The President of the United Nation’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Gilbert Houngbo, has urged the Federal Government to give priority attention to women in agriculture to avert an impending crisis in the global food supply. According to him, the global food supply will be at risk if steps are not taken to start supporting rural women in agriculture especially in the rural areas.
He made this known on the occasion of the International Day of Rural Women, stressing that it was appalling how rural women, who play such a vital role in growing our food and building thriving economies, are at greatest risk during the pandemic.
“Our global resilience depends on governments paying greater attention to the disproportionate socio-economic impacts on rural women and reving up action on investments to protect them.” He noted that rural women make up 43 per cent of the agricultural work force in developing countries and are responsible for much of the world’s food production.
“Rural women – the people who have the greatest responsibility for feeding and raising the next generation – have been neglected through this crisis,” Houngbo added.
“It is time to elevate the important contribution they make to their families, communities and world economies at large, and ensure that they are supported and protected through this unprecedented time.
“Rural women, who are often employed informally with no social protection, have faced higher job loss than men, whilst also experiencing an increase in unpaid domestic workloads including caring for sick family members and children not in school,” he said.
> He maintained that much progress has been made in the past 25 years since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action which provided a framework for addressing women’s empowerment, achieving gender equality in rural areas which has been challenging. Added that women aged 25-34 are still 25 percent more likely than men to live in extreme poverty.