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Women and Poverty
More than 1 billion in the world today, the great majority of whom are women, live in unacceptable conditions of poverty, mostly in the developing countries. Poverty has various causes, including structural ones. Poverty is a complex, multidimensional problem, with origins in both the national and international domains.

  • FAO gender policy - summary
    www.fao.org ] Languages:  English | French
    Gender equality is central to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations' (FAO's) mandate to achieve food security for all by raising levels of nutrition, improving agricultural productivity and natural resource management, and improving the lives of rural populations. FAO can achieve its goals only if it simultaneously works towards gender equality and supports women's diverse roles in agriculture and rural development. Gender equality is not only an essential means by which FAO can achieve its mandate, it is also a basic human right.

    L'égalité des sexes est au coeur du mandat de l'Organisation des Nations Unies pour l'alimentation et l'agriculture (FAO), qui consiste à assurer la sécurité alimentaire de tous les êtres humains en améliorant les niveaux de nutrition, la productivité agricole et la gestion des ressources naturelles, ainsi que la vie des populations rurales. La FAO ne peut atteindre ces objectifs qu'en menant simultanément une action en faveur de l'égalité hommes-femmes et à l'appui des rôles divers que jouent les femmes dans l'agriculture et le développement rural. L'égalité des sexes n'est pas qu'un moyen essentiel à l'accomplissement de la mission de la FAO; c'est aussi et avant tout un droit fondamental de la personne humaine.)

    FAO. 2014.

  • Dimitra Newsletter: Gender, Rural Women and Development
    www.fao.org ] Languages:  English | French
    The Dimitra newsletter outlines the Dimitra project's most recent activities and achievements, especially the development and growing impact of the listeners' clubs. The newsletter is produced bi-annually and is disseminated worldwide in English and French. FAO.

  • Ending poverty: Learning from good practices of small and marginal farmers
    www.fao.org ] Languages:  English 
    This publication is intended for FAO and SEWA staff and other development practitioners. It has three objectives. First, it shares and records a small subset of experiences gained and good practices identified by participants, and summarizes some of the lessons learned. Second, it aims to serve as a reference for other organizations who may wish to embark on a similar collaboration. Third, drawing on a few of the personal and technical documents prepared by FAO participants following the four Exposure and Dialogue Programmes, this publication documents some of the practices, mechanisms, and models that make SEWA an exemplary organization in addressing grassroots issues using a needs-based, capacity-development approach. FAO 2013.

  • Gender Equality and Food Security – Women's empowerment as a tool against hunger
    www.fao.org ] Languages:  English 
    This report explores how gender equality can contribute to food security. The focus is on Asia and the Pacific, though developments in other regions are also referenced. The report describes the relationship between gender-based discrimination and the different channels through which households and individuals access food. It concludes that while equality of treatment between women and men and food security are mutually supportive, gender equality remains an elusive goal in many regions, and a transformation of traditional gender roles is urgently needed. FAO 2013.

  • Governing land for women and men
    www.fao.org ] Languages:  English 
    This technical guide aims to assist in the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security, by providing guidance that supports the Guidelines' principle of gender equality in tenure governance.

    The guide focuses on equity and on how land tenure can be governed in ways that address the different needs and priorities of women and men. It moves away from long-standing debates about gender equality in access to land, towards the mainstreaming of gender issues to achieve more gender-equitable participation in the processes and institutions that underlie all decision-making about land. FAO. 2013.

  • Gender and Food Security
    www.fao.org ]
    Languages: Arabic | ChineseEnglish | French | Spanish | Russian
    FAO estimates that around one billion people are undernourished, and that each year more than three million children die from undernutrition before their fifth birthday. Micronutrient deficiencies, which affect about two billion people, lead to poor growth, blindness, increased severity of infections and sometimes death. The root causes of world hunger - including rural poverty, population growth and environmental degradation - are exacerbated by the global economic slowdown, volatile food prices and the impact of climate change. FAO's strategy for improved food security and nutrition calls for action to meet the immediate needs of vulnerable populations and to strengthen national government capacities to formulate and implement food security policies and address nutrition issues.

  • The State of Food and Agriculture 2010-2011: Women in agriculture: closing the gender gap for development
    www.fao.org ]
    Languages: Arabic |  Chinese |  English |  French |  Russian |  Spanish 
    The State of Food and Agriculture 2010–11 makes the "business case" for addressing gender issues in agriculture and rural employment. The agriculture sector is underperforming in many developing countries, in part because women do not have equal access to the resources and opportunities they need to be more productive. The gender gap imposes real costs on society in terms of lost agricultural output, food security and economic growth. Promoting gender equality is not only good for women; it is also good for agricultural development.

  • Closing the Gap between men and women in agriculture
    www.fao.org/sofa/gender/en/ ] Languages: English
    The agriculture sector is underperforming in many developing countries, in part because men and women do not have equal access to the resources and opportunities they need to be productive. Across countries and contexts: women have consistently less access than men to agricultural assets, inputs and services and to rural employment opportunities. Increasing women's access to land, livestock, education, financial services, extension, technology and rural employment would boost their productivity and generate gains in agricultural output, food security, economic growth and social welfare. The gains in agricultural production alone could lift 100–150 million people out of hunger. Closing the gender gap is not only the right thing to do. It is crucial for agricultural development and food security.

