Worldwide, women are crucial in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We present you 3 reasons why women are important to reach the SDGs worldwide, specifically focusing on SDG 2 (Zero Hunger) and SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth).
1. Women can increase the food security of households
Women are key players in ensuring welfare and food security of their family and children and in communities. In many societies women have the primary responsibility for the food preparation for their households. Furthermore, in general women make 80% of consumer decisions in households, such as which food, medicines and hygienic products to buy. That’s why projects which adopt a gender lens and address the economic empowerment of women are far more likely to improve the food security of households.
2. As entrepreneurs, women can reach other women which would otherwise not have been reached
Women are the fastest growing cohort of entrepreneurs and business owners in many developing countries. An advantage that female entrepreneurs - and specifically female sales agents - have in contrast to male entrepreneurs, is that female entrepreneurs can directly reach women who cannot readily access cities or markets. Think of women who are obliged to stay home to take care of the children. When women entrepreneurs visit these women at their houses, they can inform them about healthy diets, nutritious food and the importance of hygiene. These women would otherwise not have been reached at all. There lies huge market opportunities for future women entrepreneurs.
3. Women can produce more food on their agricultural land
Worldwide, women make up 43% of the overall agricultural workforce. However, at the same time these women have considerable less access to agricultural resources than men. Think of access to land, seeds, fertilizers, technologies and credit. If however they would have the same access to agricultural resources, women would produce 20-30% more food on their land. Furthermore, women smallholders often deliver better-quality product than their male counterparts and demonstrate better attention to detail in post-harvest handling when trained. This suggests that increasing the number of women farmers in the supply chain can help improve product quantity and quality of food.