In accordance with its multi-year programme of work for 2010-2014, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will consider ‘The empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges' as its priority theme during its fifty-sixth session in 2012.

In order to contribute to a fuller understanding of the issue and to assist the Commission in its deliberations, the UN Women) in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) will convene an Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on ‘Enabling rural women's economic empowerment: institutions, opportunities and participation' from 20-23 September 2011 in Accra, Ghana.

The EGM will explore a wide range of strategies that can enhance the economic empowerment of rural women, and will focus on the following critical areas:

Rural women’s strengthened role in agriculture;
Rural women’s access to productive resources, technology markets and financing;
Decent and productive employment and income-generating opportunities for rural women;
Infrastructure and service-delivery that benefit rural women;
Rural women’s role in natural resource management and climate change adaptation;
Effective institutions and enabling policy environment that promotes gender responsive rural development.