Help Women Feed the World

 
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Nov 21, 2011

World Rural Women's Day 2011

DAA Executive Director Lydia Sasu Receives Award
DAA Executive Director Lydia Sasu Receives Award

Women Thrive Worldwide's partner in Ghana, the Development Action Association, hosted an event on this year's World Rural Women's Day to highlight the challeneges that women farmers face continue to face. The event recognized the contributions rural women make towards improving food security, eradicating poverty, and strengthening agricultural development.

Development Action Association (DAA) and Farmers Organisation Network (FONG) organized this year’s meeting around two themes: the role of women farmers in the agricultural value chain and the need for women to claim their right to land and inheritance. Held at Amasaman Assembly Hall in the greater Accra region, the meeting attracted 300 participants, including representatives from the government, civil society, and private sector.

The Program Manager of Action Aid Ghana, Mr. Kwesi Ohemeng-Agyei, served as the keynote speaker for the event. He emphasized that rural women make up a substantial part of the agricultural workforce in developing countries around the world; however, women often have limited access to resources and have little control over how to spend household income. These inequalities, he said, must be addressed on an individual level as well as on a national level through policies and institutions.

Strengthening women’s involvement in agriculture benefits the entire family, community and nation. Chairperson Margaret Kyei Manu, the Regional Director of MOFA Greater Accra, added “Where women are given the opportunity to operate in the agricultural value chain, the chains are much stronger and profit margins are enormous.”

Mr. Daniel Sanchez-Bustamante, Supervisory Program Officer for USAID-Ghana, echoed this message when discussing USAID’s Feed the Future Initiative. He noted that the goals of Feed the Future, including improved nutrition and agricultural growth, cannot be achieved without protecting the rights of women. He reported, “If women had the same access to land, technology, financial services, education and markets as men, we could increase agricultural output by 20 to 30 percent and feed 150 million more people around the world.”

Finally, Ms. Comfort Amaquaye presented an open letter from the Women World Summit Foundation (WWSF). The letter addressed all rural women of the world, encouraging them to know and claim their rights from their governments. Land ownership is a human right and a critical factor in women’s empowerment, and rural women must demand that their legal rights are recognized. 

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Project Leader

Mei Powers

Washington, DC United States

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Map of Help Women Feed the World