Global Policy Forum

UN Report: Women Lag in Ag Job Benefits

Women working in agricultural jobs in rural areas continue to earn less than their male counterparts according to a recent report released by three UN agencies. Global crises in food and financial markets were cited as causes for persistent inequity. Governments should institute structural reforms to bridge the gender gap, which include strengthening legal frameworks that promote gender equality, as well as more inclusive social safety nets and expanded access to educational opportunities.



United Press International
January 21, 2011


Women still lag behind men in reaping benefits from agriculture employment in rural areas, three U.N. agencies said in a report released in New York.

Progress toward gender equity in farming-related labor has been hampered by the global crises in the food and financial sectors, said the report compiled by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the International Labor Organization.

The report, "Gender Dimensions of Agricultural and Rural Employment: Differentiated Pathways out of Poverty," noted women need access to education, training, credit, markets, technical assistance and labor protection, the United Nations said Friday in a release. Females also need equal, secure access to land and other assets, and so-called "social capital," including being able to participate equally in farmers' organizations.

"With job losses and cuts in spending on social services and infrastructure, women's care burdens and unpaid work have intensified, and their financial contribution to household food security is likely to decrease," the report said. "This is particularly dramatic for female-headed households."

The report recommended policy measures to address gender differences in rural employment, including legal reforms promoting gender equality, social safety nets, assistance to organizations supporting farmers, women and youth, child care programs, education and access to information and labor markets.

Read the full report here

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