Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

Relaying the 9 point position of the Private Sector View on the Voluntary Guidelines on Gender Equality and Empowerment (Private Sector Mechanism, UN Committee on Food Security),

1) Promote the adoption and implementation of policies by national

governments that ensure legal equality for women, including rights to land and other productive resources; access to financial services, business registration and operation, healthcare, education, and employment opportunities. Women’s rights are human rights.

2) Encourage women’s capacity to organize themselves and foster women leaders. Protect rural women workers’ wages and labour conditions and cultivate their roles as small-scale entrepreneurs. Ensure that women’s leadership and expertise feed into work on food security such as guidelines and initiatives related to land, investment, and nutrition, particularly for women smallholder farmers.

3) Provide access to proper maternal health services for women and focus particularly on nutrition for the first 1000 days of mother and child. Include improvement of women’s, adolescent girls’ and children’s nutritional status as an explicit goal and expected outcomes of agriculture, food and

nutritional security-related programmes, strategies, and policies.

4) Encourage investors, donors, and governments to focus on supporting women smallholder farmers, including access to resources such as inputs, irrigation, energy, agricultural extension services, grain

storage, processing and packaging centres, and information.

5) Education programs should make specific reference to the needs of women, including rural women. There is a pressing need for literacy—both traditional and digital—basic math skills, and general education for women in developing countries. Multiple studies have also found women’s education plays a positive role in achieving goals for child schooling and nutrition.

6) It is important to have gender-sensitive approaches to increase access to agricultural extension services. Specific training with mechanisms to manage gender-based biases on access to land, banking, and marketing opportunities are needed to close gaps for rural women and avoid

perpetuating long-term gender inequities.

7) Access to banking services that ensure women directly receive payment for their agricultural production. Savings accounts are needed, as are affordable micro-credit, insurance, and access to opportunities in the value chain.

8) Supporting co-operatives and other enterprises that allow smallholder women- farmers to aggregate their harvests, negotiate better prices, and introduce value-added processing, package, storage, and marketing.

9) Educational goals for orphans and vulnerable children in developing countries should be assessed at a national level. In many developing countries, agriculture can be the primary means of employment for the vast majority of the population. When the family unit is disrupted, many of these

children lose their opportunity to learn basic farming skills.