Gender Equality and Rural Women’s Empowerment Network
Near East and North Africa Region


FAO Regional Offices

FAO projects
A multidisciplinary programme funded by Finland, Germany and Norway, MICCA builds on FAO’s long-standing work carried out by its different technical departments and collaborates with international and national organizations. As part of its work, MICCA and the CGIAR Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) have developed training material on “Gender and Climate Change Research in Agriculture and Food Security for Rural Development”. Making use of the material will ensure that critical information on gender and climate change is collected, allowing researchers and development workers to formulate appropriate gender-sensitive policies and programmes for rural development
Dimitra is a participatory information and communication project which contributes to improving the visibility of rural women.
The Gender, Biodiversity and Local Knowledge Systems for Food Security project (Links) explores the links between gender issues, local knowledge systems, the provision of food and the conservation and management of agrobiodiversity. The project focuses on Southern Africa.

FAO partnerships
The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) is the primary mechanism for inter-agency coordination of humanitarian assistance. The IASC develops humanitarian policies, agrees on a clear division of responsibility for the various aspects of humanitarian assistance, identifies and addresses gaps in response, and advocates for effective application of humanitarian principles.
The Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality (IANGWE) works to ensure coordination and cooperation on the promotion of gender equality throughout the United Nations system.
A worldwide alliance of civil society groups, networks of women living with HIV, women's organizations, AIDS service organizations, and the United Nations system, committed to strengthening AIDS programming for women and girls.
United Nations agencies

Entities specializing in gender issues
UN Women merges and builds on the work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system, which focused exclusively on gender equality and women’s empowerment. These included: the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI), and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). UNWomen is responsible for holding the UN system accountable for its own commitments on gender equality and to support Member States in the implementation of global standards and norms for women’s empowerment.

Agencies addressing gender issues
Rural poverty is deeply rooted in the imbalance between what women do and what they have. IFAD builds women's capabilities and addresses gender inequalities to enable them to transform their lives and the lives of their families and communities.
ILO uses gender mainstreaming as a strategy to achieve gender equality promote rights at work, create opportunities for decent employment, enhance the coverage and effectiveness of social protection for all, and strengthen dialogue.
UNHCR works to promote the empowerment of women and the elimination of sexual and gender-based violence as part of its Age, Gender and Diversity Mainstreaming strategy. UNHCR supports equality as a basic human right.
UNICEF is committed to levelling the playing field for girls and women by ensuring that all children have equal opportunity to develop their talents. It works to ensure that all babies receive the best start to life through gender-sensitive, integrated early childhood care.
The UNDP Gender Equality Strategy is grounded in the premise that the development objective of equality between men and women, or gender equality, is indivisible from the UNDP human development goal of real improvements in people's lives.
The Division for Gender Equality (GE) is responsible for ensuring the implementation of UNESCO's Priority Gender Equality Action Plan for 2008-2013, involving both gender-specific programmes and gender mainstreaming within UNESCO's major programmes.
WHO advocates gender equality in health for women and men around the world. Its aim is to increase knowledge and strengthen the health sector response by gathering evidence, developing norms and standards for mainstreaming gender in health policies and programmes.
UNFPA supports countries in using population data for policies and programmes to reduce poverty and to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV/AIDS, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.
WFP pursues a vision of the world in which every man, woman and child has access at all times to the food needed for an active and healthy life. Women are the first and fastest solution to reducing hunger and poverty.
The World Bank is working to increase women's economic opportunity by investing in better access to jobs, land rights, financial services, agricultural inputs and infrastructure. One of the World Bank's objectives is to advance women's and girl's economic empowerment.

Major Conventions on Women
  • Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979, entry into force 1981)
  • Convention on the Political Rights of Women (1952, entry into force 1954)
  • Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others (1949)
  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)

Major Declarations on Women
Reports of the Committee on Women