U.S. Paves Way for UN to Declare 2026 as International Year of the Woman Farmer

Woman farmer near grain bin
In addition to highlighting the importance and achievements of women in the ag industry, the International Year of the Woman Farmer initiative will support ongoing UN efforts to address gender equity, food security and poverty.

U.S. Paves Way for UN to Declare 2026 as International Year of the Woman Farmer

On May 2, in the presence of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield and U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small, the UN General Assembly declared 2026 as the International Year of the Woman Farmer. The resolution, and the U.S. government’s efforts to generate support for it, were spearheaded by USDA and garnered more than 100 co-sponsors, underscoring the global importance of uplifting women throughout the agriculture sector.

The worldwide observance will call attention to the vital role that women play in global food and agricultural production. It will also raise global awareness of the unique challenges women in agriculture face, catalyze action to help address those challenges, and support many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including those focused on gender equity, food security and poverty.

“From the field to the factory, from the classroom to the boardroom, women are fundamental to the future of agriculture. As leaders, it is our responsibility to make sure the next generation of women farmers have equal access to economic, educational and leadership opportunities, and that we dismantle the unique barriers they face so they can continue to take on the challenges of meeting the world’s growing food, fuel and fiber needs,” Deputy Secretary Torres Small said. “USDA is proud to have led the U.S. government’s efforts in support of declaring 2026 as the International Year of the Woman Farmer, and we thank the many nations that signed on in support. We look forward to working with partners worldwide to scale up efforts that empower and advance women farmers while tackling global food security in 2026 and beyond.”

Women are responsible for roughly half of the world’s food production, and in many countries they produce between 60% and 80% of the food. Yet globally, the prevalence of food insecurity is higher among women than men. By shining a spotlight on women’s role in farming across the world, the International Year of the Woman Farmer will also raise awareness of constraints women face in areas including property rights and land tenure, access to credit and markets, and lack of technical and educational support. It will emphasize, as well, the importance of women in leadership roles to better ensure representation at the highest levels of decision-making.

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