The consultation has already received many valuable comments that you can read in full on the consultation page, where participants are posting very concrete feedback on how the Guidelines could be strengthened.
Update on the Europe and Central Asia CFS Gender Regional Consultation
The CFS Gender Regional Consultation for Europe and Central Asia took place on 27-28 September. This was the second one of the series of six consultations planned to take place in September-November 2021. This Consultation was also very well attended by around 90 participants and more following the webcast. The plenary discussions saw the contributions of all CFS constituent groups: representatives from governments, UN System, civil society, research institutions, private sector and others, sharing precious information on challenges and potential solutions to align the future CFS Voluntary Guidelines on Gender Equality and Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment in the Context of Food Security and Nutrition with national and regional priorities and needs.
Ms Tanja Grén (Finland) and Mr Tomas Duncan Jurado (Panama), Co-Chairs appointed by the CFS Bureau to facilitate the policy convergence process, presented the Zero Draft of the Guidelines, the main background document for the consultation.
The plenary discussion was inspired by three keynote speakers: H.E. Ms Narbaeva Tanzila Kamalovna , Chairperson of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Ms Carin Jämtin, Director General, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), and Mr Raimund Jehle, FAO Regional Programme Leader, FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia. They underlined the importance of the CFS future Guidelines and their support to their implementation once agreed by CFS in October 2022.
There was general consensus by participants that the Zero Draft is comprehensive and clear, but many of them identified some additional key challenges and gaps as, among others, the importance of taking a systemic, holistic approach to gender equality and food security – moving away from the siloization of issues – and several calls to be ambitious and aim high in the aspirations of the Guidelines. For example, participants highlighted the need for more reference to gender-responsive budgeting as a policy strategy and for more language on justice in the Guidelines, and for the active engagement of boys and men in gender transformative food security and nutrition interventions, in order to raise awareness and promote changes in behavior. The need to integrate a social norms’ focus in all policy areas was also raised.
On the second day, the plenary discussion dedicated to Part 3 of the Zero Draft started with themes/sections 3.2, 3.3. and 3.5, and then moved to other sections of interest.
On section 3.2, “Elimination of violence and discrimination against women for improved food security and nutrition”, issues and gaps raised by participants included prevention, intersectionality and violence based on sexual orientation. In fact, many participants stressed that the Guidelines need more of an intersectional approach that reflects and embraces diversity, including indigenous and rural women, age, ethnicity, race and disability; and more recognition of gender-based violence in all its forms.
Technical and vocational education and access to financial services were at the center of the discussion on section 3.3: “Access to education, capacity building, training, knowledge and information services”. Some interesting examples to inspire policy areas were presented from Uzbekistan, Belarus and North Macedonia.
With regards to section 3.5, “Access to and control over natural and productive resources”, the main issues raised were around property and land rights, resilience and intersectionality.
The discussions are documented in the Co-Chairs’ Summary available on the dedicated webpage in English, and in Russian in the forthcoming days.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank those who have already contributed to the online consultation, providing us with their insightful feedback. We look forward to receiving further input, which will be crucial in the process of developing the Guidelines.
Françoise Trine, Marina Calvino and Alyson Brody CFS Secretariat
 The keynote address was delivered by Ms Malika Kadyrkhanova, Head of the Commission on Gender Equality of the Republic of Uzbekistan.