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Conference on Dvpt for Rural Women in South Asia

UN To Co-Host Regional Conference on Development for Rural Women in South Asia

New York, May 9 2005 11:00AM

Recognizing that rural women in South Asia are among the poorest people in the world, two United Nations development agencies are teaming up to co-host a conference in New Delhi, India, to promote policies and programmes aimed at reducing gender inequality in that region.

The increased need to address gender inequalities in development projects will be the focus the three-day conference, set to open tomorrow and run through Thursday, organized by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and Canada’s International Development Research Centre.

Gender inequality is considered the primary cause of persistent poverty and the main reason why many developing countries are off-track to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and the conference, entitled “Development Effectiveness through Gender Mainstreaming,” will assess the progress that has been made in poverty reduction and gender equality in rural South Asia.

About two thirds of the world’s 1.2 billion extremely poor people live in Asia; more than half of them can be found in South Asia. Women represent the majority of poor people in Asia, particularly in rural areas. This is largely due to the fact that rural women do not have equitable access to the productive assets and services they need to improve their lives.

The goal of the conference is to promote development policies and programmes that can effectively reduce gender inequality and rural poverty in South Asian countries. Representatives from the UN, multilateral and bilateral agencies, women’s and community-based organizations will also meet to strengthen advocacy networks and partnerships and identify policy options which can support gender mainstreaming efforts.

ENDS

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