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Young and Bold for Change: CTA’s Commitment to Women in Agriculture


by Tarikua Woldetsadick


As International Women’s Day (IWD) 2017 is marked today under the theme Be Bold for Change, the EU issued a joint statement where it notes that “women are often among the most vulnerable, in conflicts, in situations of migration and displacement, and where poverty and climate change hit the hardest.”

CTA, UN Women and the Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States recently held a joint event on “Women’s Economic Empowerment” to mark the IWD showcasing successful women entrepreneurship initiatives, including in agribusiness. The event highlighted efforts by ACP countries to facilitate women’s participation in the sustainable economic development of their countries and region.

CTA brings together lessons and knowledge that most benefit women in agriculture in ACP countries. Indeed, there are many challenges that still prevent ACP women in agriculture from thriving to their full potential.

CTA joins in the call to Be Bold for Change with a focus on the incredible achievements that women agribusiness entrepreneurs have obtained so far, contributing to the agricultural and rural economies of their countries. Women comprise, on average, 43 percent of the agricultural workforce in developing countries, ranging from 20 percent in Latin America to 50 per cent in Eastern Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, according to the FAO. Studies show that resources controlled by women are more likely to be used to improve household food consumption and welfare, reduce child malnutrition, and increase the overall well-being of the family (source). Rural women often manage complex households and pursue multiple livelihood strategies.

These achievements are due to concerted efforts between countries, governments and international development organisations and partners. As CTA renews this year its commitment to Be Bold for Change, it also recognises that to continue to build on positive impact of the past in ACP countries, we need to engage those who are boldest for change: young women and men themselves.

Whether it is through improved business skills, better access to finance, greater use of ICTs for agriculture, or building more climate-resilient technologies, CTA continues to prioritize the needs of young women and men in its programmes and interventions. Our Stories of Change are boldest when they depict success of young men and women in pursuing new opportunities across the agricultural value chain.

CTA will continue to contribute to SDG 5 on Gender Equality and Women’s Rights by strengthening the capacities of ACP women in agriculture through knowledge and skills, facilitating better access to financial, technology and innovation to women entrepreneurs and through greater young women and men’s participation in agriculture and rural development policy fora.

Find out more

Read our 2016 articles paying tribute to women who are making a difference in agricultural development in ACP countries:

Download CTA's gender strategy

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