FAO in Türkiye

Regional workshop in Ordu highlights the importance of rural women’s empowerment in agrifood systems to achieving the SDGs

Photo: © FAO

Ordu – On 13–14 December 2023, a regional workshop held in Ordu brought together government officials from ministries and state agencies in Tajikistan, Türkiye and Uzbekistan, working in agriculture, forestry and food security, to discuss and share good practices and experiences related to socially inclusive and gender responsive policies and activities contributing to the achievement of Agenda 2030 and its core principle of “Leaving no one behind”. The workshop included visits to a gender unit on the premises of the Provincial Directorate of Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Türkiye and two Women Cooperatives operating rural area in Ordu.


The workshop falls under the project “Leaving no one behind: Greater involvement and empowerment of rural women in Türkiye and Central Asia”, funded by the Government of Türkiye under the umbrella of the FAO-Türkiye Partnership Programmes. The project aims to improve the livelihoods of rural communities by reducing rural poverty, promoting gender equality and empowering rural women. Launched in October 2021, the project supports rural women in Tajikistan, Türkiye and Uzbekistan in gaining access to technical knowledge and skills, to increase the productivity of their farms and start businesses and cooperatives, by creating an enabling environment for their empowerment and reducing gender inequalities.


Policies and action to address such gender inequalities in agriculture and forestry must be based on comprehensive social analysis. A group of researchers led by Professor Ayşe Ayata from the Middle East Technical University has produced a country assessment of gender issues in the context of agriculture and forestry, summarizing the results of the latest data and studies conducted in pilot provinces of the project in Türkiye. The workshop participants were familiarized with the key findings and recommendations of a country gender assessment, which is currently being finalized for wider publication. Similar work has been undertaken in Tajikistan, where Dr Shahrbanou Tadjbakhsh from Science-Po, France, interviewed rural women, policymakers and other stakeholders to provide a comprehensive picture of the challenges and barriers faced by rural women.


The country case studies support the key findings of The Status of Women in Agrifood Systems, an FAO global report released in 2023, which show that although agriculture remains a major employer of women in many countries, women are mostly concentrated in irregular, labour-intensive and vulnerable jobs. The burden of rural women is particularly heavy due to their work both in households and family farms which prevents them from engaging in development opportunities and limits their access to information, technology and innovative agricultural approaches. The workshop emphasized the importance of developing and implementing holistic policy solutions that address this gap, and based on the studies and findings shared, the workshop participants prioritized the next steps and actions they will take to achieve the overall objectives of the project.


About the FAO-Türkiye Partnership Programmes

The objectives of the FAO-Türkiye Partnership Programmes are to provide support to ensure food security, rural poverty reduction and sustainable forest management; combat desertification; and to preserve ecosystems in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Türkiye, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and other countries of mutual interest.

Established in 2007, the first phase of the FAO Türkiye Partnership Programme on Food and Agriculture (FTPP) has benefited from trust fund contributions totalling USD 10 million, financed by the Government of Türkiye and represented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. During the first phase of the programme, 28 projects were implemented in 16 countries between 2009 and 2015.

In 2014, Türkiye and FAO commenced the second phase of the FTPP along with the first phase of the FAO-Türkiye Forestry Partnership Programme (FTFP), with additional funding of USD 20 million, bringing Türkiye’s total contribution to USD 30 million.