Alphonsine Nyiranzeyimana, a farmer from Cyahinda, in the southern part of Rwanda, says that learning new farming techniques completely changed her life. She’s not exaggerating. Today, Nyiranzeyimana is the leader of a farmers’ cooperative and the yield on some of her crops has more than doubled. The agricultural sector accounts for a third of Rwanda's GDP and more than 70 per cent of Rwandan women are engaged in farming activities since their childhood. Yet, they don’t have the same access to land, production inputs, finance or markets as men.
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Food & agriculture
On the International Day of Rural Women, UN Women calls upon the international community to work with rural women and girls everywhere and to invest in the sustainable infrastructure, services and social protection that can revolutionize their livelihoods, well-being and resilience.
On 15 October, the United Nations commemorates the International Day for Rural Women. This year’s theme, “Sustainable infrastructure, services and social protection for gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls”, places empowerment of rural women at the heart of fulfilling the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Gender gaps in agriculture in Africa are holding back progress towards ending hunger and must be urgently addressed, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization's Director-General José Graziano da Silva said at a joint event with the African Union (AU) on the margins of the UN General Assembly.
When Trin Gim first started her biogas digester business, many members of her community raised their eyebrows. In the little district of Ung Hoa, located south of Viet Nam’s capital, Hanoi, villagers were not accustomed to seeing a woman take the reins of a business. But eight years later, Trin Gim has achieved not only financial success, but has played a role in a larger fight in Viet Nam against the devastating impacts of climate change.
By making jam, a woman-run organization is earning money to improve the inclusion of children with disabilities, while also building a whole community of support and encouragement.
For Cielo Gomez, every day is work day, starting with coffee 5:30 am. A mother of three, a wife, and now a coffee grower with her own land, it's a labour of love. Gomez and her family live in the municipality of El Tablón de Gómez, in the southeast of Nariño territory, Colombia.
Through women's cooperatives, a joint UN programme provides training in agricultural techniques, improved seeds and time-saving machinery, while also granting loans and encouraging saving.
Rural women ensure food security for their communities, build climate resilience and strengthen economies. Yet, gender inequalities, such as discriminatory laws and social norms, combined with a fast-changing economic, technological and environmental landscape restrict their full potential, leaving them far behind men and their urban counterparts.
The fight against extreme poverty, hunger and malnutrition is not possible without gender equality and women empowerment, José Graziano da Silva, the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said today in Rome, where he called for more efforts to ensure that rural women, "the backbone of our work in agriculture," enjoy a level playing field.