Investing in women and girls makes economic sense and accelerates progress for millions of people

International Women’s Day 2024: Follow the joint FAO, IFAD and WFP celebration to see why investing in rural women is central to achieving our Sustainable Development Goals

A woman entrepreneur inspecting plantain fruits.

©FAO/Natalija Gormalova


Rome - Investing in gender equality and women’s empowerment is not only more urgent than ever but also an incredibly smart investment to generate economic growth, food security, income opportunities and better lives, particularly in rural areas where most of the world’s poorest live. That will be the message tomorrow on International Women’s Day from leaders at the Rome-based United Nations agriculture and food agencies event - Invest in Women: accelerate progress.

Closing gender gaps in farm productivity and wages within agrifood systems could boost the global domestic product by 1 percent, representing nearly US$1 trillion, and decrease global food insecurity levels, leading to 45 million more people being food-secure, according to the 2023 FAO status of women in agrifood systems report.

"Investing in women means investing in sustainable development. The return on investment isn't just being able to beat poverty and inequality but building stronger institutions, economies and entire communities,” said Gerardine Mukeshimana, Vice-President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

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