Media Advisory: UN Women, WFP, IFAD, FAO to launch joint programme to empower rural women and girls

Date: Wednesday, September 26, 2012

UN Women Media Advisory
For immediate release

Media Contacts:

Hadrien Bonnaud: hadrien.bonnaud[at]; +1 646 781-4751

UN Women and the three Rome-based United Nations agencies working on food and agriculture will launch on 27th September a joint programme to empower poor rural women through economic integration and food security initiatives.

UN Women, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP), will spearhead a comprehensive UN-system response in support of rural women's economic empowerment through joint actions. “Accelerating Progress toward the Economic Empowerment of Rural Women is a 5-year joint programme that will be implemented in Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Nepal, Niger and Rwanda. It aims to empower rural women and enhance food security.


  • Rural women are key contributors to global economies, playing a critical role in both developed and developing nations. They enhance agricultural and rural development, improve food security and can help reduce poverty levels in their communities.
  • In some parts of the world, women represent 70 per cent of the agricultural workforce, comprising 43 per cent of agricultural workers worldwide.
  • Gender inequality and limited access to credit, healthcare and education, however, continue to pose a number of challenges for rural women.

Who: Speakers include: H. E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia; Melanne Verveer, United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues, Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director, UN Women; Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director, WFP; José Graziano da Silva, Director-General, FAO; Rob Swartbol, President of the Canadian International Development Agency; Margaret Biggs; President of the Pan-African Farmers' Organization Elizabeth Atangana, amongst others.

Where: The Millennium UN Plaza Hotel, The Riverview Room, 28th floor, New York.

When: Thursday 27th September in New York. 1:00 - 2:45 p.m.

The event will be webcast live at It is open to accredited media but seats are extremely limited. Please rsvp to media contact below.

Contacts: Hadrien Bonnaud, Tel: +1 646 781-4751 Email: hadrien.bonnaud[at]

Follow the event on Twitter: via @UN_Women and the hashtag #RuralWomen