International Women's Day is a day to celebrate the success of women and to raise awareness of the struggles of women around the world. The Natural Resources Institute (NRI) of the University of Greenwich is proud to support this important day and to highlight the challenges women face in developing countries.
In rural areas where agriculture is the dominant source of livelihoods, such as sub-Saharan Africa, women play an intrinsic role in food security and family well-being. However, they are more likely to be hungry and living in poverty, and less likely to have access to support or skills to improve their livelihoods.
There are a number of organisations that are working with women to address these challenges. For example, NRI is working with the Country Women Association Of Nigeria (COWAN) for the Cassava: Adding Value for Africa (C:AVA) project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Since COWAN's inception in 1982, they have been working to alleviate poverty and improve women's wellbeing through micro-credit and agricultural support. As part of the C:AVA project, NRI undertook a Gender and Diversity Audit of our partner organisations to identify our capacity to address gender and diversity issues in C:AVA. COWAN showed evidence of exemplary work in improving rural livelihoods and contributing to political and socio-economic empowerment of women. NRI will continue to support and work with organisations such as COWAN to help address the challenges women face globally.