensitive appraisals of trends and issues affecting forest management and sustainable livelihoods, strategic assessments and design of supportive policy framework, processes, and institutions, and documents and materials on participatory processes (approaches and programmes).

99. Under the same programme, the Community Forestry Unit (CFU) will promote and support linkages between forestry and sustainable livelihoods, with special attention paid to the most vulnerable, including very poor women or men who are normally neglected by projects or excluded from training programmes. The CFU will make a concerted effort to work at the policy and institutional level for the adoption of gender-responsive participatory processes and decentralization of activities and devolution of decision-making. The Unit will promote planning with communities, and the collection of sex-disaggregated data for area profiles. Gender issues will be integrated in guidelines for the adoption of participatory processes in forest management. The CFU will prepare materials on a number of contemporary themes, such as marketing analysis and development, introducing participatory processes in government forestry departments, decentralization and devolution, rural learning networks, conflict management, that will include a chapter or section on gender issues in natural resource management. Consideration of indigenous knowledge will be integrated where appropriate in the development of topic materials. Forestry staff will be encouraged to work with communities to include indigenous knowledge and to collect sex-disaggregated data for area profiles. The objective of topic development in the CFU is to promote an enabling environment for collaborative approaches to attain sustainable management of trees, forests and other natural resources, through the increased capacity of different actors and supportive policy and legislation. As such, the topics have a process rather than a methodological orientation and gender and development is integrated in each topic. CFU will contribute to the implementation of the present Plan on the basis of a gender strategy developed for the unit in 2001.

100. GII will pay special attention to gender representation and gender issues in the course of its work to produce high-quality information products, and in communicating FAO news to its target audiences. To this end, the Division will revive plans to arrange an in-service training opportunity for information officers, in cooperation with SDW, on Mainstreaming gender issues in FAO's corporate communication work. As part of this initiative, SDW or experts identified by SDW will critique the public information output of FAO from a gender perspective. Depending on demand, the training may be extended to colleagues elsewhere in the GI Department, or to information officers working with the various technical units.

101. With the aim to strengthen FAO's information resources, under Programme 2.2.2 Food and Agricultural Information GIL will develop the WAICENT Resource Finder - a system that will serve as a global search engine for organising and linking information pertinent to FAO's work on food security and sustainable agricultural development - that will include links to gender-sensitive information and data in agriculture and gender-specific searches. In order to achieve faster, more efficient searching among FAO documents, including gender-sensitive information materials, improved services to users worldwide, GIL will provide users with more sophisticated and user-friendly query interfaces that will include a gender category to enable searches and retrievals through thematic subject categories. To facilitate indexing and cataloguing of agricultural information material, techniques of categorizing will be developed that will take into account new areas, such as gender-related issues in the documentation tools, conducive to greater awareness of new categories in the research/education/capacity building areas. With the aim to build the Organization's capacity to document its information products more efficiently, the Division will equip catalogues, encompassing FAO information materials, with cross referencing tools, that will include gender keywords to enable searches and retrievals through thematic subject categories. In order to increase efficiency in the use of information and expertise for building national capacity, GIL will take into account gender issues in the development of methodologies for assessing information needs of systems and users; training materials for distance learning and software tools for applying FAO information, adapted content and databases to national systems.

102. Under Programmme 3.1.3 Legal Assistance to Member Nations, LEG will produce an inventory of requirements for national regulation and priority thematic areas, as well as appropriate guidelines, manuals, codes of conduct and action plans, that will take into account women's access to land and agricultural requisites as a priority theme in order to provide a basis for national regulation, in particular technical assistance and capacity building in the priority thematic area. LEG maintains a database of food and agricultural legislation comprising online legal texts, summaries and key-word index, and develops special-interest sub-databases (e.g., foreign fishing conditions, international water basins) to enable Member Nations to formulate national laws and regulations on food and agriculture. LEG recognizes that much legislation is relevant to gender issues, but gender is usually not mentioned, so the texts will not be identified by indexers even if gender terms were incorporated in the thesaurus. If explicit references to gender become more common in legislation, appropriate terms will be added. LEG will undertake some studies on specific gender issues, in particular on women's access to land and other priority thematic areas for national regulation.  Gender will also be considered in the relevant parts of general publications to enable Member Nations to formulate national laws, regulations and policies on food and agriculture.

