New York, Feb 7 2011 1:10PM
The United Nations rural development fund said today it has made
significant progress in improving gender equality and strengthening
the role of women in agriculture production, but noted that more
remains to be done to help women reap the benefits of rural
Following a report by its evaluation office, the UN International Fund
for Agricultural Development (IFAD) said that it has adopted three
objectives to improve gender equality and women's empowerment –
expanding women's access to assets; strengthening their
decision-making role in community affairs; and easing their workload
by facilitating access to basic rural services and infrastructure.
IFAD, a specialized agency of the United Nations, is dedicated to
eradicating rural poverty in developing countries. Seventy-five per
cent of the world's poorest people – 1.4 billion women, children and
men – live in rural areas and depend on agriculture and related
activities for their livelihood.
In a <"http://www.ifad.org/media/press/2011/2.htm">press release, the
Fund said its evaluation office concluded that it "has succeeded in
addressing the many challenges faced by women in developing countries"
and that it has played an important role in promoting gender equality
and women's empowerment in relevant global policy and advocacy forums.
However, the report outlined a number of areas where IFAD's
performance and results on gender can be improved, especially in
enhancing women's well-being and easing their workload, ensuring
better documentation and sharing of lessons and good practices,
strengthen monitoring and reporting to IFAD's senior management and
Executive Board, and advancing innovative solutions that can be scaled
up to address challenges faced by rural women in developing countries.
The evaluation report also found that IFAD is well-positioned,
compared to other development organisations, with regard to its gender
balance in staffing, even though there is a need for more women to be
represented at senior levels.
The report's recommendations include that IFAD review its human
resources strategy in relation to gender to ensure that the required
staff and financial resources are assigned to improving gender
balance. It also suggests an approach to individual work planning and
management that is more gender-sensitive.