USCIB Promotes Women’s Empowerment in the Food Supply Chain

africa_fruit_vendors_lo-resThis week delegates from around the work will be reviewing world food security policies at the 42nd session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).  A record-setting 126 private sector representatives from 39 countries have registered to attend the 42nd plenary session taking place from October 12 to 15 in Rome. CFS is one of the most inclusive intergovernmental platforms that allows stakeholders to work together and ensure food security and nutrition for all.

In an effort to catalyze political will and focus around food security, USCIB supported an event on October 9 in Rome about “Women’s Empowerment: Solutions at the Nexus of Agriculture, Nutrition and Enterprise,” co-chaired by Cherie Blair, president and founder of Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, and Irene Khan, director general of the International Law Development Office. The event convened high-level representatives from business, government and NGOs for a dialogue about women’s access to productive resources (finance, tools, technology, land), women’s contributions to health and nutrition and the role of women in fostering food security.

Shaun Donnelly, USCIB’s vice president for investment and financial services, participated in the broad-based roundtable discussion, which included business leaders, 12 FAO ambassadors and representatives from leading NGOs. There was  broad agreement about the challenges faced by women and the importance of having multi-stakeholder partnerships to  empower women in agriculture and supply chains. Empowering women would improve food security and nutrition, as well as create a positive ripple effect in raising the standard of living for their families and strengthening their communities.

Many agreed that when women have more control over household assets and income, they invest more in their families’ food, health, education and children’s well-being. Thriving families are better positioned to contribute meaningfully to their communities, and a well-nourished population is better able to participate in the workforce. By empowering women in agriculture and supply chains, the world can make significant gains toward realizing the FAO’s Strategic Objectives and several of the broader United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as:

Staff Contact:   Michael Michener

VP, Product Policy and Innovation & Acting Program/Policy Co-Lead
Tel: 202.617.3159

Michael Michener is USCIB’s vice president of product policy and innovation, joining USCIB in early 2017. Michener is a former administrator of the U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service who has also served as a U.S. trade diplomat and association executive. Michener most recently served in Brussels as director of multilateral relations for CropLife International, representing the association before a range of international organizations – including the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, the UN Environment Program and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change – on issues related to crop protection products and agriculture biotechnology.
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