Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls lies at the centre of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In addition to the targets for SDG5 “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”, it is reflected and mainstreamed across all 17 SDGs.
Gender equality and the empowerment of rural women is inextricably linked to the strengthening of food systems to fight hunger and malnutrition, and to real gains for rural lives and livelihoods at large. There is substantial evidence that as much as half of the reduction in hunger between 1970 and 1995 can be attributed to improvements in women's societal status: progress in women's access to education alone was linked to a 43 percent gain in food security as significant as the gains from increased food availability (26 percent) and health advances (19 percent) combined.
In recognizing this, the High-level Event “Step It Up Together with Rural Women to End Hunger and Poverty”, scheduled for 16 December 2016 at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy, will provide an interactive platform to address the structural causes and consequences of gender inequality in rural areas and to identify the main challenges, gaps, opportunities and collaborative actions for unleashing the potential of rural women and girls to end hunger and poverty.
Moreover, it will highlight what needs to be done differently and promote partnerships among Members, UN entities, civil society, private sector and other stakeholders. These are essential elements for achieving gender equality in the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Event is organized by FAO, the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) and the European Commission, in close collaboration with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Food Programme (WFP) and UN Women.
Empowering rural women and girls is therefore not only critical for agricultural development, it is crucial to social and economic progress, and to sustainable development overall. Leading up to the event, FAO is showcasing success stories like that of the woman farmer in the video above. In it, she tells her story as a beneficiary of a FAO project, including the what she learnt and what she was able to do and gain with the knowledge she learnt. For more information and stories, visit the event page on the FAO website here.