THEME: Rural Women Cultivating Good Food For All”
The Ghana Federation of Forest and Farm Producers (GhaFFaP) has joined millions around the globe to celebrate the International Day for the Rural Women 2023 under the theme “Rural Women Cultivating Good Food For All” to recognise the critical role and contribution of rural women to agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty globally including Ghana,
In a statement signed by the President of GhaFFaP, Hajia Alima Sagito Saeed, appreciated the millions of hardworking women and women youth within the Agricultural value chains living in remote, rural places and celebrates the achievements and contributions of these women towards rural development through food security and household nutrition. The statement mentions the numerous challenges that rural women such as access to finance, access to productive Lands, access to long term credit, markets, low decision making powers and limited opportunities for leadership positions, discriminatory social and customs, gender and sexual based violence, unpaid care or social reproductive roles among a lot that hinders growth and empowerment of women.
She said the contributions of these rural women especially women youth working in very inaccessible areas in certain parts of the country cannot be overemphasized. She therefore advocates for my more intentional policies and programmes aimed at overcoming the challenges above while improving the health and financial base of rural women and girls to be the game changers in society.
She further re-emphasized GhaFFaP’s commitment to providing gender-responsive interventions such as entrepreneurship skills and business Incubation initiatives that can help enhance productivity, profitability, and innovation for women youth in businesses.
On behalf of the Ghana Federation for Forest and Farm Producers,
Finally, in her statement she called on the policy makers and implementers and the government to commit to its policies and programmes of investment in agriculture as the engine of growth with women in focus. The following to action points recommendations are what the GhaFFaP and its over 600,000 members demand from:
- Improving access to quality education for rural girls and women is essential. This can include building schools, providing scholarships, and promoting gender-sensitive curricula
- Economic empowerment: Implement programs that provide rural women with opportunities for income generation, including vocational training, microcredit, and access to markets. Support women’s entrepreneurship and access to agricultural resources.
- Agricultural support: Develop policies and programs that enhance women’s participation in agriculture and agribusiness. This can include training, access to land and technology, and market
- Social Protection programmes: Implement social safety nets such as cash transfer programs, food assistance, and pension schemes to support vulnerable rural women and their families.
- Invest in rural infrastructure, including roads, electricity, and water supply, which can improve living conditions and reduce the burden of domestic work on women.
- Strengthen legal frameworks and enforce property rights for rural women. This can include land ownership, inheritance rights, and protection against gender-based violence. Emphasis on the full implementation of the 2020 Land Act.
- Digital and information capacity building: Provide training and capacity-building programmes to enhance the skills and knowledge of rural women, enabling them to participate in the digital world, in decision-making processes and community development while improving their innovations. Their understanding of the technological environment will improve their access to information technology and empower them with knowledge to access wider markets.
- Gender equality promotion: Implement policies and programs that promote gender equality in all spheres of life, including participation in local governance and leadership roles
- Data collection, Monitoring and evaluation: Invest in research and data collection on the specific needs and challenges of rural women to inform evidence-based policy development. Establish robust monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to assess the impact of policies and programs on the wellbeing of rural women and make necessary adjustments
- Encourage collaboration among government agencies, NGOs, and other stakeholders to pool resources and expertise in addressing the challenges faced by rural women towards sustainable development
Hajia Alima Sagito-Saeed (GhaFFaP President
Issued on 15th October 2023
International Day of Rural Women