IITA celebrates rural women’s contribution to cassava seed system in Tanzania
Women are at the forefront of development in all sectors of society, and within the agricultural sector of developing countries, the labor burden of rural women exceeds that of men. Women account for approximately 60‒80% of agricultural labor while also handling complex household activities. The United Nations General Assembly declared 15 October as the International Day of Rural Women to celebrate the achievements and contributions of women in rural places toward rural and agricultural development.
This year, the IITA–CGIAR Muhogo Bora project, which aims at developing gender-responsive cassava seed systems in Tanzania, celebrated rural women farmers with whom they work. The project team honored this important day, acknowledging the role rural women farmers play as active agents of economic and social development. IITA Post-Doctoral Gender Research Fellow Millicent Liani led this activity, noting that women have been hindered from successfully participating as Cassava Seed Entrepreneurs (CSEs) due to a lack of access to land, limited start-up capital, gendered social norms, and unpaid familial care duties. “We believe in a world free of limits placed on women; that is why we design and implement interventions to reach more women and marginalized groups with targeted outreach in the Western and Central Zones of Tanzania. We believe this will lead to a socially inclusive cassava seed system,” she highlighted in the Muhogo Bora project blog.