December 19, 2014 20:14 UTC

learningenglish

A Call for Equal Rights for Women Farmers

Bread for the World says women farmers need equal rights and equal access to resources
Bread for the World says women farmers need equal rights and equal access to resources


Download this story as a PDF

This is the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.

A new report says if women farmers had the same rights as men, more could be done to reduce world hunger. The report, "Empowering Women in Agriculture," is from the anti-hunger group Bread for the World. Bread for the World says equal access to agricultural resources would help increase food security and economic growth.

Faustine Wabwire is the group's foreign assistance specialist.

FAUSTINE WABMIRE: "Women constituted half of the agricultural labor force in not just Africa, but the developing countries as a whole. And when you think of Africa alone, it's more than sixty percent of the total agricultural labor force being provided by women."

The report says in most countries, women working in rural areas are more likely than men to hold seasonal, part-time and low-wage jobs. They also receive less pay for the same work.

Ms. Wabwire says women farmers often cannot get seeds, fertilizer, proper tools, credit and, especially, land.

FAUSTINE WABWIRE: "For most of Africa, we have about eighty percent of the population living in rural areas and they subsist on agriculture. Now women make sixty percent of the agricultural labor force and they have no access to resources. So, for example, land is one good example where less than twenty percent of all landholders are women."

This is often because of legal as well as cultural reasons. She says women who have lost their husbands may have no legal rights over their land. The only way to keep the land, she says, is to marry, say, the brother of the dead husband.

FAUSTINE WABWIRE: "So constraints like this are still very prevalent in most African societies and they continue to impede women's ability to fully enjoy their human rights."

However, Ms. Wabwire says women in agriculture are getting more attention these days. For example, Kenya's new constitution gives women the right to own land. But she says there is still a long way to go. Bread for the World is urging the United States government to increase development assistance, or at least not to decrease it.

FAUSTINE WABWIRE: "This assistance through programs such as Feed the Future, which is the U.S. government's agriculture program, is helping to elevate the status of women. It's enabling women to access productive resources such as seeds. They are able to have access to extension services, which will enable them to produce more and contribute to healthy societies."

But Ms. Wabwire says more African governments must recognize the major role that women play in agriculture and elsewhere. The report says, "Putting more income in the hands of women translates into improved child nutrition, health, and education." It gives women a way to "transform the economic life of the communities and countries in which they live."

Just how much could hunger be reduced if women had equal access to agricultural resources? The report estimates that hunger could be reduced for an extra one hundred to one hundred fifty million people.

And that's the VOA Special English Agriculture Report. You can find a link to the Bread for the World report at voaspecialenglish.com. I'm Jim Tedder.

___

Contributing: Joe De Capua

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Celestin KOMBO
04/16/2012 10:03 AM
In my country, women have a good role in agriculture area, SPECIALLY rural women.This is a historical true.They work hardly to nourish there families.According to me, it very essential for each country to vote laws which give to women the same rigth as men because of the major role they play in food security and growth our economic.


by: Yoshi
04/12/2012 3:17 AM
I think men and women should help each other. In order to help each other, they must have the same rights. Govements are totally responsible for granting women the proper rights for self-support, accessing to the agricultural resources.


by: ahmed abdel mone'm
04/11/2012 12:57 PM
i want to know how can i download the article (p d f )


by: bon bien
04/11/2012 12:26 PM
I support for equal right women. Women were impotant in the family.


by: Zainulabudin "Saify"
04/11/2012 8:10 AM
it is very efective tex for us thanks so much


by: Sachiyo
04/10/2012 12:27 PM
I think some labors in developing country don't know how to make use of their ability. The government or international organization should suggest a way,


by: BIJU.P.Y.
04/10/2012 4:33 AM
Our Gandhiji once said 'if you educate a man you educate a single individual, but when you educate a woman you educate the whole family'. Similarly, if working lot women are provided with basic facilities, they can work wonders.But Agatha christie, the British writer once said:'To have too much power is bad for women; it is difficult for a woman not to abuse power' comes true sometimes. Thank you.


