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Community Development / Human Interest /  •

Gender equality is the key to fighting hunger

In northern Ghana in West Africa, farmers are highly vulnerable to the vagaries of climate, such as drought and flooding. Such extreme events create hunger gaps — periods when families, especially children and women, go without.

This past July, Linda Adufude of Tamale in Ghana spoke to Canada’s Minister of International Development and La Francophonie Marie-Claude Bibeau about efforts to fight hunger in the region. Adufude is chair-person of the Ghana Co-operative Credit Unions Association.

The Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA), in collaboration with SEND-GHANA and the Ghana Co-operative Credit Unions Association (CUA) has been helping small-holder farm families increase their food security in order to reduce these periods of deprivation. The initiative has been successful, with more than 90 percent of farm families no longer experiencing hunger gaps thanks to programs that improve farm yields as well as the creation of small businesses to lessen dependence upon farm income. The women who have started these businesses have become credit union members and even started savings accounts. This has led to women taking on leadership roles in their co-ops and credit unions, which is helping cultivate gender equitable leadership in the community. ◊