Role of women in rural areas in Asia
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Women play important roles in agriculture and food security and household welfare in rural areas. Hence, development programs and policies must consider gender concerns. In Asia, some of the main challenges confronting women in development efforts include achieving gender equity particularly in rural areas, translating policies into action, empowering women and creating opportunities for rural women to better achieve food and livelihood security. Some recommendations to achieve this are: recognise that women are equal partners in development and as such must be included in the planning and implementation of development programs and strategies; translate the recognition of the important roles of women into positive policies and programs that will benefit women and their households; improve gender mainstreaming at all levels including national and local governments; develop plans of action to translate gender mainstreaming policies into practice and implement such plans; monitor and evaluate progress on gender mainstreaming and execute any required action to ensure real implementation; improve measurement of Asian rural women's contributions to agricultural production and rural development; recognize explicitly roles and needs of women including women-headed households and take these into account in the design of technologies; empower women by improving education, land rights and access to common property resources and forest reserves; build the capacity of women in agricultural tasks and also in decision making in collaboration with the government, NGOs, research institutions and funding bodies, take measures to improve women's access to technology in production, post-harvest activites and household.
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