MANILA, Philippines – The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is urging countries to close the gender gap in agriculture to speed up the elimination of hunger.
The Philippines is largely an agricultural society, with women playing crucial roles in ensuring that food reaches our tables.
Unfortunately, their value is often overlooked. This inequality creates problems not only for women, but also for their families who depend on them for both food security and care. (READ: Women, the sea, and food security)
FAO observed that because women are more likely to invest more time, effort, and money in ensuring food and nutrition security for their children, they must receive more support in terms of resources, services, and opportunities.
FAO produced a short animated video in 2011 highlighting the need to empower women in agriculture. The 2010-2011 State of Food and Agriculture also focused on closing the gender gap for development. Watch the video, “Closing the Gap,” below:
Women, men, food
FAO sought the following changes:
- Equal access to land, agricultural resources (i.e., seeds, fertilizers, technologies), services
- Equal access to education and agricultural training
- Equal access to wage, credit, financial services
- Equal access to rural employment
If women were given equal opportunities as men, their yields can increase up to 30% – this can significantly improve the overall rural economy, FAO said.
At the same time, increased agricultural outputs can help reduce the world’s hungry by as much as 17%.
If a country is serious about its fight against hunger, a good start would be to educate both women and men about gender equality. – Rappler.com
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