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Sustainable Development Goals
Women represent about half of the total agricultural labour force in developing countries.
Women account for an estimated two-thirds of the world’s 600 million livestock keepers.
Research shows that when more income is put into the hands of women, child nutrition, health and education improves.
The share of female smallholders with access to credit is 5–10% lower than for male smallholders.

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Women represent around half of the total agricultural labour force in developing countries. As farmers and farm workers, horticulturists, businesswomen, entrepreneurs and community leaders, they fulfil important roles in agriculture and the development of rural economies.

Yet, rural women face greater constraints than men in accessing land, technology, markets, infrastructure and services. Women are just as good as men in farming: evidence shows that when rural women have the same access as men to productive resources, services and economic opportunities there is a significant increase in agricultural output and immediate and long term social and economic gains, all contributing to the reduction in the number of poor and hungry people.

Gender equality and women’s empowerment is central to FAO's mandate to achieving food security for all, improving agricultural productivity and ensuring the full participation of rural people in decision-making processes.


The success of the Sustainable Development Goals rests to a large extent on effective monitoring, review and follow-up processes. SDG indicators are the foundation of this new global framework for mutual accountability. FAO is the ‘custodian’ UN agency for 21 indicators, for SDGs 2, 5, 6, 12, 14 and 15 and a contributing agency for four more. 

5.a.1 (a) Percentage of people with ownership or secure rights over agricultural land (out of total agricultural population), by sex; and (b) share of women among owners or rightsbearers of agricultural land, by type of tenure

5.a.2 Percentage of countries where the legal framework (including customary law) guarantees women’s equal rights to land ownership and/or control

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Meeting Our Goals - FAO’s programme for gender equality in agriculture and rural development

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