CSM Working Group on Women

Coordinators 2019/2021: Nettie Wiebe – La Via Campesina (Canada) from July 2020 (ad interim); Azra Sayeed – International Women’s Alliance (Pakistan); Iridiani Seibert – La Via Campesina (Brazil) until July 2020

Coordinators 2017//2019: Iridiani Seibert – La Via Campesina (Brazil); Azra Sayeed – International Women’s Alliance (Pakistan)

Coordinators 2016//2017: Sophie Ogutu Dwollar – World March of Women (Kenya); Azra Sayeed – International Women’s Alliance (Pakistan)

Technical facilitators: Ruchi Tripathi – ActionAid International | VSOINT  (UK) (2018/2021) ; Alberta Guerra – ActionAid International (Italy) (2017/2019); Miram Nobre – World March of Women (Brazil) 

CSM Resource Person for the CFS Technical Task Team: Magdalena Ackermann – SID (Argentina/Italy) and Maria Johanna Busto Quinto – APWLD (Philippines) (2020-2021); (2016/2017) Alberta Guerra – ActionAid International/IFSN (Italy)

To join the Working Group please write to the CSM Secretariat at cso4cfs [at] gmail.com || List of the Working Group

Process 2020-2021

hat-4879818_19208-11 February 2021

CFS 47th Plenary Session 

CFS 47th Plenary Session is expected to adopt the Terms of Reference ( ES | EN | FR | AR | ZH |RU) of the Guidelines on Gender equality and women’s empowerment . After the Plenary the drafting process of the Zero draft will commence.




9 December 2020

Second meeting of the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG)

The meeting aims to gather comments and feedbacks to the second draft of the ToRs, with the idea of reaching consensus on the text. After this meeting, CFS members and participants are requested to submit in written the specific comments on this second draft by Thursday 10th of December 2020. By 16 December the Co-Chairs will share the final version of the ToRs for a 48h silent procedure. Once approved the text will be sent for translation into the 6 UN languages and will be submitted as background document for endorsement at the upcoming CFS 47th Plenary Session.


Picture 123 November 2020

CFS Advisory Group and Bureau meeting

The meeting included an agenda item related to the draft decision boxes that the CFS 47th Plenary Session is called to endorse in February 2021. This includes the adoption of the Terms of Reference of the Guidelines on Gender equality and women’s empowerment. Find here the draft decision box. So far it seems that no changes where made by the CFS Bureau to the text. The adoption of the ToRs is foreseen within the MYPoW – Rolling Section of the plenary session.


banana-4493420_19206 November 2020

Submission of written comments to the first Draft of the ToRs

OEWG members and participants were invited to submit written comments to the first draft of the ToRs. Based on this comments and after a second meeting with the experts of the Technical Task Team (TTT), a second version of this draft will be released. It is still not clear if there will be an additional OEWG for their finalisation or if the CFS Bureau will be finalising them before the Plenary, prior consultation with the Advisory Group. Please find below CSM written comments as well as the comments submitted by CFS members and participants.



Screenshot 2020-11-16 at 16.48.5030 October 2020

First OEWG meeting on Gender equality and Women’s Empowerment

The first meeting of the OEWG aims at gathering comments and feedbacks on the first Draft of the Terms of Reference that should inform the policy convergence process of the Guidelines on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Background documents:

mp125det18 September 2020

CFS Advidory Group and Bureau meeting

During the meeting the co-chair of the Gender eaquality and women’s empowerment workstream, Satu Lassila, informed CFS members and participants that a Technical Task Team, composed of Advisory Group members including UN Women, was appointed and would start working to prepare draft Terms of Reference (ToR) for the policy process of the Guidelines on Gender equality and Women empowerment. The draft ToR will be discussed by an OEWG meeting at the end of October. The subsequent Bureau confirmed that the ToR are expected to be endorsed by the CFS 47th Plenary Session in February 2021.

