Women are central

Women and their knowledge,values, vision and leadership are critical for moving forward. Migration and globalization mean that women’s work is increasing, yet women have far less access to resources than men. All to often, their work is neither recognized nor valued. For agroecology to achieve its full potential, there must be equal distribution of power, tasks, decision-making and remuneration. (Nyéléni Declaration, 2015)

In 2022, Schola Campesina facilitated the organization of 4 webinars related to gender in food systems and the essential role of women in advancing agroecology.

The webinars have been the opportunity for valuable exchanges and discussions amongst key actors of agroecology in the region. It allowed, amongst others to identify seeds and access to markets as key issues for women in the ECA region and are intrinsically linked to gender relations and inequalities. These two fields are crucial for women in all the countries of the partners that took part as speakers in this serie of webinars.

The webinars have served as a unique platform for exchange of experiences and practical solutions to address gender equality in food production and marketing, specifically in context of crisis or war. It gave visibility to women-led organizations that design, implement and monitor projects that recognize and valorize the role of women in health, nutrition, household livelihoods, trust relationship with consumers, innovative way of marketing, etc. It showed the extraordinary leverage that women organization represent. Beyond giving visibility to the silent role of women, the webinars also highlighted the variety of actions that are made possible thanks to organizations, and specifically women-led organizations.

Additionally, it also highlighting the role of data to defend and make visible the role of women. FAO REU colleagues presented why gender-related data are so important, how to use it and what is kind of gender-related data is missing.


Webinar 1  – Women’s initiatives linking producers and urban consumers and their importance in times of crisis (Central Asia region)

12 April 2022

A presentation of interesting experiences of women farmers and rural women in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan; and a discussion on the importance of their initiatives for the resilience in uncertain times, with the insights from FAO projects and available data

See the concept note and Agenda

Presentation of four experiences on women’s initiatives on linking producers and urban
consumers and their importance in times of crisis
Kyrgyzstan: Farmer’s market and bistro and potential to face shocks and crisis situations, by ADI
Kazakhstan: From “Cow on the balcony” to the current crisis situation, by Zher-Ana Astana NGO
Tajikistan: activities on mulberry’s snack, cultivation of unique lemons, Tomiris NGO
 Uzbekistan: women-artisans and their importance in the new context

See the presentation on data related gender issues  relevant for advancing agroecology in Central Asia (SDG Indicators 5.a.1 and 5.a.2), Giorgi Kvinikadze, FAO REU Statistician

Recording of the webinar is available here

WEBINAR 2 – Women’s role in agrifood value chains in the Western Balkans

9 June 2022 10:30–12:30 Central European Time

The webinar’s language is English with interpretation  into  Albanian and Serbian languages

Despite the essential role played by women and girls in sustainable food production in the Western
Balkans, women’s social and economic status remains weak and recent trends show only a minimal
improvement in their situation. Gender inequality and the insufficient realization of women’s rights
constitute a serious obstacle to the acceleration of poverty reduction. Although women bear most
of the burden relating to household welfare, they have fewer possibilities than men to control the
resources and means necessary to fulfil their needs and perform responsibilities.
Nevertheless, rural women play an essential role in producing food for local markets, sustaining
local biodiversity and traditional foods. Across the Western Balkans, women are key promoters of
agroecology and evidence from across the region demonstrates that women and girls are vital for
agricultural and rural development.

See the concept note and Agenda

The presentations will focussed on:
the implementation of agroecological practices in family farms;
the empowerment of women through social entrepreneurship;
the role of rural women as resilient and biodiversity-based producers of secure, nutritious, healthy and safe food; and
positive shifts in the productivity status of the women-led agribusiness sector through the
contribution of grassroots civil society organizations.

See the powerpoint presentations of experiences

See the presentation on data related gender issues  relevant for advancing agroecology in Western Balkans (SDG Indicators 5.a.1 and 5.a.2) , Giorgi Kvinikadze, FAO REU Statistician


WEBINAR 3 – “Seeds and Knowledge: Agroecology to strengthen autonomy of rural women (Eastern Europe)”

17 June 2022  2pm-4pm EEST

Recognizing the fundamental role played by women in local and resilient food systems, agroecology approach also addresses the gender inequalities by creating many opportunities for women. Agroecology supports women’s action in developping knowledge and economic activities in local food chains while at the same time being active in community life. The event also highlighted the importance of agroecology in times of war as a way to ensure food security and resilience, as well as its human rights’ perspective to achieve food sovereignty for local communities.

See the concept note and Agenda

Speakers were:

Anna Jenderedjian, Gender and Social Protection Specialist, FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

Giorgi Kvinikadze, Statistician, FAO Statistician, FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia. See the presentation here

Liliana Botnaru, Executive Director, NGO Avânt, Republic of Moldova

Anatolii Albin, Business Consultant, Agroecology and Seed-saving practitioner, NGO Gradina Moldovei, Republic of Moldova

Anna Danyliak, Expert in Sustainable Agricultural Development, NGO Ecoaction, Ukraine

Anastasiya Volkova, Head of NGO ‘Permaculture in Ukraine’, one of the coordinators of the project ‘Green Road of Ecovillages’, Ukraine

Olga Shiglins, Director and Head of Experimental Direction and Implementation, NGO Agro-Eco-Cultura, Belarus

See the powerpoint presentations of the experiences

Recorded webinar available on YouTube


WEBINAR 4 – Agroecology for Women’s Economic Empowerment and Strengthening their Autonomy (South Caucasus and Turkey)

November 3d, 2022  09:30-11:00 CET 10:30-12:00 Ankara 11:30-13:00 Baku/Tbilisi/Yerevan

Languages: English/Russian

See the concept note and Agenda

This fourth concluding webinar focuses on the experiences of the three South Caucasus countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia) and Türkiye. The discussion will address the following main themes:
Awareness on the need for sex-disaggregated data for formulating and monitoring policies;

The role of women-led grassroots initiatives on local seed production and distribution;

The advantages of agroecological production from the perspective of women producers;

Promising practices in promoting women-led agroecological initiatives for improved market access;

Policy support needs for women-led agroecological initiatives
See the Powerpoint presentations of the experiences from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Türkiye

See the presentation of Anna Jenderedjian (FAO REU) Evidence on gender-based inequalities and their importance for sustainable and inclusive agri-food systems

See the presentation of Giorgi Kvinikadze (FAO REU) Tracking information on the situation with women’s rights on land ownership and control – SDG Indicators 5.a.1 and 5.a.2

Recording available here


Othere resources related to Women and their knowledge, values, vision and leadership play a central role in Agroecology:

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