Reaction to SEAGA was very positive - participants appreciated its holistic approach, the linking of macro- and intermediate/field levels, and its core principles and definitions, which allowed for deeper understanding of gender issues. Participants also welcomed its concrete didactic materials. As follow-up, the trainers will create a network to provide more in-depth comments on the SEAGA materials.
FAO also presented SEAGA to two other Burkina Faso audiences: the Women Section of the Ministry of Agriculture's Extension Division, and the Association of Women Researchers and Scientists of the National Centre of Scientific Research. The Ministry's Extension Division will seek funds to organize a SEAGA training session for their trainers.
FAO's Director-General, Mr Jacques Diouf introduced the illustrated publication of the FAO Plan of Action for Women in Development, explaining that the Plan requires socioeconomic and gender analysis to be considered in all FAO policies and projects. This includes the Organization's Special Programme for Food Security in Low-Income and Food-Deficit Countries, and the 1996 World Food Summit Plan of Action.
The Director-General recalled his policy on female professional employment in FAO: since taking office three years ago, the number of female Division Directors had increased from three to 11; moreover, he had given instructions for the promotion and recruitment of women professional staff within FAO.
Other highlights included an exhibition of photographs and statistics on women's participation in development, a video show presenting portraits of rural women, and an open seminar on definitions of gender, female professional employment at FAO, rural women and education in nutrition, and extension for women in agriculture.
The participants (from Colombia, Cuba, Brazil, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela) submitted papers on laws that continue to affect rural women. They found that while laws in the participating countries do not specifically establish sex discrimination, a series of historical, social, cultural and political factors continue to limit their access to land, credit, technical assistance and other resources.
The meeting recommended that FAO and Latin American governments cooperate in revising rural development laws to include specific regulations in favour of rural women. Further information: Vilma Aray, Regional Officer (Women in Development), FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, Calle Bandera, 150 (Pisos 6-10), Casilla 10095, Santiago, Chile (e-mail: FAO-RLC@field.fao.org).
This theme of this year's AIDS Day - "One world, one hope" - was that of the 11th International Conference on AIDS, held in Vancouver, Canada, in July. It reflects the fact that HIV and AIDS are global problems and the need for cooperation in preventing the spread of HIV and building a global society that offers care and support to the estimated 22 million people whose lives have been affected by the epidemic.
For details of FAO activities on AIDS, see Resources/Projects: Effect of HIV/AIDS on agricultural production systems in West Africa, Resources/Reports: AIDS and agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa and Extension and Education News Archives: AIDS awareness.
The main output of SEAGA will be a training package and tools for the identification and analysis of gender-disaggregated socioeconomic information for all phases of policy, programme and project cycles. The SEAGA Package has several components, including a User's Framework and Reference, handbooks for application of SEAGA at different levels of society, an electronic hypertext version with core elements of other documents, learning materials and case studies, and guides covering specific technical areas. CD-ROM and Internet versions of these documents will be made available.
A technical meeting on SEAGA, held at FAO, reviewed materials and documents drafted to date and proposed revisions to harmonize different components of the SEAGA Package. Work has begun on adapting the SEAGA concepts, and translating the main documents for French- and Spanish-speaking countries. Based the lessons learned from the pre-testing exercises, the SEAGA team will further revise and adapt the package. Full-scale pilot tests from are expected to begin in March 1997.