Gender in Agriculture Partnership

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

Rome-based agencies and UN-Women accelerate progress on joint programme on rural women’s empowerment with support from Sweden and Norway

The sixty-second session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), taking place in New York 12-23 March, is discussing innovative policies and practical solutions to the multiple challenges women face in rural areas.   

To contribute to this debate, a side event jointly organized by Niger and FAO, IFAD, WFP and UN Women on Tuesday 13 March, discussed achievements and lessons learned by the Joint Programme on Accelerating Progress towards the Economic Empowerment of Rural Women (JP RWEE), a global initiative that  is seeing these four agencies working together to make a sustainable impact in the lives of rural women in Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Nepal, Niger and Rwanda.    

In welcoming participants, Khetsiwe Dlamini, UN Women’s Chief of Staff, highlighted the contribution of the programme to many of the issues that the Sustainable Development Goals seek to tackle, including rural poverty, hunger, and limited opportunities to get education.

This was echoed by HE Elback Zeinabou Tari Bako, Minister of Women’s Promotion and Child Protection of Niger, who showed appreciation for how the agencies are working together to maximize impact and manage resources in a coordinated manner, and this in line with the priorities of her government.  

 From Left to Right: Susan Kaaria, Senior Gender Officer at FAO; Elback Zeinabou Tari Bako, Minister of Women’s Promotion and Child Protection of Niger; Kawinzi Muiu, Director, Gender Office at WFP, Eva Johannsson, Lead Policy Advisor for Gender Equality at SIDA; Khetsiwe Dlamini, UN Women’s Chief of Staff; and Etagegnehu Getachew, JP RWEE National Coordinator for Ethiopia

The opening remarks were followed by more detailed insights and experiences from the programme, shared by Susan Kaaria, FAO Senior Gender Officer, and Etagegnehu Getachew, RWEE National Coordinator in Ethiopia.

Kaaria pointed out how over 41,000 and 261,000 household members in the seven countries are benefitting from the programme, with encouraging results with regard to increased agricultural production and nutrition diversity, access to income, women’s leadership in their communities, and the creation of a policy environment that responds to rural women’s needs and priorities.

Getachew complemented Kaaria’s intervention and further showcased how the comprehensive “package” offered by  the JP RWEE, building on each Agency’s comparative advantage, has already supported  over 2500 women in two regions of Ethiopia.

As underlined by Eva Johannsson from the Swedish development cooperation agency in her closing remarks, “Rural women and girls are still disproportionately affected by poverty, and  there is a need for programmes that address economic empowerment in an integrated way. Sweden, already the largest donor to the JP RWEE, continues to believe in it, and has decided to invest additional USD 5 million to increase the programme’s  outreach”. Johansson also encouraged other donors to join the partnership, in order to consolidate the results and scale up to reach more  women.

 From Left to Right: Eva Johannsson, Eva Johansson, Lead Policy Advisor for Gender Equality at SIDA; Khetsiwe Dlamini, UN Women’s Chief of Staff; and Etagegnehu Getachew, JP RWEE National Coordinator for Ethiopia

Her call for action was joined by Jens Frølich Holte, State Secretary of Norway, who announced additional 1.3 million USD for 2018 for theJP RWEE. For Holte, “The programme is an example of how the UN can work together and deliver as one”.

 Relevant links:

Agenda

Concept note

JP RWEE Youtube Channel

Pictures of the event

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