  • Infographic: The female face of farming
    www.fao.org/gender/infographic/en/ ] Languages: English
    Women are the backbone of the rural economy, especially in the developing world. Yet they receive only a fraction of the land, credit, inputs (such as improved seeds and fertilizers), agricultural training and information compared to men. Empowering and investing in rural women has been shown to significantly increase productivity, reduce hunger and malnutrition and improve rural livelihoods. And not only for women, but for everyone. Let's take a closer look at the story of women and agriculture.

  • Gender and Land Rights Database
    www.fao.org/gender/landrights/en/ ] Languages:  English 
    Easy access to up-to-date information on gender and land rights.
    Disparities on land access are one of the major causes for social and gender inequalities in rural areas. Gender differentiated rights to land have implications on rural food security and nutrition as well as on the wellbeing of rural families and individuals. Learn more about the different factors that relate to gender inequalities embedded in land rights.

  • Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, 2011: UN Women Key Messages
    www.unfpa.org ] Languages:  English 
    Equality between women and men is critical for making progress in development, peace and security and the realization of human rights. Two-pager for the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, 9-13 May 2011.

  • Rural Poverty Report 2011 - New realities, new challenges: new opportunities for tomorrow's generation
    http://www.ifad.org/ ]
    Languages:   Arabic  |  English  |  French  |  Italian |  Spanish
    The Rural Poverty Report 2011 provides a coherent and comprehensive look at rural poverty, its global consequences and the prospects for eradicating it. The report contains updated estimates by IFAD regarding how many rural poor people there are in the developing world, poverty rates in rural areas, and the percentage of poor people residing in rural areas. IFAD, 2010

  • Rural Poverty Portal
    http://www.ruralpovertyportal.org/ ]
    Languages: English
    Powered by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Rural Poverty Portal is a website where rural poor people, policy-makers, donors, research institutes, non-governmental organizations and other development partners can share information about eradicating rural poverty. The portal includes a section on "Gender and rural poverty" at http://www.ruralpovertyportal.org/web/guest/topic/home/tags/gender

  • WomenWatch Special Feature: The gender perspectives of the financial crisis
    www.un.org ] Languages:  English 

    Womenwatch special feature on the the gender perspectives of the financial crisis.

  • Gender dimensions of agricultural and rural employment: Differentiated pathways out of poverty
    www.fao.org ] Languages:  English 
    This report is the result of a collaborative effort of the FAO, IFAD and the ILO team working on the Gender Dimension of Rural Employment. It discusses key issues related to gender equality and rural employment in the context of poverty reduction. It presents various policy responses, empirical data and good practices.

  • What kind of State? What kind of equality?
    http://www.eclac.cl ]
    Languages:   English  |  French  |  Portuguese |  Spanish
    The document "What kind of State? What kind of equality?" analyses the progress of gender equality in the region 15 years after the approval of the Beijing Platform for Action, 10 years after the drafting of the Millennium Development Goals and 3 years after the adoption of the Quito Consensus at the tenth session of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean, held in 2007. It also examines the achievements made and challenges faced by governments in light of the interaction between the State, the market and families as social institutions built on the foundation of policies, laws, and customs and habits which, together, establish the conditions for renewing or perpetuating gender and social hierarchies. ECLAC, 2010.

  • Progress of the World's Women 2005: Women, Work and Poverty
    www.unifem.org ] Languages:  English 
    The report argues for closer attention to the role of women, particularly working poor women, in the informal economy, and the impact of this on efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals.

  • Women and the Right to Food - International Law and State Practice
    www.fao.org ] Languages:  English 
    The study looks at the right to food in the context of gender discrimination. It includes a brief overview of the position of women's right to food in international law and identifies gaps in both law and practice. FAO, 2008

  • The Gender Dimensions of Post-Conflict Reconstruction
    www.wider.unu.edu ] Languages:  English 
    Subtitled "The Challenges in Development Aid", this research paper recommends that post-conflict reconstruction projects systematically address gender issues and promote gender equality to make peace work. UNU, 2006

  • The Global Financial Crisis: Assessing Vulnerability for Women and Children
    www.worldbank.org ] Languages:  English 
    World Bank Internal Policy Brief, March 2009

  • The gender perspectives of the financial crisis
    www.un.org ] Languages:  English 
    The emerging issue on “The gender perspectives of the financial crisis” was considered at an interactive expert panel at the Fifty-Third Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in March 2009.

  • Women In 33 Countries Highly Vulnerable To Financial Crisis Effects
    www.worldbank.org ] Languages:  English |  French 
    World Bank Estimates Increase in Infant Mortality, Less Girl Education and Reduced Earnings. World Bank press release, 6 March 2009.

