Holistic Approaches to Rural Women's Economic Empowerment

The objective of the session will be to share findings from the UN Joint Programme ‘Accelerating Progress towards the Economic Empowerment of Rural Women’ (JP RWEE). The findings will encompass quantative and qualitative assessments including a final qualitative evaluation, a WEAI report, and GALS qualitative assessment. The JP RWEE is jointly implemented by FAO, IFAD, UN Women and WFP in Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Nepal, Niger and Rwanda and aims to secure rural women’s livelihoods and rights in the context of sustainable development. The programme applies an integrated, holistic approach that addresses sustainable agriculture, nutrition and food security, economic development, and enabling policy environments that promote inclusive development and the rights of women. The programme takes into consideration social and political dimensions of empowerment, encompasses intersectional approaches to gender equality, and involves multi stakeholder partnerships with UN agencies, civil society, and local and national governments. The findings show that the combined impact of this approach, has multiplying effects for women’s empowerment which include: i. opening up access to economic opportunities for rural women that enable income generation and diversification; ii. bringing about transformative change for women by addressing social and structural barriers (discriminatory social norms and institutions); iii. increasing women’s self-efficacy, ability to speak up and leadership – either in the context of community based groups or local rural institutions; iv) more equitable intra household relations and power dynamics, with men taking on more of the domestic burdens and supporting women’s ability to engage in productive activities.



Catherine McCarron, UN World Food Programme, Elizabeth Burges-Sims, UN World Food Programme
Carla Kay Kraft, UN Women
Enabling policy environments for rural women’s rights, resilience and livelihoods: Lessons from the Joint Programme on Rural Women’s Economic Empowerment (JP RWEE)

Susan Kaaria, FAO
Applying holistic inter agency approaches to Rural Women’s Economic Empowerment

Beatrice Gerli, IFAD
Behavioural change strategies in the JP RWEE: a qualitative assessment of the implementation of the Gender Action Learning System (GALS) in Kyrgyzstan

Anna Cecilia Rosso, University of Milan, Italy
The RWEE project in Kyrgyzstan: GALS vs BALI