This page in:
  • English

FEATURE STORY

Advancing Gender Equity for Food Security

October 3, 2012

Adriana Banderas raises poultry as part of Bank-supported producer's alliance in Colombia.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • In a speech to the CGIAR Fund Council, Chair Rachel Kyte encouraged participants to forge effective partnerships, empower poor rural women, and create opportunities for women in agriculture.
  • Those opportunities are not just as farmers but also as scientists and policymakers.
  • When barriers come down, everyone benefits: food security increases, poverty drops, children are better nourished, and environmental stewardship improves.

Imagine how much global food production would increase and how many fewer people would go hungry if female farmers had better access to opportunities, new technologies, and crop varieties?

Rachel Kyte, vice president for sustainable development at the World Bank and chair of the CGIAR Fund Council, put that question to participants in a workshop on gender in development, convened by the CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems Oct. 3-5 in Penang, Malaysia.

The goal of the workshop, "Building Coalitions, Creating Change: An Agenda for Gender Transformative Research in Agricultural Development," is to develop an agenda for gender transformative research related to agriculture and build a community of experts and advocates to put the agenda into action to accelerate progress in the fight against poverty and hunger.

Open Quotes

When barriers come down - barriers that prevent women from fully contributing on the farm, in the lab, in their homes, and in government offices - everyone benefits: food security increases, poverty drops, children are better nourished, and environmental stewardship improves. Close Quotes

Rachel Kyte
Vice President for Sustainable Development, World Bank

In a videotaped address, Kyte encouraged participants to forge effective partnerships, empower poor rural women, and create opportunities for women in agriculture, not just as farmers but also as scientists and policymakers. She highlighted a fellowship program in Africa that has been opening doors for female scientists for several years.

"When barriers come down - barriers that prevent women from fully contributing on the farm, in the lab, in their homes, and in government offices - everyone benefits: food security increases, poverty drops, children are better nourished, and environmental stewardship improves," Kyte said.

"Advancing gender equality is not only the right thing to do, it's the economically smart thing to do, and it's also necessary in order to unleash agriculture's full potential for improving lives in developing countries."