Rome, 7 March 2019 – On International Women’s Day, the United Nations’ International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will kick off a campaign aimed at closing the gender gap in agriculture by drawing attention to the often overlooked contributions that rural women in developing countries make to rural economies, local communities and to improving the lives of rural families – men, women and children.
campaign – “Real Groundbreakers” – is aimed at building
awareness as well as raising government support for much needed investment.
Through the campaign digital platform, women and men around the world can stand
in solidarity with 1.7 billion rural women and girls, publicizing the need to
eliminate gender inequalities in agricultural production and ensure that women
have equal access to resources and opportunities.
“Rural women are real groundbreakers,” said Charlotte Salford, Associate Vice-President of IFAD’s External Relations and Governance Department. “They farm, produce food, start businesses and innovate, despite living in some of the world’s most challenging conditions while facing extreme inequality and poverty.” IFAD’s advocacy initiative is based on the recognition that women makeup 43 per cent of the global agricultural labour force but have less access than men to the financing, land rights and inputs that would help them farm more successfully and move out of poverty.
to The State of Food and Agriculture, giving women the same access to
productive resources as men would increase their farm yields by an estimated 20
to 30 per cent, reducing the number of hungry people by as much as 100-150
further argument for investing in rural women, a World Bank report looking at three African countries
indicates that closing the gender gap could lift 238,000 people out of poverty
in Malawi, 80,000 people in Tanzania, and 119,000 people in Uganda.
campaign is part of IFAD’s efforts to draw attention and direct more funding
and investment to the empowerment of rural women.
women is linked to higher food production, better household and child
nutrition, poverty reduction and access to education,” said Salford.
the gender gap in agriculture would produce significant gains for society by
increasing productivity, reducing poverty and hunger, and promoting more
equitable economic growth,” she added.
a win-win situation that starts with governments investing more resources in
rural women’s empowerment. This is why we are so pleased to launch this
advocacy campaign and partner with others to ensure change happens on a global
IFAD has invested in rural people for 40 years, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided US$20.4 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached about 480 million people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency based in Rome – the UN’s food and agriculture hub. More about IFAD: www.ifad.org.