Presentation on theme: "30 November 2011 Ruchi Tripathi Head of Right to Food ActionAid International Right to Food and the Importance of Investing in Smallholder Agriculture."— Presentation transcript:
30 November 2011 Ruchi Tripathi Head of Right to Food ActionAid International Right to Food and the Importance of Investing in Smallholder Agriculture
Human Rights Based Approach to Fighting Poverty and Hunger What is the right to food? Who are the rights holders? How do we realise the right to food?
Right to Food Recognised in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (Article 25) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Article 11) “The right to adequate food is realized when every man, woman and child, alone and in community with others, has physical and economic access at all times to adequate food or means for its procurement” (General Comment 12, 1999, para 6). Governments have the responsibility to respect, protect and fulfil the right to food Food security is built on three pillars: availability, access, adequacy
Increased hunger 925 million people are still estimated to be undernourished in 2010, representing almost 16 percent of the population of developing countries. (FAO) This indicates deeper structural problem that gravely threatens the ability to achieve internationally agreed goals on hunger reduction 65% of the world's hungry live in only seven countries: India, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Ethiopia. (Source: FAO news release, 2010)
Identifying the rights holders: who are the hungry and why are they hungry at individual, household and community level Identifying the obstacles to intra-household food security: food availability, access and adequacy Identifying the available livelihood assets: human, natural, physical, economic, political, social Identifying potential livelihood strategies: agricultural intensification, migration, livelihood diversification Empowerment Addressing immediate needs Understanding the political context and marginalization process Raising self and critical awareness Analyzing and prioritizing problems & possible livelihood strategies Mobilizing resources for collective action Community-led implementation of alternative livelihood strategies, monitoring and evaluation Solidarity Strengthening the civil society Building alliances and federations Networking with other rights holders and civil society allies Campaigning Influencing duty bearers for policies, processes and institutions in support of the right to food Negotiating and asserting rights
Investing in Women Smallholders Gender gap in agriculture Multiple constraints and responsibilities of women smallholders What women farmers want Addressing gender specific constraints and empower women smallholders Need for an integrated approach
Gender gap in agriculture Women smallholders comprise an average of 43 percent of the agricultural labour force of developing countries. The female share of the agricultural labour force ranges from about 20 percent in Latin America to almost 50 percent in Eastern and Southeastern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa Despite this rural women rarely receive any attention in agricultural policies, programmes and budget allocations. Women own only 1% of the land in Africa; receive only 7% of extension services and less than 10% of all agricultural credit. If women farmers in Africa had the same access to land as men, they would increase their farm productivity by up to 20%. (ILO 2009) Closing the gender gap in agriculture could reduce the number of hungry people in the world by % thereby reducing the number of hungry by at least 100 million people (FAO 2011)
Multiple constraints and responsibilities of women smallholders Firstly women tend to be invisible to policy makers, which is born out of a lack of recognition of their role as ‘productive’ farmers, and a lack of recognition of their unpaid farm work In addition, they bear a disproportionate burden of care and reproductive roles within the family and community. They are also deprived of access to markets, key assets, and inputs, and are frequently excluded from decision-making. Women are also disproportionately impacted by poverty and hunger - including having lower access to education and health care facilities compared to men.
Recommendations for Parliamentarians What women farmers want Addressing gender specific constraints and empower women smallholders Need for an integrated approach Regional initiatives and global food governance
Support for women smallholders should include 1 Securing poor women farmers’ access to and control over land Gender appropriate farming inputs Access to financial services including social transfers Access to clean and stable source of water Appropriate extension services and training Appropriate research and technology Appropriate marketing facilities 1 Adapted from ActionAid What Women Farmers Need: A blueprint for action. Johannesburg: ActionAid. Available at:
Strategies to address gender specific constraints and empower women smallholders 2 Active participation of women in collective action (and solidarity with women who cant join the groups) Improved access to and management of productive resources (individual and collective) for women Enhanced contributions by women to household revenues (and control over these resources) Optimised time and resources spent in care and reproductive activities by women – policies and interventions must recognise women’s paid and unpaid work, including unpaid care work 2 Adapted from ActionAid. Forthcoming. The Long Road from Household Food Security to Women's Empowerment - Signposts from Bangladesh and The Gambia. Johannesburg: ActionAid.
Need for an integrated approach An integrated and holistic approach should: Recognise women as both farmers and food producers Recognise their productive and reproductive roles. Food security programmes that address these separately fail to see the linkages and trade-offs that come with only seeing women as farmers or only as carers/food providers. Such approach can help to empower women, giving them more control over their time and resources and allowing them to challenge public policies.
Regional and Global Agendas Africa: Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) policies and investment plans need to advance a clear vision for addressing the needs of women and smallholders Asia: Governments must build better price shock absorbers and build resilience to emergencies through national and regional food reserves – SAARC Food Bank Global: Governments must support policy recommendations adopted by the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) with strong moral authority and clear political mandates, and ensure that gender is mainstreamed in all their activities, policy discussions and decisions.