Global Agriculture

FAO Women’s Committee Lauded for Its Numerous Achievements in Recent Years

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20 May 2024, Rome: FAO Director-General QU Dongyu today expressed his pride and gratitude for the work of FAO’s Women’s Committee underscoring how under its Chair, FAO Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo, it has helped to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment in FAO, and beyond.

“Gender equality, diversity and inclusion are at the core of FAO’s new vision, strategy and direction,” Qu said addressing at FAO’s Sheikh Zayed centre, a special hybrid edition of the Committee’s VirtualiTea which is held periodically to share, discuss and showcase ideas and actions that can empower women – and through them the Organization.  

In his remarks during the VirtualiTea, Director-General praised Semedo for her passion and commitment to leading the committee over the years and announced that Deputy Director-General Beth Bechdol will succeed her.

An initiative of the FAO Director-General when he first took office, the FAO Women’s Committee was established in 2019 and has achieved many milestones, including the first FAO Staff Mentorship Programme co-sponsored with the FAO Youth Committee, to a memorable FAO ethical fashion show featuring fashion designer and Mountain Partnership Goodwill Ambassador Stella Jean bringing fashion to rural women.

In particular, the Director-General said he is proud of the committee’s work within the Organization, helping with decisions regarding women’s benefits at FAO, maternity and paternity leave, its work to promote mental health support at the regional level, and for helping to update the FAO Gender Equality Policy.

FAO scored 94 percent for indicators met or exceeded in the United Nations Plan of Action on Gender Equality, and the Organization was recently recognized for excellence in implementing good practices that advance gender equality in the United Nations System.

The Women’s Committee has helped the Organization build a space where women can express themselves openly and share their experiences on issues of interest, both professional and personal, with female, and male, colleagues from all FAO offices around the world, acting as a brainstorming mechanism for professional development and achieving gender equality.

Also Read: Savannah Seeds and ADAMA India Launch FullPage® Rice Cropping Solution for Paddy Farmers

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