Bardia, Nepal (2014): A Tharu woman working in a field.

Artistri Sud has over the years tirelessly invested into bridging the gender gap, especially in places where it is most pronounced. Equipping women with the necessary skills and mindset goes beyond economic independence: the testimonies of our beneficiaries in Vietnam and elsewhere of the improvement of their families’ quality of life prove so. 

A non-negotiable principle by which Artistri Sud carries out its entrepreneurial training is the sustenance of indigenous methods and know-how. Rather than eliminating the ancient ways by which artisans do their work, or parachuting in ideas from other locales or contexts, we train them to infuse modern business methods to increase the profitability of their existing revenue sources. It is for this very reason that we have chosen to embark on projects in Cameroon and Ecuador, this time to empower them in their age-old method of farming: Regenerative agriculture. 

Regenerative agriculture refers to a holistic approach to farming and land management which prioritizes nourishing people and the planet. This approach seeks to restore health to the land and entire ecosystem–improving and restoring soil, water and other resources rather than depleting them.  The value system which underpins these practices and principles recognizes and seeks to redress deeply embedded social and cultural inequities. 

It goes without saying that women have been the backbone of agriculture for centuries. Sadly, they are at the bottom of the barrel of people who benefit from agriculture. Statistics have shown that women are discriminated against, even in a sector where they are the majority. For instance:

  • It is estimated that agriculture yields would increase by one third if women had the same resources as men.
  • Nearly half of the world’s agriculture labor force is female, but 20 percent of land is owned by women.
  • Women are less likely than men to own land and when they do, their plots are of poor quality.
  • 60 percent of the chronically hungry in the world are women or girls. They get smaller portions of food and women often sacrifice their own nutrition for their children.
  • Only 10 percent of aid in agriculture goes to women.

These are a few of the reasons that show the gaping inequality in agriculture and the need to do our part in ensuring that women reap the fruit of their labor. With your support Artistri Sud can make an impact on women and encourage sustainability in Ecuador and Cameroon in the coming year. Be a part of our efforts toward social change!

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