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'Don't forget the role women play in feeding the world' - UN Leader to speak at Women Deliver 2019 Global Conference

31 May 2019

Vancouver, 31 May 2019 – Equality for women can be a cornerstone in building a world without hunger and poverty, according to experts from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) attending Women Deliver 2019, but only if it is extended to the 1.7 billion women and girls who live in some of the world poorest rural areas. 

Around the world, rural women in developing countries are more likely to be food insecure than men. They have fewer rights to the land and less access to the financing and inputs they need to farm more successfully, and diversify their livelihoods. These women are often overlooked or silenced in the decisions that affect their lives. But at the same time, they are fundamental to the future economic and social development of their countries. For example, it is estimated that giving women the same access to productive resources as men would increase farm yields by as much as 20 to 30 per cent.

At the Women Deliver 2019 Global Conference, IFAD will bring together senior officials, gender and policy experts to discuss a range of issues crucial to the world's future food security, including rural women’s economic and social empowerment, land issues and the key barriers and constraints that hold rural women back from fulfilling their true potential.

IFAD events at Women Deliver:

4 June, 5p.m.

The Real Groundbreakers: Women food producers transforming rural landscapes

This special event will explore the challenges women food producers face and will hear solutions from women who are championing gender equality, confronting injustice, and are helping to end hunger and malnutrition in their communities.

Room 214, Level 2, Vancouver Convention Centre

Speakers and panelists include:

  • Awa Caba, CEO of first digital platform for women farmers, Senegal
  • Paul Winters, Associate Vice-President of the Strategy and Knowledge Department at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
  • Jim Cornelius, Executive Director, Canadian Foodgrains Bank
  • Dominique Charron, Vice-President, Programs and Partnerships, International Development Research Council
  • Tipo Shepherd, Shepherd TipoTelwia, Gender Justice Facilitator, Nebbi Diocese, Uganda
  •  Antoinette (Toni) Habinshuti, Deputy Executive Director, Partners in Health/ Inshuti Mu Buzima, Rwanda
  • Monica Mhoja, Tanzania Program Country Director, Landesa, Tanzania
  • Minister Maryam Monsef, International Development, Canada (TBC)

4 June, 3 p.m.

Power Stage: We won’t see the end of hunger and poverty unless we invest in the world’s 1.7 billion women and girls who rely on agriculture for their livelihoods.

The Power Stage is one of the largest events at Women Deliver. Paul Winters, IFAD Associate Vice-President of the Strategy and Knowledge presents the case for investing in rural women to benefit not only them but their families, communities, and countries.

Fueling Station (right of the welcome center), Vancouver Convention Centre

Partner events:

2 June, 6 p.m.

Creating a Gender Equal World: The Transformative Power of Women’s Rights to Land

This event will showcase the transformative power of realizing women’s rights to land. Paul Winters, IFAD Associate Vice-President of the Strategy and Knowledge will explore how women’s land rights are linked to other measures of gender equality. Hosted by Landesa.

Vancouver Conference Center, Room 221

Available for interviews

  • Awa Caba, Agricultural entrepreneur, gender specialist and IT consultant, Senegal. Awa Caba is an entrepreneur and IT consultant specializing in agro-business. She is co-founder and CEO of Sooretul, the first digital platform for the promotion of agricultural products processed by women in Senegal. This start-up has received a number of awards, including international recognition from former US President Barack Obama for innovation in the agriculture and technology sector. She is also co-founder of the first Women’s Network in Technology in Senegal. Across her work, Awa participates in the financial empowerment of youth and women, while promoting the digital economy around agro-business in Senegal. She has a diploma in computer science.
  • Paul Winters, Associate Vice-President, Strategy and Knowledge Department, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Paul Winters is the Associate Vice-President of the Strategy and Knowledge Department at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Previously, he was the Director of Research and Impact Assessment at IFAD, responsible for advancing IFAD's research and impact assessment agendas as well as supporting the development effectiveness of IFAD's operations. Paul’s previous experience includes the Department of Economics at American University in Washington, DC, the Inter-American Development Bank, the University of New England, and the International Potato Center in Lima. Paul holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California at Berkeley, an MA in Economics from the University of California at San Diego and a BA in Non-Western Studies from the University of San Diego.

Contact at Women Deliver: Katie Taft,, +393346083657

Contact at IFAD: Jessica Thomas,, +39-3921605992

Media Advisory No.: IFAD/10/2019

IFAD invests in rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided US$20.9 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached about 483 million people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency based in Rome – the United Nations’ food and agriculture hub. More about IFAD: