Closing the Gender Gap in Agriculture: A Call to Action for Investing in Women

Posted by Melanne Verveer
June 27, 2011
Women Participate in Farm Science Training in India

The FAO's 2010-2011 State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA) Report, Women in Agriculture: Closing the Gender Gap for Development, revealed some compelling and informative findings about the critical but underutilized role women play in the food and agriculture industry globally. It also gave some convincing reasons for why investing in women agriculturalists -- including farmers, fishers and others who work in agri-processing and marketing -- is so essential to food security, production, economic development, health, and related issues. In response to the SOFA report, this week at the 37th biennial conference in Rome, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN (FAO) mobilized a call to action under the theme: “The Vital Role of Women in Agriculture and Rural Development” to spur multilateral support for investing in women in agriculture and strengthening the case for making this a global economic priority.

At a side event to the conference co-hosted by the U.S. and Kenyan Ambassadors, “A Dialogue on Women in Agriculture: Where to After SOFA?” -- I had the privilege of speaking about the U.S. commitment to improving women's agricultural contributions, encouraging investments in female farmers, and sharing with my counterparts some exciting initiatives we are implementing to close the gender gap in agricultural development.

It is well known that women are at a significant disadvantage when it comes to owning land, securing land rights, and accessing credit and other agricultural inputs. The contributions of rural women in developing countries are too often overlooked and underutilized. This agricultural gender gap imposes real costs on society in terms of lost agricultural output, food security, and economic growth.

Yet, studies such as the SOFA report have shown that when given equal resources, women can produce yields equal to those of men. Since female farmers are typically starting from a lower point, investing in women would produce on average higher returns than an equal investment in men. According to the SOFA report, providing women with the same resources as men could increase their individual yields by 20-30 percent, which would improve agricultural production in the developing world by between 2.5 and 4 percent. Such an investment in women's agricultural capacity would reduce the number of people living in hunger by 100-150 million globally. The findings further point out that increasing women's access to land, livestock, education, financial services, extension, technology, and rural employment would boost their productivity and generate gains in terms of agricultural production, food security, economic growth, and social welfare.

Women are usually the ones doing the household cooking and feeding their families; thus they have a particular stake in ensuring that the food produced is both nutritious and safe. It would seem obvious that leveling the playing field for women in agri-business, fishing, farming, and related livelihoods is another example of “smart economics” which would have tremendous pay-offs to society at large.

By making women a central and essential part of Feed the Future (FTF), the U.S. global hunger and food security initiative, the U.S. is leading the way. FTF is developing the Women's Empowerment in Agriculture Index, a new tool being created in a partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI). This index is being designed to collect sex-disaggregated statistics to ensure that we can measure and understand the impact of our work on both men and women. It will be piloted in Uganda, Guatemala and Bangladesh, and be an essential tool that will help us determine the equality of and opportunities for women. By disaggregating data by sex, we will be better able to analyze the changes in status, participation and outcomes of our investments in women relative to men and as part of communities.

Through a concerted effort at the Rome conference, we explored innovative ways to better understand and advance gender equality in agriculture. I am even more convinced that scaling up multilateral efforts toward closing the gender gap in agriculture is a smart business investment that will benefit all humanity. It will enable future generations of women and girls, working in partnership with men and boys, contribute to reducing hunger, protecting livelihoods, and enhancing food security.

Note: More information on the Women's Empowerment in Agriculture Index is available at www.feedthefuture.gov.

Comments

Comments

palgye
|
South Korea
June 27, 2011

Palgye in South Korea writes:

Photo of underdeveloped countries is estimated to be. Two kinds of thinking - the first period, with the help of international aid to agriculture and to lease the necessary equipment, labor, how's that help make up the inferior, the reality is expected to face many difficulties.

