Joint Programme on Accelerating Progress towards the Economic Empowerment of Rural Women

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Joint Programme on Accelerating Progress towards the Economic Empowerment of Rural Women

Rural women are key agents for achieving the transformational economic, environmental and social changes required for sustainable development. Their empowerment is vital for the well-being of individuals, families and rural communities and the realisation of the 2030 Agenda.

Yet many rural women continue to face significant barriers that limit their ability to fully participate in and equally benefit from profitable economic activities. Restricted access to resources and services, such as land, finance, healthcare, education, market information, agricultural inputs and technology, are further compounded by broader systemic barriers. All of which are exacerbated during times conflict, food, economic and environmental crises.

The Joint Programme on Accelerating Progress towards the Economic Empowerment of Rural Women (JP RWEE) is a global initiative with an overarching goal to secure rural women's livelihoods and rights in the context of sustainable development and address the key challenges faced by rural women in Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Nepal, Niger, and Rwanda.

Jointly implemented by FAO, IFAD, UN Women and WFP, the JP RWEE adopts a holistic approach to rural women's economic empowerment, building on each agency's comparative advantage and strengths in order to improve the status of women in rural areas.

The JP RWEE has four main outcomes:

  • Rural women have improved food and nutrition security
  • Rural women have increased income to secure their livelihoods and create wealth
  • Rural women have enhanced leadership and participation in their communities and in rural institutions, and in shaping laws, policies and programmes
  • A more gender responsive policy environment is secured for the economic empowerment of rural women

Addressing the root causes of gender inequality by working to overcome patriarchal systems and discriminatory social norms is crucial to removing the barriers to gender equality and achieving women’s empowerment. The JP RWEE works towards addressing gender-specific constraints that rural women face in accessing resources and opportunities and implementing measures to enhance women’s agency and expand their capacities as farmers, entrepreneurs and leaders.

To date, the JP RWEE has supported over 75,000 rural women and 400,000 households through a set of integrated efforts, with the generous support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).



Related stories

Related stories

The faces of empowerment

March 2020 - PHOTO
Rural women are key agents in the effort to achieve the economic, environmental and social transformations required for sustainable development. Ensuring their empowerment is crucial not only to their own well-being, but that of their families and communities.

Related publications

Related publications

The faces of empowerment - Photo Essay about the beneficiaries of the Joint Programme on Rural Women Economic Empowerment

December 2019
This photo essay describes the different types of changes in the life of women that are participating in the JP RWEE.

The JP RWEE pathway to women’s empowerment

April 2017
Gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls is a pre-condition for the eradication of poverty and essential to achieve progress across all goals and targets set by the Sustainable Development Agenda. The JP RWEE facilitates transformation through rural women’s leadership, making gender equality and women’s empowerment a reality. Support to women's economic empowerment allows for increased influence, education and information for women to decide the use of their income, savings and loans, and the ability to make decisions about their life.