against Women

Forty-first session

30 June-18 July 2008

* CEDAW/C/2008/II/1.

Item 5 of the provisional agenda*

Implementation of article 21 of the Convention on the

Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

Reports provided by the specialized agencies of the United Nations system on the implementation of the Convention in areas falling within the scope of their activities

Note by the Secretary-General


Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Report of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

United Republic of Tanzania

Activities for the empowerment of rural women and gender equality

1.To mitigate the impact of the AIDS pandemic on agriculture and men and women farmers, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) supported the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania in formulating a strategy that targets the agricultural sector. The policy document on the agricultural sector strategy for HIV/AIDS and other related chronic diseases was developed in collaboration with several ministries and endorsed by the National Assembly. The strategy addresses a broad range of issues, such as support to orphans; empowering rural widows and vulnerable female-headed households; improving food and nutrition security; preventing property grabbing; and increasing disposable income and assets.

2.FAO, in collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP) and other partners, launched 6 Junior Farmer Field and Life Schools, hosting over 300 children, and 81 Adult Farmer Field and Life Schools, hosting over 3,000 adults. The Junior Schools are designed specifically for orphans and other vulnerable children, especially those whose condition results from the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The Junior Schools aim at imparting agricultural knowledge, entrepreneurial skills and life skills to orphans and vulnerable children between 12 and 18 years of age to enable them to grow up as independent, conscientious and enterprising citizens. Such knowledge and skills are intended to bring economic empowerment to those young people, and to help them to become responsible citizens with positive values in respect of gender and human rights. In addition, the Junior Schools address such issues as HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, gender equality, child protection, psychosocial support, nutritional education and business skills. The Adult Farmer Field and Life Schools target poor households affected by HIV/AIDS, with a special emphasis on households headed by women. The Adult Schools aim at imparting knowledge and skills to groups of men and women farmers that will enhance their agricultural production, household food security and income. In addition the Adult Schools are intended to strengthen rural men’s and women’s understanding of how their socio-economic vulnerability leads to risk-taking behaviour, to prevent adverse social and economic effects from HIV/AIDS and other threats in the communities and to establish a farmer network that addresses local issues in the interest of sustainable livelihoods. The Adult Schools also address issues related to property and the inheritance rights of women and girls, cultural norms about masculinity and femininity, and power-relationships among men and women.

3.The gender, biodiversity and local knowledge systems for food security (LinKS) project sought to raise awareness on how rural men and women used and managed biological diversity and promoted the importance of local knowledge for food security and sustainable agro-biodiversity. The project explored the links between local knowledge systems, gender roles and relationships, food provision and the conservation and management of agro-biodiversity. From 2000 to 2005 it carried out over 20 training workshops and numerous research activities, which resulted in several reports focusing primarily on agro-biodiversity, gender and local knowledge systems for food security.

4.To increase the visibility of women’s role in agricultural production and to generate data on and measure the impact of women’s and men’s effective contribution in agriculture and rural development, FAO has provided technical support to the National Bureau of Statistics and agricultural census programme to disaggregate by sex the data collected. FAO also provided assistance with the preparation of a gender profile for the agricultural sector, based on the census data.

5.Through the telefood campaign, which seeks to promote an increased awareness of the need and urgency to combat hunger and gender inequality, FAO has supported over 50 projects in the United Republic of Tanzania focusing on fruit and vegetable gardening; poultry keeping; grain milling; and maize, pig and crop production.