Food security, education and economic integration are part of the strategy but also enhancing the ability of women and girls to access public services, social protection, employment opportunities and markets. “When women are empowered and can claim their rights and access to land, leadership, opportunities and choices, economies grow, food security is enhanced and prospects are improved for current and future generations,” according to Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).
“Accelerating Progress Toward the Economic Empowerment of Rural Women” is the title given to the 5-year initiative that will focus on improving food and nutrition security, increasing rural women’s incomes, enhancing leadership and participation in rural institutions, and creating a more responsive policy environment at national and international levels. Also Read: “UN Grants for Womens’ Empowerment Projects”. The Initiative will be executed jointly by UN Women, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the World Food Programme (WFP). It will be implemented initially in Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Nepal, Niger and Rwanda. The inclusion of women via property rights, education and leadership roles as well as economic/career empowerment are indicators of economic growth. Also See: “Road & Direction for Empowrment of Women”.
According to UN News Centre: Women make up 43 per cent of the agricultural work force worldwide, and as much as 70 per cent in some countries. Often working longer hours than men, rural women are also the caregivers who look after children, the elderly, and the sick. In addition, many are small business entrepreneurs and investors who dedicate most of their earnings to the well-being of their families and societies. See our Film: “Women’s Rights = More Food”.
“Together, UN Women, FAO, IFAD and WFP will generate synergies that capitalize on each agency’s mandate to advance gender equality,” UN Women said in a news release. “When women are empowered - economically and socially - they become leaders and agents of change for economic growth, social progress and sustainable development.”
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