As you read this blog, you may be sitting at a desk in your office, sipping your daily coffee, waiting in line to pay for groceries, or relaxing in your favorite chair in your living room. Chances are, you are focused on your own daily to-do list, like the bills you have to pay, your tasks at work, your weekend schedule or what your family will eat for dinner. But as you go through your routine, there is a woman, working in a field in a developing country, wondering if her family will get to eat that day. She’s been up since dawn taking care of her children, preparing them for school if they are lucky enough to attend, and will spend the rest of the day working in fields. She will tend to crops with the hope that she can harvest enough to feed her family and perhaps yield a small profit at market.
On International Women’s Day and every day, and we #PressforProgress for women around the world whose daily burdens are far greater than most people in the U.S. will ever experience. We must recognize this one woman who toils in the fields for little in return represents millions of women across the world who work in similar conditions. According to the World Bank, over 30% of the female workforce are employed in agriculture, and in some developing countries, the number of women in farm work rises to nearly 96%.
At Rise Against Hunger, we aim to invest in this global population of women by providing education on innovative agricultural practices and how to establish village saving and lending groups. One of several empowerment projects is in partnership with Foods Resource Bank, through which Rise Against Hunger will support an estimated 200 households in the Tigania region of Meru County, Kenya, through improved agricultural techniques and crop diversification. In this region, women do significant agricultural work in addition to other household chores, and are limited by the time available to earn income, gain education or participate in civic life. At least 50% of selected participants in this program will be women and will receive skills training and support with farm inputs and assets.
Rise Against Hunger also plays a role in advocating for policies that enable women to be resilient in the face of challenges such as climate change, political instability, economic fluctuations and conflict. We must advocate for women having equal access to tools and proper education, consistently pushing for gender parity when it comes to teaching and providing access to sustainable practices.
Women around the world carry a heavy load, but today as we advocate for bright futures, we also celebrate the strength of women who refuse to give up in the face of challenges. The weight of regular responsibilities can limit our ability to look outside of our own backyards and beyond our borders to see the change that is needed in the world. It is imperative that we all play a role as mothers, sisters, daughters, friends and as fellow women to help alleviate each other’s burdens. Together we can make lasting and meaningful change as we #PressforProgress.
You can make a difference by visiting our Advocacy page or make a donation in honor of a strong woman in your life.