Can women’s empowerment provide a solution to food insecurity in Africa?

Special report: Women and food sovereignty: resilience, autonomy and inventiveness
By Marie Fall, Pierre Jacquemot

On the African continent, women play a central role in subsistence agriculture. They are key to the processing, storage, and sale of food products. They are at the heart of the domestic economy and play an essential social role in the well-being of rural and urban communities. Yet they have fewer rights to land, less access to information and rural services, and less mobility due to family responsibilities. Several studies of the role of women in critical periods, such as those produced by the COVID-19 pandemic or the disruption of international agricultural commodity and input markets, shed new light on the reality of women’s capacity to respond to food insecurity with a strong dose of inventiveness. This capacity is closely linked to the opportunities for economic and social empowerment that are available to them and that they are able to seize. A quiet revolution may be underway.

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