Following a research study carried out by FRA on the women exclusion gaps that increase women’s vulnerability to poverty, hunger and malnutrition, FRA on 30th September held a national level consultative dialogue: Taking Stock of Opportunities in Collective Action to Enhance Women’s Resilience in Agriculture, under the theme: Moving Toward Resilient Women in Agriculture. The meeting brought together over 60 civil society organizations, policy makers and media personnel.
The meeting provided an opportunity for different Civil Society Organisations with gender based programmatic interventions, members of parliament and the media, to share experiences regarding interventions on promoting women’s resilience in agriculture and other sectors. Participants developed strategies for effective engagement at the district, national, regional and global level to support women’s resilience against shocks of exclusion, poverty and traumatic stressors of hunger and malnutrition. They also explored opportunities of intervention by stakeholders in a bid to take advantage of the changing political and development terrain.
In his welcome remarks, FRA BOD Secretary, Mr. James Kaija noted that women play a vital role in agriculture that deserves recognition and appreciation.
“We need to appreciate that they have proved deserving of being entrusted with decision making in agriculture investment and marketing. Empowering them economically impacts not only on their personal lives and that of their families, but on the community and the entire nation.” He said.
Presenting the FOWODE Manifesto, Ms. Patricia Munabi, Forum for Women in Democracy Executive Director emphasized that for women to access agri-business opportunities in agriculture, government and CSOs need to provide strategies for them to move from small scale production to large commercial scale through investing in market access and supporting them join the value chain.
“Government can enhance rural women’s production capacity through providing subsidized farm inputs to women and women headed households.” She said.
Participants also noted that to transform agriculture, women need to be provided access to agri-business opportunities. Their role as marketeers needs to be fronted starting from household level and cooperatives need to be revamped with clear strategies for women’s participation and benefit.