Latest: Better together: partners for women's economic empowerment - see POWER newsletter #2 on main page

Latest: Video celebrating women in Ghana – Unpaid Care Work: time to act - see news item on main page

Rashida, a smallholder farmer in Bangladesh demonstrating her bottle gourd after training on vegetable gardening in light of CRSA. PHOTO NOORE JANNAT PROMA/ACTIONAID


ActionAid and partners have been promoting and developing Agroecology practices, based on the design and implementation of site-specific adaptation strategies aimed at increasing productivity, reducing vulnerabilities and increasing the resilience of smallholder production systems. However the burden of Unpaid Care Work for rural women farmers often means they have little time to learn about and to practice sustainable productivity; and so limits these women’s economic empowerment.

Even if women smallholder farmers are able to increase productivity, Access to Markets is often a major barrier to increasing their income. They receive unfair treatment from buyers and lack information regarding the current market situation, finance and other productive resources required to get their produce to market. Due to lack of voice at household or community level, or lack of time due to Unpaid Care Work, the women are unable to easily learn about or engage in these areas.

The POWER project is supporting women with tools and knowledge to practice Agroecology. This is to both secure the women’s livelihoods and productivity in the longer term and as a tool to reduce Unpaid Care Work. The POWER project addresses Unpaid Care Work simultaneously to ensure women have enough time to learn about and practice these methods. The POWER project also works to overcome the challenges around access to markets by building the capacity of women farmers; by addressing Unpaid Care Work; and by recommending that national and regional institutions support markets and public services that are more gender sensitive.

Helen, 30, carries her son at her back whiles balancing a pan of local drinks on her head. Helen sells drinks at a market in the Upper West region of Ghana. PHOTO: DEBORAH LOMOTEY/ACTIONAID

Voices from the community

  • Zareena, 48, from Pakistan is married and lives with ten family members including her five children of ages 10-18 years. They have two buffalos and one calf and she has Read More
  • Jamila, 45, is member of  Amrao Pari Women’ Group, Lalmonirhat in Bangladesh.  She received training on vegetable gardening jointly by POWER project and the government’s Department of Agriculture Extension.   Read More
  • The Pwalugu Rice Processing Group is a group of widows formed by ActionAid Ghana and its partners, the Widows and Orphans Movement in 2012 in the Upper East region. Alice... Read More
  • Dipti Rani, Shumitra Rani and Probhati Ra (all members of Shondhamaloti Women group of Lalmonirhat in Bangladesh), in in their collective garden. “We are working in this vegetable garden in... Read More
  • Within the POWER project, CRSA is used as a tool to save time, to reduce Unpaid Care Work and to increase productivity. An example of this is providing cows to... Read More


BOOSTING RESILIENCE: The relationship between climate change, agroecology and unpaid care work

This webinar was the fourth in the POWER project international webinar series. It explored the theme of enhancing resilient livelihoods for women farmers, by examining the effects of climate change, the benefits of agroecology and how these intersect with women’s unpaid care work. Read More…

CRSA and Unpaid Care Work webinar

This webinar was the second of the POWER project international webinar series. It looked at the links between Climate Resilient Sustainable Agriculture and Unpaid Care Work. Violence Against Women as a crosscutting issue was also considered. We heard staff and members of women’s groups talking of experiences from POWER project work in Bangladesh and Pakistan, as well as an overview of CRSA and Women’s Rights and experiences of taking related issues to a policy level. We also had input from South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC). There were over 50 participants from a variety of countries: from ActionAid, implementing partners and other organisations eg FAO, Oxfam and UN Women.

Women’s Economic Empowerment and Unpaid Care Work policy brief: online launch

This webinar was to launch the POWER project policy brief: ‘Incorporation of Women’s Economic Empowerment and Unpaid Care Work into regional policies (Africa)’.

This brief provides an analysis of current policies and practices across Africa that relate to rural women’s economic empowerment and, in particular, the inclusion of the issue of Unpaid Care Work. It considers the successes and the gaps and identifies opportunities for improvement.

About 30 participants attended the launch to hear the key recommendations and more detail of the advocacy work being done at local, national and regional level.  Those attending also had the opportunity to input their own experiences and challenges.  Participants also considered ways of working together to ensure better incorporation of issues around Unpaid Care Work into national and regional policies..

Read More…


Policy brief

Cultivating rural women's economic empowerment (full report)

This report explores the specific interlinkages between women’s unpaid care work and agroecology in South Asia, drawing on case studies and experiences from Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan

Cultivating rural women's economic empowerment (summary)

This is a 4 page summary of the full report of the same name. It was produced specifically for the launch of the report at the 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62): a time when world leaders and civil society come together to consider the fundamental challenges and opportunities rural women and girls face.

Find out more about ActionAid’s approach to

Climate Resilient Sustainable Agriculture in general here