by: OLIMAR OLIVEIRA rodrigues
04/10/2012 4:25 AM
African women in agriculture is necessary to change the way we live and work. women's rights must be guaranteed, then go to improve the lives of women, children and society as a whole


by: Ms.Dieu Quynh-TTLady/
04/10/2012 4:21 AM
Giving equal rights for women not only in agriculture but also other fields. It make our lives happier and warmer. Because women play an important role in each society.


by: Ms.Dieu Quynh-TTLady.
04/10/2012 4:11 AM
Giving equal rights for women not only in agriculture but also other fields. It makes our lives happier and warmer. Because women play an important role in all societies.

Learn with The News

  • US Cuba

    Audio Obama Moves to Normalize Relations with Cuba

    President Barack Obama announced a major change in United States’ policy toward Cuba this week. He said he wants Congress to ease more than 50 years of U.S. sanctions against the island nation. And he said the two nations should once again formally recognize one another. More

  • Santa Claus waves at the crowd during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, Nov. 27, 2014.

    Video A Los Angeles Christmas

    It may not be cold and snowy, but the city of Los Angeles is bright and cheery during the winter holiday season. People place lights and other decorations around their homes and enjoy the holidays. | As It Is More

  • FILE - A man casts a fishing net on the Mekong riverbank in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

    Audio Disagreement Over Mekong River Dam Project

    A two-day meeting in Laos has left government officials and environmental activists deeply divided. The meeting was called to examine plans for a 260 megawatt dam on the Lower Mekong River. The Lao government is prepared to start work on the project. More

  • Mideast Islamic State US

    Audio Top Islamic State Leaders Killed in Airstrikes

    Three top Islamic State leaders were killed in a series of targeted airstrikes in Iraq. U.S. not ruling out White House visit by Cuban President Raul Castro. Suspected Boko Haram gunmen kidnap over 100 women, children. Putin says Russia’s economy will improve in two years. More

  • the interview

    Video Sony Criticized for Cancelling 'The Interview'

    The company acted after a group of computer hackers attacked the company and threatened to attack movie theaters that show the film. Most people have criticized Sony’s decision to cancel the release. The US says North Korea was behind the cyber attack. North Korea denies the accusation. More

Featured Stories

  • Video Music Shows in Private Homes Gain Popularity

    Attending a live musical performance, be it in a huge arena or a small cafe, is an exciting experience. But here in the U.S., a very different kind of performance is gaining popularity: house concerts. “There's just a totally unique experience as opposed to playing like a coffee shop or a bar." More

  • Lee Surrenders to Grant at Appomatox

    Audio Southern General Robert E. Lee Surrenders at Appomattox

    General Robert E. Lee’s military skill and intelligence helped extend the war between the states. But even his skill could not save the South from the industrial power of the North and its mighty armies -- armies that were better-fed and better-equipped. On Sunday, August 9, Lee surrendered. More

  • Uganda Playground for Disabled Children

    Audio Helping Uganda’s Disabled Children Play

    You may think that all children have freedom to play. But for children who look differently from others or have physical disabilities, the idea of play can seem far away. An organization in Uganda is seeking to change that. Read on to learn words needed to talk about this sometimes difficult topic. More

  • A microneedle used to inject glaucoma medications into the eye is shown next to a liquid drop from a conventional eye dropper. (Georgia Tech Photo: Gary Meek

    Audio Tiny Needles Treat Eye Disease

    Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness around the world. In the United States, more than two million people suffer from the disease. Now, researchers are developing very small needles that may offer a more effective and painless treatment for glaucoma and other eye diseases. More

  • The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement in Las Vegas

    Audio Mob Museum Tells About the Mafia in America

    The U.S. government has long used public money to fight organized crime. Now, public money is also paying for a museum in Las Vegas to tell about "The Mob,” and not everyone is happy about that. But some say it helps the local economy by bringing people to a part of Las Vegas that few visit. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner BlogConfessions of an English Learner Blog

Tell us About Our Programs