How to empower women in the agri-food system: FAO report on ‘The Status of Women in Agriculture’

June 8, 2023

Sustainable Agriculture


UN Sustainable Development Goals


Sustainability and climate change


Food security

In a recent event in Brussels, FAO presented the key findings of the report ‘The Status of Women in Agriculture’. The report highlighted the significant contributions of women within the global food supply chain, shedding light on the vital roles that women play in ensuring food security worldwide.

After the welcoming speech of FAO Liaison Brussels Office Director, Raschad Al-Khafaji and the introduction of FAO Chief Economist, Máximo Torero, the event continued with special remarks on the significance of the report’s findings and their implications for future policies and initiatives from Caroline Gennez, Minister of Development Cooperation and Major Cities, Federal Government of Belgium, and Carla Montesi, Director of Green Deal and Digital Agenda at the European Commission Directorate-General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA). Lauren Phillips, Deputy Director of the FAO Division for Inclusive Rural Transformation and Gender Equality, presented the main findings of the report, providing attendees with an overview of the critical roles women play in the global food supply chain.

Mderated by Camilla Brückner, Director of the United Nations in Brussels, a panel discussion featured different high-level panelists who shared their expertise and insights. The panelists included Lydia Mutyebele Ngoi, Alderwoman for Housing, Public Heritage, and Equal Opportunities from the City of Brussels; Dirk Jacobs, Director General of FoodDrinkEurope; Maureen Duru, Founder & Director of The FoodBridge; and, the above-mentioned, Lauren Phillips.

During the event, speakers showcased critical data, lessons learned, and recommendations for governments, businesses, and civil society to develop effective and cost-efficient policies and programs within agri-food systems that support women. By providing valuable insights and recommendations, it offers guidance to policymakers and stakeholders in creating an environment that fosters women’s empowerment and equal participation in the food supply chain. This is why the report will serve as a crucial contribution to ongoing efforts towards achieving gender equality and empowering women in agri-food systems.

Several stakeholders representing different value chains attended the event and engaged in a discussion surrounding the report, sharing insights and perspectives while exploring new opportunities for collaborative action.

The event concluded with a cocktail reception, providing an opportunity for networking and further discussions on advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment in the food sector.