103. Moreover, SDA will promote the use of participatory, gender-sensitive methods and approaches by FAO, government and NGO staff in the planning, formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of sustainable livelihood projects and programmes under Programme 2.5.3 Rural Development. This will be done by encouraging broader FAO staff and government involvement in the development and dissemination of such methodologies through field-testing exercises, via methods training workshops and through a variety of information exchange mechanisms including the inter-divisional Informal Working Group on Participatory Approaches and Methods to Support Sustainable Livelihoods and Food Security and the ACC Network on Rural Development and Food Security in Member Nations.

104. Under Programme 2.5.1 Research, Natural Resources Management and Technology Transfer, SDR will establish and operate global systems of terrestrial observation sites and networks aimed at harmonising observation and assessment methodologies that will include support to socio-economic issues. This will aim to achieve a consolidated FAO source of information and indicators relating to sustainable agriculture and rural development that also take into consideration gender issues. SDR will elaborate a comprehensive gender sensitive programme on children and youth, including boys, girls, young men and women, to raise awareness on their contributions to agricultural and rural development and encourage favourable policy environments for the support of programmes, projects and activities. Specific education and training related to learning gender roles will be taught and practised in a mixed, balanced gender setting. With the aim to improve the role, policy, organization, strategy, methodology and staff performance aspects of national systems of agricultural extension, education and communication for development, SDR will organise, taking into consideration the different roles and needs of female and male staff, workshops on pertinent topics, preparation and distribution of concept papers addressing dominant issues (such as gender, pluralism and decentralisation in extension, distance learning in agricultural education, and interactive media in communication for development) and special needs (such as meeting challenge of HIV/AIDS for both men and women by extension organizations).

105. Under the same programme, SDR will promote mechanisms for strengthening linkages among public and non-public institutions related to research, extension, education and communication and best practises for gender sensitive participatory and integrated technology generation, assessment and dissemination for the transformation and intensification of sustainable food and agricultural production systems. To support the implementation of conventions and other international environmental agreements, SDR will promote co-ordination, policy analysis and technical advice on issues related to the implementation of conventions on organic agriculture, environment and energy, through guidelines and documents for sharing information and promoting best practices, that also take into consideration a gender perspective. In providing support to secretariats and advisory bodies of international environmental conventions and agreements, SDR will prepare position papers on issues related to conventions and environmental agreements, including organic agriculture and energy, incorporating a gender perspective, when applicable. For the implementation of international conventions SDR will develop best practices, awareness documents and guidelines, that will take into consideration the different gender roles related to international environmental conventions and agreements, and sustainable farming systems; as well as conduct regional and national training seminars on environmental planning and natural resource management.

106. Moreover, under this programme, SDR will develop research prioritisation protocols and gender-sensitive guidelines in order to assist governments in identifying research investment priorities and funding requirements to render research programmes relevant to both women and men, thus making them more gender-responsive, effective and efficient. SDR will promote safer utilisation of biotechnology and its products adapted for the specific use by both rural women and men. SDR will create an electronic forum on policy issues related to biotechnology to promote discussion and provide information to all stakeholders (women and men) of the policy implications of selected biotechnology developments taking into account the roles and needs of rural women and men. Efforts will be made to consider the gender specific needs of both women and men as required, to ensure that they have the preparation and training necessary to make knowledgeable decisions about biotechnology developments and their use.

107. Under Programme 2.5.2 Gender and Population, with the aim to produce a wider ability to identify and utilize population and gender information for planning and decision-making by Member Nations and for FAO staff, as well as reduce discrimination by gender, age and/or socio-cultural characteristics, SDW will mainstream population and gender concerns into its programmes and policy advise to countries. The mainstreaming acitivities will focus on such normative actions as human resource development through training and education, the production of methods, tools and guidelines for undertaking population (including the impact of HIV/AIDS) and gender analyses, and the creation and improvement of appropriate quantitative and qualitative databases, and the appropriate technologies and methodologies for disseminating this information.

