Typically when I write about the gender gap it is in relation to pay, access to affordable health care and similar domestic policy concerns. Of course, the problem of a gender gap is far more widespread and includes the “gender gap” women in the developing world face with access to resources such as land, technology, and extension services. This is especially troubling considering the indispensable role women play in the rural economy and food production.
The benefits women’s parity in land ownership and control are clear, but our politicians are not quite as quick to grasp them. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) focuses on the gains that could be made if women had equal access to non-land resources. But in light of evidence that secure rights to land for women can increase agricultural productivity and confer other household benefits it is critical to consider what additional gains could be made if women had equal access to one of the most important assets to agricultural households — land.
Landesa, an organization dedicated to finding that equality, works with governments across the globe to secure land rights for the world’s rural poor is proving that owning a plot of land, sometimes as small as a tenth of an acre, can be enough to lift a woman and her family out of extreme poverty. Their latest infographic drives home the benefit closing this gender gap brings.
The fight for food security is directly tied to the progress of women’s rights across the globe, which means this is a fight we can and should win.
Photo from hdptcar via flickr.