Tomorrow, March 8th, is International Women’s Day. It's a good time to celebrate women’s achievements, but any day's a good one for educating ourselves on the power and influence of ladies across the globe.
According to Worldwatch’s Nourishing the Planet team, female farmers produce more than half the world’s food--about 1.6 billion women worldwide rely on farming for their livelihoods. Sadly, not all of these farmers have access to banks that can provide essential financial services. But women around the world are coming up with solutions to these setbacks. As researchers from Worldwatch report, female farmers are developing environmentally sustainable agricultural innovations that'll help them get access to credit, improve their incomes, feed their families, introduce sustainable crops to markets, and reduce rural poverty.
The organization Girl Up is educating women and girls on family planning, literacy, and agricultural training in Ethiopia's Amhara region. In India’s Karnataka state, women are running community seed banks, which improve their access to high-quality seeds and agricultural inputs. In Rwanda, the Farmers of the Future Initiative helps to empower young girls and other students by adding agricultural training into school curricula, allowing them to sustain themselves later in life, rather than relying on their male counterparts. And a trade union in India, the Self Employed Women’s Association, works with underemployed women to help them achieve full-time work and financial self-reliance.
To read about more amazing innovations that are improving lives of female agricultural workers around the globe, check out www.worldwatch.org. And instead of baking that International Women's Day cake you were planning, get involved in helping women farmers on a grassroots level by giving money to a microlending site like Kiva.
Image credit: UN World Food Programme
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