Are Biofuels Marginalizing Rural Women?
According to a study by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the recent and rapid increase in large-scale liquid biofuel production in third world countries could marginalize rural women by threatening their livelihoods. Traditionally, small farmers (women in particular) have had limited access to the large-scale plantations that are required for the production of biofuels like bioethanol and biodiesel. These include land and water, chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
“Unless policies are adopted in developing countries to strengthen the participation of small farmers, especially women in biofuel production by increasing their access to land, capital and technology – gender inequalities are likely to become more marked and women’s vulnerability to hunger and poverty further exacerbated,” said Yianna Lambrou, co-author of the paper entitled Gender and Equity Issues in Liquid Biofuels Production – Minimizing the Risks to Maximize the Opportunities. “Biofuel production certainly offers opportunities for farmers – but they will only trickle down to the farm level, especially to women, if pro-poor policies are put in place that also empower women.”
This is contrary to last year’s article from biopact.