Our policy on gender equality
Equal rights for women and men
Our goal: Empowered organisations promoting economic, political, social, cultural and environmental factors that enable women and men to exercise their rights on equal terms.
What we do
We Effect promotes female leadership and participation in the male dominated farmers’ organisations, by trainings in leadership for women and education in gender equality for both men and women.
The education in gender equality also serves the purpose to show men that when women participate more outside the home, men should also change and take more responsibility for traditionally female chores in the home. This has both led to better relations within families and yielded positive effects for the work in agriculture.
Women´s possibility to obtain full membership in the organisations and cooperatives is sometimes prevented by bylaws stipulating that one must own land to be able to become a member. We support female farmers´ groups in their struggle for changing these bylaws, and for their right to own and inherit land.
We also support women´s initiatives to create their own income opportunities, by providing access to loans, and trainings in entrepreneurship and marketing.
Facts about gender equality and poverty
70 per cent of the poorest people in the world are women. About 700 million women and girls in rural areas are living in absolute poverty. Female farmers still lack the same opportunities as male farmers. Women have less access to trainings, education, credit and loans. They are discriminated against in land- and agrarian reforms, and are sometimes prevented to become members in organisations and cooperatives.
Improving living conditions for female farmers in poor countries is principally a matter of human rights. But at most of the agricultural ministries around the world, women’s rights are not a high-priority issue.
The productivity of fields controlled by women is lower than that of land cultivated by men. A study by FAO showed that male farmers had 20-30 per cent higher harvests. The gap was due to the men having better access to labour, information, inputs, and machines.
FAO´s study shows that gender equality is very important for agricultural development and food security. Investing in female farmers would result in increasing their harvests to the same level as men’s food production. That would be enough to reduce the number of malnourished people in the world by 12-17 per cent.
And – if we can show that investing in women can increase the access to food, the general interest in gender equality will increase.