Gender in Agriculture Partnership

Transforming agriculture to empower women and deliver food, nutrition and income security


GAP is an open and inclusive community of institutions and individuals who have come together to develop collective actions and advocacy on gender-based issues in agriculture.

The Catalysts and Partners in GAP are bringing about change that empowers women working in agriculture to achieve food, nutritional and income security. This change transcends individual institutional efforts. It requires open, collective partnerships and tangible and visible achievements that have a greater impact than what any one partner could do alone.  It means re-conceptualizing agriculture not only as a vehicle to produce food, agricultural products and income, but also to ensure household and community well-being.

GAP’s vision
A transformed agriculture where gender equity enables food, nutrition and income security for the rural poor.

GAP’s mission
To place gender equity and women’s empowerment at the heart of agricultural policy, research and development, capacity-development and institutional-building agendas.

GAP’s priorities

  • Create the evidence and knowledge base required to give visibility to women’s contributions and the costs of neglecting their needs in agriculture
  • Raise awareness of women’s needs in agriculture through inter-institutional and cross-sectoral advocacy
  • Inspire rural women and girls to take the lead on practical actions that directly meet their needs
  • Address gender discrimination in agricultural policies, institutions and services
  • Advocate for the need for women’s ownership of and access to resources among policy-shaping bodies
  • Advocate for decision-making roles within agricultural and community organizations and the household

GAP’s roles

  • Facilitate dialogue and debate among committed GAP professionals on priority needs and actions to ensure gender equity in agriculture
  • Bring partners together to provide a collective voice and advocacy
  • Share and reward the best example(s) of gender success stories
  • Help develop effective national, regional and international policies, strategies and collective actions
  • Serve as a clearinghouse for GAP partners to develop programmes together

Who makes up the GAP network?

An international group of ‘GAP Catalysts’ have identified with the movement and have committed to inspire change and foster collective actions within their own organizations and among different organizations and sectors. They do this by:

  • Sharing knowledge and catalyzing discussions among GAP partners to develop joint programmes and activities that bring synergies and value-addition
  • Advocating for women and girls, especially at global and regional levels
  • Mentoring women professionals and leaders, especially younger staff
  • Catalyzing and supporting region-specific and community-specific gender in agriculture actions that challenge underlying social barriers and norms

Why do we need a network like GAP?
Women’s contributions to agricultural production, processing, marketing and household food security and nutrition often go unrecognized. Yet, on average, they represent 43 percent of the world’s agricultural labour force (FAO, 2011) and 47 percent of the global fisheries labour force (World Bank et al., 2010). Despite their significance, women commonly suffer huge gender inequalities in access to land, productive resources, markets, decent jobs and information.
A growing body of compelling evidence shows that reducing these inequalities and improving women’s and girls’ social status and education leads to substantial increases in agricultural productivity, value-addition and incomes, reduced losses and wastage, improved food quality and safety, and better household food and nutrition security.

Background of GAP
GFAR Stakeholders conceived of GAP as a vibrant, collective movement for change in women’s empowerment and gender equality. It was launched at the first Global Conference on Women in Agriculture (GCWA, New Delhi, March 2012), and linkages have been fostered via a series of actions facilitated through GFAR.  By this common demand, GAP was initiated among the 3 Rome-based UN agencies (FAO, IFAD and WFP) with mandates for agriculture, food and nutrition; gender specialists from the CGIAR system (the CGIAR Gender and Agriculture Research Network, AWARD, IFPRI and CRPs 2 & 4); Regional Fora (to date AARINENA, APAARI, FORAGRO and FARA); and civil society networks such as DIMITRA. With the GFAR Secretariat playing a key role in providing the opportunities and collectively-owned space to mobilize processes and linkages, a wide range of stakeholders are now being actively engaged. These include key actors from civil society, national agricultural research, research institutes and universities, the private sector, policy makers, donors, media and advocacy partners, further multilateral organizations (e.g. ILO, UN Women, World Bank, UNRISD, WHO) and movements (e.g. SUN, GFRAS), and development organizations.