International day of the girl child- Women & global economic development
Women play a significant role in global economic development – as employees, as farmers, as entrepreneurs, as well as doing substantial unpaid & time-consuming work, including running the home. But while women shoulder a burden that is comparable to men (in some communities more than men), gender inequalities remain deep-rooted in many communities. Women are more often disproportionately affected by poverty, discrimination & exploitation.
In Tanzania, today, women make up only 17% of college students & 10% of government elite but 75% of farmers, according to Oxfam. Despite their dominance in the sector, female farmers face unique obstacles. Women struggle to gain access to loans necessary to buy seed and invest in upgrades.
It is widely recognized that women are key agents for achieving economic, environmental and social change – bringing benefits for communities that support sustainable development, especially in rural locations. But women can only reach their full potential if they are able to work and able to get access to economic resources – including financial services. At the same time they need to develop skills in the workplace that would benefit them.
When women have access to better education, health and nutrition, their children learn, communities thrive, and crop yields increase and are sustainable.
In Tanzania, women make up more than half the agricultural workforce and they also take primary responsibility for children’s education and family nutrition. But deep-rooted gender inequalities limit their opportunities and many women continue to experience substantial discrimination. To bridge this gap in our own way we employ more women at our farms & factory. We ensure safety of staff at all levels & invest in the skill development of all employees.
Revisiting some of our Impact projects and talking about the impact installing water sources, better hygiene, education & community development has had on the girls, has also made us realize more that for girls, particularly in this part of the world, life is tougher. Challenges such as dealing with menstrual hygiene, gender roles, stereotyping & violence are common. There is an overwhelming need for projects & services to help transform & protect lives of women that can act as agents of change in the community.