Providing Innovative and Gender-responsive Digital Support to smallholder farmers In China
Developed by UN Women China in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) China
Internet technology has enabled some rural women to use e-commerce platforms, reach larger markets, improve market efficiency, increase the value of their products, find employment along e-commerce value chains and grow sustainable businesses. Yet a large gap remains between rural women and men in terms of education and decision-making in families and communities. This can translate into disparities in access to digital technologies and the advantages they provide.
In 2023, the sixty-seventh session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 67) took up the theme of innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age needed to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. Aligning with CSW 67 messages, this report analyses the impact of digital technologies on rural women as a step towards a broader discussion on how digital finance and e-commerce could empower them to achieve better livelihoods.
The report documents learning and success stories as well as barriers, risks, and the extent to which rural women have shared the much-lauded benefits of digital growth. The report provides policy recommendations for United Nations organizations, relevant departments of the Government of China, financial institutions, and e-commerce platforms, all tailored to the context in China.
UN Women China and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) China developed the report through collaboration with experts from the Chinese Agriculture University. The report benefitted from the input of 15 interviewees, including smallholder farmers, who shared valuable insights and experiences.