Women invest in their interest
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CTA. 2000. Women invest in their interest. Spore 85. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/46672
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore85.pdf
seminar entitled The economic role of women in rural and agricultural development - the promotion of income-generating activities, which was held in October 1999 in Athens, Greece
Women s entrepreneurial skills and activities greatly enhance the development of rural Africa. To bring together some major thinking in this area, the Ministry of Agriculture of Greece, Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) and CTA co-organised a seminar entitled The economic role of women in rural and agricultural development - the promotion of income-generating activities, which was held in October 1999 in Athens, Greece. The seminar was attended by around fifty women from sixteen African countries. The largest CTA event yet held in this field, it addressed root obstacles and prerequisites for women s income-generating activities. Despite their predominant role in agriculture women rarely have legal or customary rights to have access to, or to control, factors of production, like credit, land, water and training. They usually miss out on the profits from production too. The issue of limited access to land - an important drawback for women across rural Africa - drew much comment at the seminar. Under successive series of customary, colonial and post-colonial legislation in most countries, women s land rights have not been defined and they remain denied today. The seminar suggested that land laws should be set right, and harmonised with civil and criminal laws and accompanied by people s awareness-raising programmes. Various presentations at the seminar were clear proof of women organising themselves to access resources, such as commercial credits. In village banking programmes in rural South Africa, 80% of members are female. Their motto Invest first where your best interests are, instead of invest where the best interest is works well for them! Women, after all, should be the subjects rather than the objects of development. That was the main message of the seminar, and the availability of its full proceedings will be announced in a future issue of Spore.