“Women are the backbone of the development of rural and national economies. They comprise 43% of the world’s agricultural labor force, which rises to 70% in some countries. In Africa, 80% of the agricultural production comes from small farmers, who are mostly rural women. Women comprise the largest percentage of the workforce in the agricultural sector, but do not have access and control over all land and productive resources. Realizing the importance of rural women in agriculture is an important aspect of gender relations. In many countries, the role of women in agriculture is considered just to be a ‘help’ and not an important economic contribution to agricultural production. Giving support to rural women is a way of breaking the vicious cycle that leads to rural poverty and to the expansion of slums in the cities, where the poor get poorer. Development strategies should consider rural women as the epicenter, paying special attention to their social skills both within and without agriculture sector.”
While rural women play a substantial role in agriculture around the world, it is often not in positions of ownership, regional influence, and agency. This is an article discussing how empowering rural women in the agricultural sector by changed the cultural and economic institutions that shape their work can truly change the world we live in.