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What does women's empowerment look like in real food systems and nutrition cases?

Focusing on women's empowerment in food systems. Photo: Platform logo

Florence | Italy | 05 Jan 2015
Women will play a central role to reduce poverty, but only addressing gender inequality, supported by action towards reducing discrimination and poverty will contribute to the successful implementation of the SDGs. In the short-term gender centered action should address finding an agreement on measurable indicators, increasing the acceptance of women’s economic roles and developing gender-responsive policies to finally in the long-term ensure that women’s priorities and needs are reflected at all levels.

The SDGs kick-started a paradigm shift towards a new development agenda that places women’s empowerment at the centre. Recent UN reports show that only 50% of women participate in the formal, global labour force, compared to 75% of men and still receive 24% less than men on average. Furthermore the economic situation of the majority of poor women is even worse, as they are employed in the informal economy, which of course puts additional constraints on them – such as lack of legal rights and access to social protection and most probably to economic growth.

Women's employment in agriculture

Women’s employment in agriculture is of central importance to the implementation of the overall Agenda2030. Women produce a vat proportion of the global food supply, but still less then male farmers, mostly because of missing opportunities and access to resources. AfDB’s first gender equality index explores such issues that have not been included in other similar gender equality indexes. As breakthrough action areas, the index identifies access to land, credit and infrastructure. Since agriculture is seen as the common thread connecting all the SDGs and women’s productivity has great potential to rise, investment in women in agriculture is recognised as important investment target.

Overall the progress in women’s empowerment is slow and uneven. To ensure progress and success, positive synergies between gender equality and sustainable development need to be reinforced. Furthermore, investments need to directly target the transformation of economies, while realizing women’s rights. In this video our panel explores the women’s empowerment in real food systems and nutrition.

Members focus on rural women

Members of the Platform and the gender workstream raised the issue of gender equality and opportunities for women in inclusive agribusiness projects.


Panel on women's opportunities in food systems

Panel at Platform's AGA in 2014

AGA participants discuss women's opportunities in food systems and nutrition cases


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