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Platform members bring attention to rural women

While marking 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action

Bonn | Germany | 29 Apr 2015
For the Platform, the significance of the fifty-ninth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 59) was in addressing the opportunities for rural women which exist through the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action while simultaneously having these discussions address opportunities for gender equality and empowerment within the post-2015 development agenda. Members brought attention to rural women through a number of side events which covered some pertinent issues on gender in agriculture, among them gender-land challenges, gender in food and nutrition security and the importance of gender disaggregated data to strengthen agriculture, food and nutrition policies.

Gender and Assets

The chair of the Platform’s agriculture and nutrition group offered remarks at two CSW side events organised by the Rome Based Agencies. In her statement during a session on 'Ensuring Women’s Rights to Land and Productive Resources,’ she brought forward the troubling fact that the answer to how much land women own globally remains unknown, and there are hardly any common methods to measure it. The ‘myths’ of land statistics need to be unravelled in order for meaningful advances to be made in improving land rights for women. The subject of securing women's access to assets was also addressed through an interview in late 2014, where IFPRI’s Ruth Meinzen Dick offered the Platform her take on why it is crucial for both agricultural development and women, that gender - asset gaps are closed.

Members focus on rural women

Members of the Platform and the gender workstream raised the issue of gender equality and empowerment at the annual commission on the status of women.

Women can deliver for food and nutrition security

‘Empowering rural women for food and nutrition security’ was another side event organised by the Rome Based Agencies where the Platform’s agriculture and nutrition group chair spoke. Her main message was on the need to rebalance agriculture to ensure that agricultures core responsibility in delivering accessible nutrition for all is met. This would entail an increase in the focus on fruits, vegetables and legumes to mention a few, which are good micronutrient sources and are also a core produce of women. This echoed the message of Platform members and partners who addressed the fundamental role of women to food systems during the Annual General Assembly (AGA) in December.

It was expressed during the AGA that enhancing the gender implementation of agriculture projects remains a priority for donors. In April 2015, The World Bank released the publication Beyond Quality at Entry: Portfolio Review on Gender Implementation of Agriculture Projects which introduces a tool to track gender mainstreaming in the implementation phase of a project. Because effectively mainstreaming gender in agriculture projects relies on access to effective data, it is also integral for donors that improvements are made in the collection, dissemination and use of gender-disaggregated data in agriculture, fisheries, forestry and rural development as recognised at FAO’s World Food Summit Plan of Action adopted by UN Member Nations in 1996. For this reason, the FAO and IFAD jointly held a side event on “Gender statistics and monitoring tools on agriculture and food security” during the CSW 59 where panelists gave a brief overview of different tools related to gender and agriculture / food security and sustainable poverty reduction.

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