108. Under the same programme, SDW will develop guidelines and provide training for institutionalising mainstreaming, of gender and population issues, support improved data and information bases concerning the roles and responsibilities of rural men and women, and advisory assistance to Member Nations to promote policies and legislation that provide more equitable access to productive resources for both rural men and women. SDW will also provide support for seminars, conferences and expert consultations on gender and population policy at national and regional levels. The Socioeconomic and Gender Analysis Programme (SEAGA) training of trainers workshops will continue to be developed and implemented to build capacity for analysis of socioeconomic and gender issues in the context of agricultural and rural development policies, programmes and projects.

109. Moreover, in order to identify constraints and opportunities, and build on lessons learned in gender mainstreaming, SDW will coordinate and play a corporate management role in relation to the Plan of Action, through its monitoring and analytical reporting functions regarding the progress made in the implementation of the Plan, as well as through its support to training and building skills of FAO staff in gender analysis and gender mainstreaming. With the aim to enhance networking and facilitate UN system-wide mainstreaming approaches, as well as foster a continued learning process, SDW will prepare and disseminate consolidated reports, papers and other documentation, to relevant UN bodies, on FAO's activities in support of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and other international agreements on gender mainstreaming, including the Cairo conference on gender and population issues, as well as participate in UN system-wide initiatives.

110. Recognising that there are different and specific constraints and opportunities for FAO technical divisions, as well as roles and responsibilities within those, for gender mainstreaming, SDW will under the same programme promote the development and dissemination of gender- and population-sensitive sector and sub-sector guidelines, as well as methodologies and instruments, in collaboration with Technical Divisions to increase the ability of technical experts to mainstream gender and population issues into the policies, programmes and projects that they formulate, implement, monitor and evaluate.

111. In order to ensure FAO's field programme and projects are timely and consistent with overall development objectives and priority needs of the countries, under Programme 3.1.1 Coordination of Policy Assistance and Related Capacity Building TCA will review, taking into account gender issues, the existing literature on the socio-economic and agricultural situation, development potentials and options and constraints of the country. With the aim to promote a conducive policy environment for agricultural development and food security, including enhanced national capacity in policy analysis and monitoring, as well as in preparation of strategies and plans for sustainable development, TCA will conduct policy review and analysis, as well as analysis of impact and relevance of alternative policy options, that take into account gender issues and concerns in providing policy advice and conduct of policy analysis.

112. Moreover, TCA will take into account gender differentiated analysis and policy measures in the preparation of training manuals, modules, exercises and case studies related to the analysis of the overall characteristics, potentials, constraints and performance of the agricultural sector, the design of sector plans and strategies, and the formulation, implementation and monitoring of major food, agriculture and rural development policies.  The overall aim is to improve the availability of training materials, including gender sensitive materials, suitable for the training of policy-making practitioners and working professionals from different sectors of society involved in the policy dialogue.

113. The Investment Centre (TCI) helps developing Member Nations to mobilise international and national funding for agricultural and rural development by assisting governments in the preparation and formulation of programmes or projects suitable for funding by the World Bank, IFAD, the African, Asian and Inter-American Development Banks, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, UNCDF and sub-regional and national development banks. TCI will seek to intensify efforts to mainstream gender in agricultural investment project design. To this effect, Investment Centre projects will incorporate gender analysis in an increasing number of project preparation processes and ensure that appropriate design adaptations are made in the light of that analysis. TCI will also monitor progress achieved in this area.