The CSM Women’s Working Group appointed two delegates to the Technical Task Team: Marjo Busto (APDWL) and Magdalena Ackermann (SID).


lady-2408609_192029 July 2020

CFS Advisory Group and Bureau meeting

During the CFS Advisory Group and Bureau meeting the workplan of the upcoming workstream on Gender equality and Women’s empowerment was discussed and subsequently approved by the Bureau meeting on July 30th. The CFS Bureau also appointed the two co-chairs of the process and related OEWG, the Ambassador of Burkina Faso Josephine Ouedraogo and the Permanent Representative of Finland Satu Lassila. The CSM welcomes the new Co-chairs and the approval of the workplan. Please find here CSM contributions during the meeting.

12 October 2019, Rome, Italy - Silvia Dywilli, CSM Youth Constituency, World March of Women, Mozambique. Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples' Mechanism for relations with the UN Committee on World Food Security, FAO headquarters (Green Room). Photo credit must be given: ©FAO/Giulio Napolitano. Editorial use only. Copyright ©FAO.

 October 2019

CFS 46th Plenary Session and CSM Forum

In this section you will find a summary of the key activities carried out by the CSM Women’s Working Group during the CSM Forum and CFS 46th Plenary Session!

Plenary Statement on the occasion of the International Day of Rural Women (15 October 2019)

Please find here the statement delivered by the CSM Women’s Working Group on behalf of all CSM during CFS 46 Plenary Session. At this link you will also find the verbatim of the dedicated Plenary session!

CFS 46th Plenary Session adopts the MYPoW 2020-2023 (18 October 2019)

Moreover the CFS 46th Plenary Session adopted the Multi-Year Programme of Work (MYPoW) 2020-2023, which includes a dedicated workstream on Women’s empowerment and gender equality (para.2.1.3). The upcoming Voluntary Guidelines will prioritize  the following themes:  i) underlying causes of gender inequality, lack of fulfilment and protection of women’s rights, women’s disempowerment, and their impact on food security and nutrition; ii) women’s participation in decision-making and leadership; iii) access to, and control over, natural and productive resources, and access to productive services; iv) access to decent work and markets; v) recognizing, reducing, and redistributing unpaid care work; vi) women’s role in food production, utilization, commercialization, and consumption; vii) mechanisms for the elimination of violence and discrimination against women and girls; and viii) enabling policies and institutional environments. Find here CFS 46 Final Report.

CSM Side Event at CFS 46 (17 October 2019)

CSM made its side event on “The Impact of Extractivism on Women’s Right to Food and the Struggle for a Just Transition: addressing root causes of violence against women and the way ahead for concrete solutions towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda”. Please find here the Summary of the side event!

Launch of the 2019 Right to Food and Nutrition Watch (16 October 2019)

The CSM Women’s Working Group have contributed with an article on Feminism and Agroecology to the 2019 Right to Food and Nutrition Watch on “Women’s Power in Food Struggles”. This powerful edition of the Watch was launched during World Food Day by a CSM autonomous event!

CSM Forum (12-13 October 2019)

The CSM Women’s Working Group has launched its paper on Feminism and Agroecology and have brought CSM women’s demands to the opening panel of the CSM Forum with new FAO Director General Qu Dongyou and CFS Chair Mario Arvelo.


home-2cSeptember 2019

Without Feminism there is no Agroecology! Towards healthy, sustainable and just food systems.  An input and vision paper of the CSM Working Group of Women. This document intends to inform CSM positions towards the  upcoming CFS Policy Process on Agroecology and other innovations. A shorter version of this vision is also included in the new edition 2019 of the Right to Food and Nutrition Watch of the Global Network for the Right to Food and Nutrition  This text is the outcome of an incredible collective work and was adopted by the CSM Women Working Group that counts with 190 participating organisations in August 2019. It wouldn’t have been possible without the commitment and engagement of many special women.



Lago Atitlán Panajachel (26).JPG

March 2018

CSM Women’s Vision 



Extract from MYPoW 2016-2017

CFS Forum on Women’s empowerment in the context of food security and nutrition – 2017

30. According to the State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA) released by FAO in 2010-2011, despite their crucial role in agriculture, women still “face gender-specific constraints that reduce their productivity and limit their contributions to agricultural production, economic growth and the wellbeing of their families, communities and countries”. These result in a gender gap in terms of access to land and essential resources. According to FAO, if women were given the same access to productive resources as men, they could increase yields on their farms by 20-30 percent and raise agricultural outputs in developing countries by 2.5-4 percent which in theory could reduce the overall number of hungry people by 12-17 percent (SOFA 2010-2011, Women in Agriculture). Closing the gender gap and addressing women’s nutritional challenges would have positive implications also on children’s nutritional status given that when women have more influence over economic decisions, their families allocate more income to food, health, education, children’s clothing and children’s nutrition.

31. A CFS Forum will take place during or back-to-back to CFS 44 in October 2017 to discuss the challenges that remain in economic empowerment of women and help promote a shared understanding of how those issues are evolving in the agriculture and agri-food sector. Taking into account also the recommendations of the policy roundtable on “Gender, Food Security and Nutrition” held at CFS 37 in 2011, the discussion is expected to lead to identification of policy gaps and good practices which can be broadly disseminated with a view to informing future gender-sensitive policy and represent the basis for future stocktaking and sharing of lessons.


Watch the speech of Azra Sayeed, International Women’s Alliance (IWA), Pakistan, on behalf of the CSM Working Group on Women during CFS 44 Plenary Session : Outcomes of the CFS Forum on Women’s Empowerment – 11 October 2017 (Video CFS Plenary – FAO Copyright)


Watch the speech of Helen Hakena, key note speaker at the CFS44 during the session on the Outcome of the CFS Forum on Women’s Empowerment in the Context of Food Security – 11 October 2017 (Video CFS Plenary – FAO Copyright)


CFS 44 – 11 October 2017

Outcomes of the Forum on Women’s Empowerment in the Context of Food Security and Nutrition

Read the CFS 44 Final Report with the adopted outcomes of the CFS 44 including the Outcomes of the Forum 

Intervention of Azra Sayeed – IWA, Pakistan on behalf of the CSM Working Group on Women

First of all we would like to convey to the CFS the huge expectation, commitment and engagement that the CSM women’s grassroots organizations of smallholders, fisherfolks, agricultural and food workerslandless, consumers, indigenous peoples, pastoralists, urban food insecure and youth demonstrated towards this process since its early beginning.

We are today facilitating, once again the voices of millions of women from all over the world that call upon the CFS to urgently recognize, fulfill and protect women’s rights, our rights, in order to finally pave the path towards the realization of the CFS vision and mandate of achieving the right to food and a world free from hunger.

Patriarchy, feudalism and the current neoliberal economic models are the three main root causes for women’s inequality and food insecurity and malnutrition. Patriarchy, feudalism and neoliberalism are grabbing our lands, water, seeds, forests and natural resources, our territories, our bodies and rights; they ignore the ancestral knowledge of our indigenous sisters, criminalise our struggles, leave violence against women unpunished while opening the door to discrimination, conflict, crises, occupation, displacement and war. Keep Reading…


25 September  

CFS Forum on Women’s Empowerment 


11 September

CFS Background Document is now available in all languages!

English – SpanishFrench – Russian – Arabic – Chinese

Download the Flyer of the CFS Forum here!

The CFS Forum on 25th September will be webcasted at the following link: http://www.fao.org/webcast/en/ 

Draft Calendar of the process

7 July Submission of 1st Draft of the Background Document to CFS members and participants
20 July Advisory Group and Bureau discussion on the 1st Draft of the Background Document
21 July Bureau meeting and adoption of the 1st Draft of the Background document with possible amendments
End of July Revision of changes by the CFS Technical Task Team and final version of the Background Document. The document is sent to translation by the CFS.
23-24 September CSM Preparatory Meeting
25 September CFS Forum on Women’s Economic Empowerment
11 October CFS 44 Plenary session discussion on the Outcomes of the Forum


20 July

Advisory Group and Bureau Meeting


5 July

CSM Case Studies for the CFS Background Document


3 May

Next CFS Advisory Group and Bureau Meeting will discuss the following issues:


10 February

Final version of the Concept Note on the Women’s Empowerment Forum adopted by the Bureau meeting f 10 February


6 February

CFS Advisory Group and Bureau Meeting