Gender focal points from 16 countries in Asia meet to plan work for MDG3 torch

Partners and stakeholders pictured here from IFAD country programmes and projects in Afghanistan Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia,China, India, Indonesia, Kygystan, Laos, Maldives, Mongolia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam met last week in Cambodia to work together to uphold IFAD's commitment to the MDG3 Torch received late last year from the Government of Denmark.

Focal points collaborated in drafting their own plans for including one additional activity for gender equality and women's empowerment to their workplans for 2010. During the meeting, focal points received a copy of the Gender in Agriculture Sourcebook, published by IFAD, FAO and the World Bank. Together with Kyoko Kuskabe, Associate Professor of Gender and Development at the Asian Institute of Technology they studied how to draw on the reference material in the Sourcebook in the context of their own fieldwork.

The occasion also served to hold a Knowledge Market, share experiences and acquire new insights from one another using knowledge sharing methods learned during training provided earlier under the Knowledge Networking Programme for Rural Asia and the Pacific, a grant-fund regional programme cofinanced by IFAD and IDRC to support the development of the IFAD Asia and Pacific Regional Network.

Focal points, all members of the IFAD Asia and Pacific Gender Network that is just one part of the larger IFAD Asia and Pacific Regional Network, agreed to expand the gender network further by inviting colleagues from projects and programmes who could not attend the face-to-face meeting in Siem Reap.

They also committed to developping and sharing more sector-specific materials on how to make sure that project targetting and support to beneficiaries in technical fields like animal husbandry and microfinance can be improved.

A high point of the meeting was the technical competence and commitment to gender mainstreaming transmitted by The Chhun Hak, Chief of the Local Governance Unit at of the Ministry of Womens Affairs in Cambodia who explained in detail how his institution works with women and men in IFAD-funded village level investment activities to achieve MDG3 objectives.