114. Under Programme 2.5.6 Food Production in Support of Food Security in Low-Income, Food-Deficit Countries (LIFDCs), TCO will take into account gender issues in all stages of the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS) and of the South-South Cooperation (SSC). The Division will formulate national Special Programmes for Food Security with the aim to obtain increased national and external women and men stakeholders' support, improved national capacity to formulate project documents for the various phases of the SPFS and a larger involvement of women and men farmers in SPFS activities. In order to formulate South-South Cooperation Agreements (whereby more advanced developing countries send field technicians and experts, both male and female, to other developing countries to work directly with farmers) that respond better to the needs of local communities in host countries, TCO will take into account gender issues particularly in terms of designing gender-responsive activities to be implemented. Recognising that gender issues constitute a priority during the implementation of the SPFS, farming practices and adopted technologies, training and extension programmes will be designed to ensure equitable sharing of benefits and participation of women and men farmers. TCO will promote the role of women farmers in income-generating and small animal breeding diversification activities, and women's and men's participation in voluntary working activities in rural area, such as the rehabilitation of irrigation schemes. Special attention will be paid to the adoption of farming practices, technologies, training and extension programmes designed to ensure equitable sharing of benefits between women and men farmers.

115. In relation to FAO's emergency activities, TCO, in collaboration with SDW and the World Food Programme, is developing guidelines for operations staff at Headquarters and in the field to facilitate the integration of a gender perspective in all phases of the emergency project sequence, from needs assessment, project formulation, targeting to monitoring and evaluation and final reporting. The aim is to formulate emergency interventions that are better targeted to meet the needs and constraints of both women and men and to ensure that gender analysis becomes an integral part of the planning and practice of emergency interventions.


116. The implementation of the Plan of Action will be supported at various levels of the Organization, at Headquarters and in the decentralised offices, by operational arrangements and mechanisms intended to provide advice and coordination.



117. At Headquarters the Plan of Action will be supported and implemented at the following levels:

118. Management level. Senior management fora, such as the Senior Management Meeting (SMM), Policy and Programme Advisory Board (PPAB), and the Senior Officers' Information Forum (SOIF), will provide guidance to Departments and Divisions by reviewing and discussing policy issues emerging from monitoring and evaluation of the Plan of Action/gender mainstreaming (e.g. recommendations of progress reports/reviews). The Programme and Project Review Committee (PPRC) will continue to review all programmes and projects in accordance with the revised Terms of Reference that include as one of six guiding principles "... the promotion of gender equality and equity". The Director of SDW - the corporate gender focal point - through the ADG, SD, will assume responsibility for initiating necessary corporate follow-up action and decisions related to the implementation of the Plan of Action at the level of senior management and/or Office of the Director-General, as appropriate. Issue-specific ad hoc working groups/task forces will be convened, at the initiative of the Director of SDW, as required or as mandated by senior management, to prepare issues for review and discussion by relevant management. As regards the composition of the ad hoc working groups/task forces, the corporate gender focal point will co-opt individual staff members, in consultation with their management, depending on the nature of the issues to be addressed.

119. Departmental Level. Each Assistant Director-General, in his/her individual capacity is responsible and accountable for mainstreaming gender into the work of the Departments. Each Division/Service/Unit will designate or reconfirm a gender focal point from Regular Programme staff members, in order to ensure continuity in their efforts to mainstream gender. Terms of Reference for these focal points have been developed taking into account the conclusions and recommendations of the 1999 UN system-wide study on gender focal points. Gender focal points will, inter alia, facilitate the co-ordination of the Plan of Action within their Units and participate in the electronic network forum (E-GAD), together with interested staff, on issues relating to gender mainstreaming/Plan of Action. It is proposed that the function of gender focal point rotate every two years among regular staff in order to foster learning by doing and gradually broaden the network of staff with an understanding of gender issues and with skills in applying the gender analysis tools and methodologies. Gender focal points will liaise with SDW to seek assistance/guidance as necessary to facilitate the implementation of the Plan of Action. Effective indicators will be elaborated by the technical units, in collaboration with PBE/SDW, and used for reporting on the implementation of the Plan of Action. It will be the responsibility of the Divisions at Headquarters to liaise and guide outposted officers for effectively mainstreaming gender into their work.

