The potential of women to drive rural development is enormous. Despite all the progress that has been made, women’s capabilities still remain underutilised. On behalf of the German government, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), has launched its prize-winning initiative to select seven women who are transforming their villages, their provinces, their countries.
On the 15th October 2020, the ONE WORLD – No Hunger initiative – a project by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), announced the seven womenwho have been selected as Game Changers: Janet Adade from Ghana, Ramwati Adiwashi from India, Bariétou Agbere from Togo, Euphrasie Dassoundo Assogba from Benin, Akech Manyuat Gong from South Sudan, Juliette Paylo Sebou from Togo and Krishna Radha from India.
As gardeners, entrepreneurs, founders and presidents of farmers' organisations, the seven award-winners have initiated major changes in their villages and their wider sphere. They have improved food supply, found local solutions to the challenges of climate change, built value chains and created new income opportunities from which local people benefit – in doing so, they have been outstanding in initiating change and bringing about a transformation that has improved the living conditions of many. This is why the jury has honoured them as "Game Changers".
"With this award, we honour courageous rural women who have changed the traditional rules of their society and who, despite great resistance, show that women are essential for sustainable development and societal progress,” said Maria Flachsbarth, Parliamentary State Secretary to the German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development and patroness of the award, when announcing the seven winners.
The BMZ initiated the award in spring 2020 to highlight the potential of women for rural development as well as their importance for achieving SDG2 – ending hunger and malnutrition. Thirteen international partner organisations of the special initiative ONE WORLD – No Hunger followed the call and nominated 48 women from 16 countries.
The winners were selected at the beginning of August by an international and independent jury composed of six members, including Marjeta Jager, Deputy Director-General responsible of the European Commission Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development: "As a member of the jury for the ‘Game Changers – Women in Agriculture’ Award, I had the honour and the pleasure and the opportunity to learn about the achievements of 48 exceptional and committed women and leaders in agriculture. To me, they are all winners, and they are essential role models for women empowerment and equal participation,” Jager said.
The seven winners will each receive a sponsorship for further education and training measures worth EUR 1,500. An exhibition about them and the potential of women for rural development will go online on this website on the 8th December 2020.
“Game Changers – Women in Agriculture” was initiated by BMZ. GIZ has been commissioned by BMZ with the implementation and coordination of the initiative.
For further information, please contact the Sector Project Sustainable Rural Areas, Rural.Development@giz.de. Contact person: Dorothea Hohengarten.