Women marginal farmers - mobilising for change

Women marginal farmers - mobilising for change

02 March 2010

When Concern Worldwide UK launched its Unheard Voices campaign in late 2007, the focus was on highlighting the needs of marginal farmers. The majority of these are women, so we shifted our attention to their specific needs.

These women play a vital, but often ignored, role in addressing hunger. Concern works with marginal farmers like these in 28 countries around the world.

Excluded

In many of these countries, support from governments and NGOs is channelled through farmers’ unions. However, our recent research in Zambia has shown that many women farmers are not part of farmers groups or unions for numerous reasons. This means that they are missing out on crucial support.

Mobilising for change

It’s hoped this paper will highlight the challenges faced by poor women farmers, while illustrating the significant strength and influence they have, particularly when working as a group.

Proven examples

This paper draws together a number of examples of poor women farmers who have organised themselves successfully. It also examines the support mechanisms that have helped. 

This paper also proposes five practical steps to help these farmers:

1) Building their networks and group
2) Promoting alliances
3) Organising training
4) Developing flexible approaches tailored to specific needs
5) Recognising, supporting and listening to the voices of women marginal farmers. 

Download a copy of this resource

Unheard Voices report cover

Women marginal farmers - mobilising for change

When Concern Worldwide UK launched its Unheard Voices campaign in late 2007, the focus was on highlighting the needs of marginal farmers. The majority of these are women, so we shifted our attention to their specific needs.