Agriculture, albeit capable of serving as a powerful engine for rural development, is becoming an increasingly challenging sector due to certain factors beyond the producer’s control. For instance, natural disasters, unmitigated consequences of climate change and precarious market fluctuations all together exacerbate the vulnerability of subsistence farmers who lay the crucial foundation of commodity supply chains.
But these challenges are much more amplified when taking gender into account. Women workers often face many gender barriers in global production in the form of pay, the type of jobs they do, opportunities for skills training and promotion, inflexible working hours, excessive overtime, insecure contracts and lack of in-work benefits. However, almost half the world’s agricultural work is performed by women – who, research shows, if given equal access to resources would have enormous potential to improve their work in a myriad of ways.
Recognising the importance of inclusion and equal gender representation, the Good Growth Conference in May 2019 facilitated a women-led discussion panel focused on women underrepresentation in agricultural trade.
Leveraging the convening power of the Conference, the Partnership invited several female changemakers to the panel to discuss the realities and opportunities of being women in the fields of agriculture and sustainable development.
The Roundtable was composed of the following industry leaders: Rini Indrayanti, SPOI Platform Manager of UNDP Indonesia; Jessica Donovan, Liberia Country director of Conservation International; Sandra Andraka, Fisheries Platform Coordinator at UNDP Costa Rica; Karin Kreider, Executive Director of ISEAL Alliance; Mónica Andrade, Environment Officer at UNDP Ecuador; Maike Moellers, Head of Programme of GiZ; Leisa Perch, International Gender and Environment Specialist at UN Women Caribbean; and Lise Melvin, Senior Programme Advisor of UNDP Green Commodities Programme and Good Growth Conference Lead.