Gender equality is essential to achieve FAO’s mandate of a world free from hunger, malnutrition, and poverty. The Organization recognizes that persisting inequalities between women and men are a major obstacle to agriculture and rural development and that eliminating these disparities is essential to building sustainable and inclusive food systems and resilient and peaceful societies.
In alignment with the priorities set by the international agenda, the FAO gender equality policy, first endorsed in 2012, provides the Organization with a corporate framework to orient its technical and normative work towards clear gender equality objectives relevant to its mandate. The Policy recognizes that a gender-responsive organizational environment is necessary to achieve progress towards these objectives. It, therefore, includes a set of minimum standards for gender mainstreaming to ensure that gender dimensions are adequately addressed in all organizational functions, from results-based management to staff learning and evidence generation. Recognizing that all staff has a role to play in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment, the Policy establishes a shared accountability framework that clearly outlines responsibilities for its implementation across the Organization.
The revised Policy, which will be implemented over the next ten years, is a solid instrument to drive FAO’s efforts towards addressing the inequalities that are still pervasive in agriculture and food systems and to unleash the ambitions and potential of rural women and girls. An overview of women’s role in agriculture and the main constraints they face as a result of gender-based discrimination is presented in the Rationale section of this Policy, to clearly position FAO’s commitment to promote gender equality as an integral part of its mandate and contribution towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.