22b5a94be2The purpose of the working group is to create an effective global voice for commitment to increased gender equality and women's empowerment through increased access to and participation in Rural Advisory Services. This will be pursued by supporting the GFRAS mission and functions of advocacy with regard to gender equality in rural advisory services.

icon pdf Concept note of the working group (pdf 190KB)

icon pdf Gender Equality in Rural Advisory Services, a GFRAS brief (pdf 284KB)

Activities and outputs

  • Create a knowledge sharing platform
  • Development of conceptual paper on gender equality in RAS
  • Development of conceptual paper on gender equality in RAS
  • Assisting regional networks in mainstreaming gender in their work
  • Develop the ideas of a parallel initiative to AWARD for women extensionists
  • Identifying research needs related to gender in RAS
  • Facilitate regional networks’ contribution to the next GCWA (2015)

Find more details in the concept note.


With the UN Millennium Development Goals, gender equality was placed high as a priority for global development through the third goal: PROMOTE GENDER EQUALITY AND EMPOWER WOMEN. Lately there has been much attention also to women's equal economic opportunities, and women's role in agricultural production is becoming a centre of attention in this perspective, as well as in the perspective of improving food security and nutritional status for poor families.

The mission of GFRAS is to provide space for advocacy and leadership on rural advisory services (RAS) within the global development agenda. The GFRAS Steering Committee decided to increase attention to gender equality in advisory services and to provide guidance and advocacy in this area.

There are several organisations that have initiatives or interest in gender equality in agriculture. Some examples are listed here:

  • The African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS) recently completed a review of case studies on targeting women advisory service providers in capacity development programmes. The review provides recommendations to AFAAS on how to promote and use the best practices.
  • OECD has raised attention to women's economic empowerment – and hereunder also agriculture through the DAC Network on Gender Equality (GENDERNET), which is an international forum where experts from development co-operation agencies meet to define common approaches in support of gender equality
  • WB, FAO, and IFAD have developed a website containing resources and information: www.genderinag.org
  • Global Conference on Women in Agriculture, was held 13 to 15 March 2012 in New Delhi, India. The conference was organised by Indian Council of Agricultural research (ICAR) and Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural research Institutions (APAARI) and included a session chaired by GFRAS on engendering agricultural research, education, and extension
  • Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) has an internal working group on gender and agriculture
  • International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) is conducting several research projects and has resources related to gender in agriculture