In rural Africa, smallholder farmers (the majority of whom are women) produce close to 80% of the continent’s food. From sowing, weeding and fertilizing, to processing and transporting, these women form the backbone of Africa’s food security and production industry. Despite their vital contribution, most African women lack secure rights to their land and any access is usually through a male relative.
Gender issues are very much in the news right now. And while women from all over the world face challenges in their workplaces, these African rural women are trying to overcome a struggle for the most basic equal rights on the land that they work on.
– Geoff Manchester, Co-founder of Intrepid Travel and Chairman of the Intrepid Foundation
Intrepid Travel enabled the African women to reach the top of Mount Kilimanjaro to help them raise their voice for land rights. For each booking made through Intrepid for the expedition, $500 went directly towards supporting an individual farmer’s climb.
The trek, and the assembly at the base of the mountain, which was attended by more than 250 women and was the largest ever rural women’s land rights assembly at the base of Kilimanjaro, mark a critical moment in the movement for women’s land rights in Africa.
We have achieved a lot. We are members who could not even talk in public, but now we can…We have demanded, because we have known the rights.
– Penninah Aujo, 48 from Bukadea, Eastern Uganda, is a leader of the Ailwaritoi Women’s Goup, a women’s farming collective that was formed with ActionAid’s support.
The assembly and the trek attracted significant global support and recognition for the women participating and the issues that they are working together to overcome.
Amongst those trekking in solidarity were women’s AFL (Australian Football League) players, Katie Brennan of the Western Bulldogs and Melissa Hickey from the Melbourne Demons, as well as Zambian reggae artists, Sista D and Maiko Zulo.
Together we can make a difference.