Congolese woman cleans an area of land to start to cultivate crops JOHN WESSELS/AFP/Getty Images

Financial Equality for Africa’s Women Farmers

Sub-Saharan Africa remains one of the world's most gender-unequal regions, a place where perceptions, attitudes, and traditional roles conspire to limit women’s access to healthcare, education, and economic resources. To overcome these obstacles, women need greater access to financial services and farm-related credit.

NAIROBI – Around the world, social movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp are inspiring important conversations about the inequitable practices women have long faced in every aspect of their lives. In some cases, these discussions have led to measurable changes in how women are treated on the job, at home, and elsewhere in society.

Unfortunately, most of the focus to date has been on women in the West, or those living in urban areas. Rural women, and particularly poor female farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa, have not yet benefited from the recent focus on gender equality. But if Africa’s gender gap is ever to be closed, the unique obstacles that African women confront must become part of the global dialogue.

Sub-Saharan Africa is among the world’s most gender-unequal regions. According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), “perceptions, attitudes, and historic gender roles” limit women’s access to health care and education, and lead to disproportionate levels of family responsibility, job segregation, and sexual violence.

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