The number of hungry people in the world could be reduced by more than 100 million people if women in rural areas were given equal access to the same resources as men, according to a new report from the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization.
Equal access to resources such as land, technology, financial services, education and markets could boost output 20-30 percent on farms run by women in developing countries, reducing the number of hungry people by 12-17 percent. The FAO estimates that 925 million people were undernourished in 2010.
The FAO's press release goes on to say:
The report documents gender gaps in the access to a wide range of agricultural resources, including land, livestock, farm labour, education, extension services, credit, fertilizers and mechanical equipment.
Women in all regions generally have less access to land than men. For those developing countries for which data are available, between 3 and 20 percent of all landholders are women. The share of women in the agricultural labour force is much higher and ranges from 20 to 50 percent in developing country regions.