Rural women and food security: Current situation and perspectives

Table of Contents

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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Rome, 1998

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Table of Contents



1. Agricultural and food security trends worldwide: an overview

1.1 Global
1.2 Africa
1.3 Asia and the Pacific
1.4 Europe
1.5 Latin America and the Caribbean
1.6 The Near East

2. Women's contributions to agricultural production and food security: current status and perspectives

2.1 Women as food producers
2.2 Women's other contributions to food security
2.3 The "feminization" of agriculture

3. Factors and constraints affecting women's roles in food security

3.1 "Gender blindness" and "invisibility" of women's roles in and contributions to food security
3.2 Agricultural development policies and research
3.3 Impact of environmental degradation
3.4 Access to resources



1. Regional trends

1.1 Women's contribution to agricultural production
1.2 Female-headed households
1.3 Access to resources
1.4 Impact of environmental degradation

2 Overview of NGOs working for women and development in Africa

2.1 Uganda
2.2 Ethiopia
2.3 Burkina Faso
2.4 Regional networks

3 Inadequate policy support and impact of sectoral and macroeconomic policies on production and trade

3.1 Inadequate policy support
3.2 Impact of sectoral and macroeconomic policies on production and trade

4 Conclusions
5 Recommendations

5.1 Policy, planning and research
5.2 Institutional strengthening
5.3 Direct assistance to rural women



1. Rural women in Asia: current status

1.1 Women's participation in the labour force
1.2 Women's roles in farming systems
1.3 Rural women and biological diversity
1.4 Rural women in the cash crop sector
1.5 Rural women in fishing communities
1.6 Rural women in the post-harvest sector
1.7 Rural employment and enterprises of rural women
1.8 Female-headed households and rural household production
1.9 Female children and rural household production

2. Rural women's access to productive resources

2.1 Land
2.2 Common property resources
2.3 Credit
2.4 Extension service delivery
2.5 Technology

3. Impact of Asian macrotransitions on rural women
4. Institutional support to Asian rural women
5. Recommendations

The Pacific

1. Food security
2. Pacific Islands resources
3. Pacific rural women in agriculture

3.1. Rural women in the agricultural labour force
3.2 Rural women in subsistence agriculture
3.3 Rural women in the cash crop sector
3.4 Rural women in rural food marketing
3.5 Rural women and fisheries
3.6 Rural women's social network and access to food

4. Pacific rural women's access to productive resources
5. Macro-transformations influencing rural women's food sector roles

5.1 Imported food and household food security
5.2 Natural resource degradation
5.3 Linkages among land pressure, soil fertility and food security
5.4. Plantation economy and migration
5.5 Resettlement schemes, household resource allocation and food security

6. Organizational support to Pacific rural women

6.1 Government-sponsored support
6.2 Women's organizations' support for women

7. Conclusions and recommendations


1. Agricultural adjustment in Europe

1.1 Adjustment in western Europe and the common agricultural policy
1.2 Agricultural transition in the CEEC

2. Agriculture, food systems and nutrition

2.1 Food systems and nutrition in western Europe
2.2 Food and nutrition in the CEEC: similarities and divergence

3. Women in the farming sector

3.1 Women in agriculture in Western Europe
3.2 Women in agriculture in the CEEC

4. Pluriactivity in farm adjustment

4.1 Trends in pluriactivity
4.2 Pluriactivity and risk
4.3 Farm women and pluriactivity

5. Environment, ecological agriculture and green consumerism

5.1 Environmental problems related to agriculture
5.2 Organic agriculture and green consumerism in western Europe
5.3 Women and sustainable agriculture and food systems
5.4 Prospects for sustainable agriculture in the CEEC

6. Conclusions and recommendations

Latin America and the Caribbean

1. The context of rural development
2. The overall situation of rural women in Latin America and the Caribbean
3 The situation of rural women by subregion

3.1 central America and the Caribbean
3.2 Andean countries
3.3 The Southern Cone

4. The social situation of women

4.1 Education
4.2 Health
4.3 Organization and participation

5. Experiences in formulating policy targeting rural women
6. International cooperation initiatives
7. Recommendations

7.1 Policies with a gender perspective approach
7.2 Macroeconomic priorities
7.3 Food production
7.4 Food preparation and consumption in households
7.5 Participation and organization of rural women
7.6 Women's social development
7.7 Institutional reform
7.8 Social awareness of gender


Near East

1. Food security in the near east region

1.1 The near east region: a brief overview
1.2 Food security indicators

2. Women's roles in food production and food security

2.1 The status of rural women
2.2 Women in food production
2.3 Women and food security

3 Constraints faced by women farmers

3.1 Exclusion from power and decision-making
3.2 Poor institutional support
3.3 Lack of land rights
3.4 Lack of credit
3.5 Inappropriate technology
3.6 Insufficient education
3.7 Neglect by agricultural extension services
3.8 Exclusion from research

4 Conclusions and recommendations in an evolving landscape

4.1 The importance of research at the farm level
4.2 Improving the educational and health status of women
4.3 Increasing women's productivity by removing barriers to productive resources
4.4 Gender-sensitive policies to increase household food security


World Food Summit