Women are the principal agents of food security and household welfare in rural areas. According to The World Bank’s Agriculture and Rural Development’s Gender and Agriculture Sourcebook:
“In the 21st century, agriculture remains fundamental to economic growth, poverty alleviation, and environmental sustainability. Women play a critical role in agricultural production in developing countries. Particularly in low income countries in which agriculture accounts for an average 32 percent of the growth in gross domestic product (GDP), and in which an average 70 percent of the countries’ poor live and work in rural areas, women make up a substantial majority of the agricultural workforce and produce most of the food that is consumed locally. Yet relative to men, they have less access to productive assets such as land and services such as finance and extension. A variety of constraints impinge upon their ability to participate in collective action as members of agricultural cooperative or water user associations. In both centralised and decentralised governance systems, women tend to lack political voice. Gender inequalities result in less food being grown, less income being earned, and higher levels of poverty and food insecurity. Gender-based inequalities all along the food production chain “from farm to plate” impede the attainment of food and nutritional security. Maximising the impact of agricultural development on food security entails enhancing women’s roles as agricultural producers as well as the primary caretakers of their families.”
Women Win programme partners are addressing crop productivity, differentiation, urban farming, and food security, and are producing value added products, while enabling the economic empowerment of girls and young women.
AKWOS is a women's football and development organisation in Rwanda, started in the wake of the genocide to help rebuild women and communities. Groups of women participate in a variety of collective agricultural projects. One strategy they have used is giving seeds to women as prizes during tournaments and games. Winning teams of women can plant those seeds and earn money from their crops.
Kick4Life uses the power of football and sport to transform the lives of some of the most disadvantaged boys and girls in the world. Founded in 2005, Kick4Life has since focused their efforts in Lesotho in southern Africa, delivering a range of projects focused on tackling HIV through sports-based health education, voluntary testing, life-skills development and support for education and employment. Lesotho has the third highest HIV prevalence in the world and more than 100,000 children have been orphaned by the disease.
Kick4Life provides women with earning potential by giving them space and seeds to build vegetable gardens. The vegetables that are grown in the garden are for the women to take home or to sell through a catering business, where profits are kept by the women themselves.
Girls Kick It
Girls Kick It! football programme provides loan-funding to build poultry houses in camps for internally displaced persons in Northern Uganda, while providing management training to oversee this social enterprise.
In Paicho, the Girls Kick It! team manages and maintains a poultry house that provides, for the first time, real economic opportunity for young girls and women. Through this programme, the money generated from the sale of chickens to local hotels, businesses, and nearby food markets permits the team to pay for basic needs, such as transportation to tournaments and practices, as well as coach's salaries.
Through the Girls Kick It! Gweno Project, they provide young girls with a place where they can have an active voice and role in decision-making and development. It is their hope that the girls and women who participate in this programme not only take a long-term leadership role in their community, but also become advocates for changing the development paradigm in northern Uganda. They believe this can be achieved by Girls Kick It! team members attending and representing their community at forums, seminars, and civil society meetings on gender, health, post-conflict transition and economic empowerment.