Gender Transformation

By Ida Christensen, FAO

Agenda 2030 requires us to do more, do things differently and to move fast! Importantly, we need to work closer together with our partners to find, test and upscale relevant solutions. It was in this spirit that the FAO Investment Centre organized a workshop on 12-13 December 2017, entitled Empowering women for sustainable rural transformation.

The workshop was tailored to the needs of professional staff in FAO and IFAD working on investment design and implementation. It offered eight sessions of practical insights, supported by the opportunity for participants to share experiences and engage actively in group work. In addition to exploring the gender dimensions of rural livelihoods, preparing gender strategies, tracking performance and assessing gender impacts, the workshop focused on the intra-household dynamics that often act as socio-cultural barriers to women’s full participation in development. The workshop presented two methodologies: (i) the Gender Action Learning System which develops the skills of poor household members (men and women) or community groups to draw a shared vision and map the steps towards achieving it; and (ii) individual household mentoring, used as a mechanism for social inclusion. Participants discussed the central role played by the household in influencing livelihood outcomes and the importance of engaging men and women together in reducing gender inequalities and achieving transformative impacts. The workshop also addressed a number of key cross-cutting issues, from a gender perspective related to value chains, nutrition, youth and climate change. Participants discussed issues around women’s economic empowerment in agribusiness and their effective participation in value chains; the role of gender norms in accessing and utilizing food at the household level; the differentiated needs and priorities of young rural women and men and ways to address them; and the gender-differentiated impacts of climate change and how to respond.

The workshop was attended by 18 professionals from FAO and IFAD (8 male, 10 female) and facilitated by: the FAO Investment Centre Division: Clare Bishop - Senior Gender Specialist/Consultant, and Ida Christensen - Technical Adviser and Gender Focal Point; the FAO Social Policies and Rural Institutions Division: Ilaria Sisto - Gender and Development Officer, Szilvia Lehel - Gender and Environment Consultant, and Tomislav Ivancic - Decent Rural Employment Consultant; and the IFAD Policy and Technical Advisory Division: Beatrice Gerli, Gender Specialist.

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