women and food sovereignty 2011 610 x 259

Women make up the majority of the world’s small scale food producers.

Women play a vital role in traditional agriculture systems including by maintaining sustainable systems of production and consumption. This ranges from seed keeping, breeding, cultivation and post harvest processing to selling in local markets.. They also play an integral role in sustaining traditional knowledge systems such as the diverse uses of plants especially local herbs for nutrition and health. This traditional knowledge promotes sustainable systems of land access and use.

Despite this they face significant barriers to sustainable development in terms of lack of access to land, technical and financial assistance and other forms of support.  Women and girls remain one of the most vulnerable groups in our societies. As a result agroecological approaches must include a gendered perspective. This is evident in the work of the FoEI network from advocacy on women’s land rights, to engagement with rural women’s groups and networks, to prioritising training opportunities for women farmers. Gender justice must be at the heart of working towards environmentally just agro-ecological systems.