Women cultivate, plough, harvest more than half of all the food in the world.
According to Inter Press Service, “On a global scale, women cultivate more than half of all the food that is grown. In sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean, they produce up to 80 percent of basic foodstuffs. In Asia, they account for around 50 percent of food production. In Latin America, they are mainly engaged in subsistence farming, horticulture, poultry and raising small livestock.”
Yet women often get little recognition for that. In fact, many go unpaid. It is very difficult for these women to get the financial resources required to buy equipment etc, as many societies still do not accept, or realize, that there is a change in the “traditional” roles.
UNICEF’s 2007 report on state of the world’s children focused on the discrimination and disempowerment women face throughout their lives and how that impacts children’s lives. In regards to work and pay, they noted the following:
Estimated earnings for women are substantially lower than for
Estimated earnings are defined as gross domestic product per capita (measured in US dollars at 2003 prices adjusted for purchasing power parity) adjusted for wage disparities between men and women. Some numbers rounded for display purposes.
Source: UNICEF, State of the World’s Children, 2007, p. 41, Figure 3.3
Reasons for such disparity include the fact that women are generally underpaid and because they often perform low-status jobs, compared to men. UNICEF notes that the data isn’t always perfect, and that generalizations such as the above can hide wider fluctuations. “In Brazil, for example, women under the age of 25 earn a higher average hourly wage than their male counterparts.” (p.39)
UNICEF’s main summary of equality in employment (chapter 3) included the following