UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka begins an official visit to Senegal, to highlight the importance women’s economic empowerment in the agricultural sector, encourage the repeal of discriminatory laws and to promote women’s leadership and political participation across the country.
As part of her stay, the Executive Director will visit Réseau des Femmes Agricultrices du Nord, a network of women farmers of the North, who produce and trade rice. The initiative is supported by AGRIFED, UN Women’s flagship programme on women’s economic empowerment through climate-resilient agriculture, which aims to empower at least of 30,000 women farmers in Senegal by 2021. Since the project started in 2017, over 10,000 women in the network have benefited from the creation of local selling points for rice distribution in Dakar and increased their sales. They have also received training in financial management and how to run and organize their businesses. Papa Abdoulaye Seck, Minister of Agriculture, and Salimata Diop Dieng, Minister of Women, Family, and Gender, will join Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka for the project visit.
Women farmers make up to 70 percent of the workforce and produce more than 80 percent of crops in Senegal, especially food crops. Yet, women farmers lack access to land, skills, financial resources and markets, compared to their male counterparts
The Executive Director is also expected to meet with the President of Senegal, Macky Sall, the Minister of Justice, Ismaila Madior Fall, as well as the second Vice-President of the National Assembly, Awa Gueye, to advocate for the increased political participation of women.
Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka will engage with young women entrepreneurs and interact with representatives from civil society organizations during this visit.