The author of this opinion piece is H. E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former president of Liberia, President of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Centre and Patron of African Protected Areas Congress (APAC)

Women make up the backbone of society. Nowhere is this truer than in rural Africa, where the so-called “lesser sex” takes on the bulk of the childrearing, housekeeping, and income-earning. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), women make up 70 percent of Africa’s agricultural workforce and grow 90 percent of the food.

Since time immemorial, women have played a significant role in safeguarding the natural resources on which they and future generations are dependent. At a time when social constructs had designated this all-important role to women, it was a badge that our mothers and grandmothers wore proudly, and the numerous benefits can be felt all around us.  Continue reading.