Gef- Integrated approaches: accelerating women’s contribution to food security, reducing deforestation and sustainable cities
Today, the GEF joins the global community in celebrating International Women’s Day. It is an ideal time to reflect on GEF’s efforts to advance the role of women in environmental sectors worldwide. When the GEF adopted its Policy on Gender Mainstreaming in 2011, only a minority of projects considered gender issues. Now, just five years later, we are strengthening our efforts to address gender gaps across all of our programs and projects. Furthermore, we are working to deliver on positive synergies between improved environmental management and greater gender equality.
Our new Integrated Approach Pilots (IAPs) offer great examples of this shift in our approach to gender mainstreaming. With its three programs – Fostering Sustainability and Resilience for Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa, Sustainable Cities, and Taking Deforestation out of Commodity Supply Chains – GEF is testing the delivery of more integrated approaches to addressing global environment challenges.
Women make essential contributions to the rural economy across the African continent as farmers, laborers and entrepreneurs. Their roles are diverse and changing rapidly, but one fact is strikingly consistent: women have less access than men to agricultural assets, inputs and services and to rural employment opportunities.
Yet closing the gender gap in agriculture would generate significant gains for agriculture sector and society in Sub-Saharan Africa and globally. If women had the same access to productive resources as men, they could increase yields on their farms by 20% – 30% and reduce the number of hungry people in the world by up to an incredible 17% .
Recognizing gender-specific differences in addressing food security and sustainable management and resilience of ecosystems, this GEF pilot is designed to contribute to the empowerment of rural women and men, and to increase rural women’s decision-making power and representation.