120. The Women and Population Division (SDW). In addition to its own normative programme (see Section IV), SDW will continue to act as the corporate focal point for the Gender and Development Plan of Action. In addition to the responsibilities mentioned in Para 118, SDW will also be responsible for continuous liaison with the Divisions/Services implementing the Plan of Action, providing them with technical assistance and advice/guidance as required. The Division will facilitate and act as Secretariat for the "e-Forum for Gender and Development" (E-GAD), an electronic network forum for implementing the critical role of disseminating and exchanging information relating to gender mainstreaming in the work of FAO, formerly ensured through the Inter-departmental Committee on Women in Development (COWID). The forum will involve gender focal points and interested staff at Headquarters and in the decentralised offices. SDW will co-ordinate the preparation of internal reports as requested by FAO's Governing Bodies and senior management, as well as various external reports for UN fora and sessions of the Inter-Agency Committee on Women and Gender Equality, on the implementation of the Plan of Action. The Division will carry out the critical role of advocacy for the promotion of gender mainstreaming within FAO and Member Nations, through the dissemination and exchange of information on the issue of gender in agriculture and rural development. Finally, it will monitor and evaluate the implementation of the Plan of Action.

Decentralised offices

121. FAO has recently undertaken the last leg of the decentralization exercise dealing with operations. The process is instrumental to gender mainstreaming, as many divisional activities are now managed and implemented at the decentralised level. The decentralisation of operations, aimed at enhancing FAO's performance for both normative and operational tasks, has required the transfer of technical expertise to the field. A WID/Gender Officer is part of the multidisciplinary teams in place in the five Regional Offices. Although the outposted WID/Gender Officers collaborate extensively with other outposted technical officers to mainstream gender at the field level, it is not their responsibility alone to ensure the incorporation of a gender dimension into all field activities. For this purpose, management committees and field programme committees at decentralized level will have the responsibility to ensure that gender issues are mainstreamed in the proposals under their review, before on-forwarding to HQ for final approval.

122. A strategy for increased co-ordination between Headquarters and decentralised offices in mainstreaming gender activities will be formulated to facilitate the implementation of the Plan of Action. The strategy will include necessary measures and arrangements to strengthen the capacity of the decentralized offices for gender mainstreaming. The main objectives will encompass (i) early identification of entry points for collaboration on gender issues between the outposted WID/Gender Officer and their colleagues; (ii) ensuring that gender issues are duly taken into account as early as possible in the project and programme cycle; (iii) increasing visibility of gender mainstreaming at regional level and inviting Member Nations in the regions to identify particular regional priorities to be addressed; (iv) encouraging the managers of Divisions, who have outposted officers, to give due attention to gender issues as relevant to their area of specialization; (iv) training sessions for staff in the decentralised offices in the use of analytical tools for socio-economic and gender analysis; (v) encouraging staff members in the decentralised offices at all levels to join the aforementioned electronic network forum (E-GAD) with the aim to ensure a better circulation of information between and among Headquarters and decentralized offices, about initiatives and good practices taken by colleagues with respect to gender mainstreaming; and (vi) revision of the guidelines for preparing annual reports from FAORs to strengthen attention to and reporting on gender issues as relevant to agriculture and food security in a given country.


123. Based on the lessons learned from the efforts made in the early 1990s to sensitise technical staff to gender issues and concerns in agriculture and rural development, a limited in-house gender training needs assessment conducted by SDW in 1998. In addition, a review of existing training programmes and identification of resources for some initial efforts in this area in 2001, was undertaken jointly by SDW and AFP. A strategy that emphasises a more systematic and comprehensive approach to the development of analytical skills of FAO staff to mainstream gender in their normative and operational work, was developed. In addition to the skills development of technical staff, it was recognised that there is equally a need to generate greater gender awareness and sensitivity among middle- and upper-management to foster an organizational culture that reflects and supports the commitment to achieve gender equality in staffing within the Organization, as well as gender-responsiveness in FAO's Regular and Field Programme activities.

