Ritu speaking with a market vendor in Accra, Ghana
This week, Ritu Sharma, Women Thrive’s Co-founder and President, has been in Ghana and Burkina Faso, trying to learn about what life is like for women farmers, what their governments are doing to empower them, and what U.S. assistance programs can do to help. Accompanied by a team of Women Thrive staff, Ritu has met with local women’s organizations, such as their advocacy partner, Coordinator Coalition Burkinabe pour Le Droit du la Femmes (CBDF), a coalition of 15 women’s associations that educates Burkinabe women and helps them advocate for better economic rights. She has also met with individual women farmers, Burkina Faso government officials, and U.S. development agencies working in the country.
Read Ritu’s daily diaries and conversations with women farmers.
For most women in Burkina Faso, where almost half of the population lives below the poverty line, life is a daily struggle. Typically living in rural areas, most women have little access to ongoing education or potable water. Yet because they are the majority of farmers and are responsible for child care, Burkinabe women spend much of their day performing field work, growing food and crops for their families. However, despite this often grueling work, many Burkinabe women are not allowed to own the very land they farm, because customary often law excludes women from land ownership, preventing them from investing in the tools, irrigation, and seeds that would make their families better fed and their children better off. Learn more about women’s role in agriculture.
-McKenzie Lock, Women Thrive Worldwide