Women make significant contributions to the rural economy in developing countries, however their yields are on average around 20-30 percent lower than men’s. According to the latest SOFA Report, these women frequently lack the resources and opportunities to make the most productive use of their time. What are the obstacles that women face, and most importantly what are the policies, programs and projects that can unleash their potential to boost food security and to take part in economic and social development?
Despite women’s critical role and contribution to agriculture and food security, their ability to access land and other natural resources is weakened by their status within their community and by discriminatory customary or statutory laws. What can be done about it? What are examples of policies and tools that promote women's land rights?
Women make essential contributions to agriculture in developing countries, where they constitute approximately 43 percent of the agricultural labor force. However, female farmers typically have lower output per unit of land and are much less likely to be active in commercial farming than their male counterparts. These gender differences in land productivity and participation between male and female farmers are due to gender differences in access to inputs, resources, and services. In this paper, we review the evidence on productivity differences and access to resources. We discuss some of the reasons for these differences, such as differences in property rights, education, control over resources (e.g., land), access to inputs and services (e.g., fertilizer, extension, and credit), and social norms. Although women are less active in commercial farming and are largely excluded from contract farming, they often provide the bulk of wage labor in the nontraditional export sector. In general, gender gaps do not appear to fall systematically with growth, and they appear to rise with GDP per capita and with greater access to resources and inputs. Active policies that support women's access and participation, not just greater overall access, are essential if these gaps are to be closed. The gains in terms of greater productivity of land and overall production are likely to be large.
Andre Croppenstedt, Markus Goldstein and Nina Rosas
The present study examines the right to food of rural women by underlining the
international legal framework applicable to rural women, analysing the patterns of
discrimination harming them, proposing strategies and policies for their legal protection and emphasizing good practices. The study has a special focus on female-headed households and temporary or seasonal workers.