Episode 3 - How can we advance gender equality and food security in Africa?

How can we advance gender equality and food security in Africa?

Almost two-thirds of African women are employed in agrifood systems as food producers, agro-dealers, processors, distributors and traders. They are also often responsible for sourcing and cooking food for their families. Yet, multiple sources of inequality constrain women’s participation, well-being and empowerment. How can we ensure women have more access to resources such as land or finance? Can food security goals and gender equality be achieved simultaneously? And what steps are already being taken to ensure women are actively engaged in food systems?

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    In the third episode of ECDPM's podcast series 'Minding the gap: conversations on gender', Cecilia D'Alessandro talks to Dr. Debisi Araba, a member of the Malabo Montpellier Panel. Drawing on the recently released report “BRIDGING THE GAP: Policy Innovations to Put Women at the Center of Food Systems Transformation in Africa”, they zoom in on the experience of four African countries that have made significant strides in empowering women and ensuring their active involvement in food systems.

    About the guest

    Debisi Araba is a public policy and strategy specialist, a visiting researcher at Imperial College London, and a member of the Malabo Montpellier Panel.

    He was the Managing Director at the AGRF, the premier catalytic, multi-partner platform for food and agriculture transformation in Africa. 

    Previously, Dr. Araba was the Africa Region Director at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, a member of the CGIAR, where he led strategy and business development in Africa.

    Listen to the episode

    The views expressed in this episode are those of the author and guest and not necessarily those of ECDPM.

    Episode breakdown


    03:11 - How women's role in the agrifood systems is systemically undermined

    05:00 - A continental view on women's agency and visibility

    06:30 - A land certification programme in Ethiopia making strides

    08:00 - Accessing quality healthcare in Ghana as a woman

    09:00 - Ensuring women's participation across the board in Togo

    11:00 - Rwanda as a beacon for gender equality in the continent

    12:32 - Gender inequality is holding back collective aspirations

    13:20 - Lessons for countries to take on

    16: 32 - How digitalisation is helping women access finance in Nigeria

    17:50 - Beware of biases in the technology used to support African agrifood systems

    18:55 - Success means gender equality

    Coming up

    Why is it difficult for women to access justice?

    In the fourth episode of the series, Sara Gianesello and her guests will delve into Morocco for an insightful discussion on the nexus between gender and justice in this North African country!


    Previous episodes

    • Are we critical enough of gender expertise?

    In the first episode of the series, Kawsar Laanani and Maëlle Salzinger navigate key tensions and obstacles around the concept and practice of gender expertise. Drawing from their own experiences and using an intersectional feminist perspective, they delve into the rising presence of gender experts in international cooperation and offer insights on how we can collectively do better to advance gender equality.

    Find more information about this episode, including some recommended readings from the authors, here.

    • Why is it difficult to engage boys and men in the fight for gender equality?

    In the second episode of ECDPM's podcast series 'Minding the gap: conversations on gender', Karim Karaki talks to gender expert Carla Pagano about the role boys and men play in supporting or undermining gender equality. Drawing on Carla's over 20 years of experience, they explore why it is important to involve them in gender equality efforts and provide practical examples of how this is already being done. They also delve into how patriarchal structures can negatively affect men. 

    Find more information about this episode, including some recommended readings from the authors, here.

    About the podcast series

    'Minding the gap: conversations on gender' is ECDPM's podcast series entirely devoted to shedding light on topics in which gender is often overlooked, but where promising lessons are emerging. 

    Who is a gender expert? Why is it important to engage men and boys in fighting for gender equality? How are women empowerment, climate action, and urban development interlinked?

    Throughout the episodes, you will hear from researchers, activists and experts working in Europe, Africa and the MENA region to gain insights into what we can collectively do to build a society based on gender equality.

    Recommended readings

    For a deep dive into this topic, Cecilia recommends the following work:

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