Empowering women through agricultural technologies-#InspireInclusion

By Millicent Sedi-Gender Lead at AATF

Each year on March 8th, International Women’s Day (IWD) is observed and commemorated. Originating as an initiative to eradicate global discrimination against women, it strives to ensure equal rights and opportunities for women in the realm of global development.

The theme for IWD this year, ‘Inspire Inclusion,’ emphasizes the critical role of inclusivity in advancing gender equality. It urges individuals and organizations to acknowledge and value the distinct perspectives and contributions of women.

A clarion call was made to prioritize the needs, interests, and aspirations of women and girls, emphasizing their value and inclusion. Accordingly, organizations were called upon to actively promote inclusion, particularly in areas like advancing women’s economic empowerment.

In line with this year’s theme, AATF continues to empower and support women through agricultural technologies aimed at improving productivity across different crop value chains in multiple countries where it operates.

Undoubtedly, men and women make very significant contributions to agricultural production, processing, marketing, and household food and nutrition security, yet these efforts often go unrecognized if their differences are not appreciated.

Gender gaps in men and women’s access to resources, inputs and services mean their work in agricultural value chains falls far short of their potential in terms of scale, productivity, and output, causing huge costs to their households.

It is upon this background that AATF has made efforts towards reduction of the gender gap in agriculture by broadening agricultural opportunities equally and fairly for all women and men. This includes promotion of gender equity and equality in access, control and ownership of agricultural assets, technologies, services, products, and income to enhance food security and poverty reduction in Africa. Special focus has also been given to women and young people who are the future of Africa’s agriculture sector to attract and retain them in agriculture.

AATF has supported initiatives to promote inclusion of both men and women’s access to new and labour-saving agricultural technologies to boost production, including innovative technologies aimed at supporting climate-smart agricultural approaches that build resilience to climatic and socioeconomic shocks.

AATF has worked with seed companies and agro-dealers to ensure that any technology offering from AATF is earmarked for both men and women including the marginalized.

AATF continues to have inclusive capacity building programmes are extended to all farmers based on their intersectionality.  Improving the skills  of  all  farmers  will  prepare  them  for  better employment opportunities and more successful entrepreneurship.

The organisation has contributed to the improvement of knowledge, awareness and understanding of gender-related issues in countries of operation and identified effective gender-responsive and transformative solutions through various interventions.

To promote gender equality and empowerment across Africa, AATF produced information on skills building in agribusiness, taking stock of men and women’s entrepreneurship, building their financial literacy, defining innovative measures to link agricultural technology development with market needs.

AATF continued to document evidence showcasing the development of skills among men, women, and youth farmers in new and labour-saving agricultural technologies, thereby boosting production. This was evidenced through various publications and success stories that have been done.