If women want to change their status they need to be the agents of that change. And social change is the goal of the Joint Programme on Accelerating Progress towards the Economic Empowerment of Rural Women (RWEE).
While it is still a pilot (it was launched in 2012) and underfunded, RWEE has already shown impressive results in terms of women’s empowerment and livelihood improvement. About 3,500 women have received training to improve agricultural technologies and farming methods, while a total of 18,000 women and their households have benefitted from it.
These results could not have been achieved if it wasn’t for a key word in the programme’s title: ‘joint’. RWEE is the result of the partnership of four UN agencies that came together to achieve gender equality in seven different countries around the world.
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) work in close collaboration, handling different areas regarding their mandate, but all aiming to educate and empower women.
As mentioned by Lourdes Magana de Larriva, Advisor at the Delegation of the European Union to the UN, and co-chair of the Network for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, rural women are more likely to be left behind despite the aim of Sustainable Development Goal number five: to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. RWEE recognizes rural women as key actors for sustainable development, working to realize women’s rights. We are talking about economic, social and political rights.
RWEE presented at a side event of the 43rd session of the Committee on the World Food Security (CFS). The full-house appreciated hearing about the success stories from Liberia, Guatemala, Nigeria, Kyrgyzstan, Ethiopia, Nepal and Rwanda, but also the challenges confronting the programme.
Read the full story on the CFS blog here.
Blogpost by Francesca Aloisio, #CFS43 Social Reporter – francesca.aloisio87(at)gmail.com
Photo Credit: ©IFAD/David Rose