Thursday 20th March, 11am – 12pm EDT on Twitter
Join the conversation!
2014 is the International Year of Family Farming. But who is at the head of these family-farming households? Research from the FAO has found that up to 40% of households are headed by women in Eastern Africa, and across the developing world, women account for 60 to 80% of smallholder farmers.
Yet these women face economic and social constraints. In sub-Saharan Africa, only 15% of landholders are women, and they receive less than 10% of credit and 7% of extension services.
Policies that address gender inequalities could lift 150 million people out of hunger. How can women be empowered to make this estimation a reality?
Join experts from USAID and global agriculture coalition Farming First on Twitter at 11am EDT on Thursday 20th March to debate the issues with our experts:
Sylvia Cabus is the gender advisor for the Bureau of Food Security at USAID and for the Feed the Future Initiative. She worked for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in Kenya, Morocco, Mali,and Burkina Faso. In the United States, Sylvia worked as a program officer with Heifer International, Handicap International, and USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance.
Stephanie Hanson is the director of policy and outreach at One Acre Fund, where she manages the government relations and policy team and One Acre Fund’s global policy and advocacy work. From 2006 to 2009, she covered economic and political development in Africa and Latin America for CFR.org, the website of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Sue Carlson has been a farmer and family farm advocate much of her life. She currently serves as Facilitator and Chairperson of the World Farmers Organisation Women’s Committee, a GAP Catalyst for the Global Funding and Research Gender in Agricultural Partners, and serves on the Shamba Partnership Board. Over the years she has traveled to nearly 40 different countries advocating for family farmers.
Sithembile Ndema Mwamakamba is a Project Manager with the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN). She coordinates the FANRPAN Youth and Gender Programme Portfolio, aimed at developing a holistic agriculture policy framework in Africa that will support engagement of youth and women in the agriculture sector.
Questions to be addressed:
- What challenges do women in family farming face in the developing world, and what do they need to thrive?
- How can we reach more women farmers worldwide with tools and skills they need?
- What are the success stories that show the benefits of investing in rural women? How do we measure this success?
- How do we identify and empower male allies in the quest to improve women-run family farms?
- Women farmers are often both the breadwinners and the bread bakers. How do we improve the nutritional status of family farms?
If you have additional questions you’d like to ask our experts, tweet @Agrilinks or @farmingfirst using the #AskAg hashtag!