Gender dimensions of agricultural and rural employment: Differentiated pathways out of poverty
"Gender equality is an essential component of sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction. Equitable access to more and better jobs in rural areas enable rural women to become effective economic actors and engines of growth; as well as to produce or aquire the food, water, fuel and social services their families need. Indeed, the quality of the care mothers are able to give to their children and other household members contributes to the health and productivity of whole families and communities and improves prospects for future generations. The important gaps in data availability and analytical work in many key areas handicap policy makers’ efforts to address these crucial issues adequately when designing poverty alleviation and growth strategies.
With the aim of promoting gender equitable rural employment strategies, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the International Labour Office (ILO), partnered to carry out an assessment of the latest thinking on the gender dimension of rural and agricultural employment. The three organizations are commited to improving gender equality and women’s empowerment in agriculture and rural
areas, and to strengthening women’s leadership and decision-making participation" (Ibid: X).
This comprehensive publication extensively refers to women's access to and control over land, within the perspective of women's working conditions and labour segmentation in rural areas, providing hard data as well as policy responses and lessons. An entire section is dedicated to the "Unequal access to assets" (P. 86), including impact on women's bargaining power, whilst another one offers a critical overview on women's "Lack of advocacy power and voice" (P. 95) with a specific - and very interesting - box on "The importance of collective capacity" (P. 95), which underlines the importance of women's autonomy, awareness and human agency to realize collective power and produce social change.