Ag pay inequity is costing the world $1 trillion, FAO says
With over one third of the world’s working women employed in agrifood systems, a recent FAO report states that global economy could be losing $1 trillion due to gender inequalities in food and agriculture.
As per the entity’s data, women employed in the agricultural sector are also paid nearly 20% less than their male counterparts.
“If we tackle the gender inequalities endemic in agrifood systems and empower women, the world will take a leap forward in addressing the goals of ending poverty and creating a world free from hunger”, said FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu.
According to FAO, closing the gender gap in farm productivity and the wage gap in agricultural employment would “increase global gross domestic product by nearly $1 trillion and reduce the number of food-insecure people by 45 million”, at a time of growing global hunger.
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The report also notes that in agrifood systems, “women’s roles tend to be marginalized and their working conditions are likely to be worse than men’s –irregular, informal, part-time, low-skilled, or labor-intensive”.
“Women have always worked in agrifood systems. It is time that we made agrifood systems work for women”, said Qu in his foreword to the report.
FAO says that improving women’s productivity in the agrifood sector requires interventions which address care and unpaid domestic work burdens, provide education and training, and strengthen land-tenure security.
“If half of small-scale producers benefited from development interventions that focused on empowering women, it would significantly raise the incomes of an additional 58 million people and increase the resilience of an additional 235 million,” the report said.