Alphonsine Nyiranzeyimana, a farmer from Cyahinda, in the southern part of Rwanda, says that learning new farming techniques completely changed her life. She’s not exaggerating. Today, Nyiranzeyimana is the leader of a farmers’ cooperative and the yield on some of her crops has more than doubled. The agricultural sector accounts for a third of Rwanda's GDP and more than 70 per cent of Rwandan women are engaged in farming activities since their childhood. Yet, they don’t have the same access to land, production inputs, finance or markets as men.
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Through women's cooperatives, a joint UN programme provides training in agricultural techniques, improved seeds and time-saving machinery, while also granting loans and encouraging saving.
The fight against extreme poverty, hunger and malnutrition is not possible without gender equality and women empowerment, José Graziano da Silva, the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said today in Rome, where he called for more efforts to ensure that rural women, "the backbone of our work in agriculture," enjoy a level playing field.
Achieving gender equality and empowering women is not only the right thing to do but is a critical ingredient in the fight against extreme poverty, hunger and malnutrition, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said today.
From 2012 to 2016, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization, with the support of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, worked with governments in four countries in Asia to help them develop pro-poor policies and approaches to better manage risks and vulnerabilities faced by smallholder farmers.
Leaders of international organizations based in Rome gathered to highlight the achievements and the real prospects for achieving gender equality. The speakers all agreed accelerating the empowerment of women everywhere is fundamental to achieving a zero hunger world and reaching the world's new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Rural women in Rwanda say a joint UN initiative is helping them both hope and plan for a better future, by empowering them with knowledge to improve and sustain their own livelihoods.
How a multi-agency programme is making a difference in the lives of rural women around the world.
In a region where women still struggle to close the gender gap, Morocco stands out. In the past ten years it has enacted laws to eliminate discrimination against women and guarantee gender equality. But how do these laws make a difference in remote rural areas?
Rwanda is the first country in the world where women hold a parliamentary majority and new laws have given women rights to land, employment opportunities and education. Now, in the most remote parts of the country, gender equality is going a long way to reducing poverty.