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#PressforProgress: Agrilinks Celebrates International Women's Day 2018

Today, the world celebrates International Women’s Day, an occasion to salute the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, while also acknowledging the progress that needs to be made toward gender equality in an actionable way. Each year, International Women’s Day takes on a new focus, and the 2018 theme is Press for Progress (#pressforprogress), a call to action for people, institutions and communities to commit to being purveyors of women’s empowerment and inclusiveness.

The Agrilinks community is deeply involved in women’s empowerment work as well as promoting gender equality through global agricultural sectors. In support of International Women’s Day, here are some posts and resources from the Agrilinks archives that connect this year’s theme with women in agriculture.  

“Women contribute significantly to agriculture and food security around the globe, and gender equality and women’s empowerment are critical to ensuring sustainable development. Yet women continue to face unequal access to training, resources, and opportunities to adopt new agricultural technologies, grow their businesses, and spend their earned income to improve the well-being of themselves and their families.” — USAID's Bureau for Food Security’s Cultivating Women’s Empowerment: Stories from Feed the Future 2011-2015, a 2016 report.

  • In July 2017, Agrilinks highlighted an impact report published by Land O’Lakes International Development featuring a program in Tanzania, where women represent the majority of the workforce. Of these women, 98 percent hold agricultural jobs. Despite this, women have little autonomy in agri-business and are not economically empowered to make decisions concerning crops or the income they help generate. To address this issue, in partnership with USAID, Land O’Lakes implemented the Innovations in Gender Equality Program, an initiative to promote technological innovations, improve knowledge of women’s issues, advocate for gender equality and promote sustainability.
  • This September 2016 post highlights Feed the Future’s Role in Strengthening Women’s Empowerment. Feed the Future – the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative — along with its partners, facilitates avenues for women’s equality. Feed the Future focuses on seven dimensions for women’s empowerment in agricultural productivity: decision-making, access to and control over resources, control over income, social leadership, workload, human capital and access to technology. This work also promotes ways to increase women’s financial security.  Feed the Future also collects data through an innovative tool that measure’s women’s empowerment and inclusion levels. This tool helps to shape recommendations for capacity building.
  • Feed the Future’s gender equality work is also demonstrated in this report — Cultivating Women’s Empowerment, which features a collection of case studies about how women are integrating agricultural markets. These stories emphasize new approaches to amplify women’s voices and to better represent women in value chain development activities. These case studies illustrate success stories and how women are occupying entrepreneurial and leadership roles in jobs traditionally held by men in some of Feed the Future’s focus countries.
  • #Pressforprogress must be a collaborative effort and one in which men and communities are equally invested. Read about some of the household-focused projects being implemented in Niger, Senegal, Zambia, Bangladesh and Ghana in this December 2017 post, Engaging Men to Improve Nutrition and Gender Equality. These programs promote a shared domestic workload, facilitating dialogue between husbands and wives, and encourage gender sensitization. By prioritizing improving household development outcomes, these programs have shown the benefits of involving men in gender equality- focused projects.

International Women’s Day is a kickoff to a year of promoting gender equality and advancing women’s progress in various sectors. How will you #pressforprogress to amplify the women in your community?

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