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EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Network
News article12 October 2022Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development

SmartAgriHubs Gender Taskforce: Investing in gender and rural women

Investing in gender and rural women

SmartAgriHubs, Horizon 2020 project, is all about ‘digitisation of European agriculture by fostering an agricultural innovation ecosystem dedicated to excellence, sustainability and success.’ Gender is a very important issue within the project, as it is at the crossroad of 2 sectors prone to gender inequalities: agriculture and tech.

Rural women represent a quarter of the world's population – they work as farmers, wage earners, and entrepreneurs. On average in Europe, 30% of the farms are led by women – but in reality, there are many more women informally involved in farm activities. 

Technology has potential to not only support a more resilient and sustainable agriculture, but also to transform farm work as we know it. Agri-tech tools can help build better connected farm, reduce physical labour and support better work-life balance: all challenges for rural women working in agriculture. According to research by McKinsey if more women were to enter the digital jobs market, it could create an annual boost of EUR 16 billion GDP for the European economy.

SmartAgriHubs has a “Gender Taskforce” to support gender equality at project level, and to set out a path for the wider agri-tech community. 
Over 4 years, the Gender Taskforce has developed, for example, a Gender toolkit to organise gender analysis, a toolkit for the organisation of gender neutral meetings and communication, a Gender Survey to better understand the challenges of men & women in the agri-tech sector, published newsletters, podcasts and interviews on gender issues, and much more. The partners are now working on launching the SmartAgriHubs Gender Taskforce beyond the limits of the project.

During the SmartAgriHubs Final Event which took place on 26 to 28 September 2022, a workshop called “Investing in Gender”. According to the organisers participants were invited to provide their feedback on which services and topics they consider as most urgent. Participation of women in decision-making was highlighted as an important issue, as well as access to land, access to funding, access to training and fighting sexism. Participants strongly believe that better representation would ensure that these issues are addressed. 

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Publication date
12 October 2022
Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development
Innovation, knowledge exchange & EIP-AGRI