Second, the distribution of agricultural produce, rather than engaged in activities, or how to make direct sales is still the condition that must be activated micro credi required. -also, just like aAnimal husbandry

In developing countries still, the lack of technology and machines, men should choose a method that relies on force to think. If you have any other alternative ...

gchangetok
|
Indonesia
June 28, 2011

G.C. in Indonesia writes:

now is difficult to get money. especially money, food alone is still a lot of trouble

painters m.
|
Canada
June 28, 2011

P.M. in Canada writes:

This is the greatest post I have come across so far.I am really pleased to post my comment on this blog .I love your blog by the way, I am gonna have to add you to my list of watched blogs .Thank you for this very useful information. stored it.Thanks again and keep up the good work.

palgye
|
South Korea
June 29, 2011

Palgye in South Korea writes:

Job is correct, consume is also, i think.

Now in order to overcome the economic crisis, it desperately needed reforms to finance is true, but in the meantime, many reform efforts, rather than a lot of progress has been regenerated, if such a situation before coming up to a big crisis, itself, have the potential to address jeokeurodo enough to believe that shoes. So, why? Should I keep occur?

Everyone knows that middle class is gone, and to restore them to the status of the old order, provide jobs for the middle class lost one must think that everyone knows. However, investors do provide easy job? Before I offer a job to find a way to promote consumption and to think. First, I exhausted the available stock, and (the role of government and big business is most important.) Now, the lower economic status of the old middle class by developing products that can be purchased (the price and the cost of the re-pricing all available for purchase The new product), while providing the citizens, I think the game will be activated.

My personal thoughts, while promoting consumption, create jobs policy is considered more important. Attract investors, and renewable energy (such as electric cars and to help design an entirely new part with this growth, service industries to the realization of an electric car) and health insurance reform to create jobs in new areas through to think. To return them to the jobs of existing policies is important, and paying off, but the U.S. economy is recovering gradually, but now the crisis that occurs outside of, the flow that causes hardening of the arteries, the lack of consumption of manufactured products , does not provide investment certainty for the economic crisis are considered.
Until today,

To the company's ceo, persuasion for the increase in employment, even if you do not provide consumer confidence in, more jobs would not be provided to expect.

Have a good idea?

ps
i just sometimes go to itaewon,
seoul, south-korea but i read this article http://media.daum.net/foreign/others/view.html?cateid=1046&newsid=201106..., i think more U.S. troops gendarme and, 2018 winter olympic to France or German .. (3 times for people who say things like preferences, even with such a preference, is likely to win and I want to say that is very weak. IMF has been governor of the French, they received a fairly severe impact that I think the foreign involvement in the election of a wrong act, but also losing a great supporter, a very unfortunate situation is considered.
Yeah, the original German - like a good idea to raise money to work, to spend their own taxes, to hold international game, I do not like it, but it is very hard when you do the best place, and looked like trying to think.) Korea access to the many times I try, to finish have been denied. I should be able to access any endorsement uncover, go to the car, wherever possible, I work only 1 hour arrived, I do not even know it would change, but until today ...

In fact, it already is stable in Germany, France, is very unstable.

palgye
|
South Korea
June 29, 2011

Palgye in South Korea writes:

I like Russia but, today an be solved in the presence of all, the I think God only makes it. Show more interest in China still believe that. Russia, yet steps to try to develop the economy, and if people want to gather the money, It will take time to think. i want to saying, in my will,not concern by others.

That is normal for China and the United States, is in favor of fair competition. And in China, the European government bond purchases to teach you quite a positive effect I think. I am in China, the United States was hoping to purchase real estate and housing, along with Brazil

palgye
|
South Korea
June 30, 2011

Palgye in South Korea writes:

Now ,(With the explosive economic growth in foreign, externalities due to the expected economic recovery in the U.S. interior, but now with the reform and job creation of new value-added derivative think we have to look forward to the point. If you're looking at the time of deep worry and think that the issue should be.-for 2012)

Koreans living in the U.S. before, again and saw the case coming to immigrate to South Korea, the U.S. economic situation also causes difficulty, but his story, and the aging of the United States for Medicare, a national support than in Korea believe that lack and, again, was brought to immigration, retirement and welfare of the Korean people's passion for seeing a hot story that we've been impressed with the report,

Health insurance and health care benefits in the U.S. soon for a large-scale reform at the federal level must be conducted with confidence people have thought I'd concentrate on their own.

