Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Facebook | Twitter | Home RSS

Women farmers face tougher road

Study finds progress toward equality but full equality could still be decades away

October 24, 2018
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

Women farmers are on the same mission as men farmers: to help feed the world. However in a new study, women in agriculture say widespread discrimination is still the reality and poses obstacles for them in that quest.

The study, from Corteva Agriscience, part of the agriculture division of DowDuPont, included 4,160 respondents living in 17 countries in both the developed and developing world, and encompassed five continents.

"We conducted this study to further understand the current status of women farmers around the world - from the largest farms in the most advanced economies to the smallest subsistence farms in the developing world - and to create a baseline from which we can measure progress going forward," said Krysta Harden, Vice President External Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer of Corteva Agriscience.

Article Photos

The study found that women are overwhelmingly proud to be in agriculture. However, they see gender discrimination as widespread with 52 percent of women stating this in the U.S. and 78 percent in India.

Success? Only half say they are equally successful as their male counterparts. Forty-two percent say they have the same opportunities as their male counterparts. Thirty-eight percent say they are empowered to make decisions about how income is used in farming and agriculture.

This comes on the heels of the Iowa State University Extension Farm Ownership Survey, which found that the average American farm manager is a woman age 65 or older, who may be making decisions about the farm business for the first time.

Fact Box

Here are the details on the survey:

n Conducted between August and September 2018.

n Approximately 4,160 respondents from 17 countries spread across Asia Pacific (24%), North America (21%), Latin America (21%), Europe (19%) and Africa (15%).

n Most of the women were engaged in crop farming, with others engaged in a variety of other farming and related agricultural pursuits.

n The farms ranged from small subsistence farms to enterprises with more than 300 employees.

n Roles ranged from owners and managers to employees and workers.

n Average age of respondents is 34 years old.

n Countries surveyed: APAC China, India, Indonesia, Australia; NA U.S., Canada; LATAM - Brazil, Mexico, Argentina; EUROPE France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK; AFRICA - Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa

Almost 40 percent of women farmers in the Corteva study said they didn't earn as much as men and that they have less access to financing.

The highest concerns of women farmers are financial stability, the welfare of their families, and achieving a work/life balance.

Agricultural technology has become essential for financial success and environmental stewardships, but most women farmers say they need more training to take advantage of the agricultural technology. The desire for training is the most commonly cited need among women for removing gender inequality obstacles.

The majority of women reported progress toward gender equality, but 72 percent said it would take one to three decades or more to achieve full equality. Five key actions, according to the respondents, were identified to remove obstacles to equality:

1.More training in technology (cited by 80%)

2.More academic education (cited by 79%)

3.More support legal and otherwise to help women in agriculture who experience gender discrimination (cited by 76%)

4.Raise the public's awareness of the success women are achieving in agriculture (cited by 75%)

5.Raise the public's awareness of gender discrimination in agriculture (cited by 74%)

"While we know women make up almost half of the world's farmers, this study validates challenges continue to persist, holding back not only the women in agriculture but also the people who depend on them: their families, their communities, and the societies. Identifying the existence of these challenges is the first step in removing obstacles for rural women farmers to achieve their full potential," Harden said.



I am looking for:
News, Blogs & Events Web