The social and economic gaps that have formed between men and women in agriculture and agribusinesses have not been addressed. Women in Africa are being disadvantaged by these challenges and it is preventing them from becoming the thriving farmers they strive to be, pulling them out of poverty, and creating a better future for them. Women face significant discrimination when it comes to land ownership, equal pay, access to credit, financial services and more.
The World Economic Forum (2018) asserts that while women grow 70% of Africa’s food, few have any rights over the land they tend. In most African countries, women are denied the full enjoyment of property and land rights, in spite of the government’s commitment to promoting gender equality by ratifying international instruments that seek to protect women’s rights. At the same time, women still lag behind when it comes to leadership roles. According to 2019 global statistics, only 29% of senior positions were occupied by women, and this is the highest statistic ever recorded in this category.
The session will be composed of women leaders drawn from the PELUM Association network in Uganda, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Eswatini (Swaziland). The speakers will share more about the challenges they face in their active involvement in agriculture and in leadership in various agriculture-related discourses. The aim of the session is to create awareness and to call for concerted and deliberate efforts to support women farmers and women leaders.