“Women are Crucial for Agricultural Security” – Happy International Women’s Day!

{photo cred: http://www.homesweethomefront.co.uk/}

Today is International Women’s Day, but really every day should be international women’s day. Anyone familiar with me or this blog knows how much I value women farmers and feminism/femininity through agriculture. I usually feel like a black sheep among my peers, haranguing-on long after everybody has stopped listening to my pro-feminist, pro-food polemic. Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating just a bit, but considering all that’s been going-on as of late here in the U.S., it’s hard NOT to feel argumentative.

Recent articles and attention to women farmers have made me feel less absurd. In light of International Women’s Day, the focus on women in agriculture moves into a broader, more global context. An article today on FastCompany.com highlights the newest addition of The State of Food and Agriculture, 2010-2011 (SOFA) from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The 160-page report, subtitled “WOMEN IN AGRICULTURE: Closing the gender gap for development” emphasizes the role of women farmers worldwide in reducing poverty and hunger. You can read a 4-page summary/flier of the report OR, for you tried-and-true women-in-ag nerds like myself, you can read the entire report here.

The most important take-away message from the report from the FAO media center page:

If women in rural areas had the same access to land, technology, financial services, education and markets as men, agricultural production could be increased and the number of hungry people reduced by 100-150 million.


“The report shows the hard economic numbers behind a message we’ve known for a long time, which is that women are crucial for agricultural security.” – SOFA editor Terri Raney, via FastCompany.com.

So there you have it: invest in women farmers, solve world hunger (well, sorta). Happy International Women’s Day!


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