124. Within an overall interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral context and approach, a two-tier strategy, that takes into account both the needs for effective institutionalization of gender into existing training programmes, as well as for the provision of issue-specific separate courses, has been elaborated. Specifically, with the aim to strengthen capacity of staff in all locations for gender mainstreaming in policy analysis, and throughout the entire project/programme cycle, and to continuously promote a management culture that fosters gender equality, the following strategy is suggested:

  1. integrate gender analysis into the curricula of courses on formulation and design of technical cooperation projects/programmes, as well as those on implementation and management, and monitoring and evaluation, organized jointly by AFP and PBE for FAO staff, and in particular for the national programme officers/national project directors;

  2. a front-loading of the effort in building skills of FAO staff for gender mainstreaming during the next biennium (2002-2003) by:

- designing specific training sessions for technical divisions on how gender can be addressed in their areas of expertise;

- developing and using specific Socio-economic and Gender Analysis (SEAGA) sector guides, some of which are currently under preparation with related technical divisions, for the specific training needs of the staff of these divisions;

  1. a considerable commitment and investment of human and financial resources in a training effort combining general and selective training and sensitization of FAO staff at various levels.

125. A separate document has been developed jointly by AFP and SDW, which outlines a strategy for building skills of FAO staff for gender mainstreaming and defines in more detail the division of responsibilities of different units, resource allocation, as well as indicators.


126. For the implementation of the Plan of Action, external partnerships and networks will be promoted at the following levels:

127. Inter-agency level. The Women and Population Division (SDW) will co-ordinate the preparation of reports aimed at providing information on the implementation of the Plan of Action to other UN agencies (primarily through existing inter-agency mechanisms). SDW will liaise with UN agencies to increase co-ordination in the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and, therefore, FAO's Plan of Action. Technical Divisions, in the implementation of their gender-responsive major outputs, will pay special attention to strengthening partnerships with relevant NGOs.

128. NGO level. The Women and Population Division (SDW) will take the lead in increasing co-operation with relevant NGOs and other civil society organizations aimed at implementing development initiatives that fall under the Plan of Action's objectives. SDW will encourage the formation of regional networks of relevant NGOs to facilitate the achievement of the PoA's objectives. It will also carry out the critical role of advocacy aimed at enhancing gender mainstreaming efforts among NGOs, through the dissemination and exchange of information on gender issues.

129. Private sector level. In view of the increasingly critical role played by the private sector in agricultural and rural development, new and expanding partnerships will be forged within the sphere of the Plan of Action.


130. Monitoring and evaluation. Progress in the implementation of the Plan of Action will be monitored on an ongoing basis at all levels as follows:

131. In order to monitor activities under the Regular Programme, appropriate monitoring and evaluation arrangements will be incorporated into existing and future corporate reporting and evaluation systems and exercises. The corporate Medium Term Plan is a rolling plan and as such will be reviewed and updated every two years. Review and updating of the GAD-PoA will be an integral part of this regular rolling over exercise. Such arrangements will ensure that the Plan of Action is monitored, evaluated, and updated on a continuing basis at all levels within FAO. Each Division will, therefore, be responsible for reporting on the implementation of their gender-responsive activities. For this purpose, appropriate indicators and criteria will be developed. SDW will provide advice to Divisions on monitoring and evaluation of the Plan of Action, as required, with conceptual support from PBE. The issues emerging from the reporting exercises will be presented by the corporate focal point on gender mainstreaming, the Director of SDW, to senior management fora for review and follow-up action within their Departments and Divisions.

132. In order to monitor activities under the Field Programme, FAO guidelines for field programme monitoring and evaluation require a section in all evaluation reports on `gender equality in project implementation and results'. These guidelines call for an assessment of the adequacy and effectiveness of measures taken by projects to: (i) incorporate gender concerns into project design; (ii) implement particular approaches and activities; and (iii) create production opportunities for women. Performance indicators are to be identified and applied in individual project evaluations as appropriate. FAO is also developing guidelines for operations staff at Headquarters and the field to integrate the gender perspective at all phases of the emergency project sequence from needs assessment, project formulation, beneficiary targeting to monitoring and evaluation and final reporting. Furthermore, monitoring of the Field Programme is to be improved through the inclusion of gender-sensitive indicators within the context of the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS); gender issues in investment project preparation reports will be systematically covered; and FAO's Management Information System (MIS) will be revised, taking into account lessons from the previous Plan of Action, to track performance in gender mainstreaming.

132. Reporting. Divisions/Services will report periodically on the progress made in the implementation of the Plan of Action, and as required in connection with external reporting purposes (e.g. Committee for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, Commission on the Status of Women, Economic and Social Council, etc.). The Women and Population Division (SDW) will co-ordinate the preparation of internal reports as requested by FAO's Governing Bodies and senior management, as well as external reports for Inter-agency sessions on the implementation of the Plan of Action. Gender mainstreaming is one of 16 Priority Areas for Inter-disciplinary Action (PAIA) identified in the corporate Medium Term Plan. The GAD-PoA will be the main instrument for operationalizing the PAIA on gender mainstreaming. The Director of SDW is the coordinator of this PAIA and will report annually to senior management on progress in the implementation of this PAIA.


133. Gender-sensitive activities will be implemented through the use of Regular Programme resources allocated to the selected major outputs, supplemented by extra-budgetary funds. Divisions have incorporated, and will continue to incorporate, a gender dimension into planned/ongoing activities, rather than elaborating separate WID/gender-sensitive activities, as specific budget allocations for such activities are not foreseen beyond the resources allocated to major programme 2.5. In the case of the Regular Programme, specific detailed outputs incorporating a gender dimension and attendant resources will be stipulated in each Division's biennial and annual workplans, and cross-referenced to the Plan of Action. In the case of the Field Programme, appropriate resources for the implementation of gender-sensitive activities will be stipulated in the programme and project documents to the extent possible.


FAO. 2000a. Gender and Development: why do we still have problems in population programmes after all these years? Rome.

FAO. 2000b. Agriculture: Towards 2015. Technical interim report. Rome.

FAO. 2000c. Issues in urban agriculture. http://www.fao.org/ag/magazine/9901sp2.htm

FAO. 2000d. Gender and Food Security: The Role of Information - Strategy for Action. Rome.

FAO. 2000e. The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2000. Rome.

FAO. 2000f. The State of Food and Agriculture 2000: Lessons from the past 50 years. Rome.

FAO. 1999a. 6 billion and counting: Food security and agriculture in a demographically changing world. Rome.

FAO. 1999b. Filling the Data Gap - Gender-Sensitive Agricultural Development. Rome.

FAO. 1999c. Women - users, preservers and managers of agro-biodiversity. Rome

FAO. 1996. Rural Women and Food Security: Current Situations and Perspectives. Rome.

Frankenberger T.R., McCaston M.K. 1998. The household livelihood security concept. Food Nutrition and Agriculture. N. 22. Rome

Kabeer N. 1995. Women, wages and intra-household power relations in urban Bangladesh. University of Sussex. Brighton.

UN. 2000a. Report of the Ad-hoc Committee of the whole of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly (A/S-23/10/Rev.1).

UN. 2000b. Review and Appraisal of the Beijing Platform for Action. E/CN.6/2000/PC/2.

UN. 1996. Platform for Action and the Beijing Declaration - Fourth World Conference on Women. New York.

UNDP. 1995 Human Development Report. New York.

Whiteside, M. 1998. Encouraging Sustainable Smallholder Agriculture in Southern Africa in the Context of Agricultural Services Reform. Overseas Development Institute: UK.



The term gender refers to the social roles and relations between women and men. This includes the different responsibilities of women and men in a given culture or location. Unlike the sex of men or women, which is biologically determined, the gender roles of women and men are socially constructed and such roles can change over time and vary according to geographic location and social context.


wpe81.jpg (743 bytes)  Gender mainstreaming in FAO involves ensuring that attention to gender equality is a central part of all agricultural and rural development interventions, including analyses, policy advice, advocacy, legislation, research, and the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of programmes and projects.

wpe81.jpg (743 bytes)  Gender mainstreaming has been defined by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Agreed Conclusions, 1997/2 of 18 July 1997, as "a strategy for making women's, as well as men's, concerns and experiences an integral dimension in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political, economic and social spheres so that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated. The ultimate goal is to achieve gender equality"2.


wpe81.jpg (743 bytes)  Gender analysis is a tool to assist in strengthening development planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation; to make programmes and projects more efficient and relevant. Ignoring gender issues and the resulting gender-blind development strategies has caused many development programmes and projects to fail in reaching their principal goals as well as the desired benefits to the target population and has sometimes led unintended negative impacts. Those, who actually should be involved in activities which a programme or project aims to address.

wpe81.jpg (743 bytes)  Within the UN system, gender analysis has been established as a basic requirement for the mainstreaming strategy. The current situation of rural women and men in relation to different issues/problems and the impact of agricultural and rural development policies, legislation, and projects and programmes on women and men respectively - and on the relations between them - should be analysed before any decisions are made.

wpe81.jpg (743 bytes)  Gender analysis should go beyond cataloguing differences to identifying inequalities and assessing relationships between women and men.

wpe81.jpg (743 bytes)  Gender analysis helps us to frame questions about women and men's roles and relations in order to avoid making assumptions about who does what, when and why. The aim of such analysis is to formulate development interventions that are better targeted to meet both women's and men's needs and constraints.


wpe81.jpg (743 bytes)  The term gender targets refers to the male-female ratio in the professional staff category within the Organization. Gender targets should not be mistaken with gender mainsteaming or the WID/GAD approaches (see below) as achieving gender targets does not automatically mainstream gender into the work of the Organization, unless specific efforts are made, by both women and men staff, to ensure this.

wpe81.jpg (743 bytes)  In order to achieve the United Nations goal of 50 percent of Professional and Higher Categories3, the Conference requested FAO to establish a programme focused on redressing the current gender imbalance among FAO professional staff. In view of this, the section on "Affirmative Action" included in the current Plan (1996-2001) will not be drafted as part of the next Plan, but the document pertaining to the aforementioned programme may be annexed for information purposes to the Plan of Action.


wpe81.jpg (743 bytes)  Gender-blind - an approach/strategy/framework/programme may be defined as gender-blind when the gender dimension is not considered, although there is clear scope for such consideration. This is often as a result of lack of training in, knowledge of and sensitisation to gender issues, leading to an incomplete picture of the situation to address and, consequently, to failure.

wpe81.jpg (743 bytes)  Gender-neutral - an approach/strategy/framework/programme may be defined as gender-neutral when the human dimension is not relevant, and thus gender is not an implication. However, given FAO's mandate, the circumstances that do not to take into account the human dimension are very few.




LEG Legal Office
PBE Office of Programme, Budget and Evaluation


AFP Personnel Division


AGA Animal Production and Health Division
AGL Land and Water Development Division
AGP Plant Production and Protection Service
AGS Agricultural Support Systems Division


ESA Agriculture and Economic Development Analysis Division
ESC Commodities and Trade Division
ESN Food and Nutrition Division
ESS Statistics Division


FIDI Fishery Information, Data and Statistics Unit
FII Fishery Industries Division
FIP Fishery Policy and Planning Division
FIR Fishery Resources Division


FON Forestry Policy and Planning Division
FOP Forest Products Division
FOR Forest Resources Division


GIL Library and Documentation Systems Division


SDA Rural Development Division
SDR Research, Extension and Training Division
SDW Women and Population Division


TCA Policy Assistance Division
TCI Investment Centre Division
TCO Field Operations Division



1  Throughout the text, the term agriculture includes the forestry and fisheries sectors.

2  ECOSOC's Agreed Conclusions on gender mainstreaming 1997/2.

3  UNGA Resolution 53/221.