September 23, 2015

Empowering female farmers in developing countries is “crucial”, says EU Commissioner

Empowering women in agriculture is “crucial” to developing economies achieving their economic potential, according to the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development.

In an interview with Euractiv, Commissioner Phil Hogan said that: “Empowering women to play central roles in all areas of agricultural production is absolutely crucial if developing countries are to achieve their full potential in the agri-food sector.”
Hogan said the European Commission “is putting its money where its mouth is, supporting sustainable farming practices in developing countries, focusing on smallholder agriculture and women farmers, the formation of farmers’ organisations, the supply and marketing chain, and responsible private agribusiness investment.”
According to UN figures, on average women make up 43% of the agricultural labor force in developing countries, varying from 20% in Latin America to 50% in parts of Asia and Africa. However, less than 20% of landholders are women.
IZA World of Labor author Sher Verick has written for us about female labor force participation in developing countries. He writes that: “Standard labor force participation rates paint only a partial picture of women’s work. More important is understanding the quality of women’s employment.” Verick argues that expanding access to secondary and higher education is important to achieving gains in employment quality.
Read the interview with Phil Hogan at Euractiv.
Related articles:
Female labor force participation in developing countries by Sher Verick
Social protection programs for women in developing countries by Lisa Cameron
Policies to support women’s paid work by Gianna Claudia Giannelli
Find more IZA World of Labor articles about development here