Ramallah 28 April 2016 - UN Women, the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) coordinated in 19 – 21 and 25 – 27 April 2016, , the training of 50 (43 women and 8 men) farmers and heads of women agricultural societies in Nablus and Bethlehem on agro-biodiversity approaches and techniques.
Organized under the European Union and UN Women joint regional programme, “Spring Forward for Women”, and funded by the EU, the training provided skill education on sustainable farming respectful of ecosystems, as well as on-the-job coaching in partnership with organic farms and agricultural businesses in Jenin, Wadi Fukin and Batir.
The training Programme is based on the developed gender-sensitive agro-biodiversity training manual of UN Women Palestine Office, a guide addressing the specific needs of women in the management and utilization of agro-biodiversity. The manual was developed in coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture and FAO, in support of efforts to increase economic opportunities of marginalized women, and taking in consideration the distinctive role played by Palestinian men and women in the management and conservation of agro-biodiversity. The manual, and related training programme, is designed for women, but also men, engaged in agricultural entrepreneurship, and interested in building environmentally friendly, sustainable and profitable businesses, by learning how to use modern techniques for the utilization of natural resources based the characteristics of ecosystems in areas.
“I have never got the chance to visit such agricultural entrepreneurship businesses in Jenin, especially the Bait Qad organic farm, where I learnt the organic farming techniques, as well as getting to know new plants, like kale and quinoa seeds”, Adnan says, also, Nada adds “The field visit conducted through this training gave me a solid background about new farming green techniques, such as hydroponic, which I will consider using it in my own farm in Hebron”.
According the 2013 PCBS labour survey, agriculture remains dominated by informal work in Palestine, with the majority of women working in agriculture classified as “unpaid family workers.” Access to assets is however critical for both men and women for their families to escape poverty and secure their livelihoods. Building women’s capacities is therefore even more crucial as they are often the caregivers for families, with studies demonstrating that rural women business entrepreneurs are usually dedicating most of their earnings to the well-being, including health and nutrition, of their families.
The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030 recognize the need to “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls” (SDG 5), “Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all” (SDG 8), and “Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss,” (SDG 15 point 9).
About Spring Forward for Women Programme
The Regional Programme for the Economic and Political Empowerment of Women in the Southern Mediterranean Region (“Spring Forward for Women”) provides a mechanism to advance the economic and political empowerment of women in the Southern Mediterranean region. The programme (2012-2016) supports women across the region, focusing on priority countries undergoing unrest, transition and reform, such as such as Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Palestine and Tunisia, to have greater influence in shaping the future of their countries while protecting their previous gains. It connects stakeholders to ensure that marginalised women in these countries receive capacity building, advocacy, information and partnerships that address the barriers that have impeded their access and engagement in economic and public lives. The programme is financed through a contribution of €7 million from the European Neighbourhood Partnership Instrument (ENPI) and of €1.2 million from the UN Women core budget.
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