Rural women and food security

[Current situation and perspectives]

Women are the majority of the world's agricultural producers, playing important roles in fisheries and forestry as well as in farming. Worldwide, women produce more than 50 percent of the food that is grown (FAO, 1995a). Moreover, in many places of the world, women are responsible for providing the food for their families, if not by producing it then by earning the income for its purchase. Finally, women are nearly universally responsible for food preparation for their families. All this they do in the face of constraints and attitudes that conspire to undervalue their work and responsibilities, reduce their productivity, place upon them a isproportionate work burden, discriminate against them and hinder their participation in ecision-making and policy-making. Unless urgent action is taken to remove these constraints and change these attitudes, there can be no hope of achieving food security for this and future generations. This overview gives an outline of the current and changing roles of women in food security in the different regions of the world, particularly as food producers, in the context of lobal and regional agricultural trends. It looks at the major factors, including those at the macro-level, that affect and constrain women in their roles as food producers and providers. Finally, it recommends action to remove constraints and to promote conditions that enable omen to carry out their roles in food security more effectively and thus promote the food security of all people, at all times. This overview is based on and synthesizes the regional apers on Rural women and food security: current status and perspectives" from Africa, Asia and the acific, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Near East, prepared by the Women in Development Service (SDWW) of FAO as part of the preparatory activities for the World Food ummit. The data presented come from these sources unless otherwise stated. Unevenness in information from the regions and countries is primarily the result of gaps in, or lack of, gender-disaggregated data and indicates where further information and data collection are need.

Date and language
Jan 1998
Agris Subject Categories: 
Food distribution
Agris Subject Categories: 
Rural population
Agris Subject Categories: 
Food Security
Physical Location: 
FPMU Documentation Center
Classification Number: 
Other information
Printed resource

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