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Gender Mainstreaming in Agricultural Planning – Costa Rica

What problem did it address?

Introduction of a gender-based approach to policy-makers and strategic planning, with the long-term objective of meeting the needs and priorities of women and men – for improved livelihoods or all rural people.

Where? Costa Rica – Region of Huetar Atlantica

How? By sensitising, motivating and training technical and administrative personnel as well as farmers on gender issues, it is possible to strengthen grassroot groups and the institutional system to adopt a gender perspective at all levels. This in turn can lead to improved capacity to identify problems and indicating actions, measures and institutional mechanisms to provide gender-sensitive solutions and to incorporate a gender approach in agricultural planning.

In collaboration with national partners the following activities were carried out:

Stage 1: Training of human resources.

Sensitising, motivating and training of technical and administrative personnel, as well as farmers, on gender issues

Stage 2: Strengthening grassroots groups

Grassroots groups and the institutional system were encouraged and supported to adopt a gender perspective at all levels of the sector. Gender-sensitive planning is based on the participation of women farmers in all the sector’s organisational and decision-making institutions. Strengthening institutions to enable them to adopt measures and mechanisms aimed at overcoming the verticality of the planning system and its gender bias, favouring feedback from farmers in general and rural women in particular.

Stage 3: Incorporation of gender policies into sectoral guidelines

1) Monitoring of policies in force in order to provide recommendations on how to incorporate the gender approach into sector guidelines;

2) Identification of problems and indicating actions, measures and institutional mechanisms to promote gender equality in access to and control over production resources. The proposed measures aimed at acknowledging and valuing women farmers’ work, overcoming a series of ideological and institutional obstacles that, in general, limited access to and control over resources.

3) Correcting the differential impact of policies on women and men through proposals sensitive to gender differences.

The following additional actions aimed at increasing women’s participation and equality of conditions:

· Increasing women’s organisational capability and giving them more access to services offered by the mixed farming sector;

· Increasing women’s access to information, communication and training and, thus, giving them greater access to decision-making levels; and

· Giving women more negotiation capacity through increased information.

The project used an approach that was gender-responsive, holistic, participatory and interdisciplinary. It focused on less-favoured population groups and seeked to involve different levels of stakeholder groups, including farmers groups, NGOs, senior executives, technicians and officials.

FAO also provides direct support to Ministries of Agriculture, often in collaboration with the Ministry responsible for gender issues, to develop strategic policy documents, usually entitled Gender and Agricultural Development Strategy. Such collaboration has taken place in recent years in Ghana, Togo, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic.

FAO is provding technical assistance to mainstreaming gender in agricultural policy and planning upon request by Member Countries.

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