For the women who produce between 60 to 80% of our food: Happy Mother’s Day!

A fact from World Food Programme:

In most developing countries women produce between 60 and 80% of the food, but they own less than 2% of the world’s titled land.

The site didn’t specify the source of the info, but I think this is something I’ve seen in eco feminist Vandana Shiva‘s writings.

So I believe in this fact that WFP is disseminating.

Besides, I, too, live in a developing country, so I see this fact with my own eyes everyday.

Male fisherfolk regard the contributions of their wives as insignificant in the greater scheme of things, for example. The way their wives clean up their fishing gear before their fishing expeditions, the way their wives supply them with food and look after the kids, the way their wives supplement the overall household income by selling little things like rice cakes—all these are insignificant to the bigger picture. But of course, we know otherwise. Without these contributions by their wives, the household will crumble.

Same goes with farming.  Women contribute largely to food production in the same way female fisherfolk contribute to the success of fishing expeditions. They till the land the way they would take care of their children, their families. They do backbreaking work to live.

Closer to home, in the urban setting, being a housewife as a fulltime job is deemed questionable. It seems to have no quantifiable contribution to the household since housewives don’t earn salaries. However, running a household uses as much human capacity and skill as an office worker–even more. A housewife is a wife, a mother, a manager, a purchaser, a secretary, a cleaner, a cook, a go-to woman and a lot more.

So what do we do with this fact? I believe WFP is doing a good job disseminating information like this, and it is up to us, in our communities, do act accordingly. Do we give women 98% of the titled land that is not theirs? Or do we start small by recognizing their valuable contributions to how the world works?

On Mother’s Day, I would like to thank the millions of women for the food we eat.


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