Although she is the budget deficit, the economic crisis was inevitable that the budget extension for the win and still was trying to think. Now restored to the old situation is important, but,

Health insurance and health care benefits in Congress for new standards and by passing laws, and foster new industries, add value, while creating new jobs, think that the policy is urgently required.

Deficit that, when acting as a passive attitude toward the future, he would not exist, is expected.

PS Personally, I would like to learn to adjust the flight from the United States. While working, near Washington, as in politics, if I want to learn.

palgye
|
South Korea
June 30, 2011

Palgye in South Korea writes:

"Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood test drives a Leaf EV, Nissan’s 100% electric vehicle, at the Nissan Automotive Plant in Smyrna, Tenn., May 17, 2011. The plant is being re-equipped to turn out 150,000 LEAF EVs a year. Together with the new battery plant, the facilities are expected to create 1,300 new jobs."

I agrees this words and also Health care insurance reform is do also, i think. (i predict,the effet is seems like big iceberg to ours ordinary life)

Now by preparing, legislation by passing, realization should, first half of 2012 from the chaos when the via, little effect appears'd expect. A good way and bad way was shown at the same time, interferes with the health benefits of huge medical cartel is satisfied with ordinary citizens and citizens of the easily accessible (2-3 years of employment available to study), professional people, you win in the election for provide for the possibility that the story, I think personally.

Slightly different from American capitalism, the Nordic welfare system is called, rather than the potential reluctance to provide many professional and competitive advantage than other countries in the United States a little bit of generalization of expensive medical technologies and operating techniques and manual qualified healthcare system Exports and collaboration system, if the current account surplus in the invisible exports are likely to keep the system will think (if, in the U.S. health care system to lower the cost of access for many people, gone to therapy in the United States likely to go believe that even now the system has the potential to bankrupt the citizens of the claims are too big.)

The United States now, thinking about the changing comparative advantage is the time to think. iphone is just old parts assembled product is Introduced a new concept here, and realize that the concept because it's a new app, and people in the desired direction, creativity gamihaeseo, everyone will believe you in this.

Think about health-care system, accessible to almost anyone, and the citizens is the time to select the desired direction, someone to match these needs and the direction I should go to action claims.

Many proposals are presented, it is possible, but, something that would impress people, all people belong to the federal impressive big breakthrough for the future realization of the proposal is deemed necessary. (Roosevelt room is remind)

Everyone knows the story will hold.

PS
other proposals are so weak, i think.

Italy to Greece to help, wanted to determine the contribution, though, that the result goes in the direction of a good idea, but the area enclosed by a single category, the responsibility of the association of certain countries, what about that? Informal and formal instruction and the director likely to destroy the pride of the southern European countries and the opposition is expected. International Monetary Fund (IMF), but, still, strong control and a good grasp of the psychology of these countries that are considered necessary to intervene. I keep no support for the failure, and leave the responsibility to someone local, if it fails, I think a good way to take responsibility. Support is not dead to rights of way, I keep them, emphasizing the uniqueness of-corruption, governance and national operations by networking, etc. - even if it fails this time, they will swear to tell the remaining life must answer. If this happens repeatedly in 2012, also, who do take

responsibility?

In this article, raising, will always wonder. Who reads, is a little help?

please read if you ever, connected to a single category and, if it fails, they tell the rest of their life, must answer.

Should be instructed to think very strongly.

pal
|
South Korea
June 30, 2011

Palgye in South Korea writes:

Germany, almost uniquely in Europe, in situations of economic crisis and the operation is successful economy. (By the way, the Germans do not like me?), However, the French ...? 2018 winter olympic bid is not a big help. However, if you gather a little help, I think that made a good result (even pathetic my life, but now I stick to the principles of the French president] ... and so I have no idea.)

Angella
|
New York, USA
September 21, 2011

Angella in New York writes:

Great articles. We need start help them to help themselves in a long term sustainable manner with pride.

Closing the gender gap is good beginning - with meaningful support and good direction this can be supper effective program for the world

My regards,
Angella

.

Latest Stories

November 25, 2014

20th Anniversary of State.gov

It seems like just yesterday that the Bureau of Public Affairs (PA) developed the internet precursor to the state.gov website… more

Pages