For the millions of small producers who are part of a growing global movement for circular and regenerative food systems, agroecology is much more than a set of farming practices. “Agroecology is a solution for gender equity,” says Tabara Ndiaye, an advisor from Senegal to the Agroecology Fund.

Mark Bittman, writing in his latest book, Animal, Vegetable, Junk agrees: “Agroecology is about not only sane agricultural methods but the empowerment of women and groups of long-exploited people, such as BIPOC, land reform, fair distribution of resources and treatment of labor, affordable food, nutrition and diet, and animal welfare.”

Women are often the backbone of agroecology, leading food systems transformation on the ground. In 2011, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reported that women food producers, given the same resources and access to land, credit, markets, and training as men, could eliminate hunger for 150 million people. But if the link between women’s rights and just and sustainable food systems are obvious, why is change so slow? As IPES-Food has noted, a series of global dynamics (eg: short-term and highly compartmentalized policy frameworks, ‘feed the world’ narratives, and export orientation) have ‘locked in’ industrial agriculture and continue to exacerbate inequalities. The work ahead? Strengthen food systems with women’s rights at their center. Agroecology does just that.

The Agroecology Fund, a philanthropic ally of the Global Alliance, has granted nearly $10 million to hundreds of organizations working to scale agroecology up and out in five continents around the globe. On International Women’s Day 2021, in the lead up to a global Food Systems Summit and climate talks pressing for food system transformation, we highlight three examples from our partners in India, Mali and Mexico that illustrate how critical women’s leadership is to the resilience of rural communities and global food and nutrition security. Together, these stories comprise robust grassroots evidence for agroecology, validating its approach to food systems transformation.

Read the full article about females and the food system by Amrita Gupta at Medium.