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.

Read more

In focus

  • Statement on the occasion of International Day of Rural Women
    Arabic | English | French | Spanish
  • Sharefair 2014 on "Rural women's technologies to improve food security, nutrition and productive family farming" will take place in Nairobi from 15-17 October 2014. Read more.
  • Gender equality and women's empowerment: IFAD's work and results (2014)
    Arabic | English | French | Spanish
  • Report: Household methodologies for results and impact in IFAD-supported programmes and projects
    English | French | Portuguese | Spanish
  • Gender newsletter: Issue 6, September 2014
  • Gender and family farming in Asia and the Pacific (2014)
  • Report: The Gender Advantage: Women on the front line of climate change (2014)
  • Report: Rural Women’s Leadership Programme - Madagascar, Nepal, the Philippines and Senegal: Good practices and lessons learnt (2010-2013)
    English | French 
  • Report: Moving Forward: Breaking the Glass Ceiling



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

Contact information

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









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.

Watch more videos on gender