Global Conference on Women in Agriculture

Improving the role of women in agriculture has been at the forefront of IFPRI’s research for the past fifteen years. Despite the fact that women make up 43 percent of the agricultural workforce, their access to agricultural assets are significantly less than that of men. Ameliorating the gender gap in agriculture has the ability to significantly increase food security. Global food production would increase by 30 percent if women were to increase their role in the agricultural sector.

The Global Conference on Women in Agriculture, to be held March 13-15, 2012 in New Delhi, India, represents an important a step towards this goal. The conference, jointly organized by The Indian Council of Agricultural Research and the Asia Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions, with support from the Global Forum on Agricultural Research under the Gender in Agriculture Partnership will bring policymakers, researchers, NGOs, and others together to discuss, take stock, and derive lessons on ways to increase the empowerment of women in agriculture. Ultimately the conference aims to develop a Framework for Action to integrate and empower women for inclusive growth and development through an enduring global partnership program on gender in agriculture.

IFPRI research plays an important role in this effort. IFPRI staff are participating in the conference and are committed to working on gender issues. The institute’s recent gender work includes the book “Engendering Agricultural Research, Development and Extension” and the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index.

The Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI), a new tool developed by IFPRI, the US Government’s Feed the Future initiative, the United States Agency for International Development, and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, measures the empowerment, agency, and inclusion of women in the agriculture sector. The WEAI is a composite measurement tool that allows researchers to identify women who are disempowered and understand how to increase autonomy and decisionmaking in key domains.

For additional information on IFPRI’s gender research please visit the thematic page on gender and the Gender and Food Policy News blog.

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