International Women’s Day 2019

IFAD Asset Request Portlet

Asset Publisher

International Women’s Day 2019

Estimated reading time: 1 minute

Meet the #RealGroundbreakers

In many parts of the world, women are more likely to be food insecure than men. That’s despite the fact that in many countries, many women work in agriculture and are responsible for preparing food.

8 March is International Women’s Day -  a day to celebrate the diversity, successes and challenges of women everywhere.

For IFAD we take the opportunity to celebrate the 1.7 billion women and girls who live in rural areas around the world.

In developing countries the majority of them are involved in agriculture – growing food for their families, running businesses, fetching water, preparing meals.

However, many women do not have access to the same resources as men – land rights, finance, training.

Closing this gender gap in agriculture would produce significant gains for society by increasing agricultural productivity, reducing poverty and promoting more equal economic growth.

We believe that investing in the women and girls who live, work and study in rural areas benefits everyone. Learn why below.

Meet the Real Groundbreakers

With training and access to markets, Lu Yanne is leading a collective of women in Chad to produce and market their sesame seed oil successfully. Now they can earn more and provide for their families.


In India, more school children are eating well because of Rekha, a business innovator who through a women’s cooperative is making nutrition bars with local rice.


Irma, a young Q’eqchi woman and farmer from Guatemala, is working to reforest over 400 hectares of land damaged by climate change, illegal logging and fires. She is making both her environment and her community better.

These women show that when rural women get equal access to tools, land and resources, and greater support and investment from governments, they can beat the odds and shape a better future.

Because progress starts from the ground up.

Ndaya Beltchika is the Lead Technical Specialist - Gender and Social Inclusion - at the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

Find out more about IFAD and gender

Join our #RealGroundbreakers campaign