Expert Group Meeting Concept Note on Enabling Rural Women's Economic Empowerment: Institutions, Opportunities and Participation'

Thursday, December 22, 2011
United Nation Theme: 

Background and objectives

1. In accordance with its multi-year programme of work (2010-2014), the 56th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in 2012 will consider The empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges‘ as its priority theme.

2. Ensuring rural women‘s full enjoyment of their rights, opportunities and participation and leadership in economic matters requires comprehensive gender-responsive measures in rural areas at different levels, including through legal, policy and institutional frameworks. The 56th session of CSW in 2012 will provide a critical opportunity for strengthening policy guidance and developing concrete and focused recommendations targeted at a number of stakeholders to ensure more sustained and accelerated efforts to empower women in rural areas.

3. In order to contribute to a full understanding of the issues being considered and to assist the Commission in its deliberations, UN Women in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and World Food Programme (WFP) will convene an expert group meeting (EGM) on ‗Enabling rural women's economic empowerment: institutions, opportunities and participation‘ from 20 to 23 September, 2011 in Accra, Ghana.

4. The EGM will explore a wide range of strategies that can enhance the economic empowerment of rural women. It will:

  • Review progress in the implementation of existing policy commitments to promote rural women‘s economic empowerment and gender equality;
  • Explore key strategies that can enhance the economic empowerment of rural women, by identifying policies and practices, institutions and means of participation that have proven effective in supporting rural women‘s empowerment;
  • Identify concrete recommendations for action in support of rural women‘s economic empowerment to guide CSW in accelerating the implementation of policy commitments on the ground.

5. The EGM will focus on key measures taken by different stakeholders for enhancing rural women‘s position in the family and community and improving women‘s role in poverty and hunger eradication in the following critical areas:

  • Rural women‘s 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.

6. Attention will be paid to the situation of specific groups of women such as female-headed households, girls/young women, indigenous women, women affected by HIV/AIDS, older women or women with disabilities, migrant women and refugee and IDP women. The need to strengthen rural women‘s access to urban, sub-urban and peri-urban markets will also be addressed. The EGM will assess the situation in different parts of the world, identify good practices that can be scaled up and formulate concrete recommendations for relevant stakeholders.

Document PDF: 

EGM Concept Note for SCR 56