Women – farmers, workers, entrepreneurs, care-givers, mothers, wives and daughters play a key role in food production.
With 43% of the agricultural labour force in the developing world, they’re the backbone of the rural economy, but their access to productive resources and services are limited, they’re over represented in unpaid, seasonal and part-time work, and are often paid less than men, for the same work.
Women’s activities typically include producing agricultural crops, tending animals, processing and preparing food, working for wages in agricultural or other rural enterprises, engaging in trade and marketing, caring for family members and maintaining their homes.
Between men and women has always been a gap:
What would happen if women had equal access to resources and power in agriculture as men? Would it make any difference in feeding the forecasted 10 billion persons by 2050?
Given equal access to resources as men, women would achieve the same yield levels, boosting total agricultural output in developing countries by 2.5-4 %. This could reduce the number of undernourished people in those countries by as much as 17%, which leads up to 150 million less hungry people.
If the world population does, in fact, reach 10 billion people by 2050, agricultural production will need to increase by 60 % in order to meet food demands. Coupling these figures with the projected effects of climate change on agriculture, rural women in developing countries represent one of the greatest underutilized resources for achieving food security.
Already, women’s roles vary considerably among and within regions and are changing rapidly in many parts of the world where economic and social forces are transforming the agriculture sector. For example, the growth of modern supply chains for high-value agricultural products is creating significant opportunities – and challenges – for women in on-farm and off farm employment.
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