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Women and poverty

According to the UN, two-thirds of the world’s 1.3 billion people suffering from extreme poverty and hunger are women and girls.

The burden of poverty

Women are more likely than men to be poor – a statement I carry with me as I do my work in Tanzania. At Concern, we focus our attention on the poorest people, and many of them are farming women living in rural areas with large families and little access to services. 

Exclusion and hunger

We have worked in rural Tanzanian development for over three decades, witnessing the exclusion of women from decision-making and access to resources. This has a devastating effect, especially on children, and emphasises a clear link between exclusion and hunger. 

Empowering women

The Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that giving women the same access as men to productive resources could increase production by 20 – 30%. It would raise production in developing countries by up to four percent. This means that between 100 and 150 million fewer people would go hungry, namely women and girls. 

Essential training

This is what we are aiming for, and we encourage it at the grass roots with human rights training. This enables women and men to better understand women’s rights in marriage, inheritance and land. We also give women training in land tenure, farming choices, household budgeting and managing business and other essential services such as water and environmental health. 

As we celebrated International Day of Rural Women and World Food Day in October, we were reminded to think about these women and their central role in food and nutrition. I wrote an article for The Citizen newspaper for the occasion.

>> Read the article