UN, AU, Others Task ECOWAS on Gender Equality in Agric Investment

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Alex Enumah in Abuja

The United Nations, African Union, Oxfam West Africa and other developmental bodies on Thursday urged governments in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to enact laws and policies that would enhance women participation in agricultural development.

They unanimously agreed that laws and policies that are targeted at empowering women, particularly in the ownership of land, which is a major factor in agriculture would go a long way in fast-tracking development in Africa.

They were speaking at a two-day conference on Promoting Gender Equality in Agricultural Land Investments in Africa, organised by the International Institute for Sustainable Development and Oxfam in collaboration with the ECOWAS Parliament.

According to the representative of the Food and Agriculture of the United Nations, Tacko Ndiaye, despite the widespread recognition of women’s contributions to food security and nutrition in their household and communities, they have continued to be discriminated against.

“Compared to their male counterparts, they have less secure access to productive resources, employment opportunities, markets, finance and rural services. Their land rights continue to be neglected,” she said.

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