Blog Archives

Malawi

[wpcol_2third] Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, ranking 164th out of 177 in the Human Development Index. This landlocked, chronically food insecure nation is characterized by high population density, high rates of HIV/AIDS, decreasing soil fertility, increasing exposure to climate change in the form of droughts and floods, and poor transport links to international markets. Representing 70% of agricultural labor and 30% of all smallholders in Malawi, women play a significant role in the sector that often goes unrecognized. Women farmers also face significant constraints in pursuing their livelihoods, due discriminatory attitudes and practices that favor a male-dominated land tenure system.   Women also...
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Tanzania

[wpcol_2third id="" class="" style=""] Tanzania is one of the world’s poorest nations, ranking 159th out of 177 countries on the United Nations Human Development Index. The country is known across Africa, however, for promoting gender equality as a national goal.  Notably there are important policy provisions that ensure women’s participation in agriculture, including protection of a woman’s right to land, prohibition of discrimination in the workplace, and the equality of men and women in agricultural cooperatives. Nevertheless, poor governance, gender-based discrimination, and a culture that instills women’s dependence on men are all deeply entrenched, limiting women’s ability to equitably participate in and benefit from agriculture. These constraints...
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Mali

[wpcol_2third id="" class="" style=""] Farming, livestock-rearing, and aquaculture are central to Mali’s economy. 83% of Malians live by agriculture, and the sector makes up 38 percent of gross domestic product.  Growth in agriculture, however, is largely limited to cash crops and state-run agri-businesses.  Smallholder farmers are especially vulnerable to drivers of change in Malian agriculture, as a growing population is putting pressure on land and water, and the climate appears to be shifting toward less rainfall and longer dry seasons. Currently, women smallholders make up 30% the labor force in rain-fed agriculture and 100% for irrigated vegetable gardens. Despite women’s significant contributions to agriculture, Mali’s patriarchal society...
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Ghana

[wpcol_2third id="" class="" style=""] OVERVIEW In the last 10 years, Ghana has seen dramatic positive trends in political and economic development. Despite gains in economic growth and poverty reduction, however, progress has been uneven and largely concentrated in southern Ghana and the country’s urban areas.  Agriculture, which is responsible for 38% of GDP and at least 60 percent of employment, lags behind other productive sectors, growing at an average rate of only two percent per year—less than rural population growth.  Within this sector, rural women farmers are responsible for producing the vast majority of food for household consumption each year. Geographically, 70 percent of the nation’s poor and...
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Bangladesh

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OVERVIEW At a recent Farmers’ Awards meeting in Bangladesh, CARE asked how many awardees were women.  The response was blank stares – women are not considered ‘farmers’ in Bangladesh. At the same time, CARE’s experience in Bangladesh tells us that women play important roles in the agricultural sector, currently making up 33.6% of Bangladesh’s agricultural labor force. While pockets of poverty persist across Bangladesh, poverty is particularly prevalent in the northwest region, where populations continue to face chronic food insecurity.  Improved infrastructure and private sector investment in this region, however, present critical opportunities for agricultural development programs like Pathways.  In response, CARE Bangladesh has...
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India

[wpcol_2third id="" class="" style=""] Orissa State, in east India, has the highest poverty levels in the country, with 46.4% of its population living below the poverty line.  Agriculture continues to be the primary source of employment in the region, but over the years, the sector has suffered from minimal investments, declining growth, and frequent natural disasters. While women farmers throughout India face gender-based inequalities, women belonging to the historically poor and socially excluded communities such as the Scheduled Castes (SC) and the Scheduled Tribes (ST) are particularly marginalized, experiencing multiple layers of discrimination.  Women in SC and ST communities are heavily engaged in agricultural activities, but their...
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