Closing the gender gap, encouraging the next generation

As the livelihood of farming families depends on the work carried out by each family member, the survival of such farms is highly dependent on the combined effort of both women and men. Rural societies are traditionally characterised by gender-specific roles, and in most cases, men are considered the head of the household involved in decision-making, market exchanges and handling finance. In many cultures, access to land and property is determined by gender. When it is only men who are entitled to inherit land, women are left in a vulnerable position with no legal property rights and in a co-dependent position (International Land Coalition, 2013).

There is a need to elevate women from this secondary role and to make their work in the rural economy more visible, in order to move forward and improve living conditions in rural areas.  Public policies that protect women and facilitate their access to land, resources, education and credit are considered a priority in the context of the family farming and rural development agenda.