  • UNESCO Future Forum: The Potential Impact of the Global Financial and Economic Crisis on Women and Gender Equality
    portal.unesco.org ] Languages:  English 
    The UNESCO Future Forum was held on 2 March 2009 at UNESCO Headquarters to reflect on the ramifications of the present financial and economic crisis and their implications for international cooperation in general and in particular for UNESCO’s domains, namely education, the sciences, culture, communication and information. UNESCO, 2009

  • Microfinance: no panacea, but useful instrument in fight against poverty
    www.un.org ] Languages:  English 
    UN-DESA Policy Brief No. 10. DESA, 2008

  • Tackling Insecurity in Old Age: The Challenge of Universal Pensions
    www.un.org ] Languages:  English 
    UN-DESA Policy Brief No. 3. DESA, 2007

  • The World's Women 2005: Progress in Statistics. Chapter 6 Poverty, decision-making and human rights
    unstats.un.org ] Languages:  English 
    This document reviews deficiencies and gaps in the collection, dissemination, presentation and use of data in the following three areas of concern highlighted in the Beijing Platform for Action: Women and poverty; Women in power and decision-making; and Human rights of women. UN Statistics Division, 2005

  • Gender Inequalities in Allocating Time to Paid and Unpaid Work: Evidence from Bolivia (UNDP Poverty Center, 2007)
    www.undp-povertycentre.org ] Languages:  English 
    UNDP Poverty Center's Working Paper series disseminates the findings of work in progress in order to encourage exchange of ideas about development issues.

  • The Gender Pay Gap over Women's Working Lifetime (UNDP Poverty Center, 2006)
    www.ipc-undp.org ] Languages:  English 
    UNDP Poverty Center's "One Pagers" are online publications aiming to raise awareness on technical issues of poverty measurement and policies for poverty reduction among a wide audience.

  • Women's earning power and wellbeing (UNDP Poverty Center, 2006)
    www.undp-povertycentre.org ] Languages:  English 
    UNDP Poverty Center's "One Pagers" are online publications aiming to raise awareness on technical issues of poverty measurement and policies for poverty reduction among a wide audience.

  • Poverty among women in Latin America: Feminization or over-representation? (UNDP Poverty Center, 2006)
    www.undp-povertycentre.org ] Languages:  English 
    UNDP Poverty Center's Working Paper series disseminates the findings of work in progress in order to encourage exchange of ideas about development issues.

  • Online Discussion: Women and Poverty
    www.un.org ] Languages:  English 
    From October 2004 to January 2005, WomenWatch hosted a series of online discussions on the Platform's critical areas of concern and other important issues to provide input into the review and appraisal of the Bejing Declaration and Platform for Action. All postings and background notes are available for reading as archived online discussion.

  • "Empowerment of Women through the life cycle as a transformative strategy for poverty eradication"
    www.un.org ] Languages:  English 
    Information on an Expert Group Meeting organized by DAW, 26-29 November 2001

  • IFAD: Report on the Seminar on Rural Poverty Reduction "Harvesting IFAD-BSF Synergies", 2002
    www.ifad.org ] Languages:  English 

  • IFAD: Rural Poverty Report 2001 - The Challenge of Ending Rural Poverty
    www.ifad.org ] Languages:  English | French | Spanish | Arabic 
    Report with regional assessments

  • IFAD: Gender Perspective - Focus on the Rural Poor - An Overview of Gender Issues in IFAD-Assisted Projects
    www.ifad.org ] Languages:  English 
    Brochure presenting the evolution of IFAD's approach to gender, together with some examples of sector-specific approaches selected from IFAD's project portfolio, 2000

  • IFAD: Household Food Security and the Role of Women: IFAD's Experience in Guatemala
    www.ifad.org ] Languages:  English 
    Study identifying the determinants of household food security, 1998

  • IFAD: Engendered Mobilization, the Key to Livelihood Security: IFAD's Experience in South Asia
    www.ifad.org ] Languages:  English 
    Study on processes and patterns associated with household food security, 1998-2003

  • IFAD: Food Security, Poverty and Women: Lessons from Rural Asia
    www.ifad.org ] Languages:  English 
    Theoretical and empirical study on three projects in India and Nepal, 1999-2003

  • Rural Women in IFAD's Projects: The Key to Poverty Alleviation
    www.ifad.org ] Languages:  English 

  • WFP: Focus on Women
    www.wfp.org ] Languages:  English 
    Facts on women and poverty, especially relating to food

  • UNRISD: Project on Gender, Poverty and Well-being
    www.unrisd.org ] Languages:  English 
    This project argued that the links between gender and poverty lie at the level of social and economic relations and institutions rather than merely poverty "outcomes", 1997-1999

  • UNDP: Gender and Poverty Reduction
    www.undp.org ] Languages:  English 
    Selected UNDP resources on mainstreaming gender into poverty reduction policies and interventions

  • UNDP: "In Focus" bulletin, January 2004
    www.undg.org ] Languages:  English 
    Includes references to gender equality in income and education in Latin America and the Caribbean

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