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technology 25 Nov 2019

Rural women recognised for their role in Agriculture

BY SCOLA KAMAU 

The International Day of Rural Women this year will advocate for recognition of rural women input in production of food for the society.  The UN said the theme is "Women Cultivating Good Food for All." It will be celebrated on October 15. Established by the UN General Assembly in its resolution 62/136 of 18 December 2007, this international day recognizes the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.

Whereas rural women and girls play essential roles in food systems – from production, to processing, preparation, consumption, and distribution of food, their efforts are derailed by gender discrimination. This includes unequal power relations between women and men in the household and society, discriminatory gender norms and practices, prevalent violence against women and girls. "Their disproportionate share of unpaid care and domestic work, result in unequal access to food and heightened experience of hunger, malnutrition, under nutrition, and food insecurity," reads part of the UN's release.

Women make up almost 50 per cent of the agricultural labour force in sub-Saharan Africa, an increase from about 45 percent in 1980. The averages in Africa range from just over 40percent in Southern Africa to just over 50 percent in Eastern Africa according to The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports.