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UN Women and BNP Paribas launch a programme to promote women’s economic empowerment in northern Senegal

  • 08.03.2019

On 8 March 2019, UN Women and BNP Paribas signed a partnership to develop climate-resilient agriculture and women’s entrepreneurship in Northern Senegal, called PAFADD (Projet d’Appui aux Femmes dans l’Agriculture et le Développement Durable, or "project to support women in agriculture and sustainable development").

UN Women strives to eliminate discrimination against women and girls, empower women, and achieve gender equality. In 2014, the organisation launched the worldwide movement HeForShe to promote gender equality. Companies that participate in the movement undertake to make gender equality an institutional priority by committing to promote and establish gender equality, and by investing in community projects that encourage women’s economic empowerment.

Our HeForShe commitments

In 2018, Jean-Laurent Bonnafé was appointed Thematic Champion for the HeForShe initiative. BNP Paribas thereby undertook, in the scope of a 3-year partnership, to advance diversity in some of the bank’s business lines that are predominantly female (HR) or male (Global Markets). BNP Paribas also wanted to join the United Nations in their commitment towards women entrepreneurs who work towards the development of renewable energies in the world. 

To address this challenge, UN Women in Senegal will, with the support of BNP Paribas and BICIS, develop a programme to promote food security in Senegal, as well as women’s entrepreneurship to develop an agriculture that is resilient to climate change.

PAFADD: a project to support women in agriculture and sustainable development

The project aims to empower 30,000 Senegalese women farmers by 2021 by improving access to:

  • ownership and control of agricultural land,
  • technology and training to increase women farmers’ productivity while improving their environmental practices,
  • funding by teaching women entrepreneurs how to apply for credit,
  • markets with added value by training women entrepreneurs in best marketing practices (packaging, labelling, etc.).

empower 30,000 Senegalese women farmers by 2021.

Promoting women’s entrepreneurship in the farming sector

Women on the African continent contribute substantially to farming production and the processing of products and therefore play a key role in developing food security. In Senegal, women represent just over half of the country’s total population and 70% of the workers in rural areas.

In this country, as on the rest of the continent, gender disparities persist in terms of access to production factors (land, inputs, training, etc.), which tends to be a drastic curb to growth in the sector. In a recent study, FAO estimates that if women had the same access to productive resources that men have, they could increase current agricultural returns by 20 to 30%.

Improving gender equality in the sector would thus contribute both to productivity and to social justice.

The project will help to address the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): (1) no poverty, (2) zero hunger, (5) gender equality, (7) renewable energy, (9) innovation and infrastructure, (10) reducing inequalities, (13) climate action, (15) life on land, and (17) partnerships for the goals.

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