International Women's Day 2019
Happy International Women's Day 2019 from the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition team! We would like to join many others across the World in celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
But first, a word from GODAN Director, Andre Laperriere:
While International Women’s Day presents the opportunity to give much needed recognition to the accomplishments and achievements of women in the economic, political, cultural and social space, there is still a sector that is marginally overlooked and that is the agricultural sector - where women are continuing to play a vital role in agribusiness. It is important we recognise the contribution of women in the agri-business, and the work needed to be done to ensure gender equality in the sector.
Despite the technological breakthroughs we have achieved, there is still a digital divide in the agriculture sector – small farmers do not have the same access to information and analytics that large industries and businesses have. This divide is greater in developing economies, but more significant when it comes to women in these countries. This is never really spoken about, despite the fact that women play a prime role in these agricultural economies, as women traditionally have less access to technological tools and lesser ownership rights than men.
True progress can only be achieved if we break down inequality, and this is only possible if we talk about it. International Women’s Day provides the ultimate platform to speak out about these rarely addressed issues in the agriculture sector and help create the change that can finally provide women the recognition they deserve.
A large proportion of small holder farmers in the developing world are women. They are often also the main breadwinners of their families. Open Fields, part of the award winning GODAN Web Documentary Series, based on open data success stories in agriculture and nutrition, provides an excellent example of how technology and open data in agriculture is helping small holder women farmers in Kenya. In Open Fields, we meet Eunice, a successful smallholder farmer living near to Mombasa, Kenya. Watch the video, along with the other five documentaries in the series here.
We would also like to share with you a recording of a Webinar on the topic of The Gender and Open Data Intersection. This informative discussion, presented by Ana Brandusescu of the Web Foundation, is part of the popular GODAN/CTA Webinar series. Click here to view the other titles in the Webinar series.
In this Webinar, Ana gives excellent examples of the work done by various women’s groups around the world. Ultimately, women should use open data to empower themselves. Open data must be used to support women and their needs, as well as to address the role governments play in supporting these efforts with data and creating better citizen-state engagement in the process. This is about data equity — data that everyone can access and use. But the question remains: How do we get there?
This International Women’s Day, GODAN wants to make use of this opportunity to thank all women who are contributing actively to Open Data Education and Capacity Development activities globally.
As part of our International Women's Day celebrations this year, we have conducted an interview with Winnie Kamau, a freelance journalist in Open Data and Technology based in Nairobi, Kenya. Winnie is a passionate advocate for open data, and is driven to increase awareness about its benefits for agriculture. Winnie will be hosting GODAN events throughout 2019, helping journalists and farmers find out more about the value of innovations in open data in the agriculture sector - creating the desire to expand the value of technology and data-driven knowledge. You can read the full interview here on our Web site.