Women face multiple gender-related inequalities: FAO

In South Asia, agriculture engages close to 70 percent of all working women

GN Bureau | February 8, 2017


#South Asia   #FAO   #Food and Agriculture Organisation   #Women   #Gender Inequality  
Representational illustration
Representational illustration

Women make essential contributions to agriculture across Asia and the Pacific, comprising between 40 and 50 percent of the agricultural labour force in East and Southeast Asia and around 30 percent in South Asia. In China and India, women make up one fifth of fisherfolk and one fourth of fish farmers and they are responsible for marketing up to 60 percent of all seafood, said the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

FAO’s regional gender strategy and action plan 2017-2019 for Asia and the Pacific said that agriculture is also the primary provider of employment for women in the region. In South Asia, agriculture engages close to 70 percent of all working women.

Read: Engineering gender equality with design

The action plan noted that despite contributing significantly to the rural economy, women face multiple gender-related constraints and inequalities, such as unequal access to land and productive inputs as well as unequal participation in personal, family, and community decision-making. Women represent on average only 10 percent of all agricultural landholders in Asia.

According to the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index, unequal access to group membership and lack of decision-making power on use of income and autonomy in production pose the biggest constraints on women’s empowerment in Bangladesh and Nepal.
The action plan said that climate change and associated phenomena threaten rural populations throughout the region with changing temperatures and precipitation patterns, rising sea levels, and increased vulnerability to natural disasters. These in turn affect food availability, livelihoods, assets, and health and may have far reaching social impacts.

Read: Law and its implementation safeguard women's rights

Women and men will be affected by and respond differently to the challenges of climate change.  Additionally, environmental degradation may also increase women’s work by making access to water and/or fuel more difficult, time consuming, or more costly. Access to gender-responsive technologies and modern energy sources reduce health and safety problems associated with energy acquisition and use and can reduce the time women must work as well as the burden of that work.

It went on to say that the benefits of economic growth, especially in fast growing economies, are not evenly distributed. The rural poor, ethnic minorities, some castes, indigenous peoples, and other marginalized groups are at risk of becoming even further marginalized by uneven growth. Women – especially those in female-headed households – and ethnic minorities are more vulnerable to shocks, such as price volatility and decreased food availability.

As income disparity and social inequalities worsen in the region and traditional rural safety net systems are disrupted by migration and demographic shifts, providing social protection measures becomes more important. These trends will be further shaped by increased globalization, trade liberalization and agreements, and regional collaboration, said the action plan.

Read: Food and Agriculture Organisation’s regional gender strategy and action plan 2017–2019

Comments

 

Other News

On a personal note: Javed Jaffrey

After his much-appreciated debut in Meri Jung in 1985, Javed Jaffrey inspired a new generation of dancers. He then turned from dance to comedy. The versatile actor constantly changes his styles and his live, film, TV and radio appearances always promise novelty and surprise. In 2014 he joined the Aam A

Allegations against CJI: Inquiry will strengthen the independence of the judiciary

Yes, we must stand rock solid with the judiciary and the judges. We must protect the independence of the judiciary too. What does this mean in the present context of a very serious charge of sexual harassment levelled by a former employee of the court against the CJI?  We are told that there is a larg

“Managing data is challenging”

The Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) is a society set up by the railways ministry in July 1986 to provide IT related services to the Indian Railways. CRIS deals in a gamut of functions, like passenger ticketing, freight operations, train dispatching and control, crew management, e-procurement,

A boost to those who need it most

What are 600 million people? Almost twice the population of the US. What are 500 million people? About three-fourth of the population of Europe. Why are we talking about these numbers? Well, because as per a study by Sandhya Krishnan and Neeraj Hatekar (‘Rise of New Middle Class in India and Its

Expanding Eureka!

Abright yellow van with figures of children playing with a whirligig, a Newton’s cradle, a magnetic compass rolls into the Government Higher Primary School in Kittaganahalli, on the outskirts of Bengaluru. Students in the playground leave what they are doing and mill about it in excitement. For they

The spark in the classroom

Not many children dream of starting an idyllic school of their own when they grow up. But Ramji Raghavan, founder of the Agastya International Foundation – which fosters the creative learning of science in stude



Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter