Enabling poor rural people
to overcome poverty


Gender equality is an essential component for sustainable economic development and empowering rural women is vital to enabling poor people to improve their livelihoods and overcome poverty. Over 70 per cent of the world’s poor people live in rural areas and most of rural women and men rely on agriculture. However, rural women have limited access to land, credit, information and technologies, and they face difficulties in terms of mobility and political participation. IFAD is addressing gender inequalities and discrimination by focusing on areas which can empower women economically and socially, including access to land, water, education, training, markets and financial services.

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In focus

Ten things to know about gender equality and rural poverty

  • Did you know that over 70 per cent of the world’s poor people live in rural areas and most rural women and men rely on agriculture? Read more

In thousands of villages across the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, women are standing up for their rights. Thanks to a simple empowerment project initiated by the state government with support from IFAD, women are forming committees with local leaders and fighting malnutrition, caste violence, domestic abuse and corruption.

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Contact information

  • Clare Bishop-Sambrook
    Senior Technical Adviser - Gender, Empowerment and Social Inclusion
    Policy and Technical Advisory Division
    E-mail: gender@ifad.org