Nelly Bassily | October 22, 2012
October 15 is the United Nation’s International Day of Rural Women. This day precedes World Food Day (October 16) and aims to highlight rural women’s role in food production and food security. In support of this, and to inspire your broadcasting, this week we bring you two new stories of how women can be successful farmers despite the unique challenges they face.
Catherine Amusugut suffered when disease hit her cassava. But with new varieties, and support in learning how to process and sell bulk cassava with other farmers, she is again able to send her children to school.
In Malawi, Witness Ngwira struggled to survive after the death of her husband. Like many women in Africa, she lost all her land to her husband’s family. But she discovered the Hara Rice Scheme, which allows her to grow rice on a small plot after paying a membership fee. She turned her life around and recently received a certificate of recognition from the Farmers Union of Malawi as a model farmer.
Also this week, we celebrate a ruling from Botswana’s High Court that women now have the right to inherit land. This is noteworthy in a continent where women have few land rights. Our third story from Cameroon is more typical of the situation in most African countries where women lose their land when their husbands die.
For more information on the International Day of Rural Women, visit: http://www.unwomen.org/infocus/rural-women/