FAO Consultation: Guidelines on Gender Equality and Women’s and Girls Empowerment in the context of Food Security and Nutrition”

FAO would like to renew their invitation to the online “Consultation for the development of the CFS Voluntary Guidelines on Gender Equality and Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment in the Context of Food Security and Nutrition“.

This activity is facilitated by Françoise Trine, Marina Calvino and Alyson Brody from the Secretariat of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), who invite you to provide your feedback on the Zero Draft of the CFS Voluntary Guidelines on Gender Equality and Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment in the Context of Food Security and Nutrition.

TO PARTICIPATE – send your contribution to fsn-moderator@fao.org or post it on www.fao.org/fsnforum

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 [1], 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


[1] The keynote address was delivered by Ms Malika Kadyrkhanova, Head of the Commission on Gender Equality of the Republic  of Uzbekistan.

Consultation for the development of the CFS Voluntary Guidelines on Gender Equality and Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment in the Context of Food Security and Nutrition

FAO Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition • FSN Forum

The “Consultation for the development of the CFS Voluntary Guidelines on Gender Equality and Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment in the Context of Food Security and Nutrition” has already received interesting contributions. Below you can read short summaries of these comments.

This online consultation invites you to share your views on the Zero Draft of the CFS Voluntary Guidelines on Gender Equality and Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment in the Context of Food Security and Nutrition.

It is part of a consultative process that also includes six regional consultations of which the first one, the CFS Gender Regional Consultation for Latin America and the Caribbean, took place this week. Below you will find a note from the facilitators of this online consultation, in which they provide a short overview of this regional event.

Please visit the FSN Forum website to read the introduction to the online consultation and the discussion questions in English, Español, Français, Русский, 中文 or  العربية, and to post your contribution in any of these six languages.

There is also an ongoing “Call for sharing experiences and good practices in the use and application of the CFS-RAI”, which is also facilitated by the CFS Secretariat.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact FSN at fsn-moderator@fao.org.

The FSN Forum Team look forward to receiving your precious feedback!

TO PARTICIPATE – send your contribution to FSN-moderator@fao.org or post it on www.fao.org/fsnforum

NOTE FROM THE FACILITATORS

The CFS Gender Regional Consultation for Latin America and the Caribbean took place on 21-22 September. The Consultation was very well attended with close to 100 participants from countries of the region participating in the event at any time and more following the webcast. All constituent groups contributed to the plenary discussions: representatives from governments, UN System, civil society, research institutions, private sector and others, sharing precious information on challenges and potential solutions. This was the first one of a series of six consultations planned to take place in September-November 2021.

The objective of the CFS regional consultations is 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. The main background document for the consultation, the Zero Draft of the Guidelines, was presented by Ms Tanja Grén (Finland) and Mr Tomas Duncan (Panama), Co-Chairs appointed by the CFS Bureau to facilitate the policy convergence process.

H.E. Ms Beatriz Argimon, Vice President of Uruguay, delivered the first keynote. She was congratulated for tirelessly championing the rights of rural women, including the rights to food and nutrition. Mr Berdegué, Regional Representative of FAO for Latin America and the Caribbean delivered a keynote on behalf of FAO, IFAD and WFP, sharing impressive statistics on the dramatic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on poverty and food security and nutrition. Finally, Ms Maria Noel Vaeza, UN Women’s Regional Director for the Americas and the Caribbean, stressed the fact that empowering women and girls was an effective way of improving nutrition, not only of women but of all members of their family. The three keynote speakers underlined the importance of the CFS future Guidelines and their support to their implementation once agreed by CFS in October 2022.

CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED

Srikanthi Bodapati

Nutrition and Public Health Specialist, India

Srikanthi comments on section 3.8 of the Zero Draft, “Women and men’s ability to make strategic choices for healthy diets and good nutrition”, and suggests including some additional aspects in the section’s problem statement. She discusses, for instance, how broader social factors can deprive women and young girls of education and nutrition, referring to forced early marriage and influence of family members on women’s and girls’ reproductive health choices.

Read the full contribution

Asikaralu Okafor

Maklumy Technology Services Limited, Nigeria

Asikaralu provides feedback on section 3.2 of the Zero Draft: “Elimination of violence and discrimination against women for improved food security and nutrition”. She refers to the situation in Nigeria, where women experience psychological and economic violence due to patriarchy. Women often do not have full ownership of farmland or are not allowed to use the profits they earn for personal needs. With regard to section 3.3, “Access to education, capacity building, training, knowledge and information services”, Asikaralu argues that child/early marriage is an age-long tradition that falls outside the sphere of influence of civilization and religion.

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Atika Marouf

Seed Development Project funded by IFAD, Sudan

Atika points to the need for nutrition awareness raising programs and training on income generation activities for women.

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Santosh Kumar Mishra

Population Education Resource Centre, Department of Lifelong Learning and Extension (Previously known as: Department of Continuing and Adult Education and Extension Work), S. N. D. T. Women’s University, Mumbai (Retired: on June 30, 2020), India

Santosh proposes to include the aspect of “family life education” (FLE) in Part 2 of the Zero Draft. He discusses what FLE should look like in practice, pointing out that it should be provided to both boys and girls, and that it should cover the following broad subject areas: 1) negotiation skills; 2) communication skills, and 3) values for healthy and responsible living. The aim of FLE would be to equip boys and girls with the skills needed for taking right and rational decisions in all relevant matters throughout life. Based on his professional experience, Santosh argues that the traditional tools to support women’s empowerment that are suggested by policy makers often do not have the desired outcome, and that FLE could promote the needed changes.                   

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Violet Chanza Black

World Food Programme, Cameroon

According to Violet, the Guidelines should feature a more comprehensive discussion on including women and girls in the development of climate change adaptation skills, with a particular focus on digital technologies. In this context, one should take into account existing gender gaps in terms of skills, and access to information and training.

Read the full contribution