News

    Report: Women Farmers Denied Equal Rights

    Bread for the World says women farmers need equal rights and equal access to resources.
    Bread for the World says women farmers need equal rights and equal access to resources.
    Joe DeCapua

    A humanitarian group says if women farmers had the same rights as men much more could be done to reduce world hunger. Bread for the World says equal access to agricultural resources would help ensure food security and boost economic growth.

    Bread for the World’s new report – Empowering Women in Agriculture – says women are “active players” in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. But Faustine Wabwire says they receive little compensation for toiling in the fields. Wabwire, a Kenyan, is the group’s foreign assistance analyst.

    “Women constituted half of the agricultural labor force in not just Africa, but the developing countries as a whole. And when you think of Africa alone it’s more than 60 percent of the total agricultural labor force being provided by women,” she said.

    Few women landowners

    The reports says, “In most countries, women in rural areas who earn an income are more likely than men to hold seasonal, part time, and low-wage jobs. Women also receive less pay for the same work.”

    Wabwire said women farmers lack access to seeds, fertilizer, proper tools, credit and especially land.

    “For most of Africa, we have about 80 percent of the population living in rural areas and they subsist on agriculture. Now women make 60 percent of the agricultural labor force and they have no access to resources. So for example, land is one good example where less than 20 percent of all landholders are women,” she said.

    That’s often been the case for both legal and cultural reasons.

    “Women, who have lost their husbands, because they have no control, they no legal rights over the land, the only way they could sustain that land is (if) they got married to say a brother of the deceased husband. So constraints like this are still very prevalent in most African societies and they continue to impede women‘s ability to fully enjoy their human rights,” she said.

    Feeding the future

    However, she said the role of women in agriculture has become more visible. For example, the new Kenya constitution grants women the right to own land. But she said there’s still a long way to go. That’s why Bread for the World is lobbying the U.S. to maintain or increase funding for poverty-related development assistance.

    “This assistance through programs such as Feed the Future, which is the U.S. government’s agriculture program, is helping to elevate the status of women. It’s enabling women to access productive resources such as seeds. They are able to have access to extension services, which will enable them to produce more and contribute to healthy societies,” she said.

    But Wabwire said more African governments must recognize the major role that women play in agriculture and elsewhere.

    The Bread for the World report said, “Putting more income in the hands of women translates into improved child nutrition, health, and education.” It adds if women change their economic status, they will “transform the economic life of the communities and countries in which they live.”

    It estimates that if women had equal access to agricultural resources, hunger could be reduced for an extra 100 million to 150 million people.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.