African rural women hold the key to climate change resilience
This report (PDF) by the African Biodiversity Network, The Gaia Foundation and Africa Women’s Development Fund shows the central role of African rural women within agricultural systems and their contribution to diversity, climate change resilience and nutrition. The report focuses on the role of women in knowledge systems of seeds and the challenges they face from agri-business practices and seed monopoly laws. It elaborates on how the complexity of this knowledge has evolved through women’s relationship with land and seed, and their understanding of the nutritional and cultural needs of the family and community. The report highlights how more corporate-driven policies in seed and agriculture, embraced by most African governments, are challenging women’s position in agriculture and their access to seeds. The harmonisation of seed law in Africa seems to favor a select group of corporation and disregard rural women’s role as custodians of seed, land and livelihoods. The report demonstrates that women are able to rebuild resilience through reviving and enhancing their seed and food diversity and their knowledge systems. The authors also appeals for urgent action to support women community leaders and conserve the knowledge they have. Also, they suggest a stronger link is needed between social movements and rural women to ensure their positions are defended.