DEVCO C1 Unit at the EDDs 2018: some take-away messages to improve gender-responsive actions in rural economies.
Did you miss the EDDs? Or perhaps miss some of the sessions on rural women and girls? C1 was there and is reporting back with some of the main take-away messages to improve gender-responsive actions in rural economies.
Although women represent an average of 43% of the agricultural labour force in developing countries, they continue to experience discrimination in all their activities, from taking care of households to their role as farmers and producers in the agricultural sector. This is mainly due to the persistence of social, institutional and cultural norms and/or practices as well as to personal conditions that impede their equal access to resources and equal say in agricultural decisions. This has a negative impact on their livelihoods as well as on their families. For example, rural women may have access to land but may not have the decision-making ability to control or manage its use and/or to decide how to use gains from this land. Women are largely responsible for unpaid care work, which often goes undocumented and limits their ability to engage in skills development such as training or economic activities. Women’s role as subsistence producers is not always recognised beyond being an ‘add on’ to their domestic tasks, so they may be overlooked in service provision such as rural extension and advisory services. More broadly, women’s multiple roles, coupled with their low education levels, mean they are more likely to be employed in the informal agrarian sector with low wages, poor conditions and insecure seasonal contracts. As smallholder agriculture becomes increasingly market-oriented, women may be displaced from producing food crops for home consumption as men take control of producing for the market. Women’s access to rural finance may be restricted because they lack the collateral (particularly secured land), the autonomy to travel, or the literacy level required to apply to a financial institution.
At the 2018 EDDs, various events and panel sessions underlined the opportunities and benefits of investing in women and debated the challenges that women continue to face in their different roles as family caregivers, paid workers, farmers, producers and entrepreneurs. If you want to know more about the EU contribution to this discussion, have a look at the short summary attacched here below.
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Thank you and enjoy the reading!