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Celebración por el Día Internacional de la Mujer, 8 de marzo de 2022

Mensaje del Presidente del FIDA, Gilbert Houngbo

08 marzo 2022

Cada día, en todo el mundo, las barreras visibles e invisibles socavan la igualdad de género de muchas maneras.

Próximamente en español. 

Every day, around the world, visible and invisible barriers undermine gender equality in so many ways.

For example, 164 countries recognize the right of women to own, use and make decisions about land. But in practice, only 52 countries guarantee these rights. The rest have customary laws that discriminate against women.

Last week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its most recent report. It is a sobering assessment of how our changing climate threatens human well-being and the health of the planet. The report stresses the need to engage everyone — governments, private sector and civil society — to reduce the risk of climate change. Such a collective response, it says, must pay special attention to issues of equity and justice.

This message resonates strongly with the International Fund for Agricultural Development, especially today. IFAD integrates gender concerns into its work to increase the resilience of rural communities against the impacts of climate change. In Georgia, for example, IFAD is enhancing agricultural resilience through more inclusive climate-smart value chains. Our efforts to boost private sector investment pay special attention to women farmers and women-led rural enterprises.

IFAD recognizes the structural inequalities and biases that mean women and girls — especially across the Global South — are disproportionately affected by the climate crisis and environmental destruction. The poorest rural women work overwhelmingly in agriculture. This is also the sector hardest hit by the effects of climate change. When wells dry up close to home, it is girls and women who must walk farther and longer to collect water for the household.

But girls and women are not passive victims of the climate crisis. They have the capacity and knowledge to become agents of change.

Indeed, advancing gender equality is fundamental to climate action. By creating a positive, rippling effect throughout society, gender equality builds cohesion and security. This leads to positive impacts across the spectrum — from households and communities to national and international policy arenas.

IFAD is determined to do its part. Last year, at the Generation Equality Forum, I pledged that IFAD would ensure that at least 35 per cent of new projects would be gender-transformative. In the field, we are committed to building multidisciplinary teams with the right skills to support local and global gender-just action on climate change. Operationally, we are aiming for gender parity at staffing levels, in line with UN targets.

Strengthening the resilience of rural women and girls — building their capacity to cope with and recover from shocks — will remain a vital part of IFAD’s work. As we help rural communities adapt to climate change, we will draw on the diverse knowledge, priorities and capacities of both women and men to ensure stronger resilience. In this way — today and every day — we can help forge a more diverse, equitable and inclusive world.