In sub-Saharan Africa, women are the backbone of agriculture and food production, 80% of agricultural production is by smallholder farmers. And the female share of the agricultural labor force is the highest in the world.
But life for rural women is not easy at all.
Women do not have the same rights as men and often have to juggle domestic duties and agricultural work - sowing, weeding, and harvesting crops, but also making food for their families and collecting firewood and water.
And it can be much harder for women to yield the same results on their farms as men do, as they often have more limited access to land, agricultural extension services, and technologies as discriminatory laws and practices deprive them of these rights.
Empowering women is a central part of our work – and has been shown to have wider benefits as well. When women prosper, they tend to invest more in their homes and families, giving their children more nutritious food and keeping them healthy.
In fact, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization has estimated that if women were given the same access to productive resources as men, they could increase the yields on their farms by 20-30% - which would, in turn, reduce the number of hungry people in the world by around 12-17%.