WASHINGTON, March 18, 2014 –Tackling the pervasive inequality faced by women farmers across Africa is critical if the continent is to reduce poverty, boost economic growth and feed its growing population, says a new report published today by the World Bank Group and The ONE Campaign.
“Levelling the Field: Improving Opportunities for Women Farmers in Africa” examines the scale and causes of the dramatic differences between how much men and women farmers produce in six African countries-- Ethiopia, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda-- which together make up more than 40 percent of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population. This first of its type report reveals deep rooted gender gaps in African agriculture, identifies factors holding back women farmers, and sets out concrete actions that policy makers can take to reduce inequality. Closing this gap can help boost household incomes and livelihoods, as well as provide cheap and nutritious food to Africa’s growing population.
“This report presents the clearest evidence to date about the breadth and depth of the gender gap in African agriculture. It argues that by spear-heading proven, effective policies that target the needs of female farmers, such as strengthening land rights, governments can help farming families tackle the low-productivity traps that entrench poverty and prevent millions of farmers from leading decent lives,” said Makhtar Diop, Vice President for the World Bank’s Africa Region.
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