Examples of empowerment: snapshots and stories from rural women around the world

On the occasion of the International Day of Rural Women, we take a look at some ways in which a multi-agency programme for the economic empowerment of rural women is making a difference.


Accelerating Progress towards the Economic Empowerment of Rural Women (RWEE) is a joint programme of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).

Launched in October 2012 and currently funded by the governments of Sweden and Norway, the five-year multi-agency programme is being implemented in Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Nepal, Niger and Rwanda, where it aims to empower rural women, in particular by improving their food and nutrition security, increasing their incomes, enhancing their decision-making power and encouraging policy environments that are conducive to their economic empowerment. Across all seven countries, a coordinated approach enables the RWEE programme to leverage each agency’s mandate, comparative advantage and institutional strength for more sustainable and wider-scale improvements in the livelihoods and rights of rural women.

This week, in honour of the International Day of Rural Women (15 October), we take a look at some of the programme’s successes. In Guatemala, Liberia and Nepal, from food security to financial independence, these examples illustrate how RWEE is enabling and empowering rural women around the world.

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