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FairPlay proudly stands with rural women throughout Africa

Some days just come and go. Others become important dates to remember, and 15 October 2018, International Day of Rural Women, is one such day. FairPlay stands and fights for a level playing field in trade. We are proud to stand with and support rural women throughout Africa and the rest of the world who make a critical contribution to agriculture, food security, child education. Women also lead the fight against poverty in communities large and small throughout South Africa. It is estimated that in developing countries, rural women are around 43% of the agricultural labour force and play an integral role in ensuring food security.

The United Nations encapsulates the role of rural women succinctly: the crucial role of women and girls in ensuring the sustainability of rural households and communities, improving rural livelihoods and overall wellbeing, is increasingly recognised. Women account for a substantial proportion of the agricultural labour force, including informal work, and perform the bulk of unpaid care and domestic work within families and households in rural areas. They make significant contributions to agricultural production, food security and nutrition, land and natural resource management, and building climate resilience.

Even so, women and girls in rural areas suffer disproportionately from multi-dimensional poverty. While extreme poverty has declined globally, the 1 billion people who continue to live in unacceptable poverty are concentrated in rural areas. Yet smallholder agriculture produces nearly 80% of food in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa and supports the livelihoods of some 2.5 billion people. Women farmers may be as productive and enterprising as their male counterparts, but are less able to access land, credit, agricultural inputs, markets and high-value agrifood chains, and obtain lower prices for their crops.

Women make change possible and more often than not must fight against the odds to secure for themselves and their families the level playing field within their own countries and communities. We are proud to stand with them and to support their mission.