Evaluation at FAO

Key recommendations on FAO's work on gender


Gender issues in agriculture and development are widespread and persistent, affecting both men and women in various ways. Agriculture is a crucial sector that plays a significant role in poverty reduction, food security, and economic growth. However, despite the important role that women play in agriculture, they face a wide range of gender-based challenges that hinder their progress and impact their lives.

Unequal land ownership and access to resources: Women often face barriers in owning or accessing land, credit, and other agricultural inputs. This limits their ability to produce food and generate income, and increases their vulnerability to poverty.

Inadequate participation in decision-making: Women's voices are often not heard in decision-making processes related to agriculture and rural development. This can result in policies and programmes that do not address their needs or consider their perspectives.

Time poverty: Women in rural areas often have a heavy burden of household and care work, which leaves them with little time to participate in agricultural activities. This limits their ability to contribute to the sector and affects their livelihoods.

Lack of education and skills training: Women often have limited access to education and skills training, which limits their ability to improve their agricultural practices and increase their productivity.

Limited access to markets: Women face challenges in accessing markets and selling their products, often due to discrimination and lack of bargaining power. This affects their ability to generate income and improve their livelihoods.

Violence against women: Violence against women is a widespread problem in rural areas, including in agriculture. This can prevent women from participating in agricultural activities and limit their ability to contribute to the sector.


What are the key recommendations from FAO evaluations?

⦿ Conduct a gender analysis: This involves assessing the different roles, responsibilities, and needs of men and women in the target community. By conducting a gender analysis, development projects can identify potential gaps and inequalities that need to be addressed.

⦿ Engage with both men and women: Development projects should engage with both men and women in the target community, as this can help to ensure that the needs and perspectives of all individuals are taken into account.

⦿ Ensure equal participation: Development projects should aim to ensure that both men and women have equal opportunities to participate in the project, whether it be through consultation, decision-making, or implementation.

⦿ Consider the gender implications of project activities: Development projects should consider the potential gender implications of project activities, such as how they may impact men and women differently. For example, if a project involves building infrastructure, it may be important to consider how this will impact women's access to resources and services. Integrate gender considerations into all the phases of the intervention design, this contributes to an engendered evaluation process and can contribute to useful results in all types of evaluations.

⦿ Ensure that project outcomes are gender equitable: Development projects should aim to ensure that the outcomes of the project are gender equitable, meaning that both men and women benefit equally from the project.

⦿ Monitor and evaluate gender outcomes: Development projects should monitor and evaluate the gender outcomes of the project to ensure that the project is meeting its gender-sensitive and inclusive goals. This may involve collecting sex-disaggregated data to track the participation and impact of men and women in the project.

⦿ Support the realization of FAO Policy on gender quality 2020-2030: through an updated phased institutional strengthening process and a comprehensive action plan. FAO should continue to allocate sufficient programme support and an administrative budget to implement its corporate, regional and country levels commitments.

FAO and gender