Women and Digitalisation in Agriculture: Overcoming the data divide

In celebration of International Women's Day 2021 and Open Data Day 2021, GODAN and Unique Mappers teamed up to present an event bringing together these two important topics and exploring gender equality in data technologies in West Africa.

Despite women making up around 50% of the agricultural workforce in the ACP region, the gender gap in relation to access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) continues to grow, making it particularly difficult for women to access important information, financial products and markets.

The digital transformation of the agricultural sector, through the proliferation of digital technologies, tools and services has only served to exacerbate pre-existing inequalities. While challenges such as access to education, access to financial services, connectivity, availability of electricity and cost of essential services only serve to widen the gender data gap.

Empowerment of women would not only empower individuals, increasing their earnings; but would also serve to empower families and entire farming communities, and partnership is a key factor to effectuating that change.

The event took place over two online panel sessions on Open Data Day (Saturday March 6) and International Women's Day (Monday March 8), 2021. The Open Data Day session, on the theme of Achieving Zero Hunger Through Gender Data Equality, was moderated by Kathryn Bailey, GODAN Head of Communications; and Uchechi Anaduaka, Training Coordinator with Unique Mappers. Presentations included:

  • Challenges and Opportunities for Women in Agriculture (in Nigeria) - Ijeoma Nwogu, GODAN Ambassador, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
  • Bridging the Gender Gap for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security -Timipre Nkwocha, Researcher, Geography and Environmental Management, University of Port Harcourt
  • Achieving Zero Hunger through Open Data Development - Dr. Suchith Anand, Chief Scientist, GODAN

The session on International Women's Day was moderated by GODAN Head of Communications Kathryn Bailey, with closing remarks from Victor Sunday, Director of Unique Mappers. Presentations were given on the theme of Gender Equality in Agriculture: Bridging the digital divide:

  • Empowering Women with  Satellite-Based Geospatial Applications for Sustainable Agriculture in Nigeria - Dr.  Rakiya Abdullahi Babamaaji, Assistant Director and Head of Natural Resources Management, National Space Research and Development Agency, Nigeria
  • Women’s Rights in Agriculture: How agricultural data codes of conduct can level the playing field - Foteini Zampati, Data Rights Expert, GODAN
  • Choose to Challenge: Empowering women and girls through education, digital technology and food security - Uchechi Anaduaka, Lecturer, Department of Economics, University of Nigeria in Nsukka; Training Coordinator, Unique Mappers