rural women

rural women

Gender inequalities and food insecurity

The food price crisis of 2007–08 had devastating impacts for the world’s poorest people, especially for smallholder farmers and in particular for women. Ten years on, new policies are needed to rebalance the system to meet the needs of smallholder communities, with a renewed focus on meeting the needs and aspirations of women.
Launched by Oxfam and local partners, the Female Food Heroes initiative is an annual award that champions women farmers who are examples of what millions of women around the world are doing to ensure food security. Photo: Coco McCabe/Oxfam

Celebrating women farmers: Oxfam’s Female Food Heroes competition

On a planet with enough food for everyone, 821 million people – one in nine – go hungry day after day, year after year. It doesn't have to be this way. The Female Food Heroes competition is an innovative Oxfam project which shows how local women farmers can help end world hunger.
A woman in Tsholotsho District in Zimbabwe is participating in a pilot project to develop drought-resistant crops and learn simple methods to effectively grow produce (2016). Photo: Sven Torfinn/Oxfam Novib.

Financing women farmers

Oxfam conducted research on government and donor investments in Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and Tanzania. It found that governments and donors are failing to provide women farmers with relevant and adequate support for farming and adapting to climate change.

In South Sudan, Oxfam trained producers in good cultivation, storage and marketing techniques. Elizabeth is now cultivating new vegetables. “With the money I make, I can send my children to school and pay for healthcare” she says. Photo: Tim Bierley/Oxfam

Empowering women farmers to end hunger and poverty

Women farmers play a central role in small-scale agriculture. But they are held back by barriers that prevent them from feeding their families and reinvesting in their livelihoods. A real support would protect their rights, boost their productivity and unleash their potential to fight hunger, poverty and climate change.

Since joining the Tree Tomato Women's Cooperative Flonira has earned enough money to renovate her house, grow her own tree tomato plantation and send her son to China for his studies. In doing this she has broken perceptions of women in her community who are now valued and respected for their contributions to the household.

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