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Gender mainstreaming as a key strategy for building resilient livelihoods

Increase the resilience of both men and women’s livelihoods to threats and crises

Women and men play specific and complementary roles in agriculture and food and nutrition security, and building the resilience of their livelihoods in different ways. In most countries, women have less access to productive resources, services and employment opportunities than men. The gender gap is found for many assets, inputs and services such as land, livestock, labour, education, information services, and technology, all affecting the capacity to protect their communities from crises. While men account for the majority of direct casualties during wartime, women and children suffer more from displacement, reduced access to services and assistance, and loss of livelihoods. Moreover, the work burden of women and girls increases during and after disasters. Charged with the responsibility of securing fuelwood, water and fodder, they spend increasing time in these activities and are often exposed to heightened protection risks. Addressing the differences between men and women in policies and programmes is essential for building resilient livelihoods for all.


  • On gender and DRR: Women are disproportionately affected by disasters and play a pivotal role in building resilient livelihoods. FAO aims at empowering women as agents of resilience-building by:
    • supporting the development of policies and programmes in disaster risk reduction (DRR) that address the specific vulnerabilities of women and men, based on participatory and gender-sensitive processes.
    • enhancing women’s access to decision-making at community level through collective action (farmer field schools, junior farmer field and life schools, community listeners’ clubs) to strengthen technical skills and raise gender awareness.
    • disseminating technologies and practices that prevent and mitigate disaster impact, while reducing women’s work burden.
    • increasing women’s access to information and training on how to prevent and mitigate the risk of food insecurity through agricultural extension services.
    • increasing women’s access to productive resources and assets, including land and livestock, to safeguard against shocks and crises.
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