#FillTheGap! Sowing the seeds of equal access to resources in Uganda

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This is the fourth post of Farming First’s #FillTheGap campaign to highlight the gender gap facing rural women working in agriculture. As a young woman growing up in Northern Uganda, tradition didn’t allow Nancy Adong, 26, to own land, only to farm on her husband’s family’s land and only then with his permission. Her situation is far from uncommon, presenting an immediate disadvantage for millions of rural women, who work in agriculture in greater numbers than men. Read More

#FillTheGap! Esperanza brings hope for female leaders in Peru

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This is the third post of Farming First’s #FillTheGap campaign to highlight the gender gap facing rural women working in agriculture. Closing her eyes for a moment, Esperanza Dionisio Castillo recalls one of the first meetings she attended as a cooperative leader in San Martín de Pangoa, central Peru. “There wasn’t a single woman there,” she said. “More than a hundred men, all of them stunned, looking at me like some sort of rare insect.” Peruvian women have often fallen into the gender gap when it comes to employment and leadership roles. Most do not join the formal labour force with two thirds finding work and income in the informal sector, according to a 2012 report. In 2007, more than a quarter of rural women had no education compared to just seven per cent of rural men. Read More

#FillTheGap! Making queens in Mozambique

This is the second post of Farming First’s #FillTheGap campaign to highlight the gender gap facing rural women working in agriculture. For Mozambican women who dream of building a business from the fields up, they are often thwarted at the first furrow: women account for just a quarter of official land owners. Josefina dos Santos Lourenço had aspirations of owning her own business but she wasn’t even earning enough selling food at her small market stand to support her family. Though she believed in herself, she couldn’t find a way to put her talents to use increasing her income. Read More

#FillTheGap! Joining up women for a common goal in Bangladesh

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This is the first post of Farming First’s #FillTheGap campaign to highlight the gender gap facing rural women working in agriculture. With only 60 per cent of Bangladeshi women economically active, it can be difficult for those who want to grow a business to engage others. One of the major challenges that rural women often face is a lack of access to social networks, which hinders entrepreneurialism. When Jahanara Begum, 45, started out as a Farm Business Advisor (FBA), she faced negative comments and scepticism from her family and community in Hizla Upazila, in the Barisal district. But as her networks began to grow and bring together local market systems, she proved her doubters wrong. Read More