Economic empowerment of African women through equitable participation in agricultural value chains
This report (PDF) from the African Development Bank (AfDB) highlights five major constraints that can limit African women’s productivity and inclusion into the agricultural economy: lack of access to assets, lack of access to financing, limited training, gender-neutral government policy, and time constraints due to heavy domestic responsibilities. Women make up almost 50% of the agricultural labour force in Sub-Saharan Africa. A total of 62% of economically active women in Africa work in agriculture, making it the largest employer of women. In some countries, such as Rwanda, Malawi and Burkina Faso, over 90% of economically active women are involved in agriculture. To transform the agricultural sector, the economic empowerment of women through boosting their productivity and raising their participation in commercial and higher value-add activities in agriculture, is central. The report highlighted three broad areas for action that could contribute to this: 1) Grow the number of large-scale agribusiness entrepreneurs by providing access to financing and training, and improving regional and global market links; 2) Make sure women are remunerated by setting them up as co-owners, improving productivity, and providing training in core business skills; 3) Increase women’s access to niche markets by producing and marketing women-only products. This report will help to identify target areas for the AfDB and its partners to empower women economically through agriculture. This relates to the Gender Strategy of the AfDB.