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Symposium 2010

Solution for Women as Foundation for Rural Development Policy

The Challenge

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, rural women are responsible for half of the world’s food production. They produce 60–80 percent of the food in most developing countries. They ...

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, rural women are responsible for half of the world’s food production. They produce 60–80 percent of the food in most developing countries. They are also the main producers of the world’s staple crops—rice,  heat and maize—which provide up to 90 percent of the rural poor’s food intake.

Use the media to promote women’s access to land, inputs and credit in developing countries.

According to recent estimates, agricultural productivity would increase by 20–30 percent if women had enough access to land, inputs and credit. So there is a sound business case for providing these services to women. It is also essential for global economic growth. Global GDP would increase by an estimated 15 percent if all gender gaps were closed.

The media should be used to increase awareness of these facts and the recognition of women’s role in the economy. In particular, radio broadcasting is an extremely effective way of communicating with rural women, especially illiterate women. It is the most commonly used medium, it is affordable and it has the greatest reach. Radio could also be used as a training tool for imparting agricultural skills and methods (perhaps in conjunction with mobile telephone networks).

Communication and information centers, mentoring programs and public events can also help to deliver in formation about available opportunities, resources and support structures even to women with no formal education.

In addition, it is important to amend legislation so that women have access to resources and land through changed legislation on inheritance laws and land and ownership laws.

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