In many African countries, women provide 60-80 percent of agricultural labor, producing food for their households and the market. Yet, 90 percent of agricultural credit is accessed by men and, women own less than 2 percent of the world’s land.
Her eyes focused on the narrow walking path that zigzagged up the steep mountain. Her legs and shoulders burned with each step, but she was almost home. The plastic container strapped to her back weighed about 40 pounds.
Hector Gutierrez walks through his avocado grove just after the trees have been irrigated. Water glistens on the leaves as he pulls down the brim of his cap to shade his eyes from the sun.
The farm fields here are cemeteries of cornstalks: a severe drought has left them brown, withered and dead. Normally, a failed crop like that signifies starvation.
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In Africa, the majority of food is grown by women, yet women own less than 2 percent of the world’s land, access only 10 percent of agricultural credit, and are routinely – systematically?
"For one to be productive, you need to have access to resources and to markets," says Henry Swira. "And it's easier for men to have access to resources, because that's how traditionally it's been constructed, when actually it is women who do 70 per cent of the work in the field."