This reportwas prepared by IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, as part of a work program on women’s employment in agribusiness funded by the World Bank Group’s Private Sector Window of the Umbrella Facility for Gender Equality.
Women play a crucial role in the agribusiness sector, and agriculture remains the most important source of employment for women in low- and middle-income countries. Women account for a significant proportion of the agribusiness workforce throughout different segments of the agricultural value chain, providing inputs and functions that are critical to business performance. In this context, leading agribusiness firms recognize that women’s employment is increasingly a strategic issue. Ensuring equal access to employment opportunities in agribusiness for women, and investing in better jobs and working conditions for women can lead to improved workforce and organizational outcomes that have a direct impact on the bottom line.
Agribusiness remains central to food security, job creation and inclusive growth in many low-income countries. As such, better jobs for women in agribusiness can have an important spill-over effect on economic and social development outcomes. With the right working conditions and remuneration, agricultural employment can help to create a platform from which more favorable outcomes for rural women and their families are increasingly viable.
This publication focuses on the case of direct employment relationships, while recognizing that women’s work in agribusiness may take on a number of other forms, including small-holder farming.