Guatemala: Women’s Participation, the Key for Rural Economic Development

UN Women, FAO, IFAD and WFP will implement a programme to promote the economic empowerment of 1,200 rural women and their families in the Polochic Valley. In Alta Verapaz, where the valley is located, more than 78 percent of people live in poverty, and more than 37 percent live in extreme poverty. The prevalence of stunting is 56 percent.

Women make up a significant part of the farming workforce and play an essential role in food production, especially in subsistence agriculture. However, women and girls have limited access to productive resources such as land, agricultural inputs, financing and credit, which in turn limits the efficiency of agricultural production, access to public services and employment opportunities.

What is expected of the programme?
Improve food security
Promote the productive potential of women and their access to and control over productive resources and services essential for ensuring food security and nutrition.

Increase income
Support business initiatives led by women and promote links with higher value markets, thus improving opportunities in agriculture.

Empowerment of rural women

Expand women’s leadership and participation in their communities and in rural institutions, so that they can influence policy, local plans and public investment based on their priorities. Strengthen women’s organizations.

Support central and local institutions
Implement policies with a gender perspective, promote legislative reforms for the effective implementation of the rights of rural women and allow access to resources, decent jobs, fair wages and technical and financial assistance.

How will it be achieved?

FAO, WFP and UN Women will work together with women in agricultural production and nutrition education to promote economic empowerment of rural women.

It seeks to organize women to take leadership roles in decision-making and implementation of policies that can address the needs of women.

The Government of Guatemala –through the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food (MAGA), the Presidential Secretariat for Women, and the Secretariat of Food and Nutrition Security (SESAN)—support the empowerment of women and family agriculture and oversee the reduction of malnutrition respectively. 

Photos taken by Miguel Vargas, WFP Communications Officer in Guatemala.