African Rural Women Key to Building Community Resilience to Climate Change


Dear Friends and Colleagues 

African Rural Women Key to Building Community Resilience to Climate Change 

Small farmers – mainly women – produce 80% of the food in Africa on just 14.7% of the agricultural land, and control 80% of the seeds produced and exchanged on small farms.

The African Biodiversity Network, Gaia Foundation and African Women’s Development Fund have jointly released a report in recognition of the critical role African rural women play in evolving and maintaining the continent’s diverse and climate-resilient agricultural systems. It provides testimonies of the pivotal work of women, as custodians of seed and nutritional food, medicine and biodiversity, and as spiritual, cultural and community leaders.  

The report explains how the knowledge and the status of women has been systematically undermined to the point of becoming invisible, and how the corporate-driven forces which exacerbate this continue to push women and their families further to the edge. The present global corporate scramble to control Africa’s rich heritage of minerals and fossil fuels, water and agricultural lands, seeds and food systems, threatens to destabilise the continent and create more conflict, further impacting women adversely. 

The report calls for both practical and policy support for rural women, their communities and their social movements in Africa, and for a profound and urgent shift in agricultural and investment policies across the continent. In particular, policies and practices should enhance women’s participation; value and recognise women’s knowledge; and enable women as well as men farmers to participate in decision-making processes in agriculture, food production, land and governance.  

The report concludes that the contribution of African women and their traditional knowledge are vital to building community resilience to climate change and regenerating of the viability of our planet.  

With best wishes, 

articles post