FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

Moldovan efforts work towards gender equality

In the Republic of Moldova, far more women living in rural areas are at risk of poverty compared with men and with urban populations. The recently released National Gender Profile on Agricultural and Rural Livelihoods in the Republic of Moldova presents a snapshot of gender inequalities that affect various aspects of agricultural production and rural livelihoods in the country.

Progress in advancing gender equality has been made but significant gaps remain to be closed. National data analysed in the national gender profile presents a picture of positive developments mixed with immediate challenges, such as land tenure rights, access to resources and inputs, and the negative and disproportionate impact of climate change.

Women control only 19 percent of the total farmland and female farmers own less than 12 percent of all types of machinery and equipment.On the other hand, there is an upward trend in women’s engagement in entrepreneurship: more than half of the subsidized startups are run by female farmers.

Building resilience against climate change

In the Republic of Moldova, with financial support from the Green Climate Fund (GCF), FAO  works at both the national and community levels to reduce the  gender gap in agriculture through climate change adaptation measures. These measures aim to ensure that the negative impact of climate change does not compound pre-existing gender inequalities.

Through its project on mainstreaming adaptation into planning process to reduce vulnerability of agriculture to climate change at local and central levels, FAO promotes gender mainstreaming into national planning processes and provides farmer training.

“Climate change as a global phenomenon affects everyone, yet differently, depending on age, social and economic status, and gender, therefore, women and men experience this impact in a different way,” highlights Nina Lozinschi, gender expert of the FAO-led GCF readiness project, The project aims to identify the impact of climate change and the main vulnerabilities and impediments faced by women in agriculture and as well to encourage adaptation of the resiliency measures. The assessed needs and actions will be available for integration into policy documents at the sectoral level.

During a recent project consultation for women held in Chisinau, Lozinschi said that  “Men and women play different roles in agricultural production. Respectively, when designing adjustment measures to ensure preparedness for coping with climate change, we should take into account these specificities.” 

Participating women, coming from all over the country, shared their concerns regarding small-scale agricultural production and rural livelihood under continuous and increasing pressure of climate change.

“Considering the gender dimension of agriculture, it is absolutely critical that we constantly consult with women directly involved in farming and rural life, not only to assess the vulnerabilities and to adapt the resilience measures but also to involve them in the decision making as key actors of the national process of adaptation mainstreaming,” underlined the project manager, Ala Druță.

“Strengthening government capacities to formulate gender‑responsive and socially inclusive policies in the agriculture sector was and will continue to be one of FAOs’ top priorities in the country,” underlined Tudor Robu, Assistant FAO Representative in the Republic of Moldova.

At the local level, six communities took part in the FAO effort to assess their vulnerabilities to climate change with the aim to create community gender sensitive climate adaptation plans. So far, over one hundred women and men have participated in the consultations and received training on how to recognizeand identify the specific vulnerabilities and potential measures for adaptation, thereby reducing the impact of climate changes on their lives and ensuring food security.

The FAO project is funded by the Readiness Programme of the Green Climate Fund and is implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry and the Ministry of Environment. It aims to support national authorities in integrating climate change adaptation measures into agricultural sector planning while improving food security, ensuring a gender-sensitive approach, and the participation of vulnerable groups.

9 August 2022, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova