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Groups to govt: Empower rural women farmers



Groups to govt: Empower rural women farmers


Women Civil Society Organisations (WCSOs) have called on federal and state governments to implement policies that will support climate resilient agriculture to boost rural women small holder farming, address hunger and poverty in Nigeria.

The civil society groups in a statement made available to New Telegraph in commemoration of the 2017 International Rural Women’s Day; a United Nations’ designated day to celebrate and honour the role of rural women and their importance in enhancing food production and rural development, called on government to do more in addressing the challenges and opportunities in climate-resilient agriculture for gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls in Nigeria.

The groups are Women Advocates Research and Documentation Center (WARDC) in Lagos, Women Rights to Education (WREP) in Benue, Women Consortium of Nigeria (WOCON) in Osun, Civil Resource Development and Documentation Center (CIRDDOC) in Enugu and Gender Equality Peace and Development Center (GEDPaC), Abuja.
The Executive Director of WARDC, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, said it was imperative for government to ensure that policies are responsive to women.

“Rural women account for a substantial proportion of the agricultural labor force. In spite of their role, they lack access to agricultural inputs and finance. They have less than 14 percent land holding rights, while culture, traditions and discriminatory laws continue to deny the women equal access to government programmes at national and state levels. This has negative implications for basic food production and the eradication of poverty.

“It is therefore imperative for government to ensure that policies are responsive to women and that state budget support eradication of hunger and poverty, harness potentials of rural women particularly the small holder women farmers who provide food for families and the rural communities.”

Ms. Mimido Akchapa of WREP said continued neglect of women farmers is a threat to climate change and responsive agriculture governance.
“Over 90 per cent of land are held and controlled by men while women as wives or daughters in many communities have little or no access neither controls over such lands.

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