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Women Farmers Union

Problem

Rural women in Sudan face overlapping crises of poverty, environmental degradation and discrimination. Many struggle to provide enough food for their families.

Meanwhile, the effects of global climate crisis are wreaking havoc. Droughts and floods are destroying crops and making farmers’ traditional knowledge obsolete. Many of these farmers are women, who grow and harvest the majority of their families’ food.

Yet, the government's farm aid programs often exclude women. Women are denied credit and agricultural inputs, such as seeds and fertilizer.

A woman harvesting
Group of women sitting & listening intently during a workshop.

Solution

MADRE and our local partner organization, Zenab for Women in Development, co-founded the country's first women farmers union. Together, we support 5,000 women farmers so that they can grow the food their families need to survive and encourage young women to become farmers.

Women stand beside farming equipment.

Grantmaking

We supply women farmers with the tools they need to thrive in their communities. We provide resources for women farmers to purchase farming equipment, like plows and a tractor, and improved seeds that can increase crop yields. Unlike emergency food aid, Women Farmers Unite gives women the tools, resources and technical assistance they need to sustain their families for the long haul.

We fund trainings for women farmers. In the face of devastating climate disruption, women farmers exchange their knowledge and farming strategies. These trainings also cover best agricultural practices, climate resilience, and how best to store and manage seeds. And by bringing a special focus to young women farmers, we help ensure that the next generation will have the tools and training they need to provide a local, sustainable food supply.

Women gather together for a community workshop.

Organizational Strengthening

We support learning initiatives. We provide education programs that promote literacy and computing skills. Zenab also provides vocational training for women and girls with disabilities to offer new opportunities for employment. We host trainings to help women farmers adapt to climate crisis.

We provide information to women farmers about new weather patterns. With Zenab, we provide instruction on how to adjust soil preparation, planting and harvesting accordingly, and how to harvest rainwater and dig wells when water is scarce.

Woman counseling a Zenab member

Legal Advocacy

We provide life-changing resources to women and girls. We lead human rights trainings for girls and women on topics such as reproductive health, female genital mutilation, HIV/AIDS prevention, peacebuilding and political participation.

We support the leadership of women and girls to confront climate crisis. We bring grassroots women farmers’ voices and solutions to international climate negotiations. With Zenab, we raise key demands and recognition of women farmers’ expertise to guide climate policy.

Results
  • Women gain the resources they need to grow and produce food. This alleviates hunger, improves health and nutrition, and fuels local economies.
  • Participants build a network of women farmers who share resources and organize together.
  • With this boost to women's leadership and economic status, women have greater power in community decision-making. They increase their capacity to demand human rights for themselves and their children.
  • Increased agricultural yields enable women to sustainably feed their families and raise money from surplus crops.
  • Women pool their income to invest in local development projects, like schools and community centers.
  • Women can now pay for their daughters’ educations, giving the next generation the tools and knowledge to shape their futures.
Woman posing with crops in an open field.

Your Support in Action

"This is the true way to women's empowerment."

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