Women's World Majlis | From Farmer to Boss Lady

Women's World Majlis

Developing a Gender-Equitable Agricultural Sector

In sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean, women produce up to 80 percent of basic foodstuffs. In Asia, women cultivate 50 to 90 percent of the rice yield yearly. In Southeast Asia, the Pacific, and Latin America, women's home gardens represent some of the most complex agricultural systems in the nation. Yet, women still eat least, and eat last. The challenges are many and multifaceted, ranging from poor irrigation systems, lack of access to mechanization and equipment, as well as complex supply chains and inadequate infrastructure. However, affecting women most directly are property rights, which are further exasperated by patriarchic societal norms, laws, and traditions that continue to hinder women's access from owning and inheriting land. On average, women-run farms produce 20 to 30 percent less than farms run by men. The reasons for this crop gap, according to the FAO, have nothing to do with an aptitude for farming and everything to do with the gender-specific obstacles. Gender parity in agriculture is essential. Every $1 invested in a woman who farms turns into $31 worth of benefits for her family and her community (CARE International, 2020). In feminising agriculture, there are several ways to better accommodate women. Women need to be included in the process of modernisation too, so they can learn new techniques such as how to programme drones, analyse weather pattern data, assess seed types, or operate a robot tractor remotely. Rural women and women in agriculture are key to lifting communities out of poverty and ending food insecurity. By neglecting them, we are neglecting an opportunity that could change and save lives.