Training, guidance and policy in support of rural women


Women represent almost half of the agricultural workforce worldwide. They are agents of change and resilience builders. Yet, the gender gap in food and agriculture remains extensive. Achieving gender equality and empowering women in agriculture is central to the FAO’s mandate.

Below is a selection of FAO training, guidance and policy materials that reflect this year’s International Women’s Day theme, Think equal, build smart, innovate for change.

For more FAO titles on gender equality and rural women’s empowerment, have a look at the Publications catalogue.

Mainstreaming gender in the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for agriculture and rural development
Rural women face a triple divide: digital, rural and gender. This publication examines the challenges rural communities have to overcome to take full and equal advantage of information and communication technologies.

Fostering the uptake of labour-saving technologies and practices
This brief introduces key steps for policy makers and project implementation partners to address the labour constraints of smallholders through the introduction of technologies that are not only labour-saving but also women-friendly.

E-Agriculture in Action (2017)
These case studies on innovative ICT solutions for agriculture cover food production, supply chain management, advisory services, smart water management, traceability, and even use of the internet of things.

Success stories on Information and Communication Technologies for agriculture and rural development (second edition)
ICTs can transform lives and improve livelihoods in agriculture by helping to secure savings, find affordable insurance and tools to manage risk, increase access to financial services, and provide business opportunities.

National E-Agriculture Strategy brochure
A framework to assist countries in developing their national e-agriculture strategies and to identify and develop sustainable ICT in agricultural services and solutions.

Use of mobile phones by the rural poor: Gender perspectives from selected Asian countries
The digital gender divide inhibits rural development. Given the large rural population in developing Asia, a nuanced understanding of mobile phone use and access could sharpen the design of relevant policies.

Running out of time: The reduction of women’s work burden in agricultural production
This publication raises questions about the control rural women have over their time. It provides an overview of successful technologies, including ICTs, for reducing the work burden.

Leaving no one behind: Empowering Africa’s rural women for Zero Hunger and shared prosperity
This brochure describes persistent gender gaps women face in participating in decision-making processes in Africa, and  provides recommendations to move from commitments to collective actions.

Empowering rural women, powering agriculture
This brochure presents FAO’s work towards gender equality and the empowerment of rural women, which are at the core of the Organization’s efforts to end hunger, malnutrition and rural poverty.

Training and guidance
A toolkit on gender-sensitive social protection programmes to combat rural poverty and hunger:

Technical Guide 1: Introduction to gender sensitive social protection programming to combat rural poverty: Why is it important and what does it mean?

Technical Guide 2: Integrating gender in the design of programmes for cash transfers and public works.

Technical Guide 3: Integrating gender in the implementation and monitoring and evaluation

Further reading

Agriculture and innovation

FAO’s work on agricultural innovation

Information and communication technology (ICT) in agriculture

E-agriculture in action: Drones for agriculture

Information and communication technology (ICT) in agriculture


FAO policy on gender equality

Enabling young rural women to participate in rural transformation in East and Southern Africa

Strengthening sector policies for better food security and nutrition results – Gender equality


Towards gender-equitable small-scale fisheries governance and development

Developing capacities in gender-sensitive rural advisory services – A training for trainers manual

Training module: How to integrate gender issues in climate-smart agriculture projects

Governing land for women and men