—— FROM RICE TO RICHES – the impact of gender empowerment on rural Nigerian women (Beijing +25)
On 1 October, the UN marks 25 years since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action – a blueprint to advance women’s rights. But according to the Gender Equality report reflecting on the anniversary, there is still a long way to go. Just 1 in 4 managers are women, and women aged 25-34 are still 25% more likely than men to live in extreme poverty.
Rural women make up 43% of the agricultural labour force and, compared to men, are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 due to their work in the informal sector and their lack of access to productive resources, services, technologies, markets and finances. But when women are given equal access as men, they can be incredibly resilient to shocks, and be able to support their families and communities.
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Thousands of businesses across the world have been forced to close or have seen profits slump due to COVID-19 restrictions, but for the rice processing women of Kongatora in Niger state of Nigeria, not only have they survived, but their business has thrived with profits up by 40%.
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