Sunday, March 8, 2015

Women lead in farming

There are more women farmers than men.

But most of the women who farm are supporting families that are in desperate poverty.

Monday is world-wide women’s day. It’s discouraging to realize that women do 66 per cent of the work, but are paid only 10 per cent of the world’s wages.

Danielle Nierenberg of the Foodtank writes about some of the organizations trying to improve things for women who farm.

“La Via Campesina represents more than 200 million farmers worldwide, creating unity among peasant groups, the landless, and women farmers. La Via Campesina groups have helped organize and participated in protests for women’s empowerment and violence prevention.,” she has written on her blog.

“The Female Farmer Project shines the spotlight on women in agriculture throughout the world, chronicling the rise of the female farmer.

"Photographer Audra Mulkern has uncovered an emerging generation of female farmers who have surprising second jobs as anthropologists, executives, scientists, and lawyers, bringing unique perspectives and backgrounds to the business of farming.”

I recall being told by the head of an international development agency that it’s much better to help women than men in developing countries.

When the women earn money, they invest it in their home and community. When men make money, too often they blow it on a night on the town.