FAO: Closing gender gap in agri-food systems can boost global economy by $1 trillion

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Source: The post is based on the article “FAO: Closing gender gap in agri-food systems can boost global economy by $1 trillion” published in Down To Earth on 15th April 2023

What is the News?

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO) report titled “The Status Of Women In Agrifood Systems”, closing the gender gap in farm productivity and the wage gap in agri food-system employment would increase global gross domestic product (GDP) by 1% or nearly $1 trillion. 

About The Status Of Women In Agrifood Systems report

The report is the first of its kind since 2010 (State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA) 2010–11: Women in Agriculture – Closing the gender gap for development).

It goes beyond agriculture to provide a comprehensive picture of the status of women working across agri-food systems.

What are the key findings of the Status Of Women In Agrifood Systems report?

The Status Of Women In Agrifood Systems report
Source: FAO

Almost four billion people rely on agri-food systems for their livelihoods and around half of them (are women) are prevented from realizing their potential.

They are often held back by: 1) Inequality and discrimination – Rigid gender norms and roles, unequal power dynamics and discriminatory social structures, 2) Marginalized and denied agency, 3) Work in poorer conditions with lower wages and 4) Carry a greater burden of care and unpaid work.

These impediments are compounded by additional challenges – climate, economic and price shocks, conflicts and the increasing risks of gender-based violence.

Even though women have gained more access to some resources (digital technology, financial services), gaps are either unchanged or growing especially for rural women.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the gap between women’s and men’s food security has grown to 4.3%.

Men have a larger share in agricultural households compared with women owning land in 40 out of the 46 countries reporting on SDG Indicator 5.a.1. 

Women earn 82 cents for every dollar earned by men and closing these gaps would greatly improve food security, nutrition and increase economic growth. 

What are the recommendations given by the Status Of Women In Agrifood Systems report?

-Close the gender gaps related to access to assets, technology and resources.

-Access to childcare has a large positive effect on mothers’ employment, while social protection programmes have shown to increase women’s employment and resilience.

-Address the continued lack of high-quality data disaggregated by sex, age, and other forms of social and economic differentiation which is paramount to monitoring and accelerating progress towards gender equality in agrifood systems.

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