Rural women make up over a quarter the world population and majority of the 43 per cent of women in the global agricultural labour force. They till the lands and plant seeds to feed nations. They ensure food security for their communities and build climate resilience. But when it comes to owning land, accessing agricultural inputs, financing and technologies for climate resilience, they are left far behind men.
This year, International day for Rural Women (15 October), focuses on the theme, “Challenges and opportunities in climate-resilient agriculture for gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls”.
With changing climate, women’s already unequal access to land, water and energy is further impacted. At the same time, existing gender inequalities and discriminations that constrain rural women’s decision-making power and participation in their households and their communities, are exacerbated by climate change and climate disasters. For instance, as floods and droughts increase, rural women and girls spend more time and effort to collect and secure water and fuel, missing out on education and income-generating opportunities.
A changing climate also means that there is a shrinking window of opportunity to close gender gaps in agriculture. A vast majority of the world’s poor live in rural areas, and closing the gender gaps in agriculture is essential for ensuring food security, building climate resilience and ending poverty. It will enable women farmers to adopt climate-resilient agricultural approaches at the same rate as men and increase overall agricultural productivity. According to some estimates, women’s equal access to land and other productive assets could increase agricultural outputs by up to 20 per-cent in Africa.
UN Women supports efforts to increase women farmers’ access to land, financing, climate information and climate-smart technologies to achieve gender equality through climate-resilient agriculture, as well as enhancing their capacity to move up green agricultural value chains.
Rural women—agents of change fighting poverty, hunger and climate change
Arranged by: CordovoGH
Source: UN Women