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14 February 2024

The path to gender equality in the context of food security: transforming policy to action

Photo by Mehmet Turgut Kirkgoz / Pexels

2023 was an important year in the work to strengthen gender equality and women’s and girl’s empowerment in the context of food security and nutrition.

FAO published a landmark report, The Status of Women in Agrifood Systems, providing the latest data, lessons learned and recommendations about how to do more, and better.

The Committee on world food security adopted the Voluntary Guidelines on Gender Equality and Women’s and Girl’s Empowerment in the Context of Food Security and Nutrition, for the first time bringing a full policy product on gender equality under the umbrella of foremost inclusive international and intergovernmental platform for all stakeholders to work together to ensure food security and nutrition for all.

At the same time, the work on gender equality is experiencing some strong pushback and, as the FAO report shows, very little progress has been made in the past decade on important topics like women’s access to assets, resources and services necessary for agrifood systems.

How can this negative trend be reversed? What can we do to address the structural barriers to gender equality and women’s empowerment, and how can tools such as the voluntary guidelines be helpful?

This seminar will not only provide facts and figures but also take you behind the scenes of the negotiations and highlight the challenges and present the solutions that finally managed to get the world community to agree.

The Swedish Ministry for Rural Affairs, FAO, Sida, and SIANI are hosting a seminar to discuss some of the most crucial topics that need our attention.

It’s an excellent opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and contribute to the discussion on important issues.


Opening remarks

Dan Ericsson, State Secretary to the Minister for Rural Affairs, Sweden.

Status of women in in agri-food systems

Dr Lauren Phillips, Deputy Director, Inclusive Rural Transformation and Gender Equality, FAO.

CFS Voluntary Guidelines on gender

Tanja Gren (video), Permanent Representative of Finland to FAO, WFP, and IFAD and Rebecka Ramstedt, Policy Officer, Permanent Representation of Sweden to FAO, WFP and IFAD.

Promoting gender transformative approaches for food security and nutrition in Ecuador

Geovanny Enriquez, JP GTA National Program Coordinator, FAO.

Sida on their work on gender equality

Elisabeth Simelton, Senior Policy Specialist in agriculture and food security, Sida.

Discussion – Transforming policy into action for food security and gender equality

Dr Lauren Phillips, Rebecka Ramstedt, and Elisabeth Simelton.

Closing remarks

Ambassador H.E. Ms Nosipho Nausca-Jean Jezile, Chair of the Committee of World Food Security, CFS.

The session will be moderated by

Dr. Johanna Bergman Lodin, Division of Rural Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU.


Register here


Dan Ericsson

State Secretary to the Minister for Rural Affairs and Chair of the Swedish FAO committee. He holds studies in economics, political science, and law from Stockholm University.

Mr. Ericsson has sat on the boards of a number of government agencies and inquiries, including the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, the Commission on Energy and the Committee on reforming the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy. Also, a former board member of the Östergötland County Administrative Board.


Lauren M. Phillips is an international political economist and currently Deputy Director for the Inclusive Rural Transformation and Gender Equality Division of the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization. Prior to joining FAO in 2021 she worked in a variety of policy, strategy and advisory roles at another specialized agency of the United Nations, the International Fund for Agricultural Development from 2015-2021, as an Assistant Professor in the Department of International Relations at the London School of Economics (2008-2014), as a Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute (2005-08), and in a variety of private finance roles in the City of London and New York. She holds a PhD in International Political Economy from the London School of Economics and Master and Bachelor degrees from Stanford University. Lauren is also an Adjunct Professor at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Bologna, Italy, and has published widely on finance and development.

Geovanny Enríquez is the National Coordinator for Ecuador of the Joint Programme on Gender Transformative Approaches for Food Security and Nutrition (JP GTA). He trained as an agricultural engineer and holds a Master’s degree in Research on Climate Change and Sustainable Development, as well as a Diploma in Management of Policies, Strategies, and Actions for Food Security. He has worked for over ten years in the public sector, mainly in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock of Ecuador, and for the last five years in the United Nations System. Geovanny is passionate about agriculture, rural development and gender issues, specializing in coffee and cocoa value chains.

Elisabeth Simelton is a senior policy specialist in agriculture and food security at Sida. She holds a PhD in geography and has spent most of her life working with women and men farmers and issues related to food security and agriculture. Before Sida, she spent 11 years at World Agroforestry (ICRAF) based in Vietnam focusing doing action research on ecosystem services, climate adaptation and gender.


Tanja Grén serves as Permanent Representative of Finland to FAO, WFP and IFAD starting on 1 August 2021. She has worked for the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland for 20 years serving in different positions in Helsinki and abroad.

She was appointed as Co-Chair of Open-Ended Working Group on the Voluntary Guidelines for Gender Equality and Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment in the Context of Food Security and Nutrition by the CFS Bureau in July 2021. She also co-chairs the regular Task Force and Working Group meetings of the School Meals Coalition.

Before being posted to Rome, she worked as Team Leader in the Unit for Sustainable Development and Climate Policy at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland in Helsinki. She followed closely gender equality issues within the UN System, the reform of the UN Development System as well as environmental issues.

Rebecka Ramstedt is a Programme and Policy Officer at the Representation of Sweden to FAO, based in the Embassy of Sweden in Rome. She was one of the EU co-focal points, representing EU and its Member States, during the last round of negotiations of the CFS Voluntary Guidelines for Gender Equality and Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment in the Context of Food Security and Nutrition in 2023. Rebecka has a background in science journalism and strategic communications and has previously worked as a communications specialist for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN.


Dr. Johanna Bergman Lodin is a feminist geographer with 20 years of experience in studying agricultural intensification and commercialization trajectories in Sub-Saharan Africa from a gender perspective, particularly the interface of new agricultural technology, gender-and-generational relations and smallholder wellbeing. She works as a researcher at the Department of Urban and Rural Development at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, where she is also Vice-Dean for Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities.


From 14 February 2024 at 13:30 to 14 February 2024 at 15:00


Virtual, zoom link