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Winrock International

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Celebrating International Women’s Day 2024

Leslie Mitchell, Interim Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Director and Winrock's Sr. Advisor, Technical Local Capacity Development

We risk leaving more than 340 million women and girls in abject poverty by 2030, and an alarming 4 per cent could grapple with extreme food insecurity by that year.

UN Women, 2023

Our world would be a better one if we did not have a need to celebrate International Women’s Day. Since 1910, countries have marked the occasion by celebrating progress made in women’s inclusion and their achievements in the face of global inequities and structural drivers that have limited women around the world for millennia – from restricting social norms, discrimination, and gender-based violence to limited land tenure rights, unequal pay, and systematic oppression. However, insufficient progress made on goal #5 of the UN’s Sustainable Development agenda – gender equality and empowering all women and girls – also means that March 8th continues to be a stark reminder of the work remaining to achieve gender equity and equality, and that leaving 50% of the world’s population behind jeopardizes the entire 2030 UN Sustainable Development agenda.

Winrock celebrates International Women’s Day by committing to advancing gender equity and inclusion through its programs. This year, USAID’s West Africa Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) program, implemented by Winrock International, has made addressing the unique barriers of women and girls in the agriculture sectors of Senegal, Guinea and Sierra Leone a central pillar; recognizing the women that make up 43% of the global agricultural workforce, form an essential backbone in our global food system, and are at the frontlines of climate change. Leslie Mitchell, F2F’s Interim Project Director shared, “Women lack access to resources, training and new technologies coupled with the inability to own land and participate in decision making. If we can collectively act to reduce these barriers, focus on inclusion and a breakdown of traditional systems of inequality, we could unlock the very barriers that exist globally in food production.”

Through the F2F program, Winrock will strengthen capacity of the agriculture sector in Senegal, Guinea and Sierra Leone and improve inclusion for marginalized populations through awareness raising, technical and operational training, and fostering inclusive decision-making processes within the agricultural sector. The program will also work with decision-making bodies to improve participation and the responsiveness of their practices to the unique needs to women. Marlyatou Bah, Winrock’s F2F Country Director for Guinea and Sierre Leone says, “By creating equal opportunities for men and women and equitable access to resources, African countries will achieve food self-sufficiency for the continent.”

Related Projects

West Africa Farmer-to-Farmer

The West Africa F2F program aims to enhance the agricultural sectors of Guinea, Senegal, and Sierra Leone by utilizing climate-smart agriculture innovations, local technologies, and targeted interventions for marginalized groups to improve access to technology, food security and nutrition, and skills development to boost agricultural productivity and support resilient livelihoods.