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It should be noted that “Levelling the Filed” is a comprehensive report, which displays current issues faced by women in Africa. Even though it places focus on farming and the role of females in it, the text also raises and stresses several other direct and indirect barriers that African females have to face. The purpose of this paper is to review the report and to evaluate it.
It should be noted that the low productivity of women farmers in Africa is one of the difficulties experienced by the country at present. Although it is a result of certain state policies, cultural domains, and other objective factors, no significant progress has been achieved so far in improving the situation or the setting. The article provides data and information related to this issue in terms of such countries as Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria, and so on.1 Importantly, the focus of the report is made not on the lower levels of productivity of female workers but on the constraints that women face in their lives and duties.
A high role is given to the agricultural sector in combating poverty and initiating growth in Africa. It represents one of the leading sources for constructing the gross domestic product, and it also influences the earnings of citizens greatly..2 Nevertheless, heavy investments in agriculture are required for boosting the sector and its efficiency. Although almost 90% of the entire African population is involved in this occupation, its potential has not been maximized to the full capacity due to the absence of sufficient regulation. At this point, it is essential to mention that lower productivity levels are directly linked to the existing gender gap, and it prevents the sector from booming. According to the statistics, almost half of the workforce is represented by women and, in some countries, the percentage of female workers is even greater.3 However, their levels of productivity in agriculture are significantly lower than those of male workers.
The reasons for weaker performance are linked to poor access of women to resources, training, and opportunities. Also, certain institutional obstacles hinder their progression as specialists. Cultural norms also prevent female workers from making the most of their potential. Moreover, women are actively engaged in taking care of children and furnishing household chores, which also affects their productivity.4 Therefore, it is suggested that eliminating these hurdles will equalize males and females and will result in better performance. The report invokes governments to take active steps towards transforming the existing policies and making all workers equal in terms of profits, rights, liabilities, and outputs.
According to the report findings, several measures should be considered. First, women should be reinforced in their land rights. Second, they should be eligible for hired labor.5 Third, women should be educated in utilizing tools, which will ease their labor. Besides, females should have an opportunity to turn to child care facilities when needed. Moreover, woman workers should be encouraged to utilize high-grade fertilizers and improved seeds.
The report relies on data from solid bodies. It also provides reviews related to the specifics of each country. Therefore, the report information should be considered valid and reliable. Also, the documented evidence is supported by visuals that enhance the reader’s comprehension. It is rational to focus on the gender gap in productivity because some severe restrictions and limitations prevent women from displaying similar performance levels as men do. Ensuring equality in rights and possibilities should be the aim of governmental bodies since they are given the high authority of initiating change and social reformations. It could be assumed that the compiled report provides all the essential insights to dive readers into the core of the problem. If the proposed initiatives are adopted, it is rather likely that slow but steady changes in the society will result in enhanced outcomes for the entire country.
O’Sullivan, Michael, Rao Arathi, Banerjee Raka, Gulati Kajal, and Vinez Margaux. 2014. Levelling the Field. Web.
- Michael O’Sullivan et al., Levelling the Field, PDF, World Bank Group, 2014, 7.
- Michael O’Sullivan et al., Levelling the Field, 6.
- Ibid., 20.
- Ibid., 21.
- Ibid., 42.