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close this bookRural women and food security: current situation and perspectives. (1998)
close this folderNear East
close this folder3 Constraints faced by women farmers
View the document(introduction...)
View the document3.1 Exclusion from power and decision-making
View the document3.2 Poor institutional support
View the document3.3 Lack of land rights
View the document3.4 Lack of credit
View the document3.5 Inappropriate technology
View the document3.6 Insufficient education
View the document3.7 Neglect by agricultural extension services
View the document3.8 Exclusion from research


Experience has shown that resources in the hands of women often have a greater nutritional benefit to households than the same resources controlled by men. Women are more likely than men to spend a given income on food for the family. Thus, resources for women represent resources for food security. Reducing gender disparities by enhancing the human and physical resources commanded by women leads to growth in household agricultural productivity, greater income and better food and nutrition security for all (Gittinger, 1990; Quisumbing et al., 1995).

However, data collected in the region show that rural women are poorly supported in political, economic and social development efforts and that large gender gaps exist with respect to women's access to power and the resources necessary to achieve food security (political representation, education, technology, credit, research, extension services, etc.). The following sections present the data available in the region regarding the above constraints in more detail. Unless specified otherwise, the sections draw heavily from the FAO publication Women, agriculture and rural development: a synthesis report of the Near East region, 1995. This document analyses and consolidates the most recent and available data on women in agriculture in the Near East. Data were compiled by coordinators from 17 countries in the region using various methods such as participatory rural appraisals, rapid rural appraisals, national consultations, field visits and review of available national data and microstudies. The purpose of this document was to provide the background information needed to prepare FAO's Regional Plan for Action in the Near East (1996 to 2000), or RPAWANE 2000.