UNDP, EU and the Government of Uzbekistan host a Forum Empowering Rural Women in Agriculture
October 11, 2023
Rural women, constituting a significant part of the global agricultural workforce, play a vital role in agricultural production, food security, and nutrition. Despite their contributions, they face unique challenges both globally and in Uzbekistan, such as limited access to resources and underrepresentation in decision-making bodies, compounded by the disproportionate impacts of climate change due to existing gender inequalities. This forum, co-organized by UNDP, the Senate of Uzbekistan, Ministry of Agriculture, Women’s Committee, Agrarian Women Association and funded by the European Union via the “EU-AGRIN” project, has brought together approximately 140 participants from Central Asian countries and Turkey.
The forum serves as a platform for open discussion on a broad range of subjects such as empowering women in agriculture, expanding agribusiness development opportunities for women; exploring of bioenvironmental diversity of agricultural crops and the application of digital technologies in food production; innovative approaches in agricultural production, storage, and primary processing of crops and livestock products; sustainable development and climate adaptation, including rational use of land and water resources.
The organizers aim to enhance the role and motivation of women in the agricultural sector and promote their integration, amplifying the potential of women in the agrosector through collaborative efforts and experience sharing. The event also hosted the screening of a documentary film showcasing Uzbekistani women's contributions to agriculture and the presentation of a digital book featuring inspiring stories of rural women adapting to and addressing climate change challenges.
In his welcoming speech, Anas Fayyad Qarman, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. in Uzbekistan acknowledged the vital role of rural women in agriculture globally and commended the Uzbek government's efforts in promoting gender equality in the agricultural sector. “Women have always been the backbone of our societies, especially in the agricultural sector. Women account for over 40% of the agricultural workforce in Uzbekistan, ensuring our food security, nutrition, and as such play a significant role in climate resilience. By empowering rural women in agriculture not only do we take a stride towards gender equality, we also invest in food security”, added he emphasizing the need for collective empowerment, knowledge sharing, and collaboration to address the challenges faced by rural women effectively.
Mindaugas Kacerauskis, Deputy Head of Delegation of the European Union in Uzbekistan, called for empowering women in agriculture through education, access to and control over assets, including land, finance, and technology. As this will improve their productivity, income, and decision-making power, and contribute to gender equality and social justice. The benefits will extend across generations and pay significant dividends in the future.
UNDP will continue providing necessary support to the Government of Uzbekistan in their efforts towards green and just transition via women empowerment